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(LA Times)   10 unneeded tech items you won't be using any more. THE HELL YOU SAY, you can go fax yourself   (latimesblogs.latimes.com ) divider line 413
    More: Unlikely, technological progress, fax machines, dictation machine  
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34609 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Dec 2011 at 8:15 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-12-19 07:33:19 AM  
Bullshiat. If you work in an office environment at all, you know the fax ain't going away until the last office worker who refuses to use newer technology dies.
 
2011-12-19 07:35:51 AM  

RexTalionis: Bullshiat. If you work in an office environment at all, you know the fax ain't going away until the last office worker who refuses to use newer technology dies.


This. My father bought a fax machine just a year ago, because when they refinanced their mortgage one of the options was faxing the documents, and boy it was inconvenient for them to not have one, they had to put the documents in an envelope and everything.
 
2011-12-19 07:46:00 AM  

RexTalionis: Bullshiat. If you work in an office environment at all, you know the fax ain't going away until the last office worker who refuses to use newer technology dies.


Yep. We still use fax quite a bit here, for some reason.

Also, I still use USB keys quite a bit, but I work in IT. I use them as boot devices, and for carrying tools around with me for when a computer isn't running or can't get on the network to access files.

And I'm not sure I agree that netbooks are dead, nor with the reason (tablets) he cites. The big problems with tablets are the lack of a physical keyboard, and after a while of use your hand gets sore holding it. He mentions portable keyboards for tablets, but why would you carry two devices to plug together rather than just using one device that already has both incorporated? The same thing goes for tablet stands or whatever. A netbook already has a way to tilt the screen up and keep it that way, so why would I bother with a tablet?

Personally, I see tablets (and indeed most touch screen devices) as a fad that will disappear. They're a step backwards in terms of usability and are only popular because it's "neat".
 
2011-12-19 08:06:20 AM  

BurnShrike: Personally, I see tablets (and indeed most touch screen devices) as a fad that will disappear. They're a step backwards in terms of usability and are only popular because it's "neat".


A keyboard? How quaint.

Tech people hate tablets, non-tech people love them. A lot of people (think, "everyone's mother") don't do much typing on their computer, they play Bedazzled. Tablets serve 90% of the needs of many many people who would otherwise use a netbook/laptop. For those who need more, there are netbooks/laptops.
 
2011-12-19 08:15:22 AM  

itsdan: BurnShrike: Personally, I see tablets (and indeed most touch screen devices) as a fad that will disappear. They're a step backwards in terms of usability and are only popular because it's "neat".

A keyboard? How quaint.

Tech people hate tablets, non-tech people love them. A lot of people (think, "everyone's mother") don't do much typing on their computer, they play Bedazzled. Tablets serve 90% of the needs of many many people who would otherwise use a netbook/laptop. For those who need more, there are netbooks/laptops.


...which is exactly why netbooks won't go away as the article claims.

I like my netbook because when I'm traveling and need to punch out a few pages of writing I can do it with minimal fuss, and I just can't do that on a tablet. I'm sure in 10 years time or whatever my laptop will be so light I won't feel the need to bother taking something else, but for now they're quite good.

I also find the flashdrives one a bit strange because not everywhere has good/free wifi, so what's this author going to do if he's at a workshop and his presentation needs to get onto another computer cause it won't run on his?
 
2011-12-19 08:17:02 AM  
Flash drives are still everywhere. He says they are disappearing while I don't meet a person that doesn't have, at least, one.

You just can't get around the need for it.
 
2011-12-19 08:17:43 AM  
Its a niche item, but faxes still play a role for securely sending remote documents. Courts and cops use them for subpoenas a lot.
 
2011-12-19 08:17:56 AM  
Laptops and thumb drives? That list is farking stupid
 
2011-12-19 08:18:21 AM  

RexTalionis: Bullshiat. If you work in an office environment at all, you know the fax ain't going away until the last office worker who refuses to use newer technology dies.


Came in here to say this
 
2011-12-19 08:19:27 AM  
The writer's GPS argument makes little sense to me.
 
2011-12-19 08:22:30 AM  
I don't trust "the cloud" or any of that other bullshiat. I'll keep using the time tested method of having prehistoric animals carve my communiques on stone slabs, thank you very much.
 
2011-12-19 08:22:35 AM  

RexTalionis: Bullshiat. If you work in an office environment at all, you know the fax ain't going away until the last office worker who refuses to use newer technology dies.


That farker needs to be hunted down.

bulldg4life: Flash drives are still everywhere. He says they are disappearing while I don't meet a person that doesn't have, at least, one.

