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  • Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

    Interesting Tech article on MSNBC

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32449036...h_and_gadgets/

    1. Playing video games at an arcade
    Status: On life support
    Once a favorite activity of geeks worldwide, going to the arcade to play video games began fading away in the mid-1990s, just as going to the arcade to play pinball had done a decade before.
    A few arcades survive, but the days of gamers lining up to toss quarters into "Street Fighter" or "Mortal Kombat" are long gone. It's easy to see why: The advent of advanced gaming systems allows you to experience the same action at home, minus the dungeon-like lighting, the deafening game noise and the premature exhaustion of your lunch money for the week.

    2. Running out of hard-drive space
    Status: Deceased
    With terabyte-size drives now selling for less than $70, hard drives that exceed your storage needs aren't exactly hard to come by these days. But remember when an 80MB drive was the pinnacle of luxury and a 1GB drive would have seemed as spacious as Carlsbad Caverns?

    3. Getting a busy signal
    Status: Nearly deceased
    Thanks to advances in voicemail and call-waiting technology, you rarely hear that annoying broken tone anymore. Unless, of course, you're voting for "American Idol" or listening to Pink Floyd.

    4. Going on a 'blind' first date
    Status: Deceased
    What with Google, dating sites and a slew of social networks, it's not difficult to get to know a person digitally before choosing to interact with them in a brick-and-mortar environment. Heck, you might even get to know them intimately before ever meeting. Or instead of ever meeting.

    5. Needing to be 18 to have access to porn
    Status: Deceased
    It may sound crazy, but in the old days a fella had to be 18 to get his hands on prurient materials — either that or have an easily bribable older brother. Or a friend with such a brother. Or a dad with an obvious stash. Not that I know anything about such matters.

    6. Chatting with the SysOp
    Status: Deceased
    The SysOp — short for system administrator — was a figure of power beginning in the late 1970s and continuing into the early 1990s. As the creator and overlord of the local bulletin board system (BBS), the SysOp watched over the users who dialed into his pre-Internet electronic communication system. He chatted with visitors, kept the system running smoothly and occasionally hit the disconnect button when someone remained logged in for too long.

    7. Paying for long distance
    Status: Nearly deceased
    Once upon a time, people had to pay expensive per-minute fees for long distance. Then, the big bad cell phone came along and blew those charges away like a straw house. The end.

    8. Getting fuzzy TV reception
    Status: Deceased
    When the United States flipped the switch on an all-digital broadcasting system this summer, it also effectively sent the fuzzy "white snow" to the graveyard. So long, annoying static; we always loathed you.

    9. Hearing the sound of a modem connecting
    Status: Nearly deceased
    How a familiar series of sounds could simultaneously be so grating and so gratifying is a mystery that man may never unlock. Jonesing for a fix? Try the 56K Modem Emulator.

    10. Shooting Polaroids
    Status: Nearly deceased
    Polaroid plans to stop selling its signature instant film at the end of this year.

    11. Waiting to get photos developed
    Status: Showing signs of illness
    Though film-based cameras aren't completely gone, the advantages of digital snapshots —namely, that you can view a picture immediately after taking it and that you can discard bad shots at no cost — have certainly made traditional cameras far less common.

    12. Typing on a typewriter
    Status: Nearly deceased
    The clickity-clackity sound of the standard typewriter has quieted over the years. Unless you work in the New York City Police Department, which reportedly just signed a $1 million typewriter-purchasing contract.

    13. Removing the perforated leader strips from continuous-feed paper printouts
    Status: Nearly deceased
    Born in the 1970s, the dot matrix printer delivered low-quality printouts for nearly two full decades before inkjet technology offered an alternative that was slightly less hard on the eyes. The dot matrix printer will be remembered for its frequent paper jams; for its slow, noisy operation; and for the thin strips of perforated paper that you had to tear (carefully, so you didn't end up with a document that looked as though a tiny but voracious shrew had been sampling it) off the left and right sides of a printout once their work of keeping the paper properly aligned in the printer was done.

    14. Having easy-to-remember TV channel numbers
    Status: Nearly deceased
    Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on? More like 557 channels (and still nothin' on). Try writing a catchy tune to that, Springsteen.

    15. Checking your answering machine
    Status: Seriously ill
    "Hi, you've reached the answering machine. I'm still around, but most people are now using dial-in voicemail instead of me. What a bunch of ungrateful little ... BEEP!"

    16. Enjoying complete privacy
    Status: On life support
    In the face of constant monitoring by Google and the many forms of GPS tracking in our lives (social networking shoe, anyone?), privacy has become a rare and precious commodity within the connected world. Speaking of which, that's a nice shirt you're wearing today.

