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What Obsolete Technology Do You Miss The Most?


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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 11:51 AM

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I'm sure we all remember technology we used to really enjoy but is now by and large obsolete - 8 tracks, reel to reel tapes, 78 RPM records, standard def TV, AM music radio, etc. What one do you miss the most? For me it's 35 mm film and cameras. The last time I really used a film camera seriously was 2006.
I have a Nikon F80 camera, flash and a bunch of really nice Nikon autofocus lenses sitting on my closet shelf - lovely stuff I used 15 years ago but no longer. The lenses will work on my digital SLR but only if focused manually and if I don't care about wide angle photography. To get a digital camera body which is compatible with them would cost thousands.
The whole kit and kaboodle was replaced by a series of digital cameras and more recently by a Nikon DSLR and some modern zoom lenses.
I am not complaining about quality of images - the old mill turbine above was shot on a cold March morning in Almonte today. But I feel sad every time I open up that camera bag with my old system. I suppose my grandson might get interested in black and white film photography someday and take it off my hands. Hope so at least.
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#2 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 02:24 PM

What do I miss most? Probably a car that isn't full of electronics that boost maintenance costs. For example, my Honda's tire pressure warning light has been on for 2 years. My mechanic tells me that tracing the fault and repairing it could cost as much as $1,200 and that it just isn't worth the money. So I just look at the light on the dashboard and feel annoyed. I've also been reading about the invasions of privacy built into new cars. Apparently you can refuse the monitoring if you know enough to ask, but it's particularly hard to get out of the monitoring if you're leasing. Thankfully, I've never leased a car and don't intend to start, because I'm darned if I'm going to have my every move monitored by my car's manufacturer or my car insurance company. Knowing where your car is at all times can tell them an awful lot about you.

Edited by ebrke, 30 March 2018 - 02:26 PM.

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#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 03:22 PM

My winter tires don't have sensors, so I get the ringy-dingies and flashing dashboard indicators half the year. I'm due to have the winter tires off this month, thankfully.
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#4 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 10:51 AM

I miss analog tv and the ability to tape the program I want and keep it as long as I want. (I still have series, like Centennial, and  Winds of War on VCR tapes).  We still have 3 analog tvs but we have to have a DTA hooked up to them and of course Comcast charges $5.99/month for each unit. We live too far away from a major city to get over the air channels. We'd end up with ABC, CBS and NBC - that's it.
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#5 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 08:06 AM

Where I live we would probably get 2 TV channels over the air so satellite or cable is our only option. We have one SDTV left which needs a digital box - our cable provider got off analog signals a decade ago. I really don't miss watching TV in standard definition.
Ironically our US network TV comes from Detroit - some 500 miles away. Detroit is the closest major city to the border so our cable provider gets the cleanest signal from there to distribute. Our time-shifting channels come from Seattle for the same reason I guess. Watching Seattle local news isn't the most relevant thing I do.
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#6 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 01 April 2018 - 05:57 PM

Well, since you asked... I'm gonna' let my Luddite flag fly! This could be a long list.
  • modern cell and home telephones: I hate this stuff. I long for the day of twin copper wires and NO DROPPED CALLS.
  • computer electronics and sensors in automobiles: This is one of the reasons why I love my ol' '82 Chevy truck so much. When I turn the key and it doesn't start, I CAN FIGURE OUT WHAT'S WRONG and fix it myself without the need for a $20,000 Sun Analyzer.
  • modern televisions, and for that matter, modern TV programming.
  • modern appliances with all the computer crap that goes bad and costs arms and legs to replace.
  • modern electronic scanning and cash registers in stores: no one can properly count out and give back change anymore.
  • FaceBook
  • home computers
  • paperless any f#$&ing thing! I like paper!
To briefly summarize: I can live without just about anything that came after 1970. :)

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#7 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 07:13 AM

I just scanned some old slides and there was one of my first Steelcase black desk in the lab when I started working in 1969. On the desk I had:
  • Couple of slide rules
  • Address book with metal slider that flipped open to A-Z
  • Flip calendar (day - date - appointments)
  • Pad of paper
  • Pen holder
  • My "executive yo-yo" (for the man with pull)
It was the age of innocence.
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#8 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:43 AM

I'd never turn in my $1 calculator for a slide rule! I don't miss slide rules.

I still use paper calendars (2 year one in my purse) and paper address books. I store recipes in a notebook (not computer) and on recipe cards. Thank goodness I can still buy them.

I always have a small monthly calendar pasted to the formica aside of the kitchen wall phone. For the first time, I was no longer able to buy one for 2018. One of our yearly calendars had a 2018 calendar showing all the months. I resorted to cutting out the months and using double stick tape to paste 1 month at a time to one of the frames I saved from previous years.
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#9 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 10:23 AM

Here's what I used. Still have it somewhere. It was an amazing machine.

http://americanhisto...ect/nmah_904446

Our test formulations in the lab were worked out to 3 figure accuracy. That's what a slide rule could do. They were later converted to 4 decimal places by the accountants for costing purposes.

Edited by raymac46, 02 April 2018 - 10:28 AM.

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#10 OFFLINE   Pete!

