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Top Gadgets of the Past – Five Things You Always Place Inside your Car

Sometimes, I’d like to think back to the good old days when smartphones used to be pagers and the sleek personal computers that we have at home used to be really big and bulky. I know, these designs come with a reason, but unfortunately, some of the popular devices today just can’t compete with the good old devices of the late 80’s and early and late 90’s.

Yes. I meant exactly you, Apple.


Image source slipperybrick.com

I can still remember the times when I’d bring my cellular phone and place it in my car through its handy compartment. I’d turn on the car’s compact player and listen to some good old 90’s music while my mom drove the car down the street and drop me off to meet with my friends a couple of blocks from my house. But now, I see myself sitting inside my room with a computer or a laptop in front of me with my mobile phone on the table. I’d just surf the Internet or watch television.

The wonders of modern technology indeed.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s, there were a handful of gadgets that people really love to bring along inside the car. Think of the Apple Ipods that you can simply connect into your car radio so you can listen to your favorite music. Oh, and these items are probably the ancestors of the smartphones that you’re so proud of. Well anyway, here’s the list of the top five gadgets you’d want to bring along when driving your car.

1. Sony Walkman – Before the Ipod and the Ipod Shuffle, there was the Sony Walkman. I still have the original blue and silver Walkman, by the way. It debuted in 1979 and it shocked a lot of people, since the design was quite revolutionary. It was the start of portable electronics. The first Walkman brandished the very first lightweight headphones too, so you can really imagine why it’s number one in this list. Back then, people would want to bring their Walkmans along while driving because it’s cool to have a Walkman!

Oh, and my old Walkman still works.

2. Sony CDP-101 – The Sony CDP-101 is the first commercial CD player and is the great granddaddy of all DVD and Blu-Ray players out there. It signaled the start of the reign of compact discs and the end of the cassette era. I remembered my dad getting frustrated because my baby brother would snatch his beloved cassettes and play with them until they break. When the first CD player got out, my dad immediately installed one in his car. It was just expensive back then, around $900 per player. However, it did start the age of digital music and removed common music problems back then, like hisses, scratches and pops.

3. Regency TR-1 – If the Walkman started portable electronics, then the Regency TR-1 was Sony’s inspiration. Produced by Texas Instruments and IDEA, the Regency was a transistor radio with a size that you can fit into your pocket. It was made in 1954; the time period when rock and roll was still considered weird. Unfortunately, the Regency wasn’t that popular back then, which is why Sony is considered the company that started portable electronics. However, this little transistor inspired other companies to build their own versions until the portable transistor radio became famous due to the rise of rock and roll.

Of course, I’m pretty sure my granddaddy used to have this little baby inside his old convertible. I can tell, since he loved rock and roll.

4. Diamond Multimedia Rio PMP300 – No, it’s not the Ipod Nano. This little baby is the Rio PMP300. The design is probably where Apple got the idea for the Ipod. Considered as the world’s first MP3 player, it was released in 1998 and ran on a single AA battery. Surprisingly, it has a storage limit of 32 MB. The only problem with this little piece of device is that it cost us a lot due to battery replacement.

Of course, since it’s a portable player, it’s a must have for car drivers.

5. Handspring Treo 600 – I included the Treo 600 because I considered it as my very first smartphone. The Treo 600 was also the "perfect" palmtop phone and could fit in a pocket, but was wide enough to hold a QWERTY keyboard. I have to admit that I felt really proud when I got my hands on one, since it was really "high-tech" for a time. But this was in 2003; a few years later, Blackberry and a horde of smartphones entered the scene. However, my old Treo was quite reliable, especially when it comes to GPS.

About the Author:

Jessica Greenberg is an avid blogger and financial expert from San Diego, California. When she’s not busy assisting a client with an online title loan for fast cash, she spends most of the time writing car gadget reviews.

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