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Retro Technology: 80s

Retro Technology: 80s – Some of the devices we looked at when we talked about the ’70s, like the Walkman or floppy disks, had an enormous impact during the ’80s.

Technological Products From the 80s

Personal Computers

IBM released the first PC in history in 1981, the IBM PC 5150, which was very successful.

They decided to use an open architecture so that other manufacturers could produce and sell compatible components, peripherals. And software without purchasing licenses.

In this decade, it became more affordable to have a personal computer at home.

Among those released in those years, some of the most legendary are the Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1982), Commodore 64 (1982), MSX (1983), Amstrad (1984), and the Commodore Amiga 500 (1987).

Those who have had any of them remember the eternal load times of the games and the commands that had to type to load the programs, which came on cassette tapes.

This was the legendary Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

Game Consoles

During the 1980s, there was a significant expansion of video game consoles.

Those of Nintendo and Sega stood out among them, who would star in a fierce fight to win the “console war”.

During this decade and the next, Nintendo released the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and the SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System).

Nintendo’s NES was one of the most successful consoles of the 1980s.

The Sega consoles that rivalled Nintendo were the Sega Master System and the Mega Drive, which were very successful.

Many video game characters created by these companies have become cultural icons, such as Mario Bros, Zelda and Sonic.

Video Recorders and Players

Sony created the Betamax system, and JVC was the developer of the VHS. Thus began a war between both formats to take over the market.

Although Betamax consider zeto have better quality, in the end, the winner was the VHS system due to, among other factors, a better marketing strategy.

The first video stores began to appear, which lived their golden age in the mid-90s and during the early 2000s.

Being able to rent and watch big-screen hits at home was unprecedented until then, and for many, it became a habit.

Unfortunately, the expansion of the Internet and the appearance of streaming platforms made almost all the video stores in our neighbourhoods and cities disappear.

Discman -Retro Technology

As with the Walkman in the late 1970s, Sony created the Discman or portable CD player in 1984.

Later, many companies created their players, leading to remarkable growth of the CD as an audio format.

Landlines and Phone Booths -Retro Technology

Now that we are hyperconnected thanks to smartphones. It is curious to remember when we only had landlines in our homes.

If they called us and we weren’t home. They had to call us back at another time to reach us or leave us a message on the answering machine.

And if being on the street. You needed to call someone, and you had to resort to the telephone booths on our cities’ streets.

Today, only around 14,000 booths left in Spain, which will be gradually remove until they disappear.

During the 1980s, telephone booths filled the streets of our cities.

Digital Photo Cameras

Kodak invented the first digital camera in history in 1975, but it was not until the 1980s and 1990s that they began to market and expand.

They were characterize by storing the images in a memory, which could then be download to a computer.

In recent years, the number of analogue and digital cameras has been considerably reduced, except for professional use.

The culprit for this situation has been the arrival of smartphones, which has brought about the latest revolution in photography.

Practically all of us carry our mobile in our pocket, and the camera that these devices have is getting better and better and allows us to take high-quality photos.


The Fax – Retro Technology

Although it has its roots much earlier, the real boom that made the fax indispensable in many companies occurred during the 1980s and 1990s.

Before the triumph of digital technology, this device allowed printed scanned material to be transmitted by telephone.

Incredible as it may seem, you can still find working fax machines in some businesses.

With this, we conclude the review of some of the most representative technologies of the 80s.


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