Six technological dead-ends you were conned into buying

THE future comes in all shapes and sizes, and some of those shapes were useless f**king junk enriching Lord Sugar. You fell for this crap: 

The Amstrad E-M@iler, 2000

Post Millennium Bug, parents summoned the confidence to dip into this exciting world of email they’d heard so much about. A bulky phone with LCD screen and tiny keyboard, it sat on the hall table and required spinal contortions or kneeling in supplication to use. The emails tapped out had the rhythm and mundanity of shopping lists.

Six-CD changers, 1990s

Not the ones in car boots, which were ridiculous but useful. The home ones with six slots that high houseguests cry at because no matter how many Pete Tong mixes they put on, it plays Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne. Prone to breaking catastrophically with all your CDs in.

CDTV, 1991

A Commodore Amiga packed into a flat black box and launched, crucially, with a TV remote as a controller, games had all the excitement of watching short preloaded videos with long pauses. If you had one, you have never yet found another human who completed The Case of the Cautious Condor. 

Smartphones with keyboards, early 2010s

You liked your Blackberry, didn’t you? You’re not sure about these touchscreens, plus iPhone users are twats and you’d rather they weren’t right? So you buy a smartphone with a neat little fold-out keyboard that weighs your pocket down like gold bullion and use the keyboard twice.

Widescreen CRT TVs, late 1990s

For a decade nobody likes to talk about, homes traded in their already massive televisions for even more massive widescreen ones that annexed a quarter of any new-build lounge. Even a team of rockstars couldn’t wrestle one out of a window. Then flat TVs arrived and everyone looked like twats.

Rabbit phones, 1992

The Rabbit was a mobile phone that worked within 330ft of a Rabbit base station, which were thinly scattered around major cities. Since payphones were everywhere and widely used this was no more than a long cord. If you still have a working Rabbit handset it is worth £1.2m. Nah, f**k off, it’s useless.

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You liked one song, and eight other shit reasons you used to buy CDs

BACK in the day, CDs were a serious financial investment which required careful consideration. Here are the moronic reasons you used to buy them.

You liked one song

If one song on the album was good, that must mean the rest of them are too, if not better, right? It’s not like a band would release a sub-par product and trick you into buying it by tempting you with the tastiest morsel, would they? Oh.

Everyone was listening to it

You didn’t see the big deal, but it had been at number one for seven weeks so perhaps you were wrong. After forking out £12.99 at Our Price, trudging home and listening through, you were relieved to find out you were right all along and it was terrible. Then all you had to do is head back for a refund.

You were trying to impress a potential sexual partner

Lust makes people do crazy things, so purchasing a CD your crush mentioned is pretty low on the scale of humiliating behaviour. That’s until you realised the majority of your collection was purchased in this manner, and was essentially a creepy shrine to potential shags that never came to pass.

It had a cool parental warning sticker on the cover

If this sticker was designed to warn and deter younger listeners, it had the opposite effect. Not only did it look cool, it was also an indicator that you were in for some hardcore language and themes of a sexual nature. Sadly it had no correlation with the quality of the music, which was often shit.

You got 30p off with your MVC card

£14.99 for ABBA Gold? Outrageous. They’re good but they’re not that f**king good. However, with the help of your little friend you could slash that price right down to a much more appealing £14.69 and feel like a boss slapping the card on the counter. Bargain.

NME told you to

You weren’t a connoisseur of emerging musical talent. You lapped up whatever was alternative but also readily accessible, and the NME was there to do the thinking for you and guide you toward your next purchase like the gormless little drone you were. These days algorithms have picked up that baton.

You were bored

What else were you going to do, go home and watch YouTube? That was years away from being invented. You could always watch TV, but there were only four channels and you had to hope something good was on. CDs you had control over, and you got to know those handful of tracks really f**king well.

You thought vinyl was dead forever

How could you have known there would be a vinyl revival in a couple of decades and you’d have to buy your favourite albums on wax all over again? The mere idea was ridiculous. CDs are the future, you thought, and your only concern was upgrading them to MiniDiscs in a few years.

You wanted to feel cool

The most pathetic reason to do anything, but also one of the most popular. Screamadelica was about as far removed from your musical tastes as it was possible to get, but all the cool kids who sat at the back of the bus were listening to it and you wanted to feel like them. They never did let you hang out with them though, did they?