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My one-day attempt at a noontime question

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
Since the daily question has gone bye-bye, I thought that I would do a one-shot attempt at a replacement.

What still commonly available and/or used products and/or services would you consider to be 'obsolete'? In this sense, 'obsolete product or service' would mean that it is still widely available or used, perhaps even advertised, but has newer products and/or services that are in the process of or will likely soon supplant it, that you would recommend that little or no further practical research and development be done on it.

Items on my list include:

-Pagers -- these much reviled phone-number eaters of the 1980s to mid 1990s have been almost totally eliminated by cell-phones;

-Cathode-ray tubes -- you are seeing fewer and fewer of them available in electronics stores, supplanted by the various 'flat screen' technologies;

-Residential traditional land-line telephone service -- cellular phones are quickly doing that in, too, but OTOH I don't see businesses or government giving up their landlines anytime soon;

-Incandescent light bulbs for lighting and signalling -- much more efficient and longer lived compact flourescents and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are steadily doing these in;

-Pre-recorded audio CDs -- digital downloads (both legal and 'illegal'), the IPod (and its clones) and the attitudes of the record labels are going to quickly eliminate these icons of the 1980s and 1990s.

Let's see some of yours.

:)

Mike
 

iamme

Cyburbian
Messages
485
Points
14
I think you're a little too optimistic on land lines. They provide superior and reliable quality, are cheap ($15/month for me) without any frills, and are still usable if your power fails. I could see they might take on a different form (VOIP) but they are with us for the foreseeable future.

I remember when I had a pager, wow, now I just leave my cell on silent and wait for the message.

I think that gas only cars will start fading away in the next decade or so. Not necessarily because of the price of gas but hopefully by then we have more stringent air regulations which would necesitate hybrids.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,550
Points
25
VHS recorders. Digital Video Recorders (DVR) like Tivo and Replay TV will make VHS tapes obsolete within the next 5-10 years. I think that TVs will begin to incorporate DVRs into the set so you don't even need a stand-alone DVR. Plus there are already computer based Tivo-type programs that are available that allow you to do do all of the TIVO functions.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,208
Points
36
We have an office typewriter, but it is almost never used, to the point where I think it will be obsolete in a couple years. As a kid, I was pretty good on an old Underwood manual. 8-!
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
Repo Man said:
VHS recorders. Digital Video Recorders (DVR) like Tivo and Replay TV will make VHS tapes obsolete within the next 5-10 years. I think that TVs will begin to incorporate DVRs into the set so you don't even need a stand-alone DVR. Plus there are already computer based Tivo-type programs that are available that allow you to do do all of the TIVO functions.
I am simply amazed at how _FAST_ DVDs supplanted VHS videotape. I had almost totally forgotten about that, even though DVDs have only been available since the late 1990s.

The ONLY thing that I can see that could hold back research and rapid development in this area is the attitudes of the content providers and how far they might be able to get their desired usage restrictions though Congress. :-@

Mike
 

SW MI Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,195
Points
26
iamme said:
I think you're a little too optimistic on land lines. They provide superior and reliable quality, are cheap ($15/month for me) without any frills, and are still usable if your power fails.
Wow, where do you live??? Our land lines here are $35 basic service - no frills.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
There will probably be less demand for certain "middleman" services like travel agents and realtors. Lets hope less telemarketing.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Camcorders - my parents gave us one three years ago and we've used it once, and never since we got our digital camera that has a feature that takes movies.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
SW MI Planner said:
Wow, where do you live??? Our land lines here are $35 basic service - no frills.

Ditto. I havent had a land line for three years and dont miss it.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,901
Points
38
I gave up the landline this weekend with my move into a new place. Just seems stupid to be paying $40 a month for the cell and $40 more for a landline.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,720
Points
46
That is a great question!

I think that Digital Cameras will replace film (once they get the price down and the quality up)

PDA’s will just be incorporated in to Cell Phones (I have an older cell that does almost everything my PDA did.)

Auto Flushing Public Toilets and Sinks will replace regular. (Cleaner!)

