“When I was kid in the 70’s batteries were expensive and poor. Duracell hadn’t really come on stream and bulbs were all the incandescent type and power hungry. A big thing on our Christmas lists was dynamo lights like the ones above. Bikes were a critical mode of transport, and in the long dark early evenings and mornings these dynamo lights were just so cool.” – Jo
Commodore Amiga 1200
“There were a few different models of this computer I was aware of and I owned two of them in the early 90’s, the Amiga 600 and the Amiga 1200 pictured above. These were incredible machines and even had an early visual operating system called ‘Workbench’ that was just like Microsoft Windows. Ahead of its time in graphics as well, some games still look pretty good these days. I have many fond memories from my early teenage years playing Worms, X-Com, Wing Commander, Monkey Island etc with friends on one of these.
I also love the simplistic look, the clean lines and everything neatly packaged into the keyboard, including the floppy disk drive which was located at the right hand side. You just popped a disk in and it loaded automatically. They were a joy to use, everything just worked.” – J.D
1985 car navigation system
“GPS is part of our everyday lives now, used in everything from jet liners to some stupid app your kids won’t shut up about. However when it was first created GPS was super secret tech used by the US military so the guys behind the first in car navigation system had to use some other clever techniques to work out where you were going. The etaks was pretty amazing for the time it was created as computing power was at a minimum, also it looks like something right out of a John Carpenter 80’s classic.” Read more here – Jonny
Super Nintendo (Super Famicom)
“For me the ultimate piece of retro tech has to be the SNES. To me nothing screams the 90’s more than those 16bit graphics, those in your face colour schemes and fantastic soundtracks. Hours of my childhood must have been wasted replaying the same 5 games constantly and that’s alright with me. Even to this day I can play those games and feel like they can still conjure up the same excitement they used to. Even the shortfalls of the console like having to blow the cartridges when they refuse to work or the plastic coating turning a strange shade of yellow just add to the overall charm.” – Paul
“What a strangely wonderful waste of space. You have to make your own fizzy drinks… and it costs you more for the privilege.
My grandma and grandad had one when I was a kid and I was fascinated by it. My grandad liked to get hold of the latest technology, but very rarely made use of any of it. He had a video camera but I was the only person to use it, trying to make stop motion videos – I was moderately successful. He also had a professional looking keyboard (the musical type) on which my sister would play that Beethoven song that everyone can play. I think that was the only use it got.
But I do remember using the SodaStream quite a bit. It was older than me, I presume it was bought in the late 70s/ early 80s. I think it was beige, just like most plastic things from the time. Even though it didn’t actually look very modern, the functionality of it felt so futuristic. I absolutely loved it.
I can see how the idea of making your own fizzy drinks is exciting to a child who doesn’t have a care in the world about the cost, but I don’t understand the appeal to adults of spending more to do the work yourself.
I would still own one though. And miraculously the company is still going, so I could.” – Sam
Sega Megadrive (Sega Genesis)
“My favourite piece of retro tech is the Sega Megadrive, this was my first experience with gaming. And there was something quite special about controlling a little hedgehog going around collecting gold rings, and trying not to fall into the abyss. I was hooked by Sonic and that started my affinity the games and games consoles. So, thanks Dad for letting me play!” – Greg
Apollo 11 Lunar Module
“I’m pretty obsessed with everything space and sci-fi, and love to think about humanity’s future amongst the stars. The first and most important step was putting a human being on another body in space, all made possible by the Apollo 11 Lunar Module. With ‘no more computing power than a modern washing machine’, it set the stage for our coming expansion into the solar system, and hopefully the stars beyond that.” – Alex
“Way, way before the days of mass digital consumption and electronic gaming, Tomy used to produce a fantastic series of handheld mechanical games called Pockateers. There were loads and loads to collect – from racing to mini golf. Even a mini-cross bow. Also a fruit machine to encourage early gambling addiction.
I remember spending pocket money on them whenever I could afford to. When we run out of digital, they’ll be back. Mark my words. No battery required.” – Jason
Some of his favorites: