Old (lack of?) technologies that are just frickin' better than the new tech

I think there may have been a similar thread once before, but fuck if I can find it.

So everyone these days has their iWhatnots, can check the weather via text message, can book reservations at an uber chic restaurant by clicking a few buttons on their phone, which is way fucking good, but what old ways of doing things do you think are just plain better than the new ways? Note: this is not the thread where you out-retro everyone with tales of still communicating via telegraph, or how you wish gas stations had attendants, or how cool you think your rotary phone is. While rotary phones are indeed very cool, my point here is there are still some very low tech ways of doing things that you may not just find to be preferable (perhaps out of habit?) than the newer and fancier high tech ways, but just think are all out better.

For example, I keep track of my calendar on an actual calendar. I agree to events, or make social plans weeks in advance that I won’t remember off the top of my head, so I scribble on the actual calendar on my wall the dates of shit I need to do. To me, that’s just easier than having to consult my phone or computer or whatever to remind myself what’s going on. I just look at the calendar on my wall, et voila, there’s my whole month in front of my eyes in black and white. Could not be easier.

I’ve also found mincing food by hand with a knife is simpler and easier to clean than using food dicing gizmos.

So those are my examples. Yous guys?

Anything with a volume knob that is an actual dial on the hardware itself.

Cell phones, for me at least, have never lived up to the sound quality and comfort of landline phones. I love my cell and I love having communication in my pocket but I cannot talk on a cell for very long and I can barely understand people on the other end. And I cannot hold a cell between my ear and shoulder and type at the same time.

Amen. Annoying as hell.

Mysafety razoris seven kabillion times better than any modern disposable razor. It’s still hard as hell to cut yourself, and since the razors are so cheap as to be almost free, you can use a fresh perfectly sharp one every single time.

Boy, QFT.

I love my iPhone except for one thing; it’s a really shitty phone. As a pocket computer, it’s great. As a phone, it’s a peice of shit, exceeded in quality by land lines by a margin of a hundred percent.

Of course, it beats a landline for portability. But the quality of sound in the call is just terrible on a cell phone.

I came here to praise double edge safety razors just as Manda JO did.

Smoother, sharper shaves with a blade that costs a dime & a nickel. Preferably an adjustable razor.

If you want a modern version of the old tool, you can try this if you’re not afraid the monster will eat you: http://www.apetogentleman.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/merkur-vision-razor-butterfly-head.jpg
To correct a mistype though, it is the blades which are cheap, not the razors.

I agree with the comments about the cell phones of course. I would also probably agree about the razors, but I hardly ever shave.

Really though, I just wanted to point out that I live in New Jersey and we still have gas station attendants, and yes, it is better. :slight_smile:

Amen to the landline. I also long for a Selectric typewriter for things like envelopes and folder labels.

A fountain pen is a better writing tool than a ballpoint.

Yes please. For some stupid reason when I replaced my car stereo I forgot about this important principle and picked one with little up and down volume buttons. The only problem is, I can’t adjust the volume without taking my eyes off the road. Stupid design, stupid me for buying it.

CRT tvs are better for at least one application. Those old light-gun games like the Zapper for the NES won’t work on any other kind of tv.

I don’t have any CRTs left, so I can’t play these old games! So sad.

Also, old video game systems in general look much, MUCH better on a CRT than they do on most modern TVs.

A good old fashioned folding map. Map Quest and Google tell you to get off the freeway at seventh street. There is no seventh street exit. A couple of years ago around Christmas a guy was trying to navigate with his gps and ended up lost in the mountains.

I see the two as having different purposes. Mapquest, etc are good for finding the most direct way from point A to point B. I use them then I have a specific starting point and a specific destination.

What paper maps are much better for are, say a vacation where you only want to know where a road generally goes and what else is vaguely in the area. The electronic maps are difficult to zoom in far enough to see the roads that you want to see, but still show enough area to see what else is there.

Any analog controls for technology that man has to interact with. It just feels so much more right and natural and precise to smoothly dial in the desired setting for anything with analog controls than to step through digital graduations. My volume preference on my iPod is somehow permanently between two of the clicks, and it drives me nuts.

Agree with calenders and cell phones, and I’ll add address books. Now, I like having all my Contacts in my phone when I want to make a call. But when I’m on the phone, I can’t look up someone’s phone number on my phone to give it to the person I’m talking to. I’ve got to hang up and look it up and either send it as a “business card” or a text or call back with it.

Also, my huge ass HDTV. Actually, I suspect it’s the programming, as it gives nice crisp HD images…except for words. Words have those rough lined edges like when you drag a graphic on your computer larger than it was meant to go. Want to see the perfectly round pupil of an actor at 10 yards? Not a problem. But the word “Comcast” in an ad looked better on my old CRT. (But the newer TV’s are much, much easier to move than those heavy bulky old monsters.)

The old XBOX 360 button that was actually a button. The new motion sensitive one was fun for about 10 minutes. Now I’m constantly accidentally triggering it when I dust.

Alarm clocks. “intelligent” ones are unreliable, what with DST and wrong time zones.

Not really a technology but I was just lamenting with a friend the death of instant win on products.

So: you’d buy a snickers or something and on the inside of the wrapper would be “Sorry you have not won this time” or “Congratulations…you’ve won £5”, or you might win another snickers or something. The smaller prizes could be redeemed immediately at the store you bought the snickers from.

Nowadays it’s “Text this 64 character hex code to…”, which no sane person would bother to do.

Guitar amps with tubes.

Gas cans… I hate the new plastic safety cans with the “push down to dispense” nozzles. I’ve broken 3 of them in the last year. What’s wrong with just a regular pour spout and a cap? I still use the old style can (circa 1989) and it’s a thousand times easier than the new ones.

R-12 Air conditioning in cars. Cooled so much better than the new replacements. My '87 Buick Grand National still has the factory R-12 charge and it cools the car off twice as fast as the modern replacement gas, Even on the hottest day.

Thanks for getting me started! Now I sound like my Grandpa! “Back in my day they made REAL cars…” :smack: