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Ah, the 1980s. Whether you were born in the 80s, grew up in the 80s, or never set foot in that infamous decade, hearing the term “1980s” probably makes you think of something. Is it DOS Run Classic DOS Games On Your Wii With DOSbox Run Classic DOS Games On Your Wii With DOSbox Run DOS software on your Wii, just because you can. DOSbox for Wii puts the complete DOS experience – command prompt and all – on your Wii. DOSbox isn't just for Windows, though: it works... Read More ? 8-bit video games 10 Retro Emulators To Play Early 80s Home Consoles On Your PC (1981-1986) 10 Retro Emulators To Play Early 80s Home Consoles On Your PC (1981-1986) Read More ? 80s music 11 Free Electronic New Wave Synth Pop Albums: A Depeche Mode Tribute [Sound Sunday] 11 Free Electronic New Wave Synth Pop Albums: A Depeche Mode Tribute [Sound Sunday] Read More ? Is it horrible clothing and hairdos? 80s TV shows YTTM: View Popular Videos From the 60s, 70s, 80s... YTTM: View Popular Videos From the 60s, 70s, 80s... Read More ? No matter what pops into your mind first, we all have a very distinct feeling of what the 80s were like, whether we actually spent time in them or not.

The 80s, however, are about more than (arguably) bad music and style. Many amazing things happened in the 80s, most of which, ironically, look ridiculous today. So which are they, ridiculous or amazing? How do they compare to what we have today? And what would today’s technology have looked like in the 80s? Join me on a trip back in time to find out!

80s Technology

One of the best parts about remembering the 80s is looking at what technology was like back then. There’s nothing like looking at an ad for a 10 megabyte hard disk costing a whopping $3,495 to make you realize how far we’ve come. The crazy ad below is only one of 10 vintage hard drive ads 10 Vintage Hard Drive & Memory Ads That Question Value For Money 10 Vintage Hard Drive & Memory Ads That Question Value For Money Today, hard disk space and memory are just two of the many things we take for granted in the world of technology. Computers are fitted with drives that can hold terabytes upon terabytes of data.... Read More you should check out. Don’t forget to read the fine print!

But in order to be in the market for a hard drive like the one above, you’d first have to own a computer. Rather revolutionary, the whole idea of owning your own computer, isn’t it? It sure is, according to this old Apple ad. But at less than $2500, they’re downright affordable! They’ve always been revolutionary, haven’t they?


But wait, did I say there’s nothing like looking an an expensive 10MB hard drive to realize how far we’ve come? I was wrong. The Freedome Phone, also known as the superhero phone, is bound to make you see our progress.

image credit: VintageAdBrowser

This device makes ordinary telephones obsolete. Get ready to throw away your iPhone!

If you’re not convinced yet, or it it doesn’t seem quite 80s enough, I found just what you need. If this is not the epitome of the 1980s, I’m not sure what is.

Image credit: VintageAdBrowser

80s Music Technology

As much as I would like to share some really cool Prince or Salt N’ Pepa videos, we’re still a tech blog, and as such, we’re more interested in the music technology of the 1980s. How do you listen to music today? Do you buy albums on iTunes? Do you prefer to stream on Spotify? Or maybe you’re stuck without any of those goodies, which are available in only some parts of the world, and still have to download your music from sketchy sources, or, *gulp*, buy CDs?

In the 80s, music choices were a little bit more limited.

Image credit: VintageAdBrowser

OK, that’s not being fair. There were more than just Walkmans in the 80s, as this truly awesome General Electric commercial clearly reminds us:

80s Gaming

There’s much to say about 1980s gaming. This was the decade the NES 4 Websites To Play NES Games For Free & Through The Browser 4 Websites To Play NES Games For Free & Through The Browser Just recently, I put out an article outlining some of my favorite RPGs for the SNES and showed MUO readers how they can experience those games through a web interface. Not everyone has the time... Read More came into our lives, and many of us spent our time typing “cd games” into old IBM computers, loading some beeping game or another. But when you really think about it, that’s not much different from today. We still have consoles, we still have computer games, and we definitely still have beeping. The games themselves are different, the graphics are different, but the environment is still very similar. You sit on a chair. You play. Except when it comes to arcades.

Video-game arcades still exist today, but it’s just not the same. Personally, I completely forgot what it used to be like, until I found this amazing video full of vintage footage from old arcades. It’s a bit long, but it’s worth it!

What If…

When reminiscing about the 80s, you can’t help but think, “What if?” What if the things we have today were available back in the 80s? I’m not talking about smartphones or tablets — if that technology were available back in the 80s, it would not have been the 80s — it’s more about websites, apps, and games we have today. How would those have looked like on 80s technology?

A YouTube channel called SquirrelMonkeyCom has gone to the trouble of recreating thing like Wikipedia, Google, Twitter and YouTube for us, imagining what they would have looked like in the 80s (and 90s, but who cares about that old decade?).

Do you really miss those good old 80s games? Ever imagined what today’s Angry Birds would have looked like back then? This short and sweet video depicts a surprisingly accurate 80s version of the popular game. Wish I could play it back then!

Remember how you had to get an encyclopedia for every little thing you wanted to find out? No? Well, there used to be no other way. But if we had Wikipedia back then, it could have saved us a lot of time and heavy lifting. With that amount of information available offline, it’s no wonder there’s only 10512 kilobytes free disk space.

Have you ever wondered where the idea for Modern (Metro) UI came from? Could it have been an early DOS version? Who knows?

Bring It Back!

Would you? After this trip back in time, do you miss the 80s more or less than before? What do you miss the most? If you ask me, I don’t miss much — the charm of vintage is there just because it’s vintage — but feel free to prove me wrong in the comments!

Image credit: VintageAdBrowser

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