You just can't get around the need for it.


Ditto
 
2011-12-19 08:22:46 AM  
I have an iphone so I might be biased, but anyone else get the feeling that this is a veiled article towards: "MOBILE DEVICES ARE TEH AWESOME" ?
 
2011-12-19 08:22:57 AM  
Last night, I wrote a letter to my mother on my 1918 Underwood Model 4 typewriter, and sent it this morning by snail mail. Because obsolete is how I roll.

/mom always emails me back. or texts.
//anachronistic story, bro
 
2011-12-19 08:23:53 AM  

stuhayes2010: The writer's GPS argument makes little sense to me.


Yeps, ditto.
"The GPS in phones are absolute crap, but they'll replace the ones in your car anymay."
 
2011-12-19 08:25:10 AM  
This article brought to you by the fine people at AppleTM. I notice the author mentions his iPhone by name whenever possible and missing is the big elephant in the room made obsolete by that iPhone but which also happens to be Apple's current bread and butter: the iPod.
 
2011-12-19 08:25:35 AM  

itsdan: BurnShrike: Personally, I see tablets (and indeed most touch screen devices) as a fad that will disappear. They're a step backwards in terms of usability and are only popular because it's "neat".

A keyboard? How quaint.

Tech people hate tablets, non-tech people love them. A lot of people (think, "everyone's mother") don't do much typing on their computer, they play Bedazzled. Tablets serve 90% of the needs of many many people who would otherwise use a netbook/laptop. For those who need more, there are netbooks/laptops.


Tablets are good for looking at content, but not for generating it. If you have to do anything beyond typing a single-sentence text or e-mail, a tablet is too clunky to use, and quite frankly, touch screens as an input mechanism *SUCK*.

My B-I-L and I had this discussion at Thanksgiving: He's an Apple fanboi, and he was touting the virtues of the iPad over the distaffbopper's netbook, but I pointed out after using it for a few minutes how tedious it would be to actually *USE* it for something other than basically reading stuff on the web, especially because of the lack of a keyboard. Then he pulls out his wireless keyboard for it, of course. So in order to get roughly the same functionality as the netbook my wife loves to use, you have to spend more money, and with the keyboard the iPad takes up more room, oh, and the battery apparently doesn't last as long, and all told he spent something like 3 times what we spend on the netbook.
 
2011-12-19 08:25:38 AM  
I just closed on the refinance of my house, and the $25 fax machine I bought about 5 years ago and have used about once in all that time really came in handy during the refi.
 
2011-12-19 08:26:02 AM  
Entire article condensed to one sentence: If your phone can (theoretically) do it you dont need device-x anymore.


/doesnt matter if it takes 20 times as long or is impractical in the extreme - yeah that 0.5 oz thumb drive is just WAY to bulky to manage.
 
2011-12-19 08:26:29 AM  
I want another flipphone or something like it. I liked mine. I don't see the need to have all my gadgets in one place. If I want an e-reader, I'll bring that. If I want to listen to music, I'll bring that. If I want to record people talking- I'll bring my Tascam hand recorder.
 
2011-12-19 08:26:31 AM  

Farking While Farking: RexTalionis: Bullshiat. If you work in an office environment at all, you know the fax ain't going away until the last office worker who refuses to use newer technology dies.

That farker needs to be hunted down.


It gets a little awkward when "that farker" is your boss.
 
2011-12-19 08:26:33 AM  
You can take my 8-track player when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
 
2011-12-19 08:27:02 AM  
I still have my pager
 
2011-12-19 08:28:13 AM  

BurnShrike: RexTalionis: Bullshiat. If you work in an office environment at all, you know the fax ain't going away until the last office worker who refuses to use newer technology dies.

Yep. We still use fax quite a bit here, for some reason.

Also, I still use USB keys quite a bit, but I work in IT. I use them as boot devices, and for carrying tools around with me for when a computer isn't running or can't get on the network to access files.

And I'm not sure I agree that netbooks are dead, nor with the reason (tablets) he cites. The big problems with tablets are the lack of a physical keyboard, and after a while of use your hand gets sore holding it. He mentions portable keyboards for tablets, but why would you carry two devices to plug together rather than just using one device that already has both incorporated? The same thing goes for tablet stands or whatever. A netbook already has a way to tilt the screen up and keep it that way, so why would I bother with a tablet?

Personally, I see tablets (and indeed most touch screen devices) as a fad that will disappear. They're a step backwards in terms of usability and are only popular because it's "neat".


This.