Well, that is all I can think of for now…
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
mgk920 said:
-Incandescent light bulbs for lighting and signalling -- much more efficient and longer lived compact flourescents and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are steadily doing these in;

-Pre-recorded audio CDs -- digital downloads (both legal and 'illegal'), the IPod (and its clones) and the attitudes of the record labels are going to quickly eliminate these icons of the 1980s and 1990s.

Let's see some of yours.

:)

Mike
Not sure I totally agree. I hate the light put out by the compact flueorescents. It gives me a headache.

And, some people are collectors. I still like the album art work. Plus, CDs are already an abstraction from real music, which is analogue. MP3s further compress musical range and timbre. At higher volumes, can you notice a diffrerence-or am I imagining things?

I'd dump my land line in a minute if I had cable internet service available. No need for land lines at all, except for the computer.
 

mgk920

Cyburbian
Messages
4,202
Points
26
NHPlanner said:
I gave up the landline this weekend with my move into a new place. Just seems stupid to be paying $40 a month for the cell and $40 more for a landline.
If it wasn't for my continued use of a somewhat economical 56k dial-up internet service (I don't do a lot of high-volume up and downloading, so broadband didn't make much sense for me), I, too, would have cut the cord when I got my current $35-40/month cell line late last year. For what I get and what I pay, the cell is far superior to the landline.

BTW, the basic landline rate is about $15/month here, too (SBC in Wisconsin), without any of the 'frills', so I can have dialup net service for a little over $30/month, all costs included.

Mike
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
BKM said:
And, some people are collectors. I still like the album art work. Plus, CDs are already an abstraction from real music, which is analogue. MP3s further compress musical range and timbre. At higher volumes, can you notice a diffrerence-or am I imagining things?
.
With any compresssion technology, you will have loss. MP3's are compressed, there is a perceptible loss of quality. Especially when using headphones, or a high-quality speaker/stereo with low noise signal output.

dvd's have artifacts in them. the compression technology still isn't the best.

The major evolution in consumer technology has been the reduction of moving parts in the media. cassette tapes, vhs tapes, floppy disks, zip disks.. all are obsolete media.

There are no moving parts in Ipods and other mp3 devices.

Moving parts are fail points. Innovation is moving towards eliminating all moving parts.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,133
Points
63
I still see a place for landline telephones: they provide a conduit for hish-speed Internet access (DSL), they still work in the event of a power outage, system capacity is much higher than for any cellular system, and, most importantly, location information for 911.

Typewriters: still very useful for labels, forms, envelopes and similar "fill-in-the-blank" items. For very formal business correspondence, supposedly corporate higher-ups still use typewriters, because the resulting document has a slight indentation from the type, conveying a sense of importance that isn't possible with a laser printer-produced document.

Pagers: don't know why some people still use them.

CRTs: for now, they have better color accuracy than LCD/plasma monitors. They're also more durable and rubust. Some LCD monitors lose their color saturation over time. They're still far more expensive then CRTs.

Analog NTSC televisions: in the trash before 2010.

Big dish home satellite television systems (3 and 4 meter dishes): slowly disappearing.
 

jsk1983

Cyburbian
Messages
2,447
Points
23
Personal Checks: I doubt they will become obsolete any time soon, but the use of them will certainly diminish. With the abilty to pay bills online and the introduction of debit cards, check writing just isn't all that convienent. I worked in a grocery store for a couple of summers, and it seemed like the check writers tended to be older women. Of course there was always the possibilty of check fraud and people writing checks and not having the money in the account. If a check was over $200 a manager would have to come and they would have to see if the person had the money in the account which was of course quite a hassle.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
jsk1983 said:
Personal Checks: I doubt they will become obsolete any time soon, but the use of them will certainly diminish. With the abilty to pay bills online and the introduction of debit cards, check writing just isn't all that convienent.
I have used online bill pay for over a year now. It rules.

