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mystes
May 31, 2006



DrBouvenstein posted:

I think the problem is that CD-Rs and CD burners coming down in price and up in reliability made THIS obsolete overnight. Who cares about 120 MB when a CD gives you 640?
Yeah, didn't the LS-120 come out around 1998? By that time 100MB wasn't very useful for actual storage space or backups. I had had a parallel port zip drive (they were incredibly slow but 100MB was absolutely incredible when I first got one) and then an IDE zip drive for a while, but by that point I already had a cable modem and my computers were networked, so there wasn't any point using them to transfer files between computers either. I think I got my first CD-R drive in 1999, for only like $200 or something. It happened to be an Iomega brand one, and I already thought zip drives were such ancient history that I found this amusing, although I probably hadn't bothered to remove the IDE zip drive from my computer.

Floppy drives had been such a joke for anything except emergency booting (and of course CD-R's mostly eliminated that, at least for people who could figure out how to make bootable CD's, which probably includes everyone who would even be interested in an LS-120 drive) that I can't imagine having wanted to buy a new drive equivalent to a zip drive just because I could use floppies in the same drive (most cases still had space for 2 floppy drives then, anyway).


hyperhazard posted:

You know what I really miss about old Game Boys? This fucker right here:



No backlight on the Game Boy meant that you couldn't see anything unless you were sitting in a well-lit place. God help you if you were in the back seat of a car on a cloudy day.

In theory, wormlights acted as flashlights, illuminating your screen. In reality, they looked like this:



When the Game Boy Advanced came out with the bright LCD screen, it blew my mind. If you ever feel the need to play a game that's both under- and over-exposed, though, I recommend the wormlight.
For my original Game Boy I had a light that was a sort of rectangle that slid down over the screen, but I can't find a picture of it now. It probably wasn't any better than the wormlight design in terms of glare.

Edit: I think it was the middle one in this image:

mystes has a new favorite as of 22:55 on Jul 13, 2012

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mystes
May 31, 2006



I had a Palm Z22 for a little while. It had no wireless anything and came out when PDAs were already thoroughly obsolete, but for all its faults I think modern smartphones still haven't caught up to it in terms of convenience for actual PDA functionality. The iPhone is the worst at this; you actually have to run the Calendar app to see events you have coming up. I think on the Z22 you could just push one (physical) button and it was completely instant.

Although I ended up using it for PDA functionality, I had originally bought it because it turned out it was the cheapest way I could obtain a portable, electronic Japanese dictionary, and despite the limitations resulting from only having 32MB of flash memory, I still miss that dictionary program. I could hold the Z22 and enter words into it with one hand, probably faster than I can type on a modern multitouch smartphone.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Mister Snips posted:

Even though touchscreen keyboards are actually completely fine and easy to use, stylus keyboards and writing recognition are awful.

But UI design on palm and windows mobile literally did not change at all. Ever. They were the best on the market so why improve? And when apple kicked their asses into gear in 2007 nobody actually wanted to invest money in a real competetor because "haha how can apple compete with us" and welp long story short that's how webos died and how android is A Thing


the palm centro came out three months after the iphone did
Describing palm's problem as failure to improve the UI design is sort of hilarious. Palm OS was obsolete when it was first written because it was a non-preemptive multitasking operating system (in 1996!). This sort of works for a basic, non networked PDA except that a single program can easily crash the whole system, but it was insane that they even tried to extend it to internet capable devices. They were so unwilling to change the OS that when they switched to other processors they then started running existing applications in an emulator. All the applications made assumptions about having certain, fixed low-resolution displays. With all this, by the time the iphone came out Palm had had been thoroughly screwed for 10 years by their unwillingness to change their OS. If Palm had come out with WebOS before they were years behind they would probably still be controlling the market.

I don't think their UI was even particularly bad (aside from the resolution and the use of a stylus instead of a multitouch touchscreen it's really not that different from the interface on modern smartphones at all), it's just that it would have been totally impossible to upgrade it to modern hardware and applications.

mystes has a new favorite as of 21:26 on Jul 15, 2012

mystes
May 31, 2006



TShields posted:

I was working for Sprint when the good ol' Palm Pre came out in 2009, and they raved like it was going to be the end-all-be-all of cell phones and nothing would ever be the same. We had to go to a several hour long class on how to use it and how to present it to the customers before it hit shelves. We were busy as hell, shuffling phones from store to store, offering special bonuses depending on how many of them you sold. I hadn't been with them long at the time (and didn't stay with them long either), so my personal cell phone plan was with Verizon. It's lucky I was in the middle of a contract, because I was brainwashed into nearly dropping the early cancellation money to Verizon to get one of those goddamn things. SO glad I didn't!
I thought WebOS was actually supposed to be decent? Either way, nobody cared at that point and that would be reason enough to steer clear for app/compatibility reasons.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Boiled Water posted:

That's not a wqerty keyboard . What were they thinking?
That picture is probably just not the US model.

mystes
May 31, 2006



JediTalentAgent posted:

About 5-8 years ago there was a minor bump in the US for store-bought HDD DVRs that weren't part of any subscription plan like Tivo or part of your cable/sat. plans.

