Obsolete technology: 40 big losers

CRT monitors, DOS prompts, video cassettes... giving someone your undivided attention during a social interaction next?

21. Dialing on a Rotary Phone

Status: Nearly deceased

The ease of touchtone dialing has made active use of rotary phones a novelty, though it isn't clear whether those old Bell Telephone models will ever become truly rare, since they were built to withstand thermonuclear attack. In any case, mimes may never let the motion go from their repertoire.

22. Storing Data on a Floppy Disk

Status: Nearly deceased

A disk with 1.44MB of storage? Shyeah, right. The once-standard protocol for storing and transferring data seems puny by today's file-size standards. (And don't even get started with the truly floppy 5.25-inch variety.) Few new PCs are being built with floppy disk drives anymore; and as a result, the era of the A:\ prompt is in its twilight. As for the Zip drive, Iomega may still say it sells 'em--but is anyone buying it?

23. Booting Up to a C:\ Prompt

Status: Nearly deceased

DOS, we'll always fondly remember seeing your blinking prompt upon boot-up. Rest in peace, dear friend.

24. Typing on an Old-School Word Processor

Status: Deceased

Let's face it: Doogie Howser wouldn't have been nearly as endearing if he had typed his nightly journal on Microsoft Office 2010. But boy, that plain blue-and-white screen just screams "1991."

25. Having Your Mobile Phone Attached to Your Car

Status: Deceased

I remember those early mobile phones that mechanics installed in people's cars. What I can't remember, though, is what today's important-looking Bluetooth-always-in-the-ear guys did to make themselves look like tools back then.

26. Putting in a Videotape to Watch a Movie

Status: On life support

Dearly beloved, we gather here today to mourn the passing of VHS. The lucky twin of the long-deceased Betamax (whose cause of death remains a source of controversy decades later), VHS gave us hours of videotape-watching enjoyment--and almost as many hours of trying to adjust the blasted tracking knob to get a steady picture.

27. Holding Up a Lighter at a Concert

Status: Showing signs of illness

Listening to a power ballad in a dimly lit stadium without a sea of gently undulating lighters for company is like spending time at Twitter without a sea of social media experts offering their insights and informed criticism: Something about it doesn't feel right. Sure, holding up thousands of illuminated cell phones might be safer--but even if the phones have virtual lighter apps installed, it just isn't the same.

28. Watching a Movie on a Laser Disc

Status: Deceased

The only proof that anyone ever actually watched movies on laser disc is the (at this writing) 5282 entries posted on eBay by people trying to dump their LDs. But whether fact or fiction, the technology is definitely obsolete now.

29. Using Proper Grammar and Punctuation

Status: On life support

txting and iming has made proper grammar seems kinda old skoo, dont u thnk? heres hoping 4 capitalization & punctuation 2 make a comeback in emails & other writing. the gr8 gatsby probly wuld hv been way less gr8 if it wuz written like this. lol

30. Getting a New Car With a Cigarette Lighter

Status: Showing signs of illness

Built-in cigarette lighters--standard-issue accessories for many nicotine-friendly decades--are losing favor among automobile manufacturers. In fact, most new cars today ship cigarette lighter-free, instead dedicating the ports to electronics charging.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

JR Raphael

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?