Gadgets that have come and gone – Long before there was Instagram, Polaroid was king. The Polaroid celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. But by then most of us had no more need to ever shake a Polaroid picture again. Not entirely resurrected, Polaroids are retro-cool and often pop up at weddings and other celebrations.
Gadgets that have come and gone – CDs and Discmans may have fallen out of favor in the iTunes world, but creative minds always find new uses for the reflective music carriers.
Gadgets that have come and gone – People slapped these suckers on their hips, feeling important whenever they beeped or vibrated. Then they'd frantically have to find a few coins to use a payphone. The RIM 850 (before it was called BlackBerry) pager could send messages and emails but never nailed the art of the selfie. New York mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner really could've done with one of these.
Gadgets that have come and gone – The pocket PC and Palm Pilot brought your calendars, addresses, contacts and a calculator into one handy dandy tool instead of hand-scrawled notebooks. Downsides apart from the original green screen? They couldn't make calls. Worse than that, the pen/pencil/stylus/thingy would always vanish.
Gadgets that have come and gone – The clunky plastic cassettes would sometimes tangle in the machine and, over time, stretch to produce warped purple colors on the TV. But boy, did we love VCRs and video nights. And boy, did we hate programming them.
Gadgets that have come and gone – The Walkman gave a valid excuse to shut out parents, oncoming traffic and most forms of social interaction. Various models included a waterproof Walkman, graphic equalizer, LCD radio screens, Mega Bass and, in original versions, two headphone jacks. The greatest invention since the Walkman -- and possibly sliced bread -- remains auto-reverse, saving users the hassle of having to eject and flip the cassette over.
Gadgets that have come and gone – The MiniDisc was something of a hybrid of small CD and plastic cassette. Journos loved them, particularly if you worked in radio as editing was a breeze. These durable gadgets took up little space and were anti-skip, unlike (pre-memory) CD players. Per the original Walkman, it was a Sony product. The company laid the MD to rest earlier this year.
Gadgets that have come and gone – Stalwarts of the LaserDisc player maintain the format offered higher-quality video and audio than the videocassette. But then the DVD came along.
Gadgets that have come and gone – Atari brought the first in-home console to market during the 1970s with the addictive "Pong" and "Centipede." But Atari went from high score to game over, when it filed for bankruptcy in January this year. The rise of gaming on PCs and mobile devices has impacted the console videogame industry.
Gadgets that have come and gone – Sony unveiled its new 3.5-inch floppy disk, which allowed up to 1.44 megabytes of storage capacity, back in the 1980s. Today, a flash drive can hold up to 1 terabyte and comes in all sorts of practical novelty designs.
Gadgets that have come and gone – Hey, the portable record player got the job done. It remains a darling of nostalgic collectors though these things are coming back into vogue. Remember: vinyl is never dead.