Forgotten tech no one will miss
(Niall Carson)
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Sometimes a walk down memory lane helps to see how much technology has moved on… and we get all starry eyed at the gadgets we used to have. But there is some long forgotten tech no one will miss. Here’s our top six items of tech you’ll be happy not to see again.

Whether it’s speed or reliability, technology is something everyone complains about once in a while.

Lagging broadband, unresponsive screens and imperfect cameras are just some of the many frustrations people vent about today, but a little reminder of past technology bugbears may help to realise how far we’ve come…

Computer mouse trackball

computer mouse tracking ball Forgotten tech no one will miss
(enterphoto/Getty Images)

The optical mice we take for granted today only became widely available commercially in the early 2000s.

Before that, most of us had to use clunky trackball-based computer mice, which would often get caught with dust and force you to shake it in awkward directions until it adjusted – or remove the ball altogether and clean it.

Dial-up internet

Retro Internet GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

While broadband isn’t always perfect, it’s a far cry from dial-up.

Back in the dial-up days, you could end up waiting hours just to download one song.

And who remembers photos slowly loading from the top down, line by line?

Rewinding tapes

Passion Fish Friends GIF by Please Rewind - Find & Share on GIPHY

We’re already moved on from disc-based entertainment, but even before that it was the dreaded tape – both video and for music.

Not only was the quality terrible, it had to be rewound each time.

As far as music is concerned, this also meant no simple one-button track skipping. Fast forward, guess and hope you land around the right spot.

Game console memory cards

Playstation 2 Forgotten tech no one will miss

Today’s game consoles come packed with plenty of memory to not only save the point where you stopped playing a game but even the games themselves.

Earlier consoles such as the PlayStation 1 and 2, you would have to buy a separate memory card – hardcore gamers would require more than one to keep track of their progress.

Batteries for handheld consoles

Handheld Video Game GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Staying with consoles, handheld gaming also had the problem of power.

The original Gameboy required batteries, which is far less convenient – and potentially more costly – than simply plugging into the wall to charge.

BlackBerry trackpad

Forgotten tech no one will miss

Among Blackberry’s many troubles, the trackpad was high up on the list.

Although it seemed quite nifty at the time, before long they got stuck with dirt making it difficult to navigate around your phone.

* Prices correct at time of posting.


  1. Ah dialup, I still remember the day when interlaced JPEG came along and made waiting for a large image to load that bit more pleasant as you could make out what it was when it was only half finished.

    Yet advertisers and media sites in general are trying their best to make broadband a pain too with all their video adverts and auto-play videos in general. Such progress.

  2. Great point about auto play videos and ads. They make some news sites completely unreadable. Yes, I’m talking about you Hull Daily Mail (and every other site in their group).

  3. Hmm, we are making click to run and ad block sound like a big deal here…. If you don’t like ads try Brave as your browser as the adblocking is built in.

  4. If everybody blocked all ads, we’d quickly find internet services grinding to a halt. But some advertisers/sites take the mickey: auto-running video ads, downloading mini games – all at the readers’ expense.

  5. It is all too easy to Slag Off and laugh at earlier technology: however, always remember, without the incremental and at times Quantum Leaps of inspiration and intense (and costly!) forward innovation, then, the present “State-of-the-Art” would not exist.

    Those of us who worked extremely hard at what was described as the “Bleeding Edge” (i.e. bleeding risk, equity and venture capital when such was extremely difficult to raise -much of it our own; and our wives and kids own future security too) had only our passionate belief in the forward success of our ludicrous investment hours of anti-social work schedules, the huge market potentials and the application validity of the eventual product and its commercial success to sustain both our sanity and commitment.

    Without such passionate commitment and belief, then nothing much would have been invented! Mankind (Women included, of course) would still be riding around on horses, in horse-drawn carts, fishing from coracles, and using probably flint-edged tools and weapons.

  6. That made me laugh, about the trackball mice, I remember replacing (on a work mate’s mouse) the ball with a roundish lump of blue tack! Eventually he took the ball out and thought it had melted!!


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