(Pocket-lint) - Fancy a trip down nostalgia lane?

A lot of years has passed in the tech world and gadgets have come a long way over the last few decades. Now we're all worrying about our smartphones spying on us and how much the latest smart device is going to cost us. But in the old days, we had very different tech problems. 

We're rounding up some of the very best tech problems 90s and 00s kids with remember all too well.


Compact disc collection

Back in the good old days, before you could walk around with a smartphone capable of streaming Spotify in your pocket, we had to lug these bad boys around. Or at least go through the hassle of flipping through to find the right compact disc for an epic journey mix. 


Small pockets and big tech

The ability to carry your music with you might have been advancing, but portable CD players were larger than the classic Walkman and caused no end of problems. The choice was basically precariously balancing it half-in, half-out of your pocket or carry it in your hand. First world problems of the old world kind. 

Stas Knop/Pexels

Audio problems

Carrying CDs and their players might have been a faff, but at least they didn't randomly unspool in the middle of a 90s megamix. Audio tapes had to be regularly respooled with a pencil. What a time to be alive. 


Films needed rewinding

Before the joy that is Netflix and Amazon Prime video, films came on good old fashioned VHS tapes. These were often rented from your local video store and came with the hassle of either having to remember to rewind it when you were finished or putting up with having to do so before you could even watch if the last person didn't.


Painful download times

Download times were shockingly painful and it could be hours, days or even years before your download finished. That's if no one interrupted the progress by answering the phone. 


Learning patience

Kids these days have it easy. Everything is available to them in almost an instant. In the days of dial-up, we had to wait patiently for the web to load. Even a simple image would take an apparent age to display properly and even when it fully loaded it might have been an utter disappointment. 


Mice powered by balls

Back in the early days, computer mice were powered by balls rather than lasers. These often got clogged up with all sorts of grime but they were remarkably fun to play with and a good way to wind up your classmates if you pocketed one. 


Virtual pets

Back in the hazy days of the 90s, you either owned a Tamagotchi or enviously looked on as your friends played. Of course, if you did own one then you had the hassle of actually trying to keep it alive. It wasn't all just fun and games you know.


Gaming dramas

Gaming was starting to be convenient and a whole lot of fun with the likes of the GameBoy and Game Gear appearing on the scene. But even though devices came with certain dramas. Like trying to play on a black and green screen in the dark. 


Overhead projectors

Long before Microsoft Powerpoint or fancy touchscreen whiteboards, the classic overhead projector was a mainstay for making presentations. These simple machines appeared in schools across the world and were loved or loathed by teacher and kids alike. 


Wonderful WordArt

WordArt was a classic way to jazz up any homework you had to hand in. A sure-fire way to distract from the fact you'd really only put half the effort into your work. 


Fun with Windows

Computers were not always reliable and programs seemed to crash far more often back in those days. Maybe it was the cheap school computers? But at least you could have fun painting modern art with broken program dialogue boxes. 


Classic gaming

PC gaming choices might well have been a lot more limited in those days, but they were utterly classic. Minesweeper and Solitaire were solid favourites in our book. You did have to dig around in a mega menu system to find them though. 


Phone storage problems

Problems with phone storage getting full have always been an issue, but in the old days, you'd even run out of storage for messages.  Classic Nokia phones might have been robust, but they weren't infallible. 


Cranking your windows

Before everything in the car became automatic, car windows had to be opened by hand using a simple crank system. Life is so much simpler now you just need to press a button.  


Phone cords

Landlines were a faff when cords got knotted up, tangled and generally turned into a mess. Everyone felt this pain from office workers to families at home using their landline. Some still feel the misery today.  


Small capacity floppy disks

Before the age of cloud computing, we had to store all our data on floppy disks. They were unreliable though, corrupting at the slightest sign of a magnet and easily ruined if you were foolish enough to keep one in your pocket. They didn't hold a great deal of data either, so many games, programs and operating systems required multiple disks in order to install and work. 

Chepe Nicoli/Unsplash

Damaged CDs

Sure, you weren't likely to eat your breakfast off a compact disc and they were certainly more reliable than cassette tapes, but the slightest blemish could cause havoc. Everything from a scratch to a fingerprint could really ruin your musical experience and potentially destroy your favourite album. 


Blowing on game cartridges

In the heyday of video gaming games came on cartridges which allowed for much faster load times (for the era), but they could stop working if not cared for properly. Even a little dust on the cartridge could stop the game running. Nothing a quick blow couldn't solve. 

Onetwo1 [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Not owning one of these 

The humble Talkboy was a cassette player and recorder that began life as a prop for the Home Alone films. It was uber popular and made a classic Christmas gift. Everyone wanted one and they proved super hard to get hold. If you didn't own one, you weren't cool enough for school.


Texting was a pain

Even something as simple as sending a text message was a hassle in the old days. No decent predictive text or clever keyboards, just number buttons that had to be pressed multiple times to get the right letter. It took an age to master and is now a forgotten talent no one needed. 


Writing down cheat codes

As the years passed games started improving and it was possible to learn cheat codes for your favourite games to get extra ammo, infinite lives to make things more interesting. Gamers took to scribbling down these codes to look them up late. After all, there was no easy access to Google back then. 

Writing by Adrian Willings.