Rejected Tech Reclaims Its Glory Days


I’ll go out on a limb and say, aside from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, etc, the best digital developments in recent years come from the reintroduction of rejected tech. With all of the cutting edge tech at our fingertips, we’re suddenly dusting off nostalgic relics from our geeky past and lol-ing about the absurdity of it all. Here are my favorite past technological innovations that have re-emerged in awe-inspiring new forms:

Mixtapes: Sharpe+cassette+a few neatly recorded selections from your solid and soul-revealing tape selection, now giving digital kids of today a platform or USB to share one too many Bob Dylan tracks with the hipster Facebook crush they don’t have the courage to straight up poke and ask out.

Similarly, I’m drooling over this Walkman iPod case. I owe a lot to ASL commenter Andrew Foote for linking me to this. 

Although I was too busy signing up for “The Facebook” in 2004 to notice its incredible launch and ultimate cease and desist, you can bet that if it was available today, I’d be willing to pay whatever it took- even willing to wait in line longer than I waited with Maria for the 3G. 

Laser Backgrounds 4EVER!!: Seriously, best innovation in [school] photography now forever worshiped on the alter that is

What else? Drop a comment with your best story of rejected tech that’s reclaiming its glory days. Also, while you’re at it, drop another comment and tell us the tracks on the best mixtape you ever made (and no, you can’t just post all of the tracks on Jock Jams Volume 2, circa 1996).

Images via here, here and here.

-Amanda Mooney


8 Responses to “Rejected Tech Reclaims Its Glory Days”

  1. LOL’ing like crazy…

    My favorite rejected tech = the minidisc or as I like to call it “the little disc that couldn’t”. It was supposed to revolutionize the recording, listening and storage processes for music but fell flat in the western hemisphere. Asia went crazy over it, and that’s possibly the reason why Japan will always be eternally cooler than us. They loved the tragically hip while we stood around with our Walkmans and scoffed at it. Now, they’re upwards of $120 on eBay. Incredible.

    Best Mixtape I created was my first in 4th grade: selections from Green Day’s “Dookie”, Hootie & The Blowfish, Tonic, Silverchair, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Guns ‘N Roses.

  2. The fact that you included Silverchair is amazing. Well done Mr. Wheeler. Who was the lucky recipient of that mix?

  3. Rejected Tech- Laserdisc. Pop Pop still has “The Abyss” and “Cocoon” on LaserDisc and his LaserDisc player. Struck me as the pinnacle of tech at the time.

    Mixtape- Unfortunately, I don’t remember all on one mixtape. But I can certainly recall isolated mixtape submissions: “The Distance” by Live, “I Love You” by Sarah McLachlan, “Dreams” by the Cranberries, “Back to Good” by Take That, “Good” by Better Than Ezra, “Little Black Backpack” by Stroke 9, “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon…

    And you thought Emo came around in the late nineties? Au contraire. In an interesting twist, Jaimeson (bf) and I were discussing music from the late nineties a couple months ago with the last two bands came up. His old band was opening for Vertical Horizon at the time and he has some very strong words for Stroke 9. Big feud apparently. Also hilarious to me that he was on tour doing God knows what before I could my driving permit. Proof positive that the age gap closes over time.

  4. @tokissthecook incredible- and true. I think it was actually a law that Sarah McLachlan and the Cranberries were included in every mixtape we produced. Also required by law- a little Jewel and definitely Green Day lol:)

  5. Love this topic! Here are a few more examples of new tech with a nod to the old school:

    Final Scratch (vinyl will never die!):

    iDial for the iPhone (rotary dialer):

    Plasma w/ 60’s era casing:

  6. I love that USB drive.

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