(CNNMoney) – Taking a look back can be nostalgic for some, but it can also give us an idea of the benefits of the great technological inventions that we can enjoy today.
Today many of the gadgets that more than 30 years ago made life easier for us no longer exist because they have been replaced by devices that work much better. Or, can you imagine using a floppy disk instead of a USB? Or how about using a modem that connects you at 56 mbps?
Here is a review of the most popular gadgets of the 80s:
1. The Commodore 64
The Commodore 64 computer was introduced in 1982 and was an instant hit. The company sold more than 10 million of these machines for $ 595 each.
This computer got its name from its 64 kilobytes of RAM. (In comparison, an iPhone has 2 GB of RAM, about 2,000,000 kilobytes)
2. Floppy disks
Floppy disks were the main external storage tools of the 1980s. The 5-1 / 4 format floppy disk had the capacity to store 110 kilobytes of information.
By the end of the 1980s, the 3.5-inch floppy disk format took the market and managed to store 1.4 megabytes.
The Betamax is best known for its legendary format war that pitted JVC against Sony in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Although for many users the Betamax had superior recording technology, consumers eventually massively adopted the JVC format, the VHS.
The great innovation of the Selectric III typewriter was the introduction of eight new characters, which is why it is known as the forerunner of today’s computers. This machine included the backspace key, which allowed you to go back to correct errors.
5. VisiCalc, before Excel
The ancestor of Microsoft Excel was an extremely limited spreadsheet compared to today’s standards. But it was revolutionary in 1980. It was designed by Apple II.
6. The Apple II
The Apple II was the company’s most successful personal computer, one of the best-selling products of the 1980s. It was discontinued in 1993.
The Mac introduced the graphical interface and the massive use of the mouse in the world of computers.
8. Dot printers
Dot printers killed typewriters. The oscillating head of the printer struck the paper through an ink ribbon, giving it its characteristic sound.
Continuous paper sheets, with holes on both sides, fed this printer. The paper could also be cut along a preset line to accommodate the size.
The drinkable tape deck revolutionized the way people listened to music. The Walkman was not the pioneer of its kind, but it was the first of its kind to be affordably priced and sized to carry music in your pocket. Others of its kind like the German Stereobelt were very crude and expensive, so they were not as successful.
The Nintendo Entertainment System debuted in 1983 and dominated the US market that year. It was an immediate success, easily beating the Atari. This was the machine that popularized Super Mario Bros, Zelda, Duck Hunt, and a host of other classic video games.
The ‘beepers’ were the first mobile devices in the 80s. In them you could receive messages or phone numbers from the person who was looking for you.
12. The first portable cell phone
Motorola released the DynaTAC 8000X in 1983, the first drinkable cell phone. This phone weighed more than 500 grams.
13. Message recorders
We still leave messages after the ‘beep’, but in 1980 they were recorded on tape.
Before emails, fax machines were the most instant way to send documents.
Before broadband you had to dial to connect to the internet, which made a sound that many of us remember. With a speed of 56 kilobytes per second, this device allowed to connect to the network about 200 times slower than the average speed of today.