Nostalgia (from Greek algos “pain, grief, distress” (see -algia) + nostos “homecoming,” from PIE *nes- “to return safely home”; Transferred sense (the main modern one) of “wistful yearning for the past” first recorded 1920).
Severe homesickness. Wistful yearning for the past. When I claim to be a nostalgic person, such dramatic descriptions are usually not what I have in mind. I don’t really mourn the fact that there is no such thing as a time machine. If something can’t be recovered, there is no use it can serve.
No, I’m the kind of person who likes to take things of the past which can be recovered, and put them to use in the present. There is no need to be homesick or wistful, because the object of your desire is right there in front of you. For example, right now I am looking at a copy of Goodwin’s Greek Grammar from 1895. Even 118 years later, it is genuinely useful (well, at least if you’re a geek who is fascinated by the languages of past civilizations).
But that sort of example is a bit extreme, isn’t it? So let’s see if I can come closer to present time. One of my best friends while growing up used to have a Commodore 64. This beige breadbox of a machine came out in 1982, but it was light years ahead of its time and massively popular, surviving even into the nineties. Its graphics and sound capabilities made it an ideal machine for games. I’m sure you won’t be surprised when I tell you that I visited this friend a lot.
Today, you don’t even need the physical device in order to enjoy that experience, thanks to the existence of emulators. So in effect, technology is being used to resurrect technology. There are websites dedicated to the games, the original music, remixes, in fact every aspect of that particular phenomenon. No time machines required.