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(Gizmodo)   Nine obsolete gadgets you can still buy brand new for some reason   (gizmodo.com) divider line 133
    More: Amusing, fax machines, Half-Life 2, modems, VCR, sandy bridge, criminal conspiracy, newegg, error correction  
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14492 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Jul 2012 at 10:52 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Pud [TotalFark]
2012-07-09 08:20:43 PM
t0.gstatic.com">
 
2012-07-09 08:23:37 PM
My commentary:

1. A dialup modem
--> Not everybody has broadband. People in rural areas are really only served by dialup providers.

2. A six-year-old Celeron processor
--> Probably because the guy still hasn't sold them from when they were still new.

3. A $200 VCR Hahahahahah
--> Hey, VCRs are rare to find nowadays. You know how many VHS tapes I have?

4. A 10 pack of Zip disks
--> Some businesses still use them.

5. A serial cable
--> There's some legacy things that still use use serial cables. For instance, old school printers or old-school card readers.

6. A typewriter that costs more than a cheap laptop
--> Businesses use these all the time, especially law offices or courts.

7. A gigantic fax machine
--> Ditto with business use.

8. A VCR casette rewinder
--> If your VCR costs $200, wouldn't you want to spend a few bucks on something you can use instead of wearing out your VCR's motor?

9. The worst CD player
--> Not everybody's a Rockefeller like you. Actually, I have a friend who uses one of these still. Can't afford an MP3 player.
 
2012-07-09 08:31:17 PM

RexTalionis: 7. A gigantic fax machine
--> Ditto with business use.


We have the exact one they show in the article at work. It's such an utter piece of crap. I just want to throw it on the floor and go Office Space on it:

i50.tinypic.com
 
2012-07-09 08:33:32 PM
I just ordered a USB cassette deck. Got a LOT of old tapes I want to digitize before they rot away!
 
2012-07-09 08:40:01 PM
Dial-up modems are useful as a backup method for connecting to servers in the event of network failure. I've got a few in my data center.

We also use one for a specialized fax program that runs beautifully on a crappy old desktop PC.
 
2012-07-09 08:48:29 PM
Gizmodo is bad and they should feel bad.

I would like to add on to Rex Talionis' good points.

2. A six-year-old Celeron processor
--> Probably because the guy still hasn't sold them from when they were still new.
*There are some old ass processors in computers and boards that you cant just upgrade to a new box for a variety of reasons, when you need one, you need one.

4. A 10 pack of Zip disks
--> Some businesses still use them.
*same deal here. There are devices out there that are still in use that use all kinds of legacy media. Paying a premium on this media is likely far cheaper than upgrading if the (whatever) is still working fine.
 
2012-07-09 08:52:58 PM
couple of points-

celeron processor- legacy computer systems are still used by a lot of business's and the government. they still use tech from the 70's in a lot of these places so 90's tech will still probably be in need until 2070 at this rate

serial cables are of nearly day to day use in the enterprise computer world.

VCR's- who doesn't still have tapes of their kids/childhood in a box in the attic? heck, they still sell slide projectors, and thats a much, much older tech
 
2012-07-09 08:55:46 PM
I just want to say that I loved ZIP discs back in the day before cheap CD-Rs and cheap CD-writers. It was way better than having to carry around 100 floppies.
 
2012-07-09 08:57:11 PM
Also, Wikipedia had this to say about Zip Drives:

"Zip drives are still used today by retro computing enthusiasts as a means to transfer large amounts (compared to the retro hardware) of data between modern and older computer systems. The Commodore-Amiga, Atari ST, Apple II, and "old world" Macintosh communities often utilize drives with the SCSI interface prevalent on those platforms. They have also found a small niche in the music production community, as SCSI-compatible Zip drives can be used with vintage samplers and keyboards of the 90's."
 
2012-07-09 09:11:41 PM

RexTalionis: Can't afford an MP3 player.


Really?

Link

Only $15, and it is their favorite brand!
 
2012-07-09 09:14:25 PM
As Rex said upthread, typewriters are still useful, particularly in a law office. We use one all the time. We use them to fill in government forms.
 
2012-07-09 09:42:12 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: We use them to fill in government forms.


