Once-Iconic Tech Products That Are Now a Fading Memory

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,365   +2,882
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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.
Sure, C is a good letter for the home drive, but it didn't used to be that way. The letter C was adopted simply because it was the third drive. Now, people invent reasons for it. :laughing:


Posts: 554   +275
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As Barcham pointed out, 8 track tapes belong on this list. I can think of a few other formats that that also come to mind:

Rear projection TVs
Mini-disc players
Digital Audio Tape (DAT)
Reel to Reel
Walkman Headphones
MP3 players, or Digital Audio Player (DAP) are still highly popular among audiophiles. Sony, Astell & Kern, Fiio and swarms of other audiophile brands are churning out more DAPs than ever.
"Mp3 players" will survive, not because they are cheap, but because audiophiles need them. If you have an expansive HiFi headset, you just can't use it with a phone. You'll want a player with a good dac, and a wired connection to the headset to listen to your HiRes music.

And "Mp3 player", which are actually called music player because they are now used more for HiRes music and not mp3, are not cheap. Products from Sony, Cowon, Fiio, Astell & Kern can cost more than a thousand euros.

It is a niche market, but a niche market that will stay for long.

It's like digital cameras. Phones can now take very nice pictures, but digital cameras have not disappeared, and people buy them not because they are cheap
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1970’s fax machines required placing a 8.5 x 11 paper on a cylinder which rotated in a cradle for 6 minutes to send or receive. Received pages was special paper which was printed with electric sparks.

Today we talk about bandwidth in mega bits, 1,000,000 baud. In mid 1980s, I purchased a slower 300 baud modem to download software to a computer with “bubble memory” from Phoenix via landlines with static interference.

Telexes were cheaper than international telephone communication. Even then, each character cost. We were the predecessors of texting with, “urs ntd” meaning I understand, “reverting” meaning I will get back with a answer or other response. These messages were transmitted at 75 baud.

Dumb pagers would beep and you would call in and a person would give you a message or phone number. Smarter pagers would display a phone number for you to call. Even smarter pagers would display a sentence or two.
Landline Phones: My older family members have phone numbers they refuse to let go of so they continue to pay the fees to keep their landline phones.

Efficiency dictates that it is cheaper and more practical to simply have one number on your cellular phone so that any and all calls coming in go directly to you whether you answer them or not - let them go to voicemail or not. I don't have a landline number.
We have a landline because we make a lot of calls from the US to Canada. Our landline includes those calls. Our cell service doesn't. Adding international calling to our cell service would cost more than the piddly savings for dropping the landline. Don't assume everyone is in the same situation as yourself.
I prefer physical media over digital.

1. It can never be taken away from me because some licensing agreement expires.
2. I can sell it or trade it in for something else.

Tom Sunday

Posts: 74   +10
Most desktop PCs still come with optical drives (DVD-RW). As for landlines, they are better in an emergency since the responders know your address. I still buy Blu-ray disks for movies I like since I only pay for these one time and don't have to go looking for which streaming is offering a title.

Greetings from the man off the grid! Unfortunately no internet and no cell phone coverage here in Stehekin, WA. But log cabins with 30-50 acres and long drive ways is very typical. Many of us here and my friends around Diablo further up North near the Canadian border still use cassette players in our hobbled together F150’s, then CDROM’s in our desktops and MP3 players when going fishing or hunting. Also most definitely maintaining our landline phones. At the Grange and 'Maggie’s General Store' here we diligently continue in using Fax machines. As TV is only available by satellite (allowing for weather conditions) we also buy a lot of movie DVD’s across the folding tables at the regional computer show. Recent titles with cash only for $1-2 and many pirated formats from the Bangladesh boys! So indeed we are behind the times and practically living in a vacuum, but if you’re not living in the outside world nor with the madding crowd, one simply does not know any different. Life is good!

Actually the degree to which modern 911 centers can pinpoint your location with cell phones now is scarily good - to within a few meters, and they're pushing that envelope more all the time. It's not foolproof but the days when all they could determine is your general location in relation to a cell tower are long behind us, for good or ill. I also don't think landlines automatically give address info out - dispatchers are trained to collect that information immediately once the call starts, before anything else.

That said landlines are still a very durable, reliable protocol as well that can serve well in a massive emergency, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack, where a cell tower might get overloaded within minutes.
Cell phone 911 service uses GPS satellite information on a tier that the general public is normally unable to access. The highest tiers of service are reserved for national security (read Military) uses. This info lets ships, aircraft etc know exactly where they are at any time to accurately fire missiles or guided bombs.