Once-Iconic Tech Products That Are Now a Fading Memory

Barcham

Posts: 10   +9
There is one thing I really miss from my old JVC VHS recorder, and that is the shuttle dial on the remote that allowed me to freeze-frame and advance or reverse at whatever speed I wished. VCRs also had the ability of slow motion play, and higher priced models even had a zoom function. I have never come across a DVD or Blu-ray player, or a DVR, that can do anything more advanced than FF, RW or pause playback, and that is a great loss.

Oh, in another post I had mentioned the part that porn had to play in the Beta vs VHS battle, well it also played the same part in the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray. The platform that allowed it, was the platform that won the war.
 

Barcham

Posts: 10   +9
Article lacked some information on modem speeds, 56k was just the last commonly used speed. I started on a 9.6k and moved to a 14.4k etc.

Also the various floppy capacitys were told as absolutes, but for instance the old 7inch had multiple capacities etc.

There were also 2.88 MB 3.5" floppies, and they totally skipped over Zip Drives, Jaz Drives, SyQuest drives, which used rigid disk casettes of various capacities from 100 MB to over 1 GB.
 

Axle Grease

Posts: 259   +205
That's why I bought this:

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E16811147158

Back when. You can take my 5.25s from my cold, dead hands.

I feel the same way about my obsidian 900d super tower case. Corsair did not include 5.25" external bays in later models. For me it wasn't just about not being able to use internal DVD or blu-ray drives, but also various kinds of frontside digital readouts and fan controllers.
 
About dial up.. So loved that sound it made. What sweet sound it made.
Back in 1984ish I went to SCC. (Spokane CC) majored in data entry. Our final exam was to code into a TRS-Mod3. If we had entered all the data correctly we would get a cool surprise... After all was said and done, I clicked Enter.... and BAM! Out came this cool little game. Pong! Was so very cool to get college credit for playing a game.
Them mega heavy TVs were awful.
While out on a drive, you could see miles of shiny tape strewn on the side of the roadways. Our worse case, you had to actually remove the tape that got stuck in your player.
But that being said, I would not change that for anything..
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,838   +6,824
I feel the same way about my obsidian 900d super tower case. Corsair did not include 5.25" external bays in later models. For me it wasn't just about not being able to use internal DVD or blu-ray drives, but also various kinds of frontside digital readouts and fan controllers.
When I am in the market for a case for a new build, a 5.25" external drive bay is one of my main requirements. No 5.25" drive bay, I look elsewhere. There are plenty of great cases out there that still have 5.25" bays. For instance - https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/define/define-7/gray/
 

Ben Myers

Posts: 201   +80
Well, I have a fax modem installed in my tower computer so I can send faxes to the paranoid who don't want me to send them email. I also keep a 3.5" USB floppy drive around to run the older non-UEFI Memtest-86+, still one of the best memory diagnostic tools available. I've also sold laptops without DVD drives to folks, and then I get a request for an external UDB DVD drive to deal with favorite content on older CDs and DVDs.
 

NoLifeDGenerate

Posts: 36   +18
I feel the same way about my obsidian 900d super tower case. Corsair did not include 5.25" external bays in later models. For me it wasn't just about not being able to use internal DVD or blu-ray drives, but also various kinds of frontside digital readouts and fan controllers.

I still have 2 Lian Li full server towers from 10-12 years ago that I love (PC-V2000B and PC-P80). Totall worth the $300 or $400 each. The one has a door with 3 120mm fans on it. The other one I managed to snag the official Lian Li 5.25 bay fans. :)
 
People who didn't use them back in the day assume VHS *always* had snow all over the place, constantly had lines, blurry as all hell, etc., and any post-VHS-era movies and shows I see always depict VHS that way too. Don't get me wrong, I saw recordings that bad, but it was generally in the 6-hour "extended play" mode, on tapes that had been reused over and over (so tape stretch and whatever else.) 6-hour mode was mostly so people could cram as many shows as possible onto a single tape (like a DVR, some might have been to "keep", some might have been to just watch a few days or week later... but interesting tradeoff DVRs don't usually have, flip a switch to have 2 hours on a tape at better quality, or flip the other way to cram 6 hours onto the tape.) Most pre-recorded tapes were in 2-hour mode (much better quality), most camcorders used 2-hour mode only (I think because extended play would be too hard to record when the camcorder was being jiggled around.)

