Ah, the good old days: listening to records (or tapes or CDs), lounging on shag carpet, Alex Trebek’s mustache, landlines, and not having to check your email. In many ways, it was a simpler time — if sometimes inconvenient when you were on the go. Nowadays, we’re more mobile, traveling and working from global locations and wanting to stay in contact with the world. We see it daily at Ruby® Receptionists where our live virtual receptionists transfer callers frequently to clients who are out of the office or working from their cell. If you want to stay connected and get that warm, gooey nostalgia fix, here are 6 retro tech gadgets we are infatuated with:
Crosley Keepsake USB Turntable — Hi-Fi(ve)! This portable record player not only can play your old vinyl, but it is USB enabled so that you can convert them to MP3s. Pops, hisses, the whole sound is so different than today’s cleaned-up music, and now you can get that “LP”-style vibe even if you take your show on the road.
Yubz Talk Cell Phone Handset — Pronounced “You Busy,” this handset plugs into your cell to give you that substantial “phone” feel. As cells get smaller and smaller (see: Zoolander), it’s pretty darn cool to hold a handset in your hand. Plus, it comes in hot colors like “Russian Red” and “Orchid Purple,” although my personal favorite is the flashy “Rock Gold.”
Hipstamatic for the iPhone — This app for the iPhone may make it even easier to take artistic photos than with a (now defunct) Kodak Instamatic. You can change your “lens,” flash or “film” at the touch of a screen, and each combination creates a whole new look. The app even makes it easier to share your photos by allowing you to post your new vintage-y shots directly to Facebook or Flickr!
Mix Tape USB Flash Drive — Remember mix tapes? Remember sitting and taping songs off the radio? With this USB flash drive shaped like a cassette tape, you can still get the feel of a mixed tape with the immediacy of a thumb drive.
DodoCase for the iPad — The writer in me really hopes that this is not “the beginning of the end” for handwritten notebooks; however, there’s a much larger part of me that thinks this is really cool looking. Meant to look like a fancy Moleskin notebook on the outside, the cover flips over to make the case into a handy stand for your iPad.
Pilot Handwriting — If we are going to be using iPads and other devices to write — instead of the old-fashioned way — here’s a website that allows you to keep that elegant script you perfected in elementary school. Begin by entering your handwritten letters onto a grid that you’ve printed from the site; then, take a screenshot of it, and the website does the rest. You can send “handwritten” notes over the internet to your friends, family, or any other email address. It’s got the personal aspect built in, but it’s oh so much quicker than traditional snail mail!
Do you have any other favorite retro gadgets? Post your suggestions below!