Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Someone Else's Aught List: Newly Obsolete Items

The New Yorker has a neat item--those things that became obsolete in the Aughts.  They cheat and include behaviors as well as doo-hickeys. 

Here is some of the list:
  • Answering Machine.  Voice mail killed the machine, although Tiger demonstrated that leaving messages on the new technology is as bad as Jon Favreau's message in Swingers (New Yorker referenced that big movie moment).
  • Maps.  GPS (or for cheapos folks like myself, google map printouts)
  • Cathode-ray TV's.  We are 50% there.  Really want a tivo/DVR so that we can put the VCR in this category....
  • Smoking in Bars.  See, behavior, not just technology.
  • Fax Machines.  Still used, but on their way out for sure.
  • Cassette Tapes.  I am still angry at myself for spending a few more bucks to buy a particular model of Honda Accord in 2001 (days before 9/11) that had a dual system of CDs and cassettes since I had heaps of cassettes.  Of course, cassettes are now dead, and the car was stolen.  Now, my musical problem are the cords that connect my ipod to my car--they tend to break easily and they only work when there is no radio interference.  Tempted to buy a new radio for the car so that I can have a direct input.  But given my Montreal luck, that car/radio would be stolen too.
  • Polaroid.  Never had one.  Love digital cameras.
  • Rolodex.  I keep business cards organized and not scanned.  The one time I had all the cards scanned, someone broke into my office and stole the computer and the scanner.  Hmm, theft as a recurring theme of the Aughts.
  • French franc and other European currencies.  The Euro has now established itself.  Weee!
  • Floppy disk.  I guess technology moved as quickly in the 90's, but we went from disks to key drives awfully quickly.  I remember that my first computer with a hard drive had 20 megs, and now this tiny thing has 4 or 8 gigs.  Time to start speaking like an old man---in my day, we had to walk up hill to and from school .....
  • Phonebook.  See how many of these the internet killed. Al Gore is bad for business!!
Can we add any others to this list?  What other technologies or behaviors have become largely obsolete? I will ponder and get back to you, but perhaps you will beat me to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reading printed academic journals. Haven't done that in ages.