Ah, Christmas. A time to compile lists of desired items in the hopes that someone will get them for you as a gift. I amused myself by thinking up this list of things that made perfect sense to ask for at the time… but today, just seem hopelessly outdated.
I like to think of this stuff as "incidental technology."
VHS Tape Rewinder
Because you don’t want to wear out your VCR by rewinding the tapes in it. Or at least, that was what I always heard—hence, the dedicated tape rewinder. Don’t forget the ones that look like sports cars!
Floppy disk hole punch
Because it really sucks to have single sided floppy disks—5¼" disks, of course. Now you can make those into double sided disks by making a custom notch on the other side! It certainly beats using a regular hole punch and hoping you don’t nick the magnetic part of the disk inside.
8-Track cassette adapter
You have all these cassette tapes but all you have to play music is an 8-track player. Out of luck? Not anymore! With this adapter you can play your cassettes in your 8-track player, saving you the money you would otherwise have to spend on a tape player—or even a stereo!
Tabletop arcade games
The ironic thing is, I remember seeing these in the Sears toy catalogs and thought they would be awesome to have: Coleco’s tabletop arcade games were sold in the early ’80s and came in the flavors of Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Galaxian. You can read up about the Pac-Man game (with links to the others) here; check out the hot fixed-digital graphic action!