Girls Write Out
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

For an electronics geek like like me, this article about gadgets about to go obsolete was fascinating. Take a gander at what we're about to lose according to a story on Fox

1. Landline phones: Walk into any college dorm room and ask to use a landline. You'll be met with blank stares. With cell-phone technology continually evolving, it seems that these days only a handful of people are still moving into a new house and having the landline turned on.

2. Floppy disks: Storing something on an external device? C'est possible? Considering the state of computer technology at the end of the 1970s, it's no wonder people were astounded by the usefulness of the 5 1/4-inch wide, 360-KB floppy disk. A decade later, the disks had shrunk to 3 1/2 inches and their capacity multiplied to a whopping 1.44 MB — enough for a minute and a half of an MP3-file song. If you still have a few lying around, they make great coasters.

3. Wristwatches: Throwing on a fancy watch may make you look professional, but let's be honest. Cell phones and iPods tell you the time when you're out and about, and virtually every appliance in your home — from your refrigerator to your coffeemaker to your television and your DVD player — has a clock. No one wears a wristwatch anymore, unless he or she grew up with one.

4. VHS tape and VCRs: The Vertical Helical Scan — or Video Home System, depending on whom you ask — met a sad death in 2006 when retailers decided there was no room left on their shelves for the big, bulky cassettes. Digital video recorders gave you perfect-looking "time-shifted" TV shows, and DVDs let you skip the previews on rented movies. Many people still keep VCRs around for when grandparents ask to see that old tape of little Bobby — who's now 22 and fresh out of college — shoving cake into his mouth on his first birthday. And you could always turn your VCR into a toaster.

5. Beepers: Annoying devices designed to beep any and every time anyone felt like reaching you, it wasn't sad at all to see these disappear when cell-phone plans dropped below $50 a month around the year 2000.

6. Film cameras: When Polaroid announced in February 2008 that it would stop selling its famous instant-developing film, people ran out to buy up the remaining stock in order to preserve this unique form of photography. Kodak and Fuji still make film, but they, like Polaroid, are counting on their digital-camera lines to keep them afloat.

7. Typewriters: Once one of the most powerful means of mass communication, the typewriter claimed a spot near the top of the technological food chain for more than 100 years.

8. The Walkman, Discman and MiniDisc player: The multitasker's dream, the Sony Walkman portable cassette player changed the way the world listened to music in 1979, quickly becoming the hottest accessory of the early 1980s.

9. Dial-up Internet access: It's hard to see why anyone would use a phone line to connect to the Internet when there are so many feasible alternatives.

10. DVDs: What's that, you say? How can DVDs be obsolete? Facts don't lie — DVD sales fell off the proverbial cliff in the first three months of 2009, with some retailers reporting a 40 percent drop from the same period a year earlier. The fact is that with broadband Internet, you don't need a disc to watch a movie any more. Netflix and Blockbuster have recognized that by rapidly ramping up their online-download services.

Any of those surprise you? For me, when I saw wristwatch, my eyebrows rose. What the heck? I'm not ever giving up my watch! But then I started looking around and the young ones, um, don't seem to be wearing watches. If you want to see the time, you have to dig out your cell phone so how is that convenient? I still have a landline phone though. And we got a new Blueray DVD player for Christmas that we really like. But the other things--oh yes. I had the nicest typewriter in the attic for years. Once I got a computer, it was by-by typewriter. And I will NEVER go back to dial-up.

How about you? Anything on this list that surprised you?

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Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:53 AM  
  Comments (24)
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At 7:24 AM, Blogger Andrea said...

A couple surprised me. DVDs it seems as though those just arrived on the scene.

Dial up-I am stuck with dial up unfortunately for a bit. I live in the middle of nowhere. Without paying an arm and leg, there is no other internet access but dial up. I refuse to pay almost $100/month for internet. That's after the couple hundred set up fees. Some day I hope it will be more reasonable.

Wristwatches-I still use mine all the time. I don't like to carry my cell phone all the time. I don't know that I want people to have that much access to me. I like the down time.

Typewriters I don't miss. I type much better on a computer than I ever did on a typewriter. Not sure what the difference is but I do.

This was interesting. thanks for sharing!

At 7:37 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh Andrea, how awful for you to be on dial-up! That's a fate worse than death for computer geeks like me! LOL

I'm glad to see someone else likes their watch!