Several companies made them, then overnight they all seemed to vanish. I think Magnavox was the one lone company that was still producing them for a US market, but not even Wal-mart or Amazon seems to have them now. (They've gone from about $200 new to over $400 USED. New ones on Amazon are listed at over $1000) However, I hear that part of the issue with why these devices stopped being made was because other companies held patents and the growing number of people with DVRs with their cable or satellite just didn't need or want them.

It's sort of funny because when I mention them to people they're really interested in them because they feel it would suit them perfectly.

Even something like the Sandisk V-Mate, which seemed poorly reviewed upon release, has managed to gain a following now and used ones go for about the same price as new when they came out.

edit: Are there even any decent DVD recorders with built-in tuners, anymore?
Yeah I think DVRs, computer TV tuner hardware, and the current ease of purchasing/streaming TV shows quickly after they air have together killed the market for standalone video recording devices. This may be slightly unfortunate since it means that non-computer savvy people who just want to, for example, permanently archive a segment from a local news program may be pretty screwed.

However, for people who know what they're doing there are plenty of computer/network based devices for recording tv.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Factory Factory posted:

Similarly, my debit card had an RFID tag for about three months. I used it all of twice, and one of those times had enough fumbling with the reader that it would have been faster to swipe. The bank didn't explain why it was sending new cards, or that the little metal doodad proudly adorning the front of the card was in fact an RFID tag.

Except earlier that month, all the stories hit the news about, oh gosh, some guy with a reader could walk down the street and skim data from passers-by, so maybe it wasn't a great idea. But no problem, the data is encrypted, right? Well, the readers containing keys for decryption are available for $8 on eBay and the read can be passed off as an rear end pat, or the device can be modded for more range.

Three months later, about long enough for a round of corporate hand-wringing, I got yet another new card in the mail.
So I had assumed these cards were like smartcards (which use public key authentication to approve individual transactions and are designed so that you can never get the private key off the device, making them impossible to duplicate) and would be resistant against this sort of thing but apparently that functionality is optional in both the cards and the readers, and most of the cards may just effectively be the RFID equivalent of a magnetic stripe. This is really an unfortunate wasted opportunity to massively improve credit card security.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Bonzo posted:

The quality was just a hare better than VHS. Testing the players is a bitch because they use the old RF connectors for video.
Surely it can't already be that difficult to find a device with an NTSC tuner? Or is this some sort of special different RF connector?

mystes has a new favorite as of 20:46 on Jul 16, 2012

mystes
May 31, 2006



Space Gopher posted:

These days, widescreen LCDs, the space requirements for a touchpad, and cost-cutting mean we'll probably never see that mechanism in a new computer again. But, it was incredible in its own time, and it's still pretty awesome to see.
Incidentally, if pointing sticks are dead then I guess they are on my list of obsolete/failed technology that I like .

I really don't like touchpads, especially when set to allow you to tap to click.

mystes
May 31, 2006




On the subject of calculators, I was very tempted to buy and HP-30B (seen above) a couple years ago since I thought it was nice that HP was finally making a new, cheap RPN calculator, but I realized that I really can't justify it since I can always just run a calculator program on my smartphone. I've still run into actual calculators in various places but now that smartphones aren't just for early adopters and people with extra cash to burn I can't imagine that they'll last much longer.


Do people still use rubber cement, for example to attach paper to posterboard? Do kids these days still know that you can form it into balls? If not, this is truly a tragic loss.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Aphrodite posted:

Schools still require calculators, because they don't want phones in the classroom. Especially for tests.
Yeah, that's true. However, I could imagine it affecting the use of ti-83/89's in the future, by convincing more teachers (even teachers who might be enthusiastic about graphing calculator functionality) to just use cheap calculators for tests and to encourage students to use other devices outside of class. On the other hand I sort of don't understand why teachers have chosen to use fancy graphing calculators in the first place so who knows.