And the reasoning on the list are pretty lame. USB Flash drives will not die out. I'm the operations manager for a law office, and service industries like mine that have very private sensitive client information, cloud storage is pretty dumb being that it is in it's infancy. Also USBs are good boot devices, and really being so small, people prefer them over media like DVDs and CDs.

And when you really read the thing, it's pretty much and advert for iphones. "Well we dont need it now b/c your iphone can do it...blah blah blah"

Don't own an iphone, I love my ipod touch, and have a droid. This idea that the one universal device will become the standard, I disagree with.

Boy, I'm tangenting...I'm out of here.
 
2011-12-19 08:30:22 AM  
I jumped on the "do everything on your phone" bandwagon for a while. I don't like it.

Just give me a phone that will allow me to make a goddamn phone call and send a text or check my e-mail. I'll do the other stuff with a device that actually does those things well.
 
2011-12-19 08:30:25 AM  
Article is more a personal preference of the author list than anything.

Faxes - yup every office in the world still has 'em.
gps - WTF man?
Flash Drives? you are farking kidding me. Got 8 of 'em right here on my desk.
 
2011-12-19 08:30:30 AM  

Mad Scientist: Last night, I wrote a letter to my mother on my 1918 Underwood Model 4 typewriter, and sent it this morning by snail mail. Because obsolete is how I roll.

/mom always emails me back. or texts.
//anachronistic story, bro


Yesterday, the distaffbopper called to have me let the neighbors know that a local store had all the Monster High dolls in stock (they have a daughter a year younger than the littlebopper). So I typed the note up on my Olivetti Lettera 32 manual typewriter, stamped "TOP SECRET" on the top and bottom of the note, put it in an envelope with the "TOP SECRET" stamp on it and "Eyes Only" and the parents names on the outside.

The parents thought it was hilarious, and the kids thought it was a secret note from Santa.
 
2011-12-19 08:31:29 AM  

BurnShrike: Also, I still use USB keys quite a bit, but I work in IT. I use them as boot devices, and for carrying tools around with me for when a computer isn't running or can't get on the network to access files.


Indeed.

They're also useful for storing or moving data that's not "online" and should not be exposed to the internet. For example, I have my primary PGP private key stored on flash drive, CD-R, and printed on paper (last resort; even with OCR it'll suck to reimport from paper). I only connect the flash drive to a disconnected-from-the-network computer when I'm signing other people's keys (which are imported on a separate flash drive). Otherwise the primary key isn't accessible to the computer and I use signing/encryption subkeys stored on a smartcard for day-to-day PGP work. (Not [too] paranoid, but it's prudent to keep long-term keys offline.)

Tablets can be useful for certain things, but even with a keyboard a netbook is much more universally useful. Can I run MATLAB on an iPad? No. Can I run it on my Asus netbook? Yes, but the dinky Atom CPU is far from ideal for serious calculations. Netbooks can also connect with external media (e.g. SD cards, USB flash drives, etc.) which is very useful -- I routinely copy photos from my digital camera to my netbook just in case the camera is damaged, lost, or stolen.

Fax machines just piss me off, though. Scanning to PDF is much better, not to mention faster. Acrobat Pro plays nice with my scanner, OCRs text, and makes things easy (it was also only $60 for a student discount).
 
2011-12-19 08:31:31 AM  
"Netbooks: These pint-sized computers seemed all kind of useful circa 2008-09. Smaller, cheaper and lighter than the average laptop, they were the precursor to the tablet. But now we've got tablets and portable keyboards, so -- so long!"

. Precursor? My motion tablet pc from 2005 would like a word.
 
2011-12-19 08:32:07 AM  

padraig: stuhayes2010: The writer's GPS argument makes little sense to me.

Yeps, ditto.
"The GPS in phones are absolute crap, but they'll replace the ones in your car anymay."


Author is nuts on this one. If anything, GPS devices in your car will become more prevalent as they start to become standard equipment and considered essential as cup holders, folding seats and automatic door locks.
 
2011-12-19 08:32:08 AM  

itsdan: Tech people hate tablets, non-tech people love them. A lot of people (think, "everyone's mother") don't do much typing on their computer, they play Bedazzled. Tablets serve 90% of the needs of many many people who would otherwise use a netbook/laptop. For those who need more, there are netbooks/laptops.


I don't know if I still count as a "tech person." I've got a CompSci degree and I used to program and I still build machines and stuff in my spare time, but I don't do it professionally. However, I think tablets are very much the "your mileage may vary" devices. Personally, I think they're great. You can stick a ton of manuals and references on a tablet and you can use it for programming or troubleshooting pretty easily in a device that makes it much easier to navigate said references as compared to, say, a netbook or a laptop.

