Culture,  News

12 obsolete technologies Americans still use has a list of twelve technologies that ought to have gone the way of the Dodo by now, but which many Americans are still using. Without question, this is a fascinating list—especially when I consider that my children don’t even know what many of the items are. The full article includes information about each item, including how many of each were sold in the last year. You’ll have to read the full article for the details, but here’s the list:

1. Dial-up internet

2. Pagers

3. Dot matrix printers

4. PDA’s

5. Pay phones

6. VHS and cassette tapes

7. Landline phones

8. CRT televisions

9. Film cameras

10. Windows 98 and 2000

11. Fax machines

12. Vinyl records


  • Garet Robinson

    I’m not sure what anyone else thinks, and maybe I’m wrong, but…

    Vinyl records are never obsolete and will always be a better option for the audiophile seeking the warm, sonorous sounds of analog recordings.

    The rest of the list is apt. Though my local DMV still uses a dotmatrix printer. Thanks for the list of nostalgia.

    • spurg63

      After going to MP3 , a while back I dug out my old record player put on a Journey album I still had and now its the only way to listen to music . MP3’s compress way too much and for the record , I totally agree , pardon the expression.

  • Jesica

    I still use #6-8

    6. Because I’m cheap and don’t want to replace some of our movies if they still work.
    7. Because my iPhone isn’t as easy to hold in the crook of my neck while I wash dishes and have conversations I’d never find time for otherwise.
    8. Ditto #6. I’m cheap. So are CRT tvs at Goodwill.

    I think if I’d go back to a #9, we might have some actual printed photos of our kids. As it is, I think our second born must wonder if we liked her when she was a baby…all her baby pics are on CDs.

    I know…that’s pathetic.

    This was fun to read. Thanks for the chuckles.

  • James Harold Thomas

    I’m not going to touch the vinyl vs digital debate, but I do agree with most of the list. #1 for me is fax machines. Why in the world we need these is beyond me.

    I do know one useful application of dot matrix printers. Where I work it’s a 24/7 operation and alarms and reports come in usually every minute. We need hard copy printouts of all these and that tractor paper works great. You just load up a new box of paper and the printouts fold up together great. A laser paper printer would need constant attention in that job.

    • Daryl Little

      More to the point, where, other than everywhere when you don’t need one, is there a payphone anymore, let alone one that works or that has a phone book.

  • Tim

    My favorite was the case of floppy disks I found at church. Someone must of thought “you can never have too many of these!”

  • Lauren Bertrand

    I had to look up what PDA meant. The only thing that came to mind was “Public Displays of Affection.”

    In order to perpetuate the digital/vinyl debate, I suspect records will be around for a long time. Those purists–some might call them pretentious–still think the sound better because it consists of something more than a series of bytes (1s and 0s). Same with celluloid film, which is more than a mesh of compressed pixels. Records are in fact doing bang-up business, from what I hear.

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