User Input

User Input: Hey, the [insert decade here]’s Called…

Engineerd™ mentioned yesterday that he didn’t care whether or not his new car stereo had a CD player. That both made sense to me and left me a little dumbfounded. Not to date myself, but I can remember finally getting rid of the old Malibu and its 8-track player and going to cassette, then later marvelling at in-dash CD players (and in trunk CD changers – what a wonder of convenience that was), then even later getting snobby about a car not having a CD player in it. The point I’m making here is not that I’ve just identified the normal flow of technological adoption, but that some technology gets outmoded even before it has a chance to get obsolete. When HDTV replaced regular TV, it still showed up in color – it was the natural next step. When cassettes replaced 8 track, you still bought a physical lump of plastic and bric-a-brac in which to enshrine your investment. But CD’s? We still use those. The format hasn’t quite died yet. Some people still sell music on them. (Hey, it’s the original DRM free.) How strange then, that unlike most other tech that is passed into retirement, the compact disc is becoming the Milton Waddams (pictured above) of the storage world. Still there, still working, but awkwardly ignored by his co-workers.

What was your must-have tool or toy of yesterday that was integral to your lifestyle but now sits abandoned like a half eaten pizza in a dumpster?

[“User Input” is the AtomicToasters Question of the Day™ asking you, the teeming millions, to answer our pressing questions.]

  • johnnymac09

    My Toshiba E330 Pocket PC comes to mind. I still have it in a box somewhere, and I am sure it still works, but what the hell would I use it for. Even still I can't be bothered to sell it for the mere $20 I might get on eBay and I don't want to recycle it because it still works.

  • skitter

    My family was among those who marveled at 100MB ZipDisks. We might even have more than one in the Basement Museum of Antiquated Technology.

  • Alff

    Printed porn.

    Seriously, 12-volt cordless tools. 12 years ago, they were the cat's pajamas.

  • tonyola

    Zip drive (SCSI) – I was one of the lucky ones who never had the "click of death".
    Supra Faxmodem – Cable has rendered it useless.
    Sony A7 DAT recorder/player – Seemed like a great idea in 1992. I used it for mixdowns.
    Onkyo cassette deck – Cassettes? What are those?
    My 27" Toshiba CRT TV/DVD player is rapidly becoming a relic – I'm just waiting for it to die before it gets replaced by a flatscreen TV. However, there's no evidence whatsoever that it's going to do so soon. We'll see how long my patience holds out and how low flatscreen prices get.

  • P161911

    To answer the question VCR. There are at least 2 still in my house, that might even be connected to TVs. I still have about a couple of dozen movies on tape and another dozen or so tapes with assorted stuff recorded on them.
    The main reason I wanted the optional CD player (one of only 2 options, limited slip diff was the other) in my Silverado was because it came with a nice little 1/8" audio input jack. The cheap bastards at GM left that off the base AM/FM radio.

  • OA5599

    My first PC was a 486-DX notebook computer running Windows for Workgroups and I connected to the internet via a 14.4 PC card modem. I still keep it around because it's the only computer I own that runs a particular piece of software that crashes at processor speeds obove 50 MHz.

    Two weeks ago I had the misfortune of becoming a burglary victim. The crook took the computer out of the case, left the computer, power supply, and proprietary 1.44" floppy drive on a chair, and kept the Targus case that formerly contained them.

  • mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    You are not kidding, and those JVCs worked great in low light especially, but it's just bother no-a-days isn't it. We still have ours, somewhere.

  • tiberiusẅisë

    My wife.

    J/K, got rid of her 4 years ago.

  • How about the "Palm Pilot?" A few short years ago, I thought I couldn't live without it…now, I don't even know where the Hell it is!

    • Froggmann_

      Mine is safely tucked in a drawer. It's the one piece of technology besides my old Razr phone that I've held on to after it's usefulness ended.

  • aastrovan

    Hitachi video camera with underwater housing collecting dust in the closet.
    Loads of fun way back when,and still have some good footage.