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Tip of the Week: 5 Tips From the 90s That are Useless Today

useless_90s_hacks_400The 1990s were a golden time of technology with VHS, floppy disks, and beige computing hardware aplenty. Back then, learning of new technology shortcuts was totally rad. Although, looking back, many of these cool tech tips are now obsolete. Yet, they still hold a special place in our hearts. Here are some of our favorite technology tips from the ‘90s. Which ones do you remember? Hold the Phone A lot can be said about the days of having one phone line per household that only allowed one person at a time to use the phone. This meant getting creative in order to ensure that the phone was available when you needed it. For example, if you were expecting a phone call, one sneaky trick was to call an automated phone service like your local movie theater for showtimes and then wait to hear the phone notify you that your call was coming in. This way, when someone else picked up another phone or walked by, they wouldn’t hear the dial tone.

Use Collect Calls for Quick Messages Back in the ‘90s, collect phone calls were all the rage with dozens of collect call services like 1-800-COLLECT to choose from. If you remember how they worked, you would typically get a brief spot during the call setup where you were supposed to tell your name to the person you’re calling so they can accept the charges. Though unethical, many callers would use this portion of the call to relay a quick message and then hang up before the charges for the call could be applied. It was a dark time before text messages. \We all had to do what we had to do.

Blow On Your Video Game to Make it Work For cartridge games, this was the go-to troubleshooting procedure. Even though blowing on the game seemed to have worked on many occasions, the science behind this doesn’t back it up–it actually corrodes the connectors. Instead, any success from this was likely the result of plugging in the game a second time.

Keep a Disposable Camera in Your Car’s Glove Compartment In a time before everybody had a camera phone in their pocket, disposable cameras were widely used. One common place to keep a disposable camera was in your car’s glove compartment box, just in case you were to ever get in an accident and needed to document what took place–and then wait for hours at the local drug store to get your photos.

Carry Extra AA Batteries for Your Portable CD Player Listening to music on the go didn’t use to be nearly as convenient as it is today. Portable CD players required you to carry your CD collection, and if you were serious about listening to music, you would bring some extra batteries along for when your CD player ran out of juice.

Some might look back at these obsolete tips with fondness, while others may see these tips as a cause to celebrate how far we’ve come. Do you have any more obsolete tech tips from the 90s to add to this list? Share them with us in the comments!