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:34 PM

View Postraymac46, on 02 April 2018 - 10:23 AM, said:

Here's what I used. Still have it somewhere. It was an amazing machine.

http://americanhisto...ect/nmah_904446

Our test formulations in the lab were worked out to 3 figure accuracy. That's what a slide rule could do. They were later converted to 4 decimal places by the accountants for costing purposes.
I've got that one. It's still in my desk.
The K&E equivalent was a little smoother to operate, but the Pickett had a few tricks up it's sleeve.
I just took it out to see if I still remembered how to calculate the area of a circle with one setting of the hairline.
It still works just as good as it did, in 1961.

#11 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 01:42 PM

View Postzlim, on 02 April 2018 - 09:43 AM, said:

I still use paper calendars (2 year one in my purse) and paper address books.
I use a joint paper calendar for my mother's and my appointments (important since I have to drive her). I learned this when I had to drop her laptop off for repair when HDD crapped out some years ago. Yes, I had backups and eventually got her electronic calendar back, but it was well over a week before that happened.

Edited by ebrke, 02 April 2018 - 01:43 PM.

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#12 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 04:04 PM

I miss good solid decent simple engineering on motorcycles. Today they make things so complicated, and pretty much unrepairable. I wish I had never sold my 1958 BSA A 10.

http://sump-publishi...olden flash.htm

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Quite simply, BSA ticked pretty much all of the right boxes when they built these wonderful machines. Get to grips with one, and you've got a decent, all-round practical classic that will hold its value and earn its keep.

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#13 OFFLINE   crp

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 06:42 PM

legible hand written notes.
blue jeans jackets.
voice answering machines that you can screen incoming phone calls with.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. ~C. S. Lewis

#14 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 03:53 PM

View Postcrp, on 04 April 2018 - 06:42 PM, said:

voice answering machines that you can screen incoming phone calls with.
I've got one of those with my wireless phone. You can set it so you hear the message through the receiver as it's given.
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#15 OFFLINE   crp

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Posted 05 April 2018 - 06:57 PM

View Postebrke, on 05 April 2018 - 03:53 PM, said:

View Postcrp, on 04 April 2018 - 06:42 PM, said:

voice answering machines that you can screen incoming phone calls with.
I've got one of those with my wireless phone. You can set it so you hear the message through the receiver as it's given.
what is the setup?
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. ~C. S. Lewis

#16 OFFLINE   ebrke

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Posted 06 April 2018 - 05:05 PM

Wireless phone with base and one receiver, another receiver that plugs in anywhere and gets the signal from the base. You hear the message as it's being left. Also has its own answering machine but I prefer the voicemail from my provider. Here's a video from Panasonic for my model (Panasonic KX-TGC220). It's available from Amazon.
https://www.youtube....h?v=5ShcZOoTqfY

Edited by ebrke, 06 April 2018 - 05:05 PM.

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#17 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 05:19 AM

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Ah the good old days. :Laughing:
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#18 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted Yesterday, 03:05 AM

Analog TV. I regularly yell at the TV. Pixelation, you know. Audio mutes if signal is even
thinking about being at all weak. Like just a little weak. Never saw this problem with
analog. I yell just as much at the programming as at the pixellated, non-sound
accompanied horror that our over the air 'TV' stations 'deliver'. I mock it. Sarcastic
and semi-enraged comments abound. We dropped Comcast TV service entirely, now
stream a few things from the internet. In general, TV does not cater to our demographic
anyway, but they are nonetheless losing a ton of revenue because TV in general is
now sooooooooo broken...

The public switched telephone network. Reliable. A Cadillac of a system. Cellular
providers now trying desperately to put a silver stake through it's heart. Verizon
actually disconnected mine- permanently- in response to a service call to restore
a broken line, taken down by a passing truck. I could write volumes about my now
burning hatred of Verizon. I will never ever do business with them again in my
lifetime. I'd rather go without than to give them one penny of business. FIOS will
never get auditioned in out two homes, ever...

The list is long, as Eric said...

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#19 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted Yesterday, 11:39 AM

Yeah... ain't that fabulous new digital TV broadcast wonderful? That was such a scam to start with. The main motivation was NOT improvements in the way TV was broadcast; it was PROFIT, plain and simple. The FCC wanted to lease mega-chunks of bandwidth that old analog TV was gobbling up. Digital was the solution; less bandwidth usage = MO MONEY FOR someone.

Digital TV transmission SUCKS! Of course, the logic behind this (and the $$$ from Cable outlets greasing palms in Congress) was that everyone has cable, anyway. Very few people will be affected by this changeover. Uh-huh. Well, guess what? I don't have cable. I have old CRT TVs that connect to an outside antenna on my house. I can't receive digital transmissions without the aid of a converter box (digital tuner) connected to my old TVs. But gee... EVERYONE has cable. My ascii. :rant:

#20 OFFLINE   Pete!

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Posted Yesterday, 12:59 PM

Even if you had cable, digital TV increased your cost.
With analog cable, an inexpensive cable box could be bought at nearly any electronics outlet.
Many TVs were "cable ready" and didn't need a box.

The digital cable boxes, are only available (legally), by renting from your cable provider.
(Newer TVs may have some limited capabilities without renting a box or a "card", YMMV).

Edited by Pete!, Yesterday, 01:04 PM.





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