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Things Future Generations Won't Understand

September 15, 2021

Last updated 21-Jul-2022.

"The good thing about [this flight] is that I don't think I'm going to be interrupted by the telephone."

Gas stations looking up your credit card number to see if it was on "the bad list" from a printed and bound book.

Dialing a number to prevent call waiting beeps from disrupting your BBS/Internet connection.

Rewind/fast-forward buttons

Map books

Shipping software in large cardboard boxes

Non-smoking sections in restaurants

Physical answering machines

"Double albums", or albums in general

Floppy disk icon == "Save"?

Platinum records

Phone line

The Yellow Pages/White Pages ("Why would you just publish all that personal information?")

Cordless phones ("Aren't all phones cordless?")

1-hour photo finishing shops

Library card catalogues

Paying for long-distance calls

The Jetsons (“Why is this futuristic? They make video calls and have a robot cleaner just like we do.”)

The option of returning a book/album/movie for a refund.

Handwritten signatures


1980s Japanese electronics reverence


Desktop publishing ("Why did they call it that?")

Carbon copy paper


Typing pools

Record deal

When your credit card company instructs you to enter your card number using a touch tone phone. "What other kind of phone is there...?" (Fun fact: we used to dial BBSes before we had touch tone dialing on our home phone line, and yes, we had to type ATDP instead of ATDT.)

Why light bulbs had to be made out of glass instead of plastic



derek at macfolkloreradio dot com