Edit: Actually its sort of interesting that calculators seem to demonstrate a larger pattern of what used to be common office supplies possibly transitioning to a more limited role as school supplies. For example, I imagine that business use was previously at least half of the market for 3-ring binders and the hole punches for them. I bet now 90% of these are sold to schools or kids.

mystes has a new favorite as of 19:47 on Sep 1, 2012

mystes
May 31, 2006



HonorableTB posted:

It's super easy to cheat on tests that allow you to use TI-83 or higher calculators. All you have to do is write your answers in the Program function because the TI lets you type full sentences provided you have enough time. There were plenty of times during my math classes where I would input the formulas into Program and just use it. Since I put all the formulas on the same page, to a teacher just glancing past on his rounds it would look like I was actually solving the problem. Kids these days don't know how to cheat creatively
I have difficulty believing that current high school students haven't figured this out. Maybe teachers have actually caught on by now, though.

In one of my high school classes (physics?) someone had made an extremely list of formulas that was being passed around and down through subsequent classes. I think someone told the teacher, but he didn't care because he believed that it would be so much work to enter all the formulas in that it wasn't worth forbidding it. However, I'm pretty sure that the person who actually entered the formulas had used the graphlink adapter to enter them from a computer, though (I guess TI calculators just have USB connectors built in now?). Regardless it certainly wasn't a lot of work for everyone else in the class who just received the file. (I think rather than just dumping the formulas into a program file they had actually made a nice program that displayed the formulas, too).

If I were a teacher I would just pass out $1-$5 calculators for tests, and only in cases where it wouldn't be practical to choose numbers that made the arithmetic simple enough not to require calculators. But then, I'm not a teacher and this seems to be a minority opinion.

mystes has a new favorite as of 20:22 on Sep 1, 2012

mystes
May 31, 2006



Croccers posted:

Aren't they just built right into Nvidia cards as an extra chip or whatever now instead of separate cards?
This does not appear to be the case. Rather, the software now uses normal GPUs to perform the acceleration. The idea of physics engine acceleration may not be dead, but the use of special purpose hardware to perform that acceleration is.

Edit: Argh, beaten.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Jibo posted:

I'm pretty sure I've heard people say the same things more or less about floppy disks or data tapes a couple of decades ago.
On the other hand, as someone who hasn't routinely used physical media to transfer files between computers since the 1990's, I am starting to suspect that people who aren't using networks and/or the internet to transfer files by now aren't going to start doing so any time soon.

mystes
May 31, 2006



m2pt5 posted:

Depending on the quantity of data to be moved, sneakernet is still often faster than networks and/or the internet.
Yes, but it doesn't really matter most of the time, as long as transfer speeds keep up with stuff people want to transfer. How often do most people need to quickly transfer a terabyte of data? Obviously, there are some cases, like recovering from off-site backups, but most of the time people carrying around flashdrives aren't transferring quantities of data that would be prohibitively time-consuming to send over the internet.

mystes has a new favorite as of 20:55 on Sep 21, 2012

mystes
May 31, 2006



I haven't even touched any sort of optical disc in around 2.5 years. I guess digital video downloads have more problems than audio (since audio is generally just DRM free files now), but I don't particularly feel any compulsion to actually own movies as opposed to renting them so this isn't that big an issue for me.

mystes has a new favorite as of 04:11 on Sep 23, 2012

mystes
May 31, 2006



Konstantin posted:

I personally think Blu-Ray is dead in the water. Technologically sophisticated customers are already switching from physical media to online streaming, and average people will follow them. The idea of spending $30 on a physical copy of one movie is going away, and Grandma is far more likely to buy an Apple TV than a dedicated Blu-Ray player. Revolutionary technology always crowds out evolutionary technology, for example, it doesn't matter how good a consumer-level digital camera is, it still isn't competing with an iPhone.
There's one more alternative as well: My parents, who don't have an Apple TV or similar device, have just switched to using on-demand streaming rentals through their cable box since they bought an HD tv a few years ago. They usually only watch movies once when they come out on video so this works perfectly well, is cheaper than actually buying movies, and provides HD video without any additional device. As non-enthusiasts who don't really care about owning movies or want special blu-ray features, not buying discs is all the more the obvious choice for them. I'm sure there are some normal people who are going out and buying blu-ray players now that they're cheaper, but on the other hand, now that there are so many alternatives I think that people who haven't already bought a blu-ray player and discs may see little reason to do so now.

mystes has a new favorite as of 13:52 on Sep 23, 2012

mystes
May 31, 2006



Kalos posted:

For actual content

Also present in this image: index color modes. Thankfully we don't have to deal with that anymore.

quote:

AOL Explorer. Almost all the major ISPs of the time had something like this, with their chat program, browser windows, mail client and everything else contained in a single program. You could customize your home page, choosing if you wanted to see world news, sports, games, or whatever in different sections. AOL was particularly crafty about it though, selling a "bring your own connection" service where you could use their lovely software (for a monthly fee) with whatever internet service you had.

