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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2 that I miss
by Kivada on Tue 13th Dec 2011 08:34 UTC
Kivada
Member since:
2010-07-07

are Laptops with a trackball like my ancient Powerbook 180c. I found it far more comfortable then I do a touchpad.

Another is AMD's canned XGP http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/ati-xgp/Pages/ati-xgp.a... external mobile GPU. It allowed you to supplement the onboard GPU when powering an external screen or much more interesting, allowed you to drive the laptop's screen off the XGP GPU with a top end mobile GPU, the only version released was the HD3870m but they also demoed an updated version based around the HD5970m. Only 2 laptops I know of ever had this the Toshiba Amilo SA3650 and later the Acer Ferrari One 200.

There are several youtube videos of the XGP though:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iqrm_2Gqu8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slPrSSv7G4w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWZJykGjo7M

Sucks cause I could go for a nice 15" based around the A8 series APU with the option of having an HD6990m AMD's fastest single chip mobile GPU http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/ati-xgp/Pages/ati-xgp.a... Yes, I too hate that mobile naming convention makes absolutely no sense... But it'd be great to just have it attached to the TV, just plug in the laptop and grab the wireless kb and mouse.

Edited 2011-12-13 08:36 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: 2 that I miss
by pandronic on Tue 13th Dec 2011 09:13 in reply to "2 that I miss"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Perhaps it would had been more interesting if they would've had provided a generic box with just a pcie x8 slot into which you could've plugged any video card. That would've truly been awesome.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: 2 that I miss
by Kivada on Tue 13th Dec 2011 09:42 in reply to "RE: 2 that I miss"
Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Perhaps it would had been more interesting if they would've had provided a generic box with just a pcie x8 slot into which you could've plugged any video card. That would've truly been awesome.


Difference there is heat, power draw and size. These where MXM card mobile GPUs and allowed for crossfire by daisy chaining them.

What you are talking about would be more like the ViDock http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock Expresscard slot adapter, could take any sub 75w PCIe card, came empty or with an HD4670. Problem with it is the fact that Expresscard is PCIe 1x bandwidth, so it doesn't take much from a modern card to fully saturate it. It looks like they now sell models that support up to 225w, but still crippled by Expresscard. It's simple to test, tape up your GPU's contacts so it can only run in 1x mode vs 8x-16x. Between 8x and 16x the difference is usually negligible, but between 1x and 8x is night and day.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: 2 that I miss
by kenji on Tue 13th Dec 2011 20:49 in reply to "2 that I miss"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

are Laptops with a trackball like my ancient Powerbook 180c. I found it far more comfortable then I do a touchpad.

+5

I can't do without the trackpoint on my 3.5 year old thinkpad. A track ball would be even better! Who decided that touchpads were superior anyway?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: 2 that I miss
by Morgan on Wed 14th Dec 2011 15:22 in reply to "RE: 2 that I miss"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Who decided that touchpads were superior anyway?



Apple did, if memory serves. They were the driving force in notebook/laptop technology in the 90s and when the PowerBooks started shipping with touchpads, PC makers started following suit with cheaper versions.

I do miss the trackpoint on my first laptop (TI TravelMate 4000m, high school grad/birthday present from my estranged father in 1995) and I also liked the LCD-mounted trackball on my old Compaq notebook. I forget the model these days, but it was white(!) and had a Pentium MMX CPU. I bought it used around 2000, upgraded it as far as it would go and it was my mobile computer for about three years.

The first time I owned a laptop with a touchpad, I almost returned it. It was horrid! I eventually conformed, though I kept a USB mouse handy and pulled it out whenever I had the desk space.

Reply Parent Score: 2