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Office #throwback: How Mom and Dad Used to Work

By Paulo Vargas on September 9, 2016

Next time your parents ask for your help with something on their smartphones, check on the temptation to do an eye roll. Amazingly, these people managed to work in a corporate world and raised us where Internet use was very minimal or everything was still too new.

Would you be able to survive in a world of shoulder pads, photocopying, and endless friends' references?

Welcome to the 90s, where leaving your phone at home is not the end of the world.

The Fax Machine

"I'll fax you," is something a business partner would have said without raising eyebrows. The fax machine was our parent's email, and while many offices still have a fax machine, it is slowly becoming obsolete.

Source: Youtube


Remember when you had to call a call center just to send a message to your parents? Beepers, also called a pager, was the latest thing in communications... back then. But it went away as fast as it entered the office space. Maybe because one-sided communication was not very practical.



Modem Sound

There are only a few iconic sounds that invoke as much nostalgia as this one.

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Sound from SoundJay

While we grew up with it, we were not the first ones to hear it. Our parents had to bear with it to connect to this thing called the "Internet."


Kids born after 2000 will probably have no idea what this is:



The save icon is universally known as a diskette, and it's like a USB thumb drive. However, instead of 16GB of memory, we have a very ample 1.44MB. That's right, to save a song, you need at least four diskettes.

To our parents, this was revolutionary.

Windows 95


Today, Microsoft has released Windows 10, the ninth version of the Windows operating system. Today, you can run an emulation of Windows 95 on your Windows 8 computer while running several programs in background. That's how far we've come.

I still remember being enamored by Paint, playing with it all day long. That is, after my mom worked on her spreadsheets.

20 years from now, will the laptop be a thing of the past? Will we finally work in paper-less offices? What will replace the diskette as a save icon? What kind of jobs will exist? No one really knows but it's always good to enjoy a quick blast from the past to truly appreciate what we have now. When that thin laptop isn't loading or when your smartphone is hanging, give yourself a little office throwback, calm down and wait.

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