What about fillable PDFs? I use them all the time.
 
2012-07-09 09:54:29 PM
That's fine if I need to fill out a form myself. When I take in a new client, I have to have them sign about 20 things. I don't really need them in my office all day long. Sign 20 blank forms and have them filled in later rather than filling in their name, address, phone number, ssn, dob, etc. 20 times over while they sit and stare at me across the table. Also, medical releases. My clients change doctors over my course of representation. Best to have them sign a blank form and fill it in later rather than have them come back to the office to sign a new form each time they switch.
 
2012-07-09 10:01:23 PM
1. Not everyone has broadband. Live in the middle of Cowpoke, Nowhere? Good luck with your dialup

2. Good point. I know jackshiat about computers, really.

3. Uh, yanno, there are such things as tapes and they still exist. I picked up I, Cladius for $0.50 a couple months ago from Goodwill. Good thing my parents still have their VCR. It's kinda nice for them not to re-buy all their favorite shows when technology changes every few years.

4. Some businesses still have computers that use that sort of thing. Upgrading is not always necessary, not if the current system is doing its job correctly.

5. Same as 3 and 4.

6. .. are you farking kidding me? Typewriters are useful for doing shiat like typing on envelopes, or if the power goes out. And some writers prefer to write their manuscripts with typewriters. This is like biatching about people still using fountain pens.

7. No idea, but I bet it depends on how many faxes a company gets in a day, what other features it has, etc. Big ones like that are also used for a lot of copying.

8. Related to #3, if you have to watch a lot of tapes a rewinder is helpful.

9. You just answered your own question. It's cheap. People like cheap shiat. Not everyone is an audiophile who spends hundreds of dollars on Monster Cables and listens to no other format but FLAC.
 
2012-07-09 10:03:13 PM

Three Crooked Squirrels: Best to have them sign a blank form and fill it in later rather than have them come back to the office to sign a new form each time they switch.


Thanks for the explanation! And thank you for supporting the liquid paper industry.
 
2012-07-09 10:04:05 PM
I plugged a zip drive into my old mac ii se using a serial cable and it worked fine, and had triple the space of the hard drive. Didn't have a modem though.
 
2012-07-09 10:12:21 PM
The potential for trolling is just too great in this thread. I'll just play it safe and go with "game consoles."
 
2012-07-09 10:32:40 PM
We still use 9 pin dot matrix printers at work. Dot matrix printers work well in a humid, outdoors environment, but they cost more than $300 now.
 
2012-07-09 10:57:50 PM
That gigantic fax machine is ubiquitous in the hospitals I work at. Hell, even at the VA, where every hospital in the entire farking country has access to the same exact medical records via the interwebs, I still am required to fax copies of those same records between hospitals regularly.
 
2012-07-09 10:59:04 PM

RexTalionis: 5. A serial cable
--> There's some legacy things that still use use serial cables. For instance, old school printers or old-school card readers.


I use them a lot in automation, factory machines, that kind of stuff. If the industrial computer was made before ethernet ports became standard instead of an add-on option, then you still need the cables. And some of those things have been running for decades.
 
2012-07-09 11:01:34 PM
I had to buy a serial cable to usb converter to hook up my new telescope to my laptop
 
2012-07-09 11:01:36 PM
As someone who likes programming micro-controllers, and doesn't always have a usb-to-ttl chip on hand, serial cables are nice to keep around. Not something everyone needs, but not something a geek wants to be without either.
 
2012-07-09 11:05:39 PM

RexTalionis: I just want to say that I loved ZIP discs back in the day before cheap CD-Rs and cheap CD-writers. It was way better than having to carry around 100 floppies.


Hey, Rex: See, e.g. this.
 
2012-07-09 11:06:46 PM
Got a $3 vcr from Goodwill just to watch cable on one of these:

upload.wikimedia.org

A remote cost me $5 and it still plays and records.
 
2012-07-09 11:07:19 PM
And as far as faxes, I had opportunity to use one just today. Bought a new car and the insurance company had to fax the new proof-of-insurance to the dealer. A 10 digit number is probably easier to use and not screw up to send a few pieces of paper that'll get printed out anyway than to write up a pdf, save it, and email it to the right address that you'll never use again or want to remember.
 
