Linked by David Adams on Tue 13th Dec 2011 02:38 UTC, submitted by estherschindler
Geek stuff, sci-fi...

Carol Pinchefsky contemplates commercial skipping DVRs, and other tales of really good technology that vanished, in 7 Awesome Bits of Tech That Just Freakin' Disappeared. As Pinchefsky writes: "...It got me thinking about awesome technology that we somehow ditched. The airship? Awesome. Slide rules? Awesome awesome. Mir Space Station? Boss-level awesome. And now just thinking about wristwatches with calculators makes me suffer a sense of short-term nostalgia (as in Douglas Coupland's Generation X). Here are some of the coolest features and products that we’ve lost along the way to 2012.

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Maybe they just sucked?
by deathshadow on Wed 14th Dec 2011 10:48 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

No offense, but most of these... sucked in the long term... Though in many ways they were like 'critically acclaimed' movies that NOBODY would ever want to watch apart from movie critics... or single thirty-something women...

Let's see...

Commercial Skipping -- well... this one's pretty much spot on. Not much to argue, It was a great feature that was bound to get sued into the ground.

IR Beaming -- infrared communications SUCKS. There, I said it. It sucks with TV remotes, it sucks with car locks, it sucked on the PC Jr Keyboard, and it sucks so bad NOBODY EVER used the IR serial built into most older laptops...

You want to know why IR died? Low-band FM RF, Bluetooth and 802.11 adapters that make pennies look big.

Graffiti -- handwriting sucks. It sucked from Xerox, it sucked on the Newton, it sucked on the Treo, and it still sucks today! Sure, it looks cool, but it's never been anything more than a gimmick. If handwriting didn't suck so bad the typewriter would never have been invented. I would rather have a keyboard than some stupid gesture or handwriting nonsense; but then I'm the guy who'd kill for a laptop with a model M in it. Throw into this category voice recognition -- which every three to five years some company puts out a new one, claiming it's ready for practical use -- and it's not even close to being real world functional or useful... to the point of making you run screaaming back to the nice safe predictable reliable fast input device to stand the test of time -- the keyboard.

Next thing you know someone will slap an apple logo on a crappy chiclet keyboard and despite it still sucking as bad as it did on the Sinclair Spectrum or PC JR, boom it hits the sky... Oops, too late. (Again, Model M elitist checking in)

"Butterfly" keyboard - broke... A LOT. WAY too fragile for it's own good. Lost track of the number of them which came into my shop in the mid 90's where people had screwed it up. It was an engineering marvel, but as Mr. Scott said "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain". Laptop keyboards are rinky fragile garbage to begin with, without all that fancy sliding around...

Instant Cameras -- with really crappy lenses, washed out images, and digital cameras of comparable quality selling for what the price of three or four rolls of decent film do without a camera... They sucked, we now have 5mp digital cameras for $30 a pop at Wally World with micro-sd slots in 'em. Hell, I bought a bunch of the 2mp's on closeout at ten bucks a pop just to cannibalize lenses and the displays.

Hypercard -- while I've owned Apples (I still have a IIe platinum), I've NEVER understood the mystique of Hypercard; maybe it's because I knew how to program before the Mac was a twinkle in a Apple fanboy's eye, but the applications in it NEVER impressed me. It was mediocre at best and the ONLY thing it ever accomplished was letting greenhorns THINK they could make applications. (Though that could just be me since I can hand assemble z80 and 8088 machine language, but have a mental block that prevents me from grasping visual programming)

Of course, the article mentions MYST, one of the most dreadful games ever released... (coming from a SCI and text adventure gamer).

Usenet -- It sucked. It was a pain to configure, ISP's started charging to use it on top of your normal connection fee... binary transfers were 50% larger as everything had to be 7 bit uuencoded and split into multiple segments, the client software was nowhere as useable as a forum software from a decade ago. That it's still around is a bit like IRC... the die hard geeks stick with it, but 99% of the world could give a flying purple fish.

Lets' face it... all but one of these sucked... and sucked bad... got down in front of the giant brass monkey...

Edited 2011-12-14 10:54 UTC

Reply Score: 3