    17. Making someone a real mix tape
    Status: Deceased
    Web sites like Mixtape.com and Songza may attempt to fill the void, but the art of laboring over a custom-made mix tape tailored for a special occasion or a special person — as romanticized by John Cusack's character in "High Fidelity" — seems to have gone the way of electrical appliance repair and blacksmithing. It's a damn shame, too, because mix tapes made great gifts for dates (and by "great" I mean "potentially highly prized by the recipient and yet incredibly cheap and easy to assemble").

    18. Wearing a calculator watch
    Status: Deceased
    Affectionately dubbed "the nerd watch," the calculator watch once served as a proud badge of a person's abiding amusement with mathematics — as diagnostic as a pocket protector or membership in the high school Slide Rule Club. Nowadays, the only sure way to ascertain an individual's true geek quotient is to test their "Star Trek" knowledge.

    19. Seeing pages and pages of phone sex ads in the back of free city weeklies
    Status: Showing signs of illness
    Those naughty 900 numbers may still exist, but cybersex and the scandal-du-jour phenomenon of sexting have stolen most of the spotlight from landline lovin' these days. Not to mention that Craigslist and online events calendars have left free city weeklies looking pretty anorexic themselves.

    It's true that lying about yourself and your various physical characteristics is just as easy when you're talking on the phone as when you're typing on a keyboard — unless the lie is "I don't sound like Donald Duck" — but online the person you're communicating with can't hear that repellant note of desperation in your voice.

    20. Using a public phone booth
    Status: On life support
    Now that everyone and his cockatiel has a cell phone, public phone booths are getting tougher to track down. Translation: Superman is screwed.

    21. Dialing on a rotary phone
    Status: Nearly deceased
    The ease of touchtone dialing has made active use of rotary phones a novelty, though it isn't clear whether those old Bell Telephone models will ever become truly rare, since they were built to withstand thermonuclear attack. In any case, mimes may never let the motion go from their repertoire.

    22. Storing data on a floppy disk
    Status: Nearly deceased
    A disk with 1.44MB of storage? Shyeah, right. The once-standard protocol for storing and transferring data seems puny by today's file-size standards. (And don't even get started with the truly floppy 5.25-inch variety.) Few new PCs are being built with floppy disk drives anymore; and as a result, the era of the A:\ prompt is in its twilight. As for the Zip drive, Iomega may still say it sells 'em — but is anyone buying it?

    23. Booting up to a C:\ prompt
    Status: Nearly deceased
    DOS, we'll always fondly remember seeing your blinking prompt upon boot-up. Rest in peace, dear friend.

    24. Typing on an old-school word processor
    Status: Deceased
    Let's face it: Doogie Howser wouldn't have been nearly as endearing if he had typed his nightly journal on Microsoft Office 2010. But boy, that plain blue-and-white screen just screams "1991."

    25. Having your mobile phone attached to your car
    Status: Deceased
    I remember those early mobile phones that mechanics installed in people's cars. What I can't remember, though, is what today's important-looking Bluetooth-always-in-the-ear guys did to make themselves look like tools back then.

    26. Putting in a videotape to watch a movie
    Status: On life support
    Dearly beloved, we gather here today to mourn the passing of VHS. The lucky twin of the long-deceased Betamax (whose cause of death remains a source of controversy decades later), VHS gave us hours of videotape-watching enjoyment — and almost as many hours of trying to adjust the blasted tracking knob to get a steady picture.

    27. Holding up a lighter at a concert
    Status: Showing signs of illness
    Listening to a power ballad in a dimly lit stadium without a sea of gently undulating lighters for company is like spending time at Twitter without a sea of social media experts offering their insights and informed criticism: Something about it doesn't feel right. Sure, holding up thousands of illuminated cell phones might be safer — but even if the phones have virtual lighter apps installed, it just isn't the same.

    28. Watching a movie in laser disc
    Status: Deceased
    The only proof that anyone ever actually watched movies on laser disc is the (at this writing) 5,282 entries posted on eBay by people trying to dump their LDs. But whether fact or fiction, the technology is definitely obsolete now.

    29. Using proper grammar and punctuation
    Status: On life support
    txting and iming has made proper grammar seems kinda old skoo, dont u thnk? heres hoping 4 capitalization & punctuation 2 make a comeback in emails & other writing. the gr8 gatsby probly wuld hv been way less gr8 if it wuz written like this. lol

    30. Getting a new car with a cigarette lighter
    Status: Showing signs of illness
    Built-in cigarette lighters — standard-issue accessories for many nicotine-friendly decades — are losing favor among automobile manufacturers. In fact, most new cars today ship cigarette lighter-free, instead dedicating the ports to electronics charging.

    31. Flipping on an incandescent light bulb
    Status: On life support
    More and more nations are saying so long to the traditional incandescent light bulb and encouraging their citizens to use relatively ecology-friendly, energy-saving bulbs. Cartoon characters getting "bright ideas" have yet to adapt, however.

