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?
Labels: obsolete gadgets, wristwatch