Fun Goods for Awesome Living

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A Quick Test of Gadgets: Old vs. New

Step right up! Test your knowledge of all things impractical, forgotten, or just outdated! Today, we recognize that the vastness of the Internet has helped many to be aware of things they hadn’t previously known to exist. We also recognize that a large majority of our readers probably didn’t exist themselves when these old gadgets and toys were in high demand. And finally, we also want to recognize that retro is super-in right now, so if you yourself are a generation or three behind when certain old technology was in high demand, chances are you might not be familiar with more obscure-looking or very obsolete items. So… are you ready to test your knowledge of old technology and toys? Read on!

Super-Grand Test of Old Stuff Knowledge

1. What is a magic slate?

A. A what?

B. A rock that disappears on its own

C. A finish available on the latest iPad

D. Some kind of toy

E. No, really, what is it?

If you said A or D, WOW, you really haven’t a clue, have you?

Magic Slate

We can safely bet you’re saying, “Ah, NOW I know what that is!” A magic slate, for those who still don’t know, was a small drawing pad with a clear cover on top and a waxy board underneath. Pull up on the sheet, and your drawing or note disappears like magic! Get it now? Maybe you’re too jaded or your fancy technological lifestyle just won’t fit something like this. No problem: try a Pencil Stylus and keep a little bit of that childlike innocence in your regular routine– hey, we can stop and appreciate the smaller things!

Pencil Stylus

Ironic that something shaped like a pencil is used to draw now instead of an actual pencil.

Still curious about the magic slate? Click here and get directions to make your own!

2. What is this?


A. An old heart defibrillator

B. Something that makes noise?

C. An old phone

D. A novelty coin bank

If you said B, well, you’re kind of right. This is one of the first cellphones out there: a plastic box twice as big a phone book but with a cool factor rivaling Miami Vice. Imagine jumping on the train to work but needing an extra seat for your cellphone… Oh, the stink eye you’d get. While there’s not much use for something like this old phone, there’s still things out there that pay homage to this design:

Retro iPhone Case

A Retro iPhone Case lets you relive the days when putting a shoebox to your face meant you were using the latest gadget.

3. What was this large thingamajig NOT used for?


A. Looking cool

B. mP3 player

C. Blasting awesome beats

D. None of the above

You better have said B: this old 80’s boombox has all that great retro attitude we love, but man! It’s HUGE! You might recall certain 80’s rappers (or wannabes) hoisting this around atop their shoulders like it was neither awkward nor heavy. Though we don’t recommend encouraging that trend to come back, we do suggest using modern devices that perform much better without pulling any muscles:


A Saturday Night Speaker keyring recharges with a USB cable and plugs into a phone or music player.

Gold Microphone Spealer

Or grasp some of that 80’s glam with this Gold Microphone Speaker!

4. What is this?


A. An old data processor

B. An Atari game

C. An 8-track cassette

D. A blocky magic slate

If you said B, you’re close; you’re right on the money with option C. Not the most attractive piece of old technology out there, but it definitely paved the way for the cassette tape, the CD, and now the mP3 player. Did you know the last manufactured car with an 8-track player was roughly 1983? Chances are you’ve probably never seen an 8-track tape until just a few seconds ago! Pay tribute to another piece of media memorabilia, the VHS tape, with a Video Tape Notebook:

VHS Notebook

Comes with labels so you can call your secret diary “Kindergarten Graduation”!

And last, but not least:

5. What is a percolator?

A. An old dance move

B. A toy gun made popular by the movie “Them”

C. A pitcher that made the worst coffee, ever

D. Some kind of emergency device

This one might be a little difficult, but here’s a hint (or an obvious answer):


Yes, a percolator was a small kitchen appliance for making coffee. Sure, it’s got that awesome vintage charm that no one can deny, but reconsider actually using it, unless you like really strong, really bitter, grainy black liquid darkness. Otherwise, we highly recommend a Mypressi TWIST Handheld Espresso Machine, which we featured in a previous blog (yes, we love it that much that we’re talking about it twice!):


You’ve earned a passing grade– well done, little student! Hopefully, you’ve learned a little bit about technology lost. And hopefully, when you equip yourself or your new latest gadget with some fancy or retro accessory, you will think back to this small quiz and remember that all things start small, and it’s important to know where new technology came from, like the cellphone, and appreciate that they’re not as big and blocky as ice chests anymore!

About Super Sasha

Writer. Blogger. Editor. Sarcastic. Cool.

2 comments on “A Quick Test of Gadgets: Old vs. New

  1. Sharon
    April 18, 2013

    great comparisons! the other day i was dying to find out the magnet beard guys name. it’s wolly willy 🙂


  2. latelyleslie
    April 19, 2013

    That cell phone does look like an old heart defibrillator! Or certainly looks like it carries enough voltage to be one..


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