It *was* iconic to have a big bunch of nastiness right at the beginning of the tape.. if it was a rental, it had been rewound over and over to that point and was all stretched out there (and possibly other wear), but about 5 seconds in it'd clear up. On a home recorded tape, it wouldn't always start recording at the exact same spot so you tended to have the first second or so of like 5 different recordings at the beginning, but again it'd clear up after a few seconds.

I'm not pining for VCRs by any means, don't get me wrong! Just recalling my experience with them.

Finally, if you still HAVE a VCR, check out the used market! I just transferred some tapes, luckily the VCR I had in storage worked (after 7 years..), and (after I set the clock, dead clock battery) so did the MythTV Linux system I had set up with a TV capture card in it. Refurbished VCRs are going for $400 now!
There is one thing I really miss from my old JVC VHS recorder, and that is the shuttle dial on the remote that allowed me to freeze-frame and advance or reverse at whatever speed I wished. VCRs also had the ability of slow motion play, and higher priced models even had a zoom function. I have never come across a DVD or Blu-ray player, or a DVR, that can do anything more advanced than FF, RW or pause playback, and that is a great loss.

Oh, in another post I had mentioned the part that porn had to play in the Beta vs VHS battle, well it also played the same part in the battle between HD DVD and Blu-ray. The platform that allowed it, was the platform that won the war.
Blu-ray/DVD players can jump to chapters on a disk in a second, something VCRs could not do. Freeze-frame on a VCR was pretty bad...
 
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It's weird how much faster tech evolves than other things. We have electric cars that drive themselves, but you still have to check the air in the goddamn tires!!! It's taken entirely too long for airless tires to become a thing. I think it's still 2 years off being available.

Then some things just change sideways. small batteries used to leak when they went bad. Now they just detonate. Can we seriously NOT make a battery that just dies without bullshit???
Not sure about other brands, but some models of Toyota display the tire pressure on the infotainment screen
 

BobHome

Posts: 149   +60
3D TV's died off largely because making a 4K 3D tv was impossible at the time. For one HDMI didn't have the bandwidth for it, and second making a 4K screen that was capable of displaying 3D at 4K was not capable of being produced. Plus with the lack of content, it was clear to see why the feature was forgotten.

3D @1080p at the time was pushing the HDMI bandwidth limits, and even then for side by side content you were looking at 720p video anyways. There was more advanced ways to push 3D than side by side, but for me side by side was how 90% of my digital 3D content is stored. I still have my old 1080p dlp projector with 3D and my active shutter glasses, haven't used 3D in years. But the experience is just as good as it was in theaters.


The glasses suck, I would love to see something like the 3D effect found in the 3DS brought to TV's in the future. The Depth effect in the 3DS games that really show it off was just great. Maybe in 10 years.
I bought a 70" Sharp 3D TV @ 8 years ago (for too much $$$$), but the active shutter glasses did nothing for me; probably because I'm near-sighted in one eye and far-sighted in the other. I thought I'd give it a try, but the only 3D I've ever been able to see was at Disney World. And their 3D is not available to consumers that I'm aware of.
 

Vanderkaum037

Posts: 42   +46
"But with most of us preferring non-verbal communications these days,"

Now hold on just a doggone minute. This can't be true.
 

John Staerck

Posts: 19   +1
At the time the UK's energy policy is in dire trouble those *****s at BT are insisting on switching landlines to digital with only an hour's power backup. This will not be long enough for the power outages to come, what use will your mobile phone charger be then?

The advantages of CRT TV's was that the cabinet could contain decent speakers. Now you have to buy extra hardware to overcome the awful tinny sound from flat screen TVs.

 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,838   +6,824
The advantages of CRT TV's was that the cabinet could contain decent speakers. Now you have to buy extra hardware to overcome the awful tinny sound from flat screen TVs.
IMO, the speakers in CRTs were not all that great, and could never compare to external speakers of any size. Personally, I have a HT sound system, and totally agree about the poor sound of speakers in flat-screen TVs; they are certainly far worse than those in CRT TVs, but as I said above, IMO, that is not saying much.

I'll add my $0.02 that VHS Hi-Fi sound was unmatched back in the day, I'd say it has only been surpassed by DD/DTS digital sound tracks.
 

