13 Obsolete and Outdated Technologies People Still Use Today

Today, everyone wants to live with the latest technologies. All the technologies of the last decade were considered as the modern tech and now have become obsolete. Some people use them because they can’t afford new things, some are obliged to use old technologies and some of us consider old as gold. There are millions of people around the world who depends on the outdated stuff on a daily basis. The following list contains 13 obsolete and outdated technologies that are still in use.

13. Cassette Tapes

Cassette TapesImage Source: Wikimedia

The Cassette Tapes or compact cassette was first introduced in the 1930s by Philips Company. It is a magnetic tape which records audio sounds in the analogous format. The video home system (VHS) also works as the compact cassettes. Till 1990s, they were considered as the best audio formats for pre-recorded music. But, they are now idle and worthless in front of the CD, DVD and Pen Drives. Still, millions of people purchase them, maybe for their collection. In 2012, over 13 million cassettes and VHS were sold in America.

12. Fax Machine

Fax MachineImage Source: Wikimedia

Fax machines are considered an essential office device till the invention of internet in 1980s. It is a type of telephonic transmission of scanned documents. The receiving machine interprets the message and reconstructs the document. Fax machines are still used extensively in Japan for cultural purpose. But, this technology is facing competition from other internet based alternatives. In the last three years, around one million fax machines were sold in the United States.

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11. Dot Matrix Printers

Dot Matrix PrintersImage Source: Wikimedia

Dot matrix printing is a type of paper printing that works similar to the mechanism of the typewriter. But it prints the letters using a dot matrix. These are still used worldwide due to their unique feature of making carbon copies. According to a report, Americans bought around 20,000 such printers only in 2012. It also has many disadvantages but no one can blame its users for using it. One day, they will surely upgrade to inkjet or laser printer.

10. Vinyl Records

Vinyl RecordsImage Source: Wikimedia

The vinyl record is an analog sound playing medium that was first introduced in 1857. They were considered as the most primary medium for playing music until late in the 20th century. In the era of CD and Pen Drives, why some people preferred them?  May be just for the sound of vinyl and its classical look. In 2012, 4.6 million Vinyl disks were bought by Americans and that number increased by 17% from the last year.

9. Floppy Disks

Floppy DisksImage Source: Wikimedia

Floppy disk is a storage device that consists of a magnetic storage medium. They were an important source of data storage during the 1970 and 2010. They were replaced by CDs and DVDs due to their low storage space. All the motherboards after 2010 are not manufactured with floppy drive support. That hasn’t stopped the production of the floppy disks. In 2009, Sony sold more than 12 million disks and most of the buyers are government offices with old computer technologies.

8. CRT TVs

CRT TVsImage Source: picbg

The majority of the worldwide population is moving toward the LCD or Plasma television. The LCD screens have many advantages over the CRT including the important fact that CRT is huge and difficult to move. It also has several advantages such as the ability to display color more accurately. Despite of having drawbacks, many people like to buy a CRT screen. Do you also want your kids to suffer with a low quality screen just like you did in your childhood?

7. Typewriters

TypewritersImage Source: Wikimedia

A typewriter is a mechanical printer that works similar to the movable type printers. It was invented in the 1860s and became worldwide popular as a personal writing tool. In the today’s world of computers, typewriters are still used by many people. They are still in use in remote areas where internet connection and electricity are unpredictable. These machines are also used by the typists in Indian courts.

6. Punch Cards

Punch CardsImage Source: Wikimedia

A punched card is a paperboard that contained commands for data processing applications. These commands are represented by the holes in a definite manner. These cards were first introduced in the 19th century and they are still used today. As of 2012, few voting machines still use punch cards to record data of the voters. Many small businesses can’t afford a new technology, so they still depend on this outdated tech.

5. Pagers

PagersImage Source: Wikimedia

Pagers brought the revolution in the wireless communication technology. This small device is able to receive and display only text messages. The first paging service was introduced in 1950 in the New York. It is considered as the first application of transistor for consumers. Within a few years, pagers were replaced by cell phone that allows two way communication. The end of the pagers has still not come yet. In 2012, the US paging industry generated more than $7 million and sold around 10,000 new pagers.

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4. PDA

PDAImage Source: Wikimedia

Personal digital assistant (PDA) is a palmtop computer that has almost all features of a smartphone. The first PDA was released in 1984 and the production was closed in 2010. You can access the internet via WiFi through a web browser and also use it as a portable media player. In 2012, more than 350,000 new PDAs were sold only in the US. There are many places such as hospitals and warehouses where people still use them for the purpose of data collection.

3. Window 2000 or Older

Window 2000 or OlderImage Source: Wikimedia

Window 2000 regarded as the most secured Window’s version of that time and was built to beat some of the most dangerous viruses such as Code Red and Nimda. In 2011, the Computer Internet Almanac revealed a shocking report that around 150,000 people are still using the Window 2000 or older versions in the United States. Recently, Microsoft released their latest Window 10 on 30th September. If we also count the Window XP which was launched in 2001, there are around 30% users of Window XP around the world.

2. Landline Phones

Landline PhonesImage Source: Wikimedia

Landline Phones or wired telephones revolutionized the telecommunication. The statistics of 2013 shows that the total number of users of the landline telephones was around 1.1 billion all over the world. No doubt, the number of landline users is continuously decreasing due to the evolution of digital technology in wireless communication. It is believed that one day all the wired telephones will be replaced by the wireless tech.

1. Dial Up Internet

Dial Up Internet - Outdated TechnologiesImage Source: Wikimedia

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Dial Up Internet is one of the first methods of accessing the internet. It uses the connections between the public switch telephone network and Internet Service Provider through telephone lines. It was first launched in 1989 and can access the web at 56.6 KB/s or less. Nowadays, many people are moving towards 4G and even the research work is going on 5G & 6G technologies. In the meantime, more than 10 million people are using dial up connection. It is mostly used in remote and rural areas that are deprived of broadband connectivity.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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  • Hi varun,

    Interesting Post. I really don’t know some of outdated technology that you mention here such as Pagers.

    Thanks for the great post.

    • It’s always great to hear our readers are gaining something from us!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting here 🙂