10 Computer parts you never knew existed or forgot about

When you’re above 25, you might have used computer equipment younger people never heard off, or even saw. Here’s a list of those computer parts you might remember if you’re old enough.

1 – The Turbo button


Some of you might remember the Turbo button that in fact wasn’t a Turbo button. The button was there to slow down the CPU because older games sometimes used the CPU’s frequency for timing and became unplayable (e.g. things happened too fast) on faster computers. The Turbo button was featured on many 286, 386, 486 and even the first generation Pentium computers. After game developers used different methods for timing, the button became obsolete.

2 – The clock speed display

It would show much higher numbers now, but on old computers you could find a display showing on how many Mhz the system was running. Old computers ran at numbers as low as 6 Mhz, while current computers can run at numbers as high as 4000 Mhz.

3 – The CRT monitor

myce-crt-monitorThese beasts were the predecessor of the current LCD screens. They were heavy, took a lot of space on your bureau and consumed much more power than current thin LCD based displays.

4 – The ball mouse

myce-mouse_ballBefore the optical mice we’re currently used to, there were mice that used a ball inside to determine the position of the cursor. The biggest disadvantage was the amount of dust it collected so you had to clean the ball once in a while. Current laser and optical mouses don’t have this disadvantage and they’re often also much more precise.

5 – The parallel port / LPT


Better known as the printer port. This was one of the predecessors of USB. You needed to fiddle around on the back of the computer to plug it in. Besides printers, the port was later also used for storage devices like the Iomega ZIP drive.

6 – Floppy disks


Floppy disks have really become obsolete due to their slowness and small capacity. Microsoft has even dropped support for floppy drives in Windows 10. Floppy disks could store up 1.44 MB and were terrible slow when reading and writing. Also when software became more mature the capacity of the disks really started to become an issue. E.g Windows 3.11 consisted of 7 floppy disks that had to be loaded onto the PC to install the OS.

7 – Modem

The modem with its distinctive sound was the only way to get on the internet. While it made contact with the internet provide over the phone line it turned on the speaker for a while, a sound to never forget. Although never fast, modems technology increased over the years, from 14k4 to 56k6 models.

8 – PC Speaker


Older computers didn’t have a soundcard like we’re used to now. Instead a small speaker was fitted inside the computer case. Most computers used the speaker first to beep indicating the computer was turned on. Sequences of beeps could also indicate problems with the PC. Later the speaker was also utilized to provide sound in games.

9 – Matrix Printer


While we’re still talking about sounds of old computers, matrix printers also have a distinctive sound. They are sometimes still in use, for example in stores, and were one of the first kind of printers available for consumers. By pressing a small printhead against an ink ribbon, small dots could be printed on paper. The dots together could form different kinds of fonts and even limited images.

Most consumers now have an inkjet printer which can print high quality images, are faster and less noisy.

10 – PS/2 Port


Another predecessor of USB was the PS/2 port used to connect the mouse (green) and keyboard (purple). When USB keyboard and mice become more widespread, USB to PS/2 convertors became available.