5 things that used to be common around me

1. Photo Albums Collection
I’m not talking about Flickr, Picasa or Fotopages (de facto Malaysian online photo album site), but I’m talking about the classic Photo Album books. Once, every household must have Photo Albums, whether it is about Weddings, Family Vacation, New Born Baby, or just some random photos. Back in those days photo album housed 3R sized photos that was taken by cameras that used 35mm photographic film (some of them needs to be rewound manually!).

In Malaysia (at least in Malay culture, more than 15 years ago), photo albums is a common item in every house and are usually stored in the Living Room, where it served as a sort of entertainment to the guests. Makcik/Pakcik/Acquaintance of the family would be invited to browse through photo albums while the host prepare refreshment, this is the usual practice especially when the guest just stop by the house because the want to visit (read: ziarah) the host who are just back from a long vacation (ie: umrah, etc) or recently wed, or just having a newborn baby.

Photo Album

I think most of you would agree that photo albums have become less significant nowadays. How many are you that still keep these photo albums? I think the only photo album still common in every household is the wedding photo album, and I bet that was stashed in parts unknown, somewhere under the bed or closet instead of the living room.

Photo Album

p/s: Photo Albums becomes so rare that I even had difficulties in getting its sample image.

2. Public Phone (Booth)
Remember public phone ? It was very common to have phone booth around back then, 15 years ago. The older generation phone booth accepts coins, and the newer one accepts prepaid phone card which you can buy from convenience store. Now since almost everybody afford to own a mobile phone, phone booth is less common now.

Phone booth was previously a required fixture in public university and colleges and shopping complexes, now its almost nowhere to be seen

p/s: I fondly recalled my friends used to get free calls from public phones using a technique call “short mengeshort” which involves the use of paperclip around late 1990s.

3. TM-Issued Phone Directory Book
Previously Phone Directory Book is a must-have for every household that have fixed-line phone. Divided into three main parts (Peach Pages, White Pages and Yellow Pages), the Peach Page list the phone numbers of government agencies as well as their addresses. White Page on the other hand list the fixed-line phone numbers of common folks, together with their addresses arranged in alphabetical order. Yellow pages was once a must-have addition to the phone directory because it lists the phone number of the nearest exterminators, furniture store and workshop service.

When did the last time you’ve even refer the TM-issued Phone Directory Book?

4. Rabbit Ear Antenna
Back 10-15 years ago, almost every home relies on the venerable Rabbit Ear Antenna for TV Reception, couple with Booster (most popular in Perlis, Malaysia), you will get excellent reception of the government-run RTM station ( TV1, TV2) with a slight drawback as boostered Rabbit Ear antenna is very sensitive to kereta kontrol (RC Car).

Now most people would either subscribed to Astro, or in my case – The Torrent TV station, which requires neither Rabbit Ear Antenna nor Booster.

Here is the photo of a rabbit ear antenna:

Rabbit Ears Antenna

5. Cassette and Sony Walkman Portable Player
Once considered a cool gadget that Johnny Depp used to strap around his waist on “Nightmare on Elm Street” :

Cassette

Sony Walkman Cassette Player

The cassette and Sony Walkman was considered one of the common item for teenagers. It runs on TWO (2) AA batteries with the most advance type display digital readouts and can even ‘flip’ the cassette automatically. Sony Walkman even has AMS feature (Automatic Music Sensor) where it can detect the start of a song automatically when using fast-forward/reverse (just like switching CD track).

Cassette and Walkman (portable cassette player) are now has been displaced by MP3 players, iPods or plain Feature Phone.

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