With Google having so many different services that all play off each other or literally everything integrating with Facebook, I wouldn't be surprised if some company's kicking around the idea of bringing this sort of thing back.
I think Facebook has probably already become something like its own "Online Service", considering that it apparently has its own chat system and everything (possibly an email system? or at least email forwarding addresses?). I wouldn't really know, though, since I'm a luddite and deleted my Facebook account.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Landerig posted:

Have you viewed an animated GIF lately?
I meant actual indexed color video modes.

GIF images aren't that annoying now since they can use whichever 256 colors they want, so with dithering pretty much anything can be displayed with acceptable quality (although why are we still using GIF files?). It was much worse when you had to worry about the total number of colors being displayed in the screen at one time. The days of the "web safe colors" were truly a headache.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Zamujasa posted:

Totally anecdotal evidence here, but I've found through my sites that pretty much 100% of the IE6 traffic are just zombies pretending to be IE6. I haven't seen a legitimate IE6 user in a long time (based on log analysis or browsing habits).
This makes sense; I know that when I've written scripts to scrape content from sites I've tended to use the Windows XP IE6 user agent string in the past. I guess it's a bit old for it to look innocuous now, though!

mystes
May 31, 2006



I'm pretty sure the business-card CD fad came much later than the era of 2x and 4x drives anyway.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Maneki Neko posted:

Aiwa steroes seemed to pretty much be standard issue for late 90s dorm rooms. I'm not sure I've seen anything made by Aiwa in a while, and their US web site doesn't seem to load.
According to wikipedia Aiwa was bought by Sony in 2002 and they discontinued the brand in 2006. I'm guessing the market for these integrated stereo systems disappeared (the modern equivalent would be ipod docks I guess?) and it stopped to be profitable to aim for the low-end audio market.

mystes
May 31, 2006



leidend posted:

Correct, the vault is never empty. The whole casino is open 24/7.
What if the building had to be evacuated for some reason, or the person inside had some sort of medical problem? (Incredibly unlikely, I'm sure, but still.)

mystes
May 31, 2006



I don't recall setting IRQs with jumpers being that bad until plug-and-play cards came about but mixing plug-and-play and non-plug-and-play cards seemed to be a complete nightmare involving trying every possibility for the IRQs.

mystes
May 31, 2006



spog posted:

I am glad it is not just me who had a complete 'what the f...?' moment.

Seriously, ZIP instead of USB? We're talking about more than a decade since that made sense.
It's got to be amazingly cheaper to have an SD card slot than a zip drive by now, too.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Inspector_71 posted:

I dunno, I think this is pretty true now. I mean, WebTV died but look at the features on set-top boxes now. Sure, I can't browse the forums on my TV, but why would I?
I think "never" may have been the year that Wired predicted, not WebDog's analysis, so WebDog is actually saying that we do now have interactive TV and Wired was wrong to dismiss the idea. (If I'm interpreting your post correct? I think you're saying that WebDog is wrong because we do have interactive TV but I'm not 100% sure.)

mystes has a new favorite as of 16:20 on Dec 21, 2012

mystes
May 31, 2006



eddiewalker posted:

They might have been pictured on the old-time-y US Constitution posters in grade school.
Fountain pens weren't in common use until around a century after the Constitution was written.

mystes
May 31, 2006



eddiewalker posted:

I don't think the FCC with let US carriers activate any handset that isn't E911 GPS capable, which is pretty much anything sold before 2001-ish.
I thought they could also do triangulation for phones without GPS? Did this change? I thought that non-smartphones still usually didn't have GPS.

mystes
May 31, 2006



This is completely irrelevant to both my post that you quoted (about E911 phase 2 requirements) and the other ones that preceded it (about whether a specific old CDMA phone would still work). Nobody was talking about analog phones.

mystes
May 31, 2006



Perry Normal posted:

