Technology that died in your generation

I remember using a rotary phone as a child. My next youngest sister has no recollection of this.

I also used a—gasp–typewriter on many of my college papers. Computers were around, but I certainly didn’t have one and wrestling with the packed computer labs (and my own computer inexperience) wasn’t worth the hassle.

I can see VHS dying within my own kids’ generation. We have a ton of them around, but a lot of their friends don’t.

So–what last gasp of technology did you experience?

Floppy disks. I haven’t seen one in years. Yet the first computers I used had no hard drives and everything was run from disks. The big 5 1/4 inchers, too. The 3 1/2 ones were kinda cool and futuristic. I haven’t used one in years.

It kind of blows my mind that I first used computers of any sort nearly thirty years ago, as a first or second grader. I know they go back further, but that’s when we got some Apple IIs. And they were awesome.

Zip drives. I think they came AND went during my generation. Yes they still exist, but when I was in college we had to carry around floppy disks the first two years, then zip disks the second two years. I’m sure shortly thereafter students were required to get thumb drives.

Leaded gasoline.
8-track cassettes.
Carbon paper.
Dot-matrix printers (are they obsolete?)

I remember the 8" floppies.

Stand-alone word processors. These were like a cross between an electric typewriter and a printer. You could edit text in one as though you were using a computer (although there was no drag-and-drop) and then you could print it out from the same machine. It was like having an entire device that only ran Microsoft Word, except without most of Word’s features. I had one for typing papers in high school.

They are so obsolete now that I just had to spend several sentences explaining what the hell one is. :stuck_out_tongue:

Floppies are still needed to set up multiple hard drives in a RAID configuration.

PC Today

Same as the OP-rotary phones and typewriters though I still see VCR/DVD combos being sold.

Darn, I didn’t quite make the edit window. Anyway, here is the word processor I had, or a very similar model, anyway.

Answering machines.

Nope - a lot of car rental companies (here in Australia anyway) still use dot matrix printers with carbon paper so they have printed duplicates of rental agreements etc.

I remember using accoustic couplers…

The choke in cars.

Those really primitive non-computerised arcade games (that I loved as a kid). The pre-Space Invaders ones.

Books where you choose the ending by the decisions you make along the way. Does Henry shoot the villain? Go to p 45. Does Henry run away? Go to p62. (The stories were always too short because of the redundant need to have so much alternative material in the book, but they seemed like a “wave of the future” thing at the time.)

Corded phones, “ditto” papers, mimeographs, typewriters, reel to reel tape recorders, "hi-fi"s, 10-key adding machines, push-button transmissions (hey–I was a little kid, but I remember them in cars), transistor radios–hell–boomboxes, cassette tapes, “air popcorn poppers”, “hot-combs” (hair styling devices), telex, agh! I could go on and on!

Slide Rules.

I still have one, and I guess there are probably a few special purpose ones in use here and there, but as general purpose items for anyone in math or science they’ve gone the way of the wind.

CRT televisions and computer monitors.

Walkmen, car phones, VCRs

No more obsolete then an AS400. Pretty much every receiving dock at the casinos in Las Vegas use several wide format dot matrix printers with tractor feeds and the green and white lined 3 ply paper because they are still using AS400s to manage their inventory.

big old honking hand cranked adding machines. Ditto cash registers. wind up watches

Car Phones - they used to be extremely expensive and permanently installed.

I remember when DIVX came out.

Basically it was an expensive DVD player that you hooked up to your phone line. You got to “rent” a DVD and from the time you put it in the player you could watch it as much as you wanted over the next 48 hours. Then you had to pay extra if you wanted to watch it for another 48 hours after that. I have no idea why anyone thought this would be a successful business model.

Wind-up watches aren’t dead. It’s just that battery-operated watches have become cheap to the point of being disposable. Often it costs less for a new watch than it does to replace the battery. But you can still buy mechanical watches. I have a watch similar to this one. It cost me about $150, but it’s the only watch I need. I’ve had it for more than five years. It’s a self-winder, and it’s always been dependable and very accurate. I can leave it unwound for days, when I want to wear it, it takes less than a minute to wind it and reset. If I wear it every day, I might have to only wind it every fourth day.