Random obsolete technologies to reminisce about


What IS that! Looks amazing


That’s the Coleco Telstar Arcade. It came with triangular carts that snapped into the center. My brother and I would fight over it.


I used to have an Apple //gs. That was actually quite an amazing machine but ultimately a dead end.


ha ha that’s why smart people like me bought the Amiga instead. SUCKAS!

We actually phreak-called Apple the day the //gs was released, to get details about it and talk smack about how much it sucked. This is really and truly a thing we did.


Man, I owned that and freaking loved it!

Biggest disappointment was that I could not find another cartrlidge for it, ever!

Back in the day we had a store called Consumers Distributors (or something like that). You leafed through the catalog, filled out a paper slip and they went to the back to get your product.

Their catalog had 2-3 more game carts for the Telstar Arcade, but they simply never had them in stock. I was constantly crestfallen.


Sometimes I look at my collection of CDs and want to play an album, but I don’t want to bother putting it in my PS3 or PC. Same goes for some mix tapes I made back in the day, or other cassettes. My only recourse there is to try and get the walkman I recently unearthed up and working. But that seems like a lot of work. I’ve been reminiscing about the first CD player I owned. I’m no audiophile, but man, there was a lot to like about the 1991 CFD-50. My parents must have given it to me for Christmas or my birthday.

(Like this, but this wasn’t mine)

CDs were already so much cooler than tapes, to my young mind. You could hold one in your hand and watch it fracture light into rainbows. It harnessed the bold and futuristic power of Digital. Tapes were the now, but CDs were the future. Just as I was tentatively stepping into puberty, so was I stepping, tentatively, into the future.

Gaze at the design! It was following the advances in form found in cars of the time. Instead of the old-fashioned rectangular boxes like the family JVC boombox or Chevy Celebrity, this sported curves. I was becoming very interested in curves. There was a translucent plastic dome over the CD player so I could make out the disc spinning. (I could only afford a few albums for my music library, but they were winners. “Weird Al” Yankovic’s Off the Deep End! Boyz II Men’s Cooleyhighharmony! The Wayne’s World soundtrack!) It had features unknown in this day and age. I could program it to play tracks off an album in the order I wanted, not the order The Man wanted me to hear it. It let me put a blank cassette in so I could easily tape a song off the radio. I could also dub a CD I borrowed from the public library. Once, I even dubbed a song from my dad’s old 8-track by plugging a pair of earphones into the boombox’s mic input and then holding them to the 8-track’s left and right speakers. Miraculous, if quiet and tinny.

Eventually, the CD player started skipping. I had upgraded to a 3-disc, dual cassette shelf system. And so I chucked the old piece of shit into the nearest dumpster.

But sometimes…I wish I still had it.


My parents gave me a “boom box” in the 90’s as a thank you for watching their house and my grandma while they were traveling. It had speakers you could take off and put 15 feet away, and it had dual cassette players. It also had jacks that allowed me to hook up a portable CD player to it. I used that thing in the back yard for years. The cassette players won’t reverse anymore, but it still sounds great.


I inherited something like that one above. Made a ton of mix tapes for myself of all my favorite songs from dad’s cd collection and the radio. By the time I was at an age to be sharing mixtapes with girls, it was easier to pirate music online (or rip from my by then prodigious cd collection!) and burn a cd player compatible disc from the mp3s. One of my best friends from back then recently made YouTube playlists of all the old CDs I burned for her; it was a hoot to listen to them.


Remember when 5 disc CD changers were the 💩?

It’s also amazing how fast CDs went from miraculous cutting edge tech, to mainstream, to something that was kind of a hassle, to something I actively resented for existing.


Wait, wait, I thought you had your own keyboard company? Yours aren’t good enough for you?



That belongs to Weyman Kwong, not me. I only loaned him money to do the first run of CODE, which he did, then he paid me back (no interest or anything). I did this because I wanted such a thing to exist.


Awww, nuts. I kinda wanted to buy one and support ya, Jeff. I heard great things about the CODE boards back in the day and really do kinda want an 87-key for travel. I’d spring for the 61, but A) they’re out of stock in Clears, and B) I do a lot of writing on my laptop and would miss dedicated pg up/down end/home keys >.>


I did make him give me like 10-15 of them for free, but that’s it 🤑

Today I buy them just like you would.


I knew a guy who had a 6 disc changer in the trunk of his car. Which was really handy until you were on a road trip and really wanted to listen to another disc.


Says you, I still have tons of CDs of games that still don’t have digital equivalents, and I still but soundtrack CD’s frol LaLa Land Records.


I think it is that exact model on the pic, as you can guess there are numbers beside the Macintosh “something” on the picture. And as someone who spent all its time on a floppy-only Mac Plus until the mid 90s, when I got temporaly one of those babies, its hard drive’s size (20MB or something?) felt absolutely massive!

Awesome warmy feeling 80s pic, @kristina! Happily, my parents never bothered to take a picture of me in front of my computer. Me being hypnotized in a half-sleep state and drooling over the keyboard might be the reason.


I still have one in my truck. Well, it is a 2002.


If this is like progressing through the stages of grief, I haven’t gone all the way through yet. I’m still between mainstream and kind of a hassle.


I still have one as well. And it doesn’t work. I won’t throw it out because I want the damn CDs. I woon’t tear it open because maybe I can fix it. I’m screwed.


I still use my old Sony portable mini-disc player all the time. It’s pretty much this model:

It’s great for recording shows through a pair of nice binaural micro-mics I have, or getting field recordings to a digital format. The blanks are getting harder to find though.

It’s not as nice as my old Tascam DAT recorder, but that’s starting to act a little wonky. I’ve had the thing for 20-ish years, so I guess it’s fulfilled it’s purpose.