The Hilarious Chronicles of Tech in the ’80s and ’90s: When Changing a Playlist Meant Changing a Whole CD

Hey there, young ones of Mzansi! So, my daughter recently asked me, “How do you change the playlist on a CD?” I nearly spit out my coffee! That innocent question got me thinking about how much technology has evolved since my youthful days. And let me tell you, it’s been a wild ride from then to now. So, gather ’round as we journey back to the ’80s and ’90s, a time when technology was as basic as a two-step dance move, but we still thought it was the bee’s knees! 🕺💃

The Internet? You Mean That Thing in Spider-Man Comics?

You know how you can’t even go to the bathroom without checking your Instagram feed? Well, back in my day, the internet was a mythical creature, like unicorns or loadshedding-free days. If you wanted to connect with someone, you had to actually talk to them. Face-to-face! I know, shocking.

Dial-Up Drama

Fast forward a bit to the ’90s, and we got something called “dial-up internet.” Imagine this: You want to go online, so you sit down, dial a number on your landline, and then listen to a symphony of screeches and beeps that sound like R2-D2 having a meltdown. And then, after all that, you might get disconnected if someone picks up another phone in the house. Ah, the good ol’ days.

The Floppy Disk Saga

You guys complain about having “only” 64GB on your smartphones. Well, let me introduce you to the floppy disk—a storage device with a whopping 1.44 MB of space! That’s right, you could store almost one whole MP3 song on it. Almost.

Video Games: The Pixelated Paradise

You have 4K, VR, and cloud gaming. We had Pong. Two rectangles and a square bouncing back and forth. And we LOVED it. Don’t even get me started on the original Mario. The graphics were so pixelated, it looked like Mario had a serious acne problem.

The Walkman Revolution

Before Spotify and Apple Music, we had the Walkman. It was like carrying a brick in your pocket, and you had to flip the cassette tape to listen to the other half of the album. Oh, and if your favorite song was the last one on Side A? You’d better get good at the fast-forward and rewind dance.

The VHS vs. Betamax War

Forget about iOS vs. Android; the real battle was VHS vs. Betamax. These were video cassette formats, and picking the wrong one was like choosing the losing side in a civil war. Spoiler alert: VHS won, but not before many a family feud was ignited.

The TV Guide: Your Entertainment GPS

Netflix recommendations? Pfft. We had the TV Guide, a printed booklet that told us what would be on TV and when. And if you missed your show? Too bad, you had to wait for the rerun. No pause, no rewind, no second chances.

So there you have it, young whippersnappers. The next time you complain about your Wi-Fi being slow or your phone battery dying, just remember: At least you’re not stuck playing Pong while waiting for your dial-up to connect.

Peace out and keep on scrolling! ✌️😂

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Andrea Belloti
Andrea Belloti

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