6 Technologies You Thought Were Obsolete (But Are Actually Still Well in Demand)

Want to throw out those floppy disks and cassette tapes that dominated the tech world decades ago? Not so fast. Some seemingly archaic technologies are not the obsolete artifacts they’re made out to be, and actually still are in use despite the more-modern conveniences we’re surrounded with. Sure we have the ‘cloud’ now, and are able to do practically anything imaginable from our mobile “phones” (need a vintage typewriter on the fly? Just go to any commerce app and order it), there’s something to be valued in technical business tools of the past.

Speaking of typewriters…if you don’t want to be distracted by the World Wide Web while attempting to finish a thesis paper or plain old-fashioned letter to a loved one, the typewriter is one of those classic tools perfect for not only a bit of nostalgia — but getting a writing project done expeditiously without being tempted to check social media feeds.

So save some time, landfill waste and perhaps some dollars by hanging on to, and utilizing, some of those retro technologies that aren’t quite ready for the dumpster after all.

Impact Printer
Still used by the government and IT security, the Epson impact printer is most recognized for moving left to right and printing with a ribbon onto paper, slowly moving upward. Using the old dot-matrix technique, the LX-360 is one of many models still sold and even supports legacy connectors like parallel.

AOL Dial-Up Disc
Believe it or not more than 2 million people still subscribe to AOL’s Internet dial up service. Three percent of the U.S. population still use their telephone lines to dial into the Web, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Might want to reconsider tossing that free CD they sent in the mail in case other services fail you.

Sure there’s a new model of smart phone introduced at a rate our wallets can barely keep up with, with features we never thought could be held in our hands. But what does one do when their service provider just can’t accommodate the volume of users, and signals go awry? A landline doesn’t seem so useless in that instance. Don’t let important business calls get interrupted by a dropped call, and hang on to that stationary phone receiver and dock.

Digital Cameras
Probably most useful for marketing and advertising folks whose product shoots call for more than an iPhone camera, the digital camera is a trusted device for those jobs that require professional quality photography, without the complications and additional gear of DSLR cameras. Remember, smart phone cameras can’t zoom as well as a digital camera, and really no filter out there is a match for the definition one can provide.

USB Drives
Perhaps the most debated piece of technology when it comes to determining relevance, USB drives sit firmly on the cusp of old and new age. Despite new file-saving innovations, USBs are undeniably helpful when saving and transmitting a heavy file load. Plus, a company like Maikii offer USB with logo options for promotional purposes — win-win.

Doctors still use pagers, and every now and then our “fail proof” digital connections get lost — compromising important file saves and transfers. Be sure to back up with USBs, print things out for tangible records and have a landline accessible in case cell phone towers wane. There’s something to be said for hardware, retro durability and the things you thought were on their way out. They were invented for a reason and it’s worthwhile to think of alternative ways they can fit into our new lives before we toss them in the trash without a second thought.

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