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

*raises hand* Dial up here our church anyway (and that is where I am three days a week)

The mountain behind us is 10 feet too high for us to get satellite internet!

The good news though is that a hotel is coming in across the street at the end of the year and with it will come....LINES! We'll then be able to get into 2009. Yay!

At 8:47 AM, Blogger hotcoffeenow said...

The only two that surprise me are watches and landlines. And I only say landlines surprise me because they are pretty must a constant in terms of service. Having lived many years in hurricane alley (wilmington, nc) I know that there are times you are without power and can't charge your phone. And without power you can't fill your gastank to charge it in your car. Thanks to buried phone lines you can always count on your phone. I just don't understand people w/o landlines, lol. But then again, I keep asking where my Walkman is when I really mean to ask where my Ipod is, roflol.....and I will never give up a watch. I'm so old-fashioned my cell phone is only a PHONE!!! (well, and I can text and take pix - but I don't have a full keyboard nor do I connect to the internet on it). My (much younger) BIL's wife, who sells phones, tried to talk me into what all the cool kids use nowdays....'you can't get a fast connection on the phone YOU want', but I'm a SAHM....I can spend all darn day plunked down in front of the computer - I only need a phone to talk on. LOL. Oh, I'm also turning into a grumpy old man, but that's my random thought for the morning, lol


At 8:52 AM, Blogger kburks said...

Nooooooo! Not my watch!

We just bought an AppleTV last Friday and I don't think we'll buy another DVD. It is so cool! I can look at our family pictures, listen to my iTunes, watch podcasts and either purchase or rent movies that I'd like to see and display them all on our TV. All that from one sweet little box....AND it runs from our wireless network.

I LOVE TECHNOLOGY! Yes, I'm a GEEK and so, so proud!

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Tricia said...

Wow, no wristwatches? I feel nekked (this is Texas, that's how we say it! :) without my watch, but you're right. My teens don't wear them.

I'm against the land line thing! It is so much clearer than a cell and with 4 kids I can't afford to have tat many cell phones! I'm not giving up my land line! :)

Wow, I'm awfully stuck in my ways for a 34 year old! :p

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Sue said...

The ones that surprised me were the wristwatch and DVDs (except I get that with digital media available now).

I like my landline for my phone because it's always constant - my cell phone I'm always needing to recharge it when I need it most and I only use it sporadically anyways.

I laughed at the floopy disks - I was going through a bag of old drawer contents the other day & came across a whole whack of these - laughed and tossed them. Never thought to use them as coasters ;-)

Hubby dragged out something like 4 boxes from the under the stairs closet full of VHS tapes. I have to sort through them to see what I need to look for in DVD or maybe even record onto one, or just toss. Makes me think of all we've spent on "entertainment" in our lives... it's shameful to be honest ;-)

Film cameras - lol... we laugh at my mother-in-law and sister-in-law at every family party when the pull out their automatic film camera. "What's that noise?" we kid when the whir of the film advancing starts.

My mil still has dial-up. I'm way too impatient for that now although it sure is better than no internet ;-)

This was very interesting Colleen! Thanks ;-)

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I've wondered about the Apple TV thing, dburks. Pretty cool, huh? I'm going to have to investigate.

I'm with the rest of you on landlines. The cell doesn't always work and it's too expensive to have one for everyone. Besides, what about at night? I'd have to remember to bring it up to the bedroom.

At 8:58 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I was trying to remember the last time I used a regular camera, Sue. YEARS. LOL My MIL still uses one though.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger The Farmer's Wife said...

I'm officially a dinosaur!!!

I have a 35mm Canon that I still love. I just bought 7 vcr tapes for my kids at the second-hand store, because they hold up so much better with grubby little fingers. I think typewriters make the neatest clacky-clacky-clacky sound, even though I'm not using one anymore.

Electronics hate me! (I know, they are inanimate, non-living, man-made things....they still hate me!)
I only just figured out how to pick up messages off my cell phone...all 56 of them. Even my dishwasher required training, for the user. I mean, really!

The good news is that I live in the sticks and other than internet, AND GPS for the tractors, I don't really have to have a lot of electronics around.

This was an interesting post...what was most intriguing, to me, was what was said in the comments! Dial up...I'm so, so sorry! I have satellite, and it's truly a gift.

At 11:19 AM, Blogger Barb said...

It doesn't make sense for us to have a landline. We don't get many phone calls and have wireless internet and cell phones. Two advantages to not having a landline - no telemarketers or robocalls come election time.

