Any avid ‘technophile’ knows it’s pretty easy thinking of reasons to get new gadgets. What about discarding technology, though? Looking through my hardware junk drawer, recently, however (junk room, actually), I realized a few of my devices have not only outlasted their prime but belong to technology families that have actually been entirely eclipsed by new technologies and services. Here’s a list of some of my old favorites which are now probably not destined to ever be upgraded.
Auf Wiedersehn you, Later Technology 1– The Dedicated Video Camera.
As much as I’ve enjoyed making home videos over the years (no, not that kind), there’s few things more awkward than an old style video camera, especially if it requires cassettes, mini-dvds (was this ever a good idea?), or even CF cards (or micro-CF, nano-CF or any other tiny new formats I’ve missed). Smart phone and tablet cameras take a lot of flack, but the quality of the video is pretty good these days, and the convenience can’t be matched. I’ll allow a special exemption for wearable/mountable cameras if you have a genuine death defying activity you need to capture, like driving in Italy, or participating in a dating reality show. (or THAT kind of home video, I suppose)
Wave Goodbye Technology 2– Cassette / CD Car Stereo.
This is probably the technology destined to be the most controversial part of the list. I still use my stereo. I even still use a car cassette player to play Mandarin language tapes (don’t ask). So, why is this technology dead? Because the future is only held back by current expensive data plans. The moment mobile data is cheap enough to stream audio 4-5 hours a day, services like Pandora, Spotify, and Swell will quickly take over the commute, just as they have the office music programming. Once that happens, car stereos will quickly be replaced by bluetooth interfaces to our smart phones and streaming enablers descended from chromecasts and their ilk.
Compost Heap of History Bound Technology 3– Bread-maker/Ice-Cream Maker/Deep-Fat Fryer/Pop-corn Maker (it doesn’t need that ‘-‘, but it seems more consistent with the rest of the list that way) / etc-etera(?)… Auxiliary Kitchen Appliances, let’s call them.
Until someone figures out how to build all of these into the kitchen range, ala smart phone apps, these are out. They take up too much space. They require specialized ingredients and supplies. They just haven’t kept up with the modern lifestyle. Until the 3D food printer is ready, I’m sticking with the microwave and drive-thru. By food printer I’m talking Star Trek Food Replicator here, not dot matrix cake frosters.
That’s my list. Will I miss these technologies? Probably. I had a lot of fun with them over the years. There’s always some new technology to need, though. Like Virtual Retina Displays! But, that, is a story for another time.