Friday, April 17, 2009

The 10 Gadgets on the way out.

This prompt comes from CW's Ruminations, who points to another post leading to this list of gadgets on their way out. So I thought I would go over the list and see where I stand. Here are the items. The snarky commentary is mine.

  1. Landline phones. I still have a landline phone. However, by now, I have one of those deals where it is bundled with your cable modem. So I don't really have a "Ma Bell" company phone line, but it is still a land line. Now most people these days advocate leaving the land line and settling for a cellphone. I can see the appeal to that. However, being reliant on only the cell would mean the stupid telemarketers and deadbeat debt collectors (who always call for Barbara or my personal favorite Jenna; apparently the previous owners of my land number were deadbeats) would be reaching my cell eventually. Since we keep our cellphone numbers private (only family and our employers, and that with some limitation), the landline catches the crap. Besides, landline has caller ID and an answering machine. We screen all calls. If we do not recognize the number, we ignore it. If you are some bottom feeder, we ignore you too. Now, before someone says, "hey, there is the Do Not Call" list, I am going to tell you it is nearly worthless. We have registered, and we still get tons of calls that are unwanted. So, we just let the landline catch the crap. Well worth it to keep our cellphones private.
  2. Floppy disks. And to think that back when I was in college, these were suc; h a big deal. We have come a long way. I do not miss them. In fact, I recently spent some time moving files out of old floppies into a flash USB drive. I may have some older things still on floppies, mostly the odd paper I may want to keep, but overall, I have moved on and away from these. These can definitely go into the ash heap.
  3. Wristwatches. I stopped wearing a wristwatch years ago, but it is not because I use the cell for a watch, like many do. In my case, I carry a pocket watch. Main reason is I was somewhat clumsy with a wristwatch, and I kept getting the belt caught in all sorts of places, breaking it. Getting the belt fixed was a hassle, so I got myself a nice pocket watch. It is nothing fancy, but it works nicely. I just replace the battery when it needs it, and that is it. Had it for years, and I am very happy with it. One side effect: the watch often becomes an object to play with when I get a little anxious or I am in deep thought.
  4. VHS tapes and VCRs. I have mostly moved to DVDs by now. If I can go get the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD, I will be set. We do still have a cheap VCR in the house since there are some odd and ends in VHS floating around. Of particular interest are a series of musical specials from Puerto Rico my parents got me as gifts years ago. Those are on VHS, and so far, have not been remade on DVD. So I may have to hold onto a VCR a bit longer. Otherwise, I am working with DVD just fine.
  5. Beepers. I never had a beeper. I do remember when my father first got one for his job as an industrial salesman. And it was very basic. The thing beeped, and then, get this, you could actually hear the brief message from the caller, including some static. There was no texting on it like the later models.
  6. Film cameras. I have moved to a digital camera, but I was not an early adopter. It took me a long time before I finally decided to get a digital camera. Actually, it was only a few years ago when we first got our digital cameras. I use mine quite a bit for work and when I travel now and then. I like the idea of keeping photos in the USB drive, then being able to e-mail them to people I know. I still have an instant Polaroid at home, and a Kodak Advantix. The Advantix was the last film camera I ever got, and it was a present. I have not used it in years, but it still works as far as I know. The Polaroid still works as well, but again, not something I use. The digital uses rechargeable batteries, and with a memory card, I can store a good number of photos. Not that it matters since I usually move photos to the USB often.
  7. Typewriters. When I went to college for the first time, a typewriter was one of the basic items I brought. I don't exactly recall, but I remember the move to a computer to type papers was a gradual process. I did use that typewriter, a Smith Corona (don't recall the exact model), pretty much til it wore out. Only typewriters I see now are in the technical services area when they still have to type a label or something like a form that is very basic.
  8. The Walkman, Discman, and MiniDisc. I did have a tape walkman at one point. I've had portable CD players. In fact, still have one, though I don't use it as much. I have not made the move to an iPod or something similar yet. I am not quite at the point where I want to put all my music in a small device; I don't fully trust places like the Apple iTunes store, and I have real problem about DRM. Maybe when I find time to rip some of my CDs, I may then get an iPod or something similar. But I don't see a major need for it now.
  9. Dial-up Internet Access. By now, I cannot do with anything less than broadband. Dial-up is pretty much the stone age for me. I may give up a lot of things, but I have to pay top dollar to get a good, fast, Internet connection, I pay it. I just do too many things online to be bogged down by dial-up. This is probably why I could never live in too rural of an area, the lack of Internet (fast Internet that is). I do have to get new computer at home (getting old), but the one I am using still works, so I can save for it at the moment. Anyhow, given all the social software, applications, and so on, they are just not made for dial-up.
  10. DVDs. I don't quite see these as obsolete yet. I am still buying them. I have a Playstation 2, and I use it to play my DVDs in my home workstation. I am not upgrading to a PS3 any time soon or to Blue Ray Disks. Whether I may have to move to those in the future, we'll see. But for now, I can watch my movies and favorite older series on DVD just fine, which is not going away yet.
Looking over this list makes me see that I have evolved in terms of my habits and entertainment needs, but I have also evolved in terms of work needs as well. I back up all work related things from my work computer to my USB flash drive. I use a digital camera. Movies, which for so long were on VHS, I know watch on DVD, and DVDs to many are already becoming obsolete. I just find it fascinating that we have come so far in what seems so short a time. And yet, I still hold on to a few things like music CDs and that land line. Because in the end, as I have often said, it is all about what meets your needs and what works for you. How about folks out there. What is working out for them?

1 comment:

YogaforCynics said...

Hmmm...despite priding myself on being a luddite, I no longer own any of those but the last...maybe I need to start priding myself on something else...