I would love to have high-speed internet but cannot justify the cost.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Interesting list. Wristwatches and DVD's were a surprise. Sorry folks, but I'm not giving them up quite yet.

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Can't live without my watch. Nope, just can't do it.

I was stuck with dial-up for years and finally got cable in December. It was only $25 more a month than having an extra line for dial-up, but it totally pays for itself with the convenience.

With the number of landlines going down, think of how much smaller telephone books will be. Won't be able to use them to boost the kids at the dinner table anymore. :)

I was surprised to see DVD's on the list, though.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

GPS for tractors? Seriously, Farmer's Wife? what does that do for you? I'm fascinated!!!

I don't get the DVD thing either, girls. Strange!

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

I'm not surprised, but I do laugh at a few things.

I still remember in the early 90's we needed a new needle for the record player and the clerk at K-Mart and my mom were talking about how the needle manufacturers weren't going to make anymore since record players were now obsolete with the advent of the DVD. Heh. You can still buy record players at Target, Walmart, and prolly even KMart.

I do have a few quibbles with the list - landlines and dialup are NOT going anyway fast - I live in an area where there are few high speed internet options, despite many people living there. I finally bought Alltel Wireless, its not near the same speed as DSL, but it is faster than dialup, but for the past week (since a major storm) it hasn't worked at all. I've been having to use my Juno free account to download my emails when I'm at home. So for them to say "who would use dialup" Um those of us whom the highspeed folks have deemed unworthy to have their product, is whom.

At 3:20 PM, Blogger The Farmer's Wife said...

Farming is high tech, now! Many tractors have computers to program for planting depth, cultivating depth, speed, etc. GPS is used when we are measuring fields for the federal reports, if we find noxious weeds we note the coordinates for spraying. I'm more of the cattle girl, so I don't do a lot with the farming. I can barely run a toaster, so for some odd reason, they don't really encourage me to be part of the farming....

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Leticia said...

I still wear my neon colored watch and I will NEVER give it up. As for watching movies on the internet, no thanks! I prefer watching them on my tv with the surround sound. Although, I am worried about Blu-ray.

I felt old when my boys asked me an album was or what a cassette was? lol!!

Memories...we will cherish them.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Nothing surprised me, but it made me a bit sad. I do still wear a watch, but I know I'm one of the few who do. But it's an ingrained habit. And yeah, it's a pain to get the phone out of my pocket and open it to look at the time. Easier to glance at my arm!

My mom faithfully used her typewriter until she died in September. With peripheral neuropathy, she couldn't really hold a pen and although she had a computer, you can't stick a greeting card in one to sign it!

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

BTW, the last few days (I guess ever since you posted the video), I can't use my "back" button to go back to my blog from yours. When I click the scroll-down error, it has always inserted "Susan Boyle Fan Site" between your blog and whatever site I was at before yours (usually my blog). I don't know what kind of cookie or worm attached itself to your blog, but you might want to check it.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

That would be the scroll-down arrow! Sigh.

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wristwatch thing is so true. I still wear one, and always will. But the sixteen year olds that I teach rely on their cell phones to check the time (which means that they have no clue what time it is in class, as they can't have their phones out! hehe)

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Lisa Jordan said...

I was surprised about watches, but realized neither of my teenage sons wear one. I'm naked without mine and asked for a new one for Mom's Day.

I know more and more people who are going to cell phones only, but my business requires a landline. Right now I believe it's more reliable than cell.

SOoooooooooooooo thankful we don't have dial-up anymore. Our modem was going bad and after calling Verizon four times in the last week, the last tech guy told us what the problem was. They shipped a new one overnight. Hubby said it felt like we were on dial-up again because of the constant interruption of service and lack of speed. Hee! :)

I, too, was surprised about DVDs. I buy my favorites and watch them over and over. I've never downloaded a movie and watched it.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I'm in Silicon Valley so a lot of these things are obsolete first here in town. I will say when my hubby was working on the first system that would download movies to play whenever you wanted (called a set top box then), we had a 13" TV with rabbit ears, so we're slow adopters. I don't like change, though I love technology.

My kids just downloaded a movie on their iPod when we went on a road trip, so I guess this doesn't surprise me. I still wear a watch (around my neck on a necklace) because I never remember my phone.

At 12:50 PM, Blogger ed said...



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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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