A #throwback to the era before iPhones and USBs


Old School Cover ImageImage adapted from: Wikimedia Commons

In today’s fast paced world of the smartphone culture, it’s easy to take the extreme convenience of our high-tech gizmos for granted. Way back when our little red dot was still finding its feet in the global arena, it was the simple things that mattered. This simplicity was also reflected in the no-frills functionality of everyday tools used then. 

We’ve heard stories about these elusive devices, some of us may have even first-hand experience with them. So here’s a challenge: name all the functions of these gadgets and you can declare yourself that true blue ‘90s kid.


1. The dinosaur of all visual projectors


OHP singapore 90s


If you were the AV rep, you’d distinctly remember pushing this bulky block to the front of class, discreetly cursing at your bad luck.


2. The ancestor of all hard disks and thumb drives


floppy disk singapore


From a time when ‘cloud’ only meant a mass of condensed vapour.


3. If you saw this on your TV screen, it was way past your bedtime


no tv transmission singapore


20 years ago, 24 hour HBO and Channel 5 weren’t a thing yet, so you’d have to make do with this static screen from 10pm. Including the monotonous buzzing noise that accompanied it.


4. Before sensored book scanners were a thing


nlb card singapore 90s


Back then, you were only entitled to 4 of these passes which equated to 4 books. Then, you had to queue at the counter and wait for the librarian to approve your loan. Exhausting, I know. 


5. When academic excellence wasn’t emailed to your parents


report card singapore 90s


“Got B on your report card?! Don’t bother coming home.” – Rips card to shreds –


6. McDonald’s fan merch before they started collab-ing with Disney and Pixar


mcdonalds food making set


Why queue for 5 hours for a useless Hello Kitty doll when you could literally be your own mini chef and make french fries for days!


7. For your low-quality home video needs


vhs 90s


Before iTunes came about, your trusty VHS was the go-to for rewatching your fave flicks and recording those precious moments in life.


8. Whatsapp What?


pagers 90s


Perfect for the present day Singaporean boyfriend who can’t stand to receive those long-winded girlfriend iMessages. 3 numbers were all we needed.


9. The Nokia-version of today’s iPod


walkman 90s


Way back when the term ‘Apple’ meant just a fruit, the Walkman was a ubiquitous sighting all around old-school Singapore.


Old is truly gold


If you were able to name all 9 of these gadgets and their functions, you have truly earned yourself the title of The Ultimate ‘90s Kid. With a large number of these items becoming more obsolete day by day, we can’t deny that they still occupy a sentimental space in our hearts. 

For those who aren’t as familiar with all this jazz and are genuinely curious – take a trip down memory lane by conversing with your seniors or even getting some of your own from antique shops still around today.