    32. Sitting in front of a CRT monitor
    Status: On life support
    I won't miss staring at blurry, hard-to-read text on a CRT screen. But I will miss the dramatic effect of seeing one of those bad boys dropped from a third-story window. Flatscreen monitors may be more aerodynamic, but they just don't blow up as well.

    33. Playing music on an audiocassette
    Status: Nearly deceased
    You can try to rewind, but the life of the cassette is on its last legs. If anyone knows a practical application for four boxes of late-1980s, early-1990s rock tapes, please advise.

    34. Going to the local music store to check out CDs
    Status: On life support
    Local music stores are becoming harder and harder to find. Here's hoping that the remaining few can manage to hang on. Losing them would leave a cultural void that iTunes is not equipped to fill.

    35. Getting an AOL disk or CD in the mail
    Status: Deceased
    Ever wonder how many of those floppies and CDs AOL sent out over the years? You're not alone. But no one seems to know the answer. The supply of AOL marketing material appeared endless, right up until the mailings stopped a few years back. People who devoted their time to collecting or shunning the discs haven't figured out what to do with themselves since (nor have I figured out what I'm supposed to use for coasters now).

    36. Looking up numbers in the phone book
    Status: Showing signs of illness
    Phone companies still hand them out, but printed phone books have definitely seen better days. The combined influence of the Web and of phone services such as GOOG-411 has sharply reduced everyday use of phone books; and today the traditional walking of fingers through wood-pulp pages seems antiquated to many tech-friendly families (and wasteful to many green-friendly families).

    37. Using carbon copy paper
    Status: Nearly deceased
    With even low-end printers now able to scan, copy and possibly make toast, you don't see old-fashioned carbon copy paper too often, making carbon paper a candidate to join purple-on-white mimeograph paper any day now in the museum of antiquities. And I doubt that anyone's complaining.

    38. Sending documents via fax
    Status: Showing signs of illness
    Why fax when you can attach? Especially since most documents are now created on computers, the facsimile may soon find itself on the endangered species list. Fear not, though, "Office Space" fans: The legend "PC Load Letter" will live on forever.

    39. Rockin' out with your boombox
    Status: Nearly deceased
    Your iPod may look cool, but can you balance it on your shoulder and blare your funky beats at obnoxiously high volumes? Didn't think so. The boombox — also known as the jambox, the ghetto blaster or the jerkface apparatus — reached its peak popularity during the 1980s, when big hair, stone-washed jeans and bad dancing enjoyed similarly unaccountable heydays. Though updated editions of the boombox may be on the market today, the era of not being able to ride in peace on a randomly selected public conveyance on a randomly selected day is, thankfully, behind us.

    40. Giving someone your undivided attention during a social interaction
    Status: Showing signs of illness
    Oh, come on — talking without simultaneously texting or tweeting is so 2008.
    2. As a gamer, I’m always running out of space regardless of their size.



  • #2
    Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

    Heh. 1.44 mb floppies. I tried to explain those to my little brother and he just looked at me with a sorry expression and went back to downloading the internet.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

      Typing on a typewriter should be replaced by handwriting. Mark my words. See how often you use handwriting in 10 years.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

        I had a zip drive once.


        POE2 Developer

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

          Originally posted by Jakaleel View Post
          Interesting Tech article on MSNBC

          2. As a gamer, I’m always running out of space regardless of their size.
          Yeah, really. I am constantly running out of HD space. Not because I can't afford cheap hard drive space but because I don't have the time or energy to order it and install it.

          Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
          Typing on a typewriter should be replaced by handwriting. Mark my words. See how often you use handwriting in 10 years.
          Probably about as much as I do now. Quick notes. 3 Palms, 1 Axim, several notebooks later and I still jot quick notes down on scraps of paper because it's easier to do than any of the above.

          Oh, and I gotta love the hyperbole scatter through all that. No more fuzzy reception, rejoice! \o/ Except now we have to deal with video corruption when the redundant checks fail. And depending on how often they send a key frame it could be on the screen for several seconds. Awwwww, same effect. And "fuzzy" CRT monitors. I dunno what fuzzy they're talking about; must be the early-onset astigmatism. The only fuzzy CRTs I had were back in the day when computers (with 4k memory) hooked up to televisions.
          "...the rules aren't there to enumerate what is always correct but what is always wrong..."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

            Originally posted by Greyed View Post
            Yeah, really. I am constantly running out of HD space. Not because I can't afford cheap hard drive space but because I don't have the time or energy to order it and install it.



            Probably about as much as I do now. Quick notes. 3 Palms, 1 Axim, several notebooks later and I still jot quick notes down on scraps of paper because it's easier to do than any of the above.
            Your single testimony totally negates any postulate on a trend in all of the developed world :p. Maybe not you, but most people will be using PDA's, or notepad for that. I myself use handwriting a lot, writing poems even etc, and I have a half a meter high pile of that crap.