Was going to mention this one. Audiogalaxy, for whatever reason, had so much more obscure stuff on it than other ones. I remember getting so much indie rock and rare live versions of songs from there.
Yeah, Audiogalaxy was great. I would have totally paid for a service that was as good for discovering new music as it was. The situation has gotten better with legal streaming services and things like Pandora but none of the current options have same breadth of weird obscure stuff.

mystes
May 31, 2006



ol qwerty bastard posted:

It's weird seeing stuff about DC++ in the "obsolete technology" thread since I used it a lot (and was even an admin on my school's DC network) up until pretty recently. But everyone just torrents or streams their shows and movies now anyway.
People really still use direct connect? I guess it would be simpler to administrate than other things and the fact that most people have forgotten about it means that your school would be less likely to look for it, but personally I haven't used it since the short-lived i2hub was shut down in 2005 and I want to say that direct connect already seemed pretty obsolete then.

Honestly, those early file sharing services were so bad I suspect that many people wouldn't have bothered with them if it was actually possible to purchase digital copies of music and movies at that time.

mystes has a new favorite as of 17:18 on Jun 27, 2013

mystes
May 31, 2006



Johnny Aztec posted:

Pfft, I'm on a 1.5Mbps line right now IYOL 2013. I live in a city of about 80K,and I get 1.5Mbps. My friend lives in a town about an hour away of about 300 people, and brings down TERABYTES of data across netflix every month. Life is cruel. However, he does have latency issues in MMOs, and mine is usually rock solid, so eh toss up.
1.5Mbps for the entire school of 2000 people.

mystes
May 31, 2006



DrBouvenstein posted:

No one ever remembers Scour.
I remember Scour... being unusable and harder to get working files off of than Napster. But I want to say that maybe there were multiple incarnations and I only used an earlier shittier version or something?

(Edit: Looking at Wikipedia I guess I maybe used "Scour Media Agent" before Napster came out, which sucked, and then there was "Scour Exchange" which was more like a normal file sharing network?)

mystes has a new favorite as of 13:14 on Jun 28, 2013

mystes
May 31, 2006



Yahoo just announced that it's shutting down AltaVista. Apparently AltaVista still existed.

mystes
May 31, 2006



I don't know, when I think "slam dump" I imagine something more like the NSA telling the FISA court what they think about constitution, not prosecution for possession of an old gun.

mystes
May 31, 2006



beyonder posted:

I have owned twenty of the phones in that picture. Now I feel old.
Aren't those phones ftom like a 10 year period? How could you have owned 20 of them?

mystes
May 31, 2006



uwaeve posted:

Something I haven't seen mentioned is the Rio Karma. It was a 20 GB hard-drive based MP3 player notable for its support of FLAC and gapless playback of the electronica poo poo I listened to at the time.
It's amazing that you still have a functioning Karma. I got one from Best Buy with the optional extended warranty, and it broke like 5 times in one year, so they ended up just allowing me to get a refund. I think there was some sort of Zip drive click-of-death style issue with the drive head parking or something.

(Admittedly I also had bad luck, although not quite so bad, with other hard-drive mp3 players.)

mystes has a new favorite as of 22:06 on Jan 21, 2014

mystes
May 31, 2006



WebDog posted:

They also didn't sit well with customs.
They wouldn't have numbered the cards or something?

mystes
May 31, 2006



Guy Axlerod posted:

I can't seem to find any photos or video of them, but in the early 90's American Greetings had kiosks in a number of places where you could create a custom card. The card would then be printed using X-Y pen plotter on card stock. You'd pay about double for the custom card vs an off-the-shelf card.

Of course, home computers and printers eliminated the market.

They were launched in 1992, and were already on the decline in 1996 according to this article: http://articles.latimes.com/1996-06...sonalized-sales
Or you could load Print Shop Deluxe in DOS and make a card on your monochrome dot matrix printer in the comfort of your own home .

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mystes
May 31, 2006



The_Franz posted:

Back in the 90s (I think 1992) American Greetings rolled out their CreataCard machines to retailers that let you create customized cards via a touchscreen and then it printed them on the spot with a built-in plotter. They were really kind of neat, but it took a long time to select and customize a card via the touchscreen (it was rendering vector graphics on 1992 hardware) and an even longer time for the plotter to print it. They hit a peak of roughly 10000 kiosks in stores in 1995, but usage was falling rapidly by 1996 and in 1997 they pulled almost all of the kiosks from stores. People probably got tired of waiting for the cards to print once the novelty wore off coupled with formerly expensive color printers starting to plummet in price.

Unfortunately, I can't find any pictures or video of an actual machine, just a lot of patent application scans for it.
Didn't someone just post this on the previous page?

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