Obsolete Tech We Used to Know and Love

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Obsolete Tech We Used to Know and Love

Odds are, you have a few examples of obsolete tech lying around your home. You may even still use some of it and prefer it to the latest and greatest tech. While some things might make a comeback, such as records, other tech really did need an upgrade.

Obsolete Tech That Paved the Way for New Devices

Floppy Disks – Storage Before Flash Drives

Before CD-ROMs and USB flash drives, storage was limited floppy disks. These thin plastic disks transitioned from 8-inch to 5.25 inch to the more popular 3.5 inch disks. The most common storage size was 1.44 MB, but the 3.5 inch superdisk could hold up to 240 MB. Believe it or not, this obsolete tech is still in use today, including by the United States Air Force.

Betamax and VCR Pave the Way for DVD

Long before the battle between DVD and Blu-Ray players, Betamax players and VCRs were the big contenders. While the VHS format played by VCRs won out, the tape based design on Betamax and VHS tapes proved to be rather fragile with frequent use. This led to the now popular DVD.

Black and White TVs Turn to Color

There’s a reason old TV shows are only shown in black and white – that’s the only type of TV that was available when televisions first hit the market. Despite attempts to create a color TV in the early 1900s, the idea didn’t catch on until the 1960s. Surprisingly, nearly 10,000 people in the UK still prefer this obsolete tech.

Portable Music Before MP3 Players

Before portable MP3 players or smartphones, many people carried around Walkmans, Discmans, or some variant. Portable cassette and CD players were the only options to carry around your music. You had to carry extra batteries and any tapes or CDs you wanted to play.

Related Read: Miss Old School Tech? Retro Products Get an Upgrade

Voicemail Happens on an Answering Machine

Answering machines used to use a small tape to record messages. The large machines were extremely popular until compact digital systems began to replace them. Now, most people have given up this obsolete tech in favor of the voicemail system on their smartphones.

Palm Pilots Get an Upgrade

PDAs were the predecessor for smartphones. The small digital organizers helped people keep track of everything in their lives. While smartphones have kind of replaced them, many industries still use them for things such as inventory tracking.

HAM Radio Switches to Phones

HAM radio is a type of obsolete tech that may never fully disappear. The short wave radio communication began in the 20th century and millions still use it. While it’s now more of a hobby, most people just pick up a phone or send a text to communicate.

Portable TV Now Fits Your Hand

While you may watch YouTube and Netflix on your smartphone, portable TVs used to be the only way to watch TV on-the-go. Some of these sets were bulky, while others were nearly as compact as your phone. However, the picture quality depended on the antenna signal.

Paging Equals a Quick Text

Before text messages, the best way to ask someone to call you was by paging them. The pager showed a number and a quick message. This obsolete tech is still used by doctors and emergency responders since they’re not susceptible to network outages like smartphones.


Related Read: Miss Old School Tech? Retro Products Get an Upgrade


Contribution by Crystal Crowder

About the Author

Crystal lives and breathes tech. She’s spent over a decade writing tutorials, reviews, and more on tech, business, and lifestyle sites. Her idea of fun is settling down with the latest tech and gadget news.

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