NoLifeDGenerate

Posts: 36   +18
At the time the UK's energy policy is in dire trouble those *****s at BT are insisting on switching landlines to digital with only an hour's power backup. This will not be long enough for the power outages to come, what use will your mobile phone charger be then?

The advantages of CRT TV's was that the cabinet could contain decent speakers. Now you have to buy extra hardware to overcome the awful tinny sound from flat screen TVs.

The real advantage of CRTs was lightguns for gaming. It's bullshit nobody has been able to make a decent one to work on HDTVs.
 

lripplinger

Posts: 358   +147
Still have my Sony VCR. Haven't used it in who knows how many years. Still nice to have it, even if it just sits collecting dust.
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 284   +200
Went from a console TV to a rear projection tv, then 1080p to a 4k. Watching data media change over the years has been fascinating. I had a Tandy Trash 80 with 2 floppy drives on it and it ran DOS, where I played Black Cauldron a lot. Eventually we got a Windows 3.11 machine where I learned about DOS Shell, the median between DOS and Windows GUI. I still have a VCR and tons of VHS tapes. I also have my pirated DvD collection that I started back in the late 90s. It's mostly fun to just look at.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,802   +7,729
If you think DVD players are dead, they still live-on in this one undefeated format:
DVD is quite sharp and scales very well. Granted, it's not Blu-ray. But the format is easily "manipulated". So, I won't own a PC that doesn't have a DVD burner. And yes kidz, I know how slow it is compared to USB flash drives. I keep all my OS DVDs, should it occur that a flash drive takes a crap.

That anachronism aside, I even have my home entertainment gear completely separate from any of my computers, with,
free standing DVD and Bl-ray players, along with CD changers

About landlines, being as old school as I am, I don't really trust people or businesses with only a mobile number.

With a landline, 911 services can pinpoint your location should a problem occur.

Call me old fashioned, it's sort of flattering, albeit in an unkind, condescending way.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 440   +353
DVD is quite sharp and scales very well. Granted, it's not Blu-ray. But the format is easily "manipulated". So, I won't own a PC that doesn't have a DVD burner. And yes kidz, I know how slow it is compared to USB flash drives. I keep all my OS DVDs, should it occur that a flash drive takes a crap.

That anachronism aside, I even have my home entertainment gear completely separate from any of my computers, with,
free standing DVD and Bl-ray players, along with CD changers


oh, I agree, I can barely tell the difference between a well-mastered dual-layer DVD and Bluray, but the problem Bluray killing most mainstream DVD purchases means that the "high-quality DVD master" is no more!

Why do "best", when "good-enough" DVD still gets you sales to parents. while encouraging everyone else to go bluray-only?
 
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D

Dd663

oh, I agree, I can barely tell the difference between a well-mastered dual-layer DVD and Bluray, but the problem Bluray killing most mainstream DVD purchases means that the "high-quality DVD master" is no more!
DVD is limited to 480p, whereas regular HD Blu-ray can do 1080p. It's exactly six times as many pixels. No matter how well-mastered a DVD is, it can never come close to the level of detail capable in a Blu-ray. If you can't see much of a difference, then you're probably sitting far away enough from the TV and/or have a small enough TV that the differences in detail cannot be distinguished.
 

NumberSix

Posts: 147   +200
With impeccable timing my landline ceased to be today and my long loved landline number faded in to history.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,439   +2,952
TechSpot Elite
Floppy disks still have their legacy living on. To anyone who has ever wondered why the default drive letter for their main hard drive is C, it's because, to this day, A and B are still reserved for floppy disk drives ONLY.

It's proof that Windows still contains some DNA from the original MS-DOS because that's where drives A and B being reserved for floppy drives comes from.
 
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Dd663

Floppy disks still have their legacy living on. To anyone who has ever wondered why the default drive letter for their main hard drive is C, it's because, to this day, A and B are still reserved for floppy disk drives ONLY.
This is true. But I also feel it's worth mentioning that changing the base, default driver letter at this point would be a massive breaking change. Many apps expect C: to be the base drive and have locations based on C: hard-coded in. So regardless, it will never be anything other than C, just like the default keyboard layout will never be anything other than QWERTY.

You can imagine that C stands for Computer, too, and C also perhaps the most well-known programming language, so C is a good letter for the home drive.