Personally, I've never been bothered by tablet typing. Yeah, they aren't as good as a real keyboard. Yeah, I don't get the 100 wpm that I might be used to. However, I've managed to get pretty darn handy with a tablet keyboard that I can at least get 40-60 wpm, which is good enough for most purposes.
 
2011-12-19 08:32:49 AM  
I think mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, will be on the rise as the "mobile" experience of the web overtakes the browser-based experience of the same. On a browser, you use a mouse to vertically and horizontally move across the screen and click things whereas on a mobile device you can pinch, slide, sweep, multi-tap, move things around and use your actual finger. I think a large part of the popularity of these devices are they are coming closer to eliminating any intermediaries in interacting with the device, and therefore the internet. Like it or not, the majority of the population are looking for that all purpose device that lets them "plug" in to information.

Using your hands allows you to have a more direct connection to your content.

/that's what she said
 
2011-12-19 08:32:57 AM  

SuperTramp: You can take my 8-track player when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.


This combination of Nom de Fark and post is *PERFECT*.
 
2011-12-19 08:34:27 AM  
it would really please me if they stopped calling these new pad things tablets. A tablet is a laptop that flips around and can use a stylus as a mouse.

Maybe they could call these new things a Slate or something.
 
2011-12-19 08:34:32 AM  
When my son went with us on vacation last summer, he bragged about how his smart phone GPS was so superior to the 7" Magellan GPS on the dash of my motorhome. That is, until we crossed over into Canada, and his smart phone stopped working. And, his little screen didn't have the easy view that my GPS did, especially when he was taking and making phone calls.

www.magellangps.com
 
2011-12-19 08:35:05 AM  

Generation_D: Its a niche item, but faxes still play a role for securely sending remote documents. Courts and cops use them for subpoenas a lot.


People have been sending faxes electronically since the mid '90s (Well, actually longer than that, but the first office I worked where people could fax from their desktop was '95). Documents are generated electronically and it's more convenient to read them electronically so why generate a document (using your computer) and then print it out only to have to scan it into another machine which will send it to someone who will scan it in and then look at it on another computer?

Oh well, I still have an 8-track player and a few turntables.
 
2011-12-19 08:35:35 AM  

RexTalionis: itsdan: Tech people hate tablets, non-tech people love them. A lot of people (think, "everyone's mother") don't do much typing on their computer, they play Bedazzled. Tablets serve 90% of the needs of many many people who would otherwise use a netbook/laptop. For those who need more, there are netbooks/laptops.

I don't know if I still count as a "tech person." I've got a CompSci degree and I used to program and I still build machines and stuff in my spare time, but I don't do it professionally. However, I think tablets are very much the "your mileage may vary" devices. Personally, I think they're great. You can stick a ton of manuals and references on a tablet and you can use it for programming or troubleshooting pretty easily in a device that makes it much easier to navigate said references as compared to, say, a netbook or a laptop.

Personally, I've never been bothered by tablet typing. Yeah, they aren't as good as a real keyboard. Yeah, I don't get the 100 wpm that I might be used to. However, I've managed to get pretty darn handy with a tablet keyboard that I can at least get 40-60 wpm, which is good enough for most purposes.


See, you mainly use a tablet to browse content. Those of use who might use them to actually generate content feel differently.

If I needed a machine to hold manuals, and maybe do a few other things as a secondary function, a tablet would be better for me than, say, a netbook.
 
2011-12-19 08:35:45 AM  
We're all agreed about CD players though, right?
 
2011-12-19 08:37:14 AM  
I don't own a smartphone. I can't afford the bandwidth. I won't be able to unless the rates drop quite a bit.

I'd love one -- my wife and daughter love theirs (and, no, we can't afford those either, but my opinions on what we can afford haven't counted for much lately. Or ever, come to think of it. After the divorce I'll still be poor-ish, but I'll probably be better off... but enough biatching.)

I realize this makes me a little unusual for middle-class white guys, as I'm constantly reminded whenever I read articles like this, but I can't be the only one with a plain old mobile phone that just makes calls.
 
