Editors note: Every week we poll people around our offices to share what makes them tick. This week, we asked them what tech from the past they miss the most.
My goal in this life is to be the last person on Earth still buying compact discs. In the way that my dad racked up crates upon crates of albums, as a kid I started buying CDs like a maniac. I read the liner notes. I love the art. And maybe one day someone will enjoy looking at those CDs the way I loved flipping through my dad's vinyl.
-- Erin Carson, Staff Reporter
My favorite old tech was the OG smart home appliance: the Easy-Bake Oven! It's right there in the name -- mix it up, put it in the tin, and bake -- easy! OK, it never actually cooked anything through, but come on, it was using a single light bulb!
-- Liza Maloy, Product Manager
There was nothing like the Nintendo Game Boy when it came out; it had console style games you could play on a device the size of a Sony Walkman. The Game Boy had the same fun and engaging essence that the NES did. The graphics were crude -- that green display is definitely one of the reasons I needed glasses as a teenager. I spent hundreds of wonderful hours playing games like Tetris, Super Mario Land, Double Dragon, Mega Man II and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. My brother and I each had a Game Boy and a cable that tethered them together so we could play against each other in games like F-1 Race.
-- Patrick Holland, Associate Editor
The Kaypro 2000 was my first laptop. In 1985, I walked into a store with someone who was computer shopping, saw it, and plonked down (what was at the time) about five percent of my annual income. It weighed a ton but looked cool and had a lift-out keyboard. Sadly, it was stolen from my apartment less than a year after I bought it. (And thus began the IBM PS/2 years.)
-- Lori Grunin, Senior Editor
I picked up this classic Korg ElecTribe ES-1 beatbox on eBay about 15 years ago. It's a crude but effective tool for creating music tracks. This unit lets you import your own sounds, which was a rare (and expensive) feature back then. Now 99 cent apps run circles around this thing.
-- Doug Vargas, Production Manager
I held onto the LG enV2 and the follow-up LG Octane (seen here) keyboard phones longer than I care to admit. Even though it was firmly in the category of "basic phone," it was the first phone that I found made texting, mobile web and GPS simple. Carrying this phone along with an iPod Touch in my pocket let me keep up with apps landing in the iOS App Store while escaping paying for a data plan. I've since moved on to full-screen iPhone and Android devices like everyone else, but I absolutely miss having a real QWERTY keyboard.
-- Mike Sorrentino, Associate Editor
The Power Pad for the NES classic is one of my favorite pieces of tech ever. Back then it felt like magic when I played Athletic World with my cousins. I had all kinds of techniques to jump high and run faster. I do have to admit that I used my hands to beat my high scores because I just couldn't get it done with my feet. Great times, and I would play it again in a heartbeat.
-- Tania Gonzalez, Audience Development Manager
Sure, the first PlayStation didn't have many of the titles that the N64 did (Zelda, Mario, Goldeneye and so on), but some of my first gaming experiences (Tekken, Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid) were on that gem of a system. It's probably partly nostalgia, but sometimes I miss those pixelated, glitchy games when playing the superpolished ones on my PS4. For me, the system represented not only a great gaming experience but also a truly new one -- something that's more and more rare these days.
-- David Priest, Associate Editor
I have to pick the VTech Socrates, or for those who were in the know, just Socrates. Socrates was an educational gaming console parents could purchase for their unknowing children -- like me -- and let them think they were just playing video games. It was basically a combo of Microsoft Paint, seek-and-find puzzles and Wheel of Fortune. Well, that's how I remember it at least. It was glorious.
-- Danielle Ramirez, Senior Production Manager
I didn't have a lot of fancy electronics growing up, but I did get a hand-me-down Walkman and a small pile of hand-me-down tapes. On summer days, I'd pop in a cassette and flop out on the front lawn with a comic book and a cold drink. On road trips, I'd crank the volume to drown out commentary on every passing landmark. While I did eventually upgrade to a CD player, I still have a soft spot for that very first music player. And the classic rock songs that came with it.
-- Jessica Dolcourt, Senior Editor
OK, I'm going super old school here, but my favorite tech from the past is hands-down the cordless phone. I still remember the joy when we got one at home and I no longer had to stretch the kitchen phone's cord halfway down our basement stairs so I could talk to my friends with some semblance of privacy, away from prying parental ears. Being able to take the phone all the way upstairs, into my own bedroom, and shut the door to have conversations with my friends felt like unicorn magic at the time.
-- Laura Cucullu, Senior Editor
The PalmPilot 1000 original PDA. Though the Apple Newton was the first true "palmtop" computer, the US Robotics Pilot 1000 (eventually 3COM PalmPilot, then HP Palm, then...) was the one that actually introduced us to having a handheld around at all times. Back then, I must admit, I recall thinking, "who would ever need a color screen?" when the first non-B&W version launched. Oops.
-- Jeremy Toeman, Vice President, Product