7 Obsolete Technologies ...


7 Obsolete Technologies ...
7 Obsolete Technologies ...

When I was a teenager, we had one land line with an answering machine. No-one we knew had a computer at home, and certainly no-one had a cell phone. You didn’t just rent VHS tapes at Blockbuster, either — most people had to rent the VCR, too. In fact, some videos were on BETA, not VHS. My how technology has changed in the last 20 years! Here’s a flashback, with my top seven obsolete technologies, just from my own era. Enjoy!

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Home Phone Lines (aka “land Lines”) and Answering Machines

Home Phone Lines (aka “land Lines”) and Answering Machines Photo Credit: Natxo 68

In this day and age, nearly everyone, including 9-year-olds, has a cell phone. And no-one uses dial-up Internet anymore, so why keep the extra expense of a land-line telephone? Disconnecting your land line will also guarantee you won’t get telemarketers calling and interrupting your dinner with credit card offers or the like. Get rid of it!


VHS Tapes

VHS Tapes Photo Credit: Hollis Brown Thornton

Five years ago, VHS tapes were the way to go. They were half as expensive as DVDs, and my daughter had every Dora the Explorer tape available. Now, DVDs or Blu-Ray are the thing, and I pitched the Dora tapes as soon as we got a DVD player. DVDs are so much more convenient than VHS tapes — they take up less room on a shelf, and you can skip to the scene you want without having to rewind or fast-forward. And, of course, the sound and picture quality is better!



CDs Photo Credit: ~Fussel~

I know there are a few die-hard music fans that will dispute me, but I really do think actual CDs are going the way of vinyl, 8-tracks, and cassettes. Remember those? With iTunes and iPods, why buy an entire CD worth of songs you’re not sure you will like? Spend the $3 to buy the three songs you love, and save the other $12 to buy … more songs!



Pagers Photo Credit: whologwhy

Twenty years ago, pagers were for doctors and drug dealers. Ten years ago, they were an affordable alternative to cell phones, and you could use them to text, in a way: 143 meant “I love you.” Now, no-one uses them… or at least no-one I know… they’re totally obsolete.



Typewriters Photo Credit: Dave Ward Photography

I used to edit manuscripts typed on onion-skin paper on an IBM typewriter. Now, I wouldn’t have the time or patience. Why, when word-processing and digital files make it so easy to edit and return to the author? I don’t have one anymore, and I don’t know anyone, except my 85-year-old grandmother, who still does.


Film Cameras (except Polaroid)

Film Cameras (except Polaroid) Photo Credit: Eric Flexyourhead

When I was a kid, and even a teenager, we broke out the camera for special occasions. Film was expensive, and so was photo developing. We had to wait at least an hour to see the photos we had taken, and sometimes even longer! Now even our cell phones have digital cameras, and you can see the pictures immediately! Somehow, though, Polaroids are still fun. Most other film cameras are only used by older folks, and by old-school professional photographers.



Checkbooks Photo Credit: oblivion9999

It’s been years, literally, since I’ve written a check. I use my debit card for almost every purchase, and I pay my bills with either automatic withdrawal from my checking account, or with online banking. It’s so convenient, and I don’t have to buy checks or postage stamps to mail them with a bill! In fact, I don’t even get paper bills for anything anymore, which is better for the environment!

I’m sure there are a lot of other technologies you can’t imagine using again… or maybe you still use some of these from my list! Which technologies do you think are only the domain of dinosaurs, and which will you use forever? Please let me know!

Top Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

though CDs might stick around a little longer for computergames personally I've only ever bought 3 CDs (music CDs) It seems as though the laptop it taking over for the stationary computer. Maybe not for gamers, but most students I know only own a laptop

Don't some hospitals still use pagers? Or do they use blackberries now? My mom still insists on keeping our VCRs. Grr what for? Get with the ages mom!

Oh! My! Gosh!! :D I just have to ramble about this one! :P I know right! Who uses land-lines anymore except the government? Even the army switched over to blackberry's! I do know two people who still have a land-line. For one it is her only phone and she is 63. And my 37 year old brother who uses it for anyone he doesn't want to give any of his cell phone numbers to. I can't see ever using them again myself. Remember pay-phones! :P For me VHS was dead 10 years ago. I packed up the player and the 200 tapes we had and donated them to a family that had small kids and no means to get a player at the time. It was only DVD's after that. Jennifer I am surprised that you chastise peeps that might still be clinging to CD's, but you hail DVD's and Blu-Ray. Those are about as good as CD's now too. I stopped collecting CD's eight years ago as soon as I discovered I could put them on my computer instead and they sound just the same or better. I stopped buying DVD's in 2005 for the same reason. I have a little hard drive that hold 120 movies on it and you can by bigger capacity ones these days for $100 or less that will hold alot more than that. And you can easily manipulate the movie when it is on your computer to play on anything else...like putting it on your phone. Store the movies on a large capacity drive hooked up to a dedicated home entertainment computer that is hooked up to your TV and you have hundreds or thousands of movies at the push of a button. Pagers and typewriters I never used or really ever noticed. We did have electronic typewriters in school back in the early 80's that they called word processors at the time. I don't think those things were around longer than a decade. The only film camera's I use are the single use ones you can pick up in almost any check-out stand. Those are really handy sometimes, like when your batteries die or your memory card gets full and you were not otherwise prepared. The best ones are the one-time-use cameras that you can use under water. I get those whenever I go on a water adventure. I could not afford an underwater digital camera so those are still the bomb! :D Check writers are my bane!! I can't stand getting stuck behind someone writing a check! Major pet peeve! I love that so many businesses are going to a no checks accepted policy. Get with the times girls, plastic is where it's at! :P Thank you for the stroll down memory lane Jennifer :)

One piece of technology I can think of is Floppy Disks!!! I remember using them extensively in college for storing projects. More often than not they used to get corrupted thus ruining all my work! Now I can't dream about life without USBs!

Loved the flash back - I remember all of those !!

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