2011-12-19 08:37:23 AM  
1. I still don't have one of those, guess I missed it.
2. Have one, use it sparingly. Also have a portable ATSC/Clear QAM 7" TV. Still can't get a digital TV tuner in a tablet, tho u can get a USB one for a Netbook.
3. Use them quite frequently. Clouds have lighting, storms, and sometimes they aren't even around. Flash drive is always with me.
4. Have 3 of them. Can leave it in the vehicle I'm in, and not have to worry about carrying around something the size of, well, a GPS with me. Of course, I have a RAZR V3xx, too. But that works fine for what I use it for, and being a cheap bastard, the $10 unlimited data plan is all I'd want to pay for. Can use it as a modem with my netbook/notebook.
5. Optics on (good) pocket cameras are better than phones. I still have a few of these kicking around, but for serious photo taking, I'll stick to my DSLR.
6. Standalone fax, yea, multifunction devices, no. Faxes are legal documents, so for some cases, scan and email won't work. Wish they'd go away, tho. Or allow faxing over IP.
7. There are still plenty of uses for netbooks. Can type faster on them, they will run all the Windoze apps you need. I use mine for ham radio, USB (with serial adapters) to connect to my TNC or whatnot. Sound Card digital interfaces. Just can't do that crap on a tablet. Agreed with previous comment about carrying a tablet keyboard. To me, a tablet is still a "toy", doesn't feel really usable for much other than a quick check of FB, email, or flinging birds at pigs.
8. Agreed, but I think portable cd players have been dead a long time. The butchering of music quality by record companies (making music "louder") has really negated the need for "perfect" source material to play anyway. Still use CD's at home, still have a 10 disc changer in my WJ, and wife's ZJ.
9. For casual use, maybe. Serious use probably not. Since everything is touch screen, I can't see a reporter holding up his smart phone with 1 hand, and pressing the screen with the other, while looking at it. Voice recorders are smaller, lighter, and more convenient, especially if you want to hook a mic to it. I have a couple of them, and tho their use is limited, it's nice to have when I need it.
10. Heh, sits in the charging cradle because the battery won't hold a charge very long. Tho it was kinda fun tethering my Tungsten to my RAZR for getting email.
 
2011-12-19 08:37:36 AM  

Red_Fox: it would really please me if they stopped calling these new pad things tablets. A tablet is a laptop that flips around and can use a stylus as a mouse.

Maybe they could call these new things a Slate or something.


Actually, the technical name for that is "convertible tablet."
 
2011-12-19 08:37:36 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: We're all agreed about CD players though, right?


Yeah, but those started dieing out 11 years ago when the iPod came out...so that still makes this article irrelevant.
 
2011-12-19 08:37:55 AM  
Fun fact: Fax machine technology is (probably) the oldest electronic tech still in use. Well over 100 years old.
 
2011-12-19 08:38:15 AM  
I have no clue why people still use fax machines, there's far simpler ways to send a document. Scan the damn thing and email it, then at least the document will be legible.

Flash drives aren't going anywhere anytime soon. There will always be a need for portable storage. The damn things have so much capacity now they make for a good backup as well.

Personally I don't see the tablet being much more than a fad anyway, I see them leading to much lighter laptops though.
 
2011-12-19 08:38:46 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: We're all agreed about CD players though, right?


Last year I bought my first car ever with a built-in CD player. All my cars before that only had a tape deck. Maybe in a decade or so I'll get a car with mp3 capabilities.
 
2011-12-19 08:39:09 AM  
I cannot describe the burning anger I feel when dealing with whatever bureacracy that refuses to take anything not sent by fax. I have used the scanned PDF email to fax services online, and get a small joy out of getting one over on the smarmy whale behind the counter who thinks she got her way-maybe I have an issue.

Also-have a phone for a phone, camera for a camera, etc...daughter has a Droid currently and most newer smartphones have crap for audio quality while, you know, using it as a phone..my free flip phone from Verizon> Still going after 4 years.
 
2011-12-19 08:39:50 AM  

Red_Fox: A tablet is a laptop that flips around and can use a stylus as a mouse.

Maybe they could call these new things a Slate or something.


Not quite. The "tablets" with the screen that flips around came after true tablets.
 
2011-12-19 08:43:17 AM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: We're all agreed about CD players though, right?


No way. I send all my communiques by encoding analog modem noise as an audio file and burnt to an audio CD.
 
2011-12-19 08:43:42 AM  

Mad Scientist: Last night, I wrote a letter to my mother on my 1918 Underwood Model 4 typewriter, and sent it this morning by snail mail. Because obsolete is how I roll.

/mom always emails me back. or texts.
//anachronistic story, bro


Hey guys! I found him!!

img600.imageshack.us
 
2011-12-19 08:43:51 AM  
If your digital camera has a detachable lens and/or is not not small enough to fit in a pocket you better not try and get it past me at a concert venue that I'm working the gate at. You'll be making that long trip back to the car.
 
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