Once upon a time

Those of you who have been around long enough might remember the good old days before iPods, iPhones, Smartphones, PDAs, digital cameras and Netbooks.

Those who haven’t might find it difficult to believe there once was a time when TVs weren’t flat, computer disks measured almost the size of a notebook and mobile phones, laptops & game consoles were simply non-existent. Oh yes, and letters were written by hand.

Proporta has been designing and manufacturing accessories for mobile devices for over 13 years now, and we thought it might be a good idea to give the older generation a chance to do some reminiscing and the younger generation an insight into what they have been missing over the last 30 years. Sit back and enjoy!

Mobile phones…

…became popular in the late 80s but really hit the road at the turn of the Millennium. The first ever mobile phone was the Motorola Dyna TAC 800X. It weighed almost a kilo, measured 33 x 4.5 x 8.9 cm and cost an astonishing US$ 3,995 – something only your boss could afford back then. Nowadays a new mobile phone is released almost every month. They have become faster, lighter, cheaper and making phone calls is just one of many things you can do with it. Long gone are the times when you were not expected to be available 24/7. You either were or you weren’t. End of story.


Mp3 players

Well, before almost everything became digital people used to listen to their favourite music on a so-called walkman. Inside was a tape that was recordable (on both sides!). You could always put the latest music on it. Occasionally the tape got caught in the mechanics and caused so-called cable spaghetti. The geeks back in the 80s knew of course how to fix it by untangling the mess, cutting out the damaged bits and gluing the rest together. Now that impressed their mates/potential girlfriends.

A 13-year-old boy has recently taken part in an experiment – he swapped his mp3 for his dad’s walkman for a week. He has shared his story here.


Floppy discs and computers

“Floppy what?” we hear you saying. That’s a data storage medium that was composed of a disk of thin, flexible (“floppy”) magnetic storage medium encased in a square or rectangular plastic shell. The first edition measured an astonishing 8 inches. This was later reduced to 5¼ inches and 3½ inches. Nowadays no one really uses them anymore (well, my mum does…) and soon the time will come when even discs are an object of the past…After all, USB sticks are so much lighter.

By the way, did you know that monitors used a green monochrome display on a black background?


The computer considered by most historians to be the first true portable computer was the Osborne 1. Designed in 1979 it was later used by NASA on the space shuttle program in the early 1980’s. It weighed an amazing 24½ pounds – the equivalent of 2½ cats.



The first surviving photograph of a scene from nature was taken in 1826 by Nicéphore Niépce in Paris. Later dry plates were introduced. At the turn of the century paper and celluloid films became popular. Can you imagine what it must have been like not being able to check your pictures on your digital cameras display? Not to be able to download your photos on your computer and to send them to your friend to the other side of the globe with a mouse click? You actually had to bring the film to a film processing shop, stick them in an envelope, write that letter and post it. Can you imagine the endurance that was needed? After all it took a while to develop the film. Luckily it is all much easier now. Even if you don’t like your picture you can always edit it. “The camera doesn’t lie” is so yesterday!


Whatever your age, we are sure you enjoyed this little insight. By the way, Proporta launched their first cases back in 1999 (the Pod Case for the Psion S5 and Shell case for the Psion Revo). They went down a storm and the Postman struggled to get out of the door. Why don’t you have a look at our company history?

And always remember: one day your kids will be laughing at your “latest” gadgets.

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