Remember typewriters?

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Charlotte area, North Carolina
I was thinking about this the other day, how technology is always advancing, and how some old technologies just "fade away" and suddenly you look for them and they are GONE. I thought I would create a list for my kids of technologies that have disappeared in our life-times (as well as technologies that are GOING to disappear).

My list starts with:

Typewriters. Used to be everywhere. Haven't seen one in... years. I think someone still makes them, but I know IBM stopped making the Selectric (the #1 brand in the world).

Floppy disk drives. Sony (the last manufacturer) is stopping production of the 3.5" floppy drive in March, 2012. Believe it or not, the 3.5" drive has been around since 1981 (and 5 1/4" drives a little before that). 31 years is a good run, but time to say "good bye".

On the theme of "electromagnetic media" is a LONG list of obsolete technologies that are going/gone including: 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, VHS video (and/or Betamax), video camcorder tapes (of all varieties), computer tape drives. Included in this list are all the devices to play them, or record on them (i.e. video cameras, cassette recorders). You try to sell a VHS or cassette player on eBay recently? :)

Film and film cameras (including motion picture). Everything is electronic today - even movie theatres are going digital. Mama don't take my Kodachrome away... but Kodak stopped making it. I've got a closet full of film cameras that my kids will probably hang on the wall as "nostalgia" items some day.

The incandescent light bulb. Over 100 years, and about to be outlawed :) Add to this list fluorescent light bulbs (regular, T5, HO, compact) because they will be gone shortly as well.

Tube televisions. I remember when people first suggested that there would be a day when you would be able to hang your TV on the wall like a picture and I thought they were insane. The first color TV I bought was a 27" demo set that cost $650 in 1988. I thought I was getting a steal... I remember my parents buying a 35" set in the late 80's (when it was the largest tube in the world) and it cost them $3500.

Telephones. Remember a dial phone? My kids don't even know what it is and have never used one. The standard "wired" telephone is still around in the majority of homes, but will probably fade away in time. This includes a lot of "dated" phone experiences like "the 3-minute long distance phone call", "calling someone and letting the phone ring 3 times and hanging up so you could signal something without paying for the call", etc.

Printed media... as much as I hate to say it, newspapers and magazines will be first to go. Books will come later.

I will add to this list as I think about it...

jason biggs

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south africa
i am convinced that a lot of modern technology is actually retrogression-i would give anything to turf my computers at work + go back to working with a pencil behind the ear [no fear of virus contamination etcetera,etcetera.......] look at what the modern world has done to our food????
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