Gadgets Then and Now

This article is from Do You Remember. Click the title to hop over there.

The internet came along and changed our lives. Smartphones and super slim televisions are now standard the world over. But it wasn’t always that way, oh no, it was better once.

Better how? We hear you ask. In plenty of ways. We lived happy lives before phones and email. We just didn’t really notice the changes happening over the years.

From televisions and laptops slimming down as we bulge out, to phones actually getting weaker, tech has surprisingly affected us in ways we may not have expected.

 Mobile Phones

Then: In 1983, Motorola’s DynaTAC (Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage) 8000X was the world’s first commercially-released mobile phone, with a price tag of $3995 equivalent to $8,772.59 in today’s dollars. Motorola spent 15 years and over $100 million developing the technology. The DynaTAC 8000X allowed 30 minutes of talk time, took 10 hours to charge, weighed 1.75 lb., and stood 13 in. high

Now: The DynaTAC has long been forgotten, with pocket-size touch phones like the iPhone dominating the market.


Then: The television was first introduced to the American public at the 1939 World’s Fair. The outbreak of World War II delayed commercial network programming in the U.S. until the late 1940’s. A popular black-and-white model, the 1948 Admiral Model 9A111, had a 7 inch screen encased in a large metal box four times the screen size. The 1948 Admiral Model 9A111 cost $2,495 ($22,642.49 in today’s money!)

Now: Watch hundreds of channels of HDTV on a 50′ inch 3D Sony, a 42′ inch Panasonic plasma, a Samsung or Sharp LCD in your living room.

Game Consoles

Then: Nolan Bushnell founded Atari in 1972, but it didn’t become big in homes until 1975 — when Atari started selling home versions of Pong, a two-dimensional sports game which (sort of) simulated a game of table tennis. Pong helped Atari become a household name and introduced very basic, at-home video games to the masses.

Now: Play Halo with friends in different countries, watch an HD movie on Blu-ray, play tennis, lose weight — all through your PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii or XBOX.


Then: The first floppy disks were invented by IBM to store data and programs. Floppy disks came in 8 inch, 5 1/4 inch and 3 1/2 inch forms and were used for data storage from the mid-1970’s to the late 1990’s. The floppies held anywhere from 1.44 MB to 6MB worth of data.

Now: A micro SD drive that hold gigs of data can fit conveniently on a keychain.


Then: One of the earliest computers was ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first true all-purpose electronic computer. Unveiled in 1946, it was a monstrous 30-ton machine with 6000 switches, 18,000 tubes and cabinets, and occupied an entire room.

Now: Take your pick — super slim laptops, ultra light Netbooks, iPhones or iPads.

Click “Next” to see more gadgets and how they have changed through time.

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