Phone lines will hang on for a long time I think. Mobile computing seems poised to offer something capable of replacing a laptop and a Pda. I think that is better than a smart phone, but maybe I'm not the majority.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,090
Points
54
Dan said:
I still see a place for landline telephones: they still work in the event of a power outage, system capacity is much higher than for any cellular system, and, most importantly, location information for 911.
Another important service: Reverse 911.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
jsk1983 said:
Personal Checks: .
Good call. I think I have only written about 10 cheques total since moving to Canada 2.5 years ago. Almost everything up here is done electronically.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Dan said:
Big dish home satellite television systems (3 and 4 meter dishes): slowly disappearing.
Unless you are in Canada and trying to pirate US Satellite networks. ;) (And NO, I don't do this myself!)
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Add me to the list of people who does not see the telephone line going away any time soon. With DSL and VOIP, I think their use will dramatically change from being primarily voice to data.

We have a big old electric typwriter in the office (and a $50 per year maintenance contract on it!) and the only thing it is used for is writing checks and addressing envelopes. One of these days I'll take a couple of hours to set all of that up on the computer, or maybe my new assistant will have the computer skills to do it.

It has been alluded to, but nobody has mentioned the cassette tape. Some car stereos still come with them, but it is getting rare now to see them on a rental car. Everything is CD.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
27,752
Points
68
Based on some of the futurist literature we were exposed to during our childhoods, I woulda figured that by the year 2000 we'd all be taking our flying cars to work, standing on the automatic sidealk while it takes us through the building and calling people up on the picture-phone once we got in the office.

I tell you, this whole 'Xerox' thing is just a phase, we'll be coming back to good ol' carbon paper any day now.....
 

Floridays

Cyburbian
Messages
769
Points
21
Cardinal said:
It has been alluded to, but nobody has mentioned the cassette tape. Some car stereos still come with them, but it is getting rare now to see them on a rental car. Everything is CD.
This ages me...but my first car (a blue Nova) had an 8-track player! Don't see many of those around any more.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,896
Points
27
Good grief! These responses make me feel OLD... (How many of you even recognize my avatar?! Raise your hand... :p)

I don't consider myself a luddite or anything, but I don't have a cellular phone (*gasp*), so I don't have to worry about poor coverage or batteries dying in the middle of an important call. Or people calling me at all hours.

No DVD player either. I'll continue to use my VCR until it dies, though it may not be long now. Does anyone record programs off TV anymore? Oh yeah, the cable companies are making that obsolete.

I still have all my records and cassettes for recorded music, although we buy CDs almost exclusively these days (after years of resisting buying a CD player). MP3's are too much bother for this old gal. I have to say, I miss album cover art and reading the lyrics on the sleeve.

As Dan said, typewriters are still useful for certain things, like the ubiquitous 'fill-in-the-blank' grant application forms. Some agencies are moving to so-called fillable forms, but they often have glitches that force you to print them out and type in a response or two anyway. I'm glad we have one in the office.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
Mud Princess said:
Good grief! These responses make me feel OLD... (How many of you even recognize my avatar?! Raise your hand... :p)
99 are you there? This is 86.....
Does anyone record programs off TV anymore? Oh yeah, the cable companies are making that obsolete.
Of course, it's all on Tivo baby!! Once I can burn Tivod shows to DVD reliably and cheaply, the VCR is in the recycler.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,416
Points
32
Floridays said:
This ages me...but my first car (a blue Nova) had an 8-track player! Don't see many of those around any more.

My son's aunt gave him a car for dad to fix up for him. 1981 delta 88 with in dash 8 track. I need to find some old tapes to see if it works. Now that I think about it, I probably could sell the thing on ebay to some Olds restorer.... hmmm
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
giff57 said:
My son's aunt gave him a car for dad to fix up for him. 1981 delta 88 with in dash 8 track. I need to find some old tapes to see if it works. Now that I think about it, I probably could sell the thing on ebay to some Olds restorer.... hmmm
When I was 15, and newly licensed driver, my first car was a beat up 1978 Pontiac Grand Prix completet with an indash 8 track player. As a gift my uncle went to a flea market and bought me a giant box full of old 8 tracks that I would play at top volume in the parking lot after school.

Yeah, I was that cool. ;-)
 
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