2012-07-09 11:08:13 PM
And a TI graphing calculator.
 
2012-07-09 11:14:35 PM
Just a few days ago I was looking for a manual (not electric like the one in the article) typewriter, but couldn't seem to find a reputable dealer who had one at a reasonable price. The cheapest non-electric one I could find was in the 200 dollar range. Does any one have any suggestions on this? Am I going to need to venture into the big scary world of physical stores?
 
Zel
2012-07-09 11:24:48 PM

vwarb: Just a few days ago I was looking for a manual (not electric like the one in the article) typewriter, but couldn't seem to find a reputable dealer who had one at a reasonable price. The cheapest non-electric one I could find was in the 200 dollar range. Does any one have any suggestions on this? Am I going to need to venture into the big scary world of physical stores?


$200 isnt that much for a mechanical instrument with many moving parts.

Spend $275 and get one that won't fall apart.
 
2012-07-09 11:28:35 PM
www.takistmr.com

/hot
 
2012-07-09 11:30:01 PM
Hey Subtard, what about hipsters?
 
2012-07-09 11:32:40 PM

FrAnKiE!!!!: /hot


farking hate those things...my work is in the middle of a massive switch upgrade and we got a console cable with each one. What the fark am I gonna go with 200 console cables?
 
2012-07-09 11:33:48 PM

NewportBarGuy: RexTalionis: 7. A gigantic fax machine
--> Ditto with business use.

We have the exact one they show in the article at work. It's such an utter piece of crap. I just want to throw it on the floor and go Office Space on it:


We have FOUR of those monsters. They've actually been pretty reliable for us, considering we get a fax on each one about 150 times a day.
 
2012-07-09 11:34:12 PM

dletter: RexTalionis: Can't afford an MP3 player.

Really?

Link

Only $15, and it is their favorite brand!


Did you skip all the non Coby MP3 players like this one? $2.87, comes with USB charger and headphones! FREE SHIPPING. SD card slot expandable to 32GB.
 
2012-07-09 11:34:36 PM

Nina_Hartley's_Ass: Got a $3 vcr from Goodwill just to watch cable on one of these:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 557x599]

A remote cost me $5 and it still plays and records.


These things were da bomb.
 
2012-07-09 11:35:03 PM

minoridiot: We still use 9 pin dot matrix printers at work. Dot matrix printers work well in a humid, outdoors environment, but they cost more than $300 now.


Dot matrix printers are also used extensively when making carbon copies. Where I worked we used them for all our bills of lading and such that had 5 copies. Gotta love the screeching of those things. Until that, I honestly didn't know they even still made them, and couldn't believe the price, but with next to no demand it isn't that surprising if you think about it.
 
2012-07-09 11:37:46 PM

Almet: FrAnKiE!!!!: /hot

farking hate those things...my work is in the middle of a massive switch upgrade and we got a console cable with each one. What the fark am I gonna do with 200 console cables?



Secret Santa gifts?
 
2012-07-09 11:42:48 PM

dywed88: Dot matrix printers are also used extensively when making carbon copies. Where I worked we used them for all our bills of lading and such that had 5 copies. Gotta love the screeching of those things. Until that, I honestly didn't know they even still made them, and couldn't believe the price, but with next to no demand it isn't that surprising if you think about it.


I'm guessing they are Oki-Data 9 Pin (print head) machines? They might be re-badged with a different name now, but those things are everywhere, unchanged since the last design revision in... oh... 15-20 years? I wonder if they dumped the Centronics connector for USB, that'd be nice.
 
2012-07-09 11:48:59 PM
Quite a few digital display signs (like highway signs and hospital info signs, etc) still use modems to update. You have to dial into the sign.

I was amazed when I opened a closet at the hospital I was working at and found a rack FULL of working USR v92s
 
2012-07-09 11:49:34 PM

vwarb: Just a few days ago I was looking for a manual (not electric like the one in the article) typewriter, but couldn't seem to find a reputable dealer who had one at a reasonable price. The cheapest non-electric one I could find was in the 200 dollar range. Does any one have any suggestions on this? Am I going to need to venture into the big scary world of physical stores?


