The impact of modern technologies in our daily lives is immense, and can never be denied. Some of the most basic requirements of our lives these days are only feasible with the use of technical gadgets and innovative software. Any functional upgrade in a technological sector tends to bring newer dynamics, making the previous versions obsolete. However, some of these gadgets prove to be difficult to throw away because of the emotional attachment that might have grown towards the device over time.
Many modern devices carry out tasks that once required separate devices to achieve. The latest computers and mobile phones offer astonishing features that older gadgets used to provide, but in a compact, and limited capacity. It is remarkable how rapidly the best pieces of technology get outdated nowadays. This article takes a walk down memory lane and lists some of the most popular devices that once ruled the tech scenario, but has become completely irrelevant these days.
The introduction of typewriters to the public occurred as early as the 1500s and was revolutionary at that time. This was a major upgrade to the conventional way of writing using a pen and paper. Until the invention of computers, the use of typewriters was the most convenient way to, say, write a book or scribe documents.
Websites like postroadvintage.com provide a wealth of information and images about vintage gadgets that serve as a reference for people failing to relate to some devices mentioned in this article. If you bump into a typewriter these days, make sure you take a photo, as you might not get another chance to see one soon.
Calculators are still used in academic and corporate sectors but are swiftly fading away from the scenario. Computers, mobile phones, or even smartwatches have calculators pre-installed these days, making it unnecessary to carry a separate, dedicated calculator along.
While modern calculators contain various functionalities, some older versions are very simple and lack certain features available today. Calculators these days come with the capacity to display graphs, solve algebraic equations, and store numeric data. Those features were unheard of in older version calculators available to the masses.
There was once a time when phone calls required significant effort due to the nature of landline telephones. These are wired gadgets that are quite large relative to modern-day mobile phones. One of the main reasons for landline telephones to become obsolete is their lack of portability. A connective wire is needed to operate these gadgets, which totally beats the purpose of modern-day phone usage.
Since its origination in the early 1800s, landline telephones have transitioned through many modifications in design and utility. Children these days do not even recognize the old rotary telephones that were once widely used around the world. The act of spinning a circular dial to input phone numbers was an iconic scene to witness, despite the inconvenience associated with it. Modern smartphones have streamlined the entire process of placing a phone call. By the time you make the call, talk to the person on the other side, and hang up, a rotary phone might still be taking inputs from you.
Pagers and beepers were once the go-to devices for making emergency, one-way communications during the late 1900s and early 2000s. Many variations of these gadgets were available, serving different purposes that were once unimaginable. For the first time ever, people were able to send short texts and reminders to others. Making a phone call is too elaborate a task when all you need is to convey a short message.
The introduction of smartphones instantly made the use of pagers obsolete, as a mobile gadget can efficiently do more than the simple task of sending messages. Despite the sheer drop in their global demand, pagers and beepers sustained their popularity for quite some time due to the deep impact they already had in the lives of people.
Modern data storage devices like pen drives, hard-disk drives, or solid-state drives have severely depleted our memory of once using floppy disk drives as our primary gadget for storing data. Introduced in the 1970s, these flat, compact disks could store a little less than 1500 kilobytes of data. While this figure does seem negligible compared to newer technologies, it certainly was more than enough during its glory days.
The major problem associated with floppy disks was their susceptibility to magnetic fields and heat. They were not very durable and used to get corrupted easily even with minimal issues. With the exponential rise in file sizes over the years, due to advancements in the software industry, floppy disks were eventually replaced with larger data storing devices. Most modern computer systems do not even include any floppy disk feature.
CDs and DVDs
CDs and DVDs revolutionized the digital video playback industry because of their compactness, “abundant” storage space, and overall ease of use. Hundreds of millions were spent in this sector during their days of eminence, as they provided the perfect opportunity to manipulate, share, and store videos, audios, and other files of various formats.
These disks were extremely durable and portable, leading to even higher demand amongst the common people. Problems like the presence of a nearby magnetic field did not affect their functionality, which proved to be a big advantage over floppy disks. From massive games to stacks of corporate documents, CDs and DVDs could store them all during that era.
Children nowadays find it hard to believe that mobile phones did not always feature a touchscreen display. Bulky, buttoned phones were the standard in past days. The most impressive games that could be played in those phones were Tetris or Snake. Sending a text message required way more effort on a buttoned interface than on the sleek displays we use nowadays.
Although feature phones are still in use, it is a rare scene to witness. Chances are, a person pulling a feature phone out of the pocket, also owns at least one smartphone. The immense amount of functionalities in a smartphone completely beat a feature phone any day and is slowly but surely pushing them out of the picture.
Nowadays, younger generations have limited or no idea of some of those gadgets mentioned in this article, as those have already become obsolete. While newer technologies exist to solve the problems laid bare by older ones, it is certainly intriguing to learn about the predecessors of some of the most implemented devices and gadgets of today.