So a 24-year-old asks the question "what is a portable CD player" and suddenly I am feeling very old.

A former co-worker of mine shared the story of this friend that asked the question. Of course, my first natural response was "are you kidding me?" But, then I looked at my driver's license and noticed my DOB. Oh, yeah, I forgot. I'm old.

I remember how excited I was to get my first portable CD player. No power cord needed and it had the little headphones with the styrofoam pieces on the ears. I was so happy to have music to jog. Carrying the player was cumbersome, but I didn't care. I've got mobile music! And never mind that it was constantly skipping as I jogged.

So this got me thinking about some other "advances" in my technology arsenal and some blasts from the past, which by now are probably headed for the Smithsonian or the Denver Museum of Natural History. It made me realize I'm not old, I'm just vintage.

Maybe you can relate to some of these technological jewels from years gone by.

  • 1

    Sony Walkman

    The first thing that comes to my mind is the old Sony Walkman which is still in my possession. Not only can you hear the radio via those cute little headphones, but you can actually play, gasp, cassette tapes! I hate to admit this, but I have hundreds of cassette tapes.

    Zane Mathews
  • 2

    Countertop Stereo

    Another piece of my personal technology is the countertop stereo system that has an AM/FM tuner, dual cassette decks, and a 6-CD changer. This particular unit is nearing its 20th birthday and it still works like a charm.

    Two speakers set on either side of it, and it sounds fabulous.

    I always thought these were the coolest thing and still remember getting my first one for Christmas at age 14. No, I don't have that one in my possession. That unit featured AM/FM radio, turntable, and 8-Track tape player with speakers that were two feet tall.

    Zane Mathews
  • 3


    Okay, so this one at least gets me into the 21st century, but already it seems like the iPod is growing obsolete with the development and advancement of smartphones.

    Nowadays, people just play their music right from their phone, whether they are listening to a cool playlist or their favorite radio station.

    Look on my iPod and you'll find anything from Chicago and John Denver to Amy Grand and Little River Band.

    Zane Mathews
  • 4


    I can't say that I actually use this, but it used to belong to my dad, who, before I was born was a traveling evangelist. He doesn't play the guitar anymore so he said I could have it if I wanted it. I'm not sure if it still works, although I am able to turn it on and it does make noise. I think this thing is from 1954 and it is currently aging gracefully in my garage.

    Zane Mathews
  • 5

    Desk Radio

    This York Solid State desktop radio was passed down to me from my Uncle Arthur about 15 years ago, and I really have no idea how old it is. It looks like something from the 60s, possibly the 70s.

    The radio works, so does the light which has three settings low, medium, and high.

    It's not worth a lot of money, and it's not something I listen to when I want to hear high-quality music. It's not about that. It's about having a piece of the distant past in my present and hanging on to a family connection.

    Zane Mathews