            Hey there are still old people that rather use real mail then email.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

              Oh my god, I know all of these! And I'm only 18!




              "Certainly, being bombarded with 105 millimeter shells is bad. But the knowledge that you've armed your enemy thus, with your sloth and your ineptitude, unfolds in the heart like a poison." Tycho from Penny Arcade in reference to the nuke in MW2

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

                Well alot of those, i still use or see today or at least until recently

                Running out of hard-drive space: Untill my new build I was on a 80GB hard drive, which was always full.

                Paying for long distance: Tell that to bell mobility. Being in the middle of a long distance relationship kinda brings that charge WAY up. And yet, we do know what msn and all those fun things are, but the old fashion calling still gets used

                Getting fuzzy TV reception: Still use rabbit ears at work and get all of 4 channels. Enough said.

                Removing the perforated leader strips from continuous-feed paper printouts: OK, we dont need to remove the side strips (doeskin have them) but we still use 2 dot matrix printers at work.

                Wearing a calculator watch: My watch has an E6-B flight wiz wheel built into it.

                Sitting in front of a CRT monitor: Again, before my new build, CRT monitor

                Looking up numbers in the phone book: Still do this frequently actually. Find its more convenient than attempting to on Google.

                Using carbon copy paper: Still gets used at work. A lot, pretty much using it 3/4 of the time there.

                Sending documents via fax: Again, still used all the time at work

                So, a lot are still used today. Or it could be that my job needs to get out of the 70's

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

                  32. Sitting in front of a CRT monitor

                  I like CRT monitors better. No modern LCD can match a good CRT. The text and pictures on my 7 year old 21" trinitron is better than my brand new 24" high end LCD. (though it is about 50 pounds heavier)

                  Damn kids get off my lawn!
                  I’m not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                  - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                  - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                  - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                  - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                  - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                  - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

                    Originally posted by FrankManik View Post
                    Heh. 1.44 mb floppies. I tried to explain those to my little brother and he just looked at me with a sorry expression and went back to downloading the internet.
                    1.44mb? I remember when those came out and they were HUGE! I can remember sitting in front of an Apple II/C that didnt have a hard drive and ran everything off of five and a quarter inch floppies (REAL floppies) that had something in the neighborhood of 32k of space on them. Did I mention the thing was greenscreen too?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

                      Don't forget that 1.44 were double density disks, the originals in that size were only half that.

                      Hellwaters, the fuzzy TV thing is noted as being specific to the US since we had a government required switch to digital TV. Now instead of a mildly static picture we get no picture at all!
                      |TG-6th|Snooggums

                      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

                        Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                        Your single testimony totally negates any postulate on a trend in all of the developed world :p. Maybe not you, but most people will be using PDA's, or notepad for that. I myself use handwriting a lot, writing poems even etc, and I have a half a meter high pile of that crap.
                        Oooook, me and my immediate office of over 50 people. Every desk has a notepad on it. If our office is the norm our ~1000 employee enterprise is the same.

                        ... :row__631:
                        "...the rules aren't there to enumerate what is always correct but what is always wrong..."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

                          Originally posted by Greyed View Post
                          Oooook, me and my immediate office of over 50 people. Every desk has a notepad on it. If our office is the norm our ~1000 employee enterprise is the same.

                          ... :row__631:
                          Fair enough, still, only time will prove either of us wrong.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

                            Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                            1.44mb? I remember when those came out and they were HUGE! I can remember sitting in front of an Apple II/C that didnt have a hard drive and ran everything off of five and a quarter inch floppies (REAL floppies) that had something in the neighborhood of 32k of space on them. Did I mention the thing was greenscreen too?
                            A guy I knew growing up had a computer and it had a removable media that I remember being bigger than a LP record and about a half inch thick. Might have been some kind of magnetic tape. I vaguely remember him saying that the thing cost $10K.

                            He also had a PET (I think) that had those 8" floppy drives.

                            What is weird is that I remember just being in awe of those things and I didn't even know what computers really where. The next year the Atari 2600 was introduced so this was a long time ago.

                            I kinda feel sorry for some of you youngens out there. The sheer thrill of seeing the computer and everything else develop over the years has been great. Going from the C=64 to todays supercomputers has been amazing.
                            I’m not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
                            - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
                            - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
                            - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
                            - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
                            - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
                            - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

                              Originally posted by El_Gringo_Grande View Post
                              Going from the C=64 to todays supercomputers has been amazing.
                              Ah, the good old C64. I look back on relics like that and my old II/C and wonder how the hell we got by with computers that had less computing power than your average scientific calculator.

                              Comment

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