Unfortunately you've ventured into a market where prices have been driven through the roof by hipster douchebaggery. They pay top dollar for old Smith Coronas that they can use to fully express the ennui they feel. A modern laptop is not a proper tool for that level of pretentious navel-gazing.
 
M-G
2012-07-09 11:53:52 PM
If you're getting managed internet service from AT&T, they're going to send you a nice new USR modem to hook to the required analog phone line. If your circuit goes down, and the problem is in the router at your premises, it's their only way in.

And yeah, it connects to the router with a serial cable.
 
2012-07-09 11:54:47 PM
I thought we'd never see the day where fax machines would be obsolete, but nowadays it's all scanning and emailing PDF's. I honestly cannot remember the last time I used one.
 
2012-07-09 11:56:01 PM
1) Modems are still used in businesses that process credit cards. They are a backup in case the broadband goes down. I have clients who have this and it has save butt on several occasions.

Link

4) People still use ZIP discs. Those things are pretty sturdy, and on a good SCSI interface, dang fast.

5) Serial and RS-232 cables are used all the time in the networking world to control various routers and smart switches.

Link

7) Obviously the writer never bothered to read the description of the more expensive machine. Can be put on the network and act as a printer. High capacity paper trays, scale-able to multiple sizes...
Would be nice to see a color version, but this would be great for an office or small department. Good luck having ease of use out of that cheapie in an office environment.
 
2012-07-09 11:57:30 PM

FrAnKiE!!!!: Almet: FrAnKiE!!!!: /hot

farking hate those things...my work is in the middle of a massive switch upgrade and we got a console cable with each one. What the fark am I gonna do with 200 console cables?


Secret Santa gifts?


Sell me three?
 
2012-07-09 11:58:11 PM

ykarie: As someone who likes programming micro-controllers, and doesn't always have a usb-to-ttl chip on hand, serial cables are nice to keep around. Not something everyone needs, but not something a geek wants to be without either.


I still have the whole collection of db-9 to db-25 adapters, with LED indicators, re-wireable, null-modem gender changer you name its. Can't bring myself to toss them out.
 
2012-07-09 11:58:47 PM
And talk to your purchaser and have them buy smarter next time. For that volume, you probably could have saved a few hundred dollars just in the cables. Get white box perhaps?
 
2012-07-09 11:58:58 PM

beantowndog: I plugged a zip drive into my old mac ii se using a serial cable and it worked fine, and had triple the space of the hard drive. Didn't have a modem though.


You sure that wasn't SCSI?
 
2012-07-09 11:59:43 PM
I work in a medical laboratory, and for some crazy reason the quarter million dollar instruments use computer technology that is wayyy past its prime (probably has to do with licensing). About 5 years ago I went and trained on a brand new instrument. The instrument, no lie. ran off of a floppy disc. The floppy disc was its brain. Take the floppy disc out and you had a $250,000 anchor.
 
2012-07-10 12:00:23 AM
Yeah, I'm actually in the market for a VCR. Both of mine mysteriously stopped working and I've still got a bunch of tapes.

I was in the process of converting them to disc a few years back when I had to move and completely lost track of where I was.

I'm trying to organize discs right now - ran across "Porn Compilation 1" the other day. Hey, don't knock it - chicks in the '90s were hot!
 
2012-07-10 12:00:37 AM

"1. A dialup modem
--> Not everybody has broadband. People in rural areas are really only served by dialup providers."


I thought that as well. I wonder if I'll see the day when most people in the U.S. has access to hi-speed internet at a reasonable price.

"2. A six-year-old Celeron processor
--> Probably because the guy still hasn't sold them from when they were still new."


There's a small PC shop near me that still has old tech they are selling at the original retail price. They don't mark down anything. They are selling copies of Office XP at full price. And they really overcharge on current technology. I'm almost tempted to see if I can open my own shop because I can't understand how they can continue to sell that overpriced stuff especially since there's a Best Buy and a Target within five miles of the place.

 
2012-07-10 12:00:51 AM
Oh, and all our big instruments have dial-up modems to connect to service.
 
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