Things We Don’t Use Anymore
1. Alarm clock: Before mobile phones came in, we were woken up by alarm
clocks. Inspite of having no snooze button they made sure we left our bed
on time for several reasons – firstly, we couldn’t slip it under the pillow
because of its size, secondly its tring and beep sounds were irritating to the
core, and thirdly we used to keep it at a distance, so to switch it off we had
to make a move. Thanks to mobile phones, the tring sound has been replaced
by melodious tunes that put us back to sleep and can be comfortably slipped
under the pillow.
2. Yashica camera and film rolls: While Kodak used to be the entry level
camera when most of us were growing-up, in early 90s a photography
enthusiast was identified by a Yashica camera because it was a bit expensive
(Rs 1,700 in 1994) and looked pretty loaded with features. Though no
one knew about SLRs, zoom, exposure, shutter-speed and pixels like
today. Now, using film rolls is an art and a few years back, we attended a
photography exhibition in New Delhi in which the high point was the use of
film rolls. We don’t even remember the last time we saw someone using a
3. Type writer: Though typewriters were almost on their way out in 90s,
it could still be seen in offices. Now computers have completely taken
over, and typewriters have become showpieces. The world’s last typewriter
factory – Godrej and Boyce that sold close to 50,000 units every year
in 90s just sold 800 units in 2010, and shut shop last year following the
4. VCR/ VCP/VHS: The arrival of compact discs suddenly made VHS looks
so down market and expensive that they just slip into oblivion. Also, CD
players were much less complicated to use than videocassette recorders
(VCR) and video cassette players (VCPs), which also contributed to the
discontinuation of VHS, VCP and VCRs.
5. Telephone directory and address book: There was a time when we had to
constantly refer to the phone directory whenever we wanted to call someone.
Every new phone number or address was written on the phone directory and
address book. Thank god, we don’t use them anymore as it also saves so
many trees from being killed.
6. Inland letter/post cards/ letter pads: Gone are the days when people used
to send telegrams, write letters on blue coloured page and express their love
on a piece of paper. Text messages and emails are much faster, reliable and
cheaper, but yes, they are much weaker emotionally because it doesn’t take
much of a thought to send an email or write a text.
7. Walkman: Introduced in 80s by Sony, a Walkman was the first thing that
allowed you to carry your music everywhere. It enjoyed the popularity that
even iPods can’t think of. However, when people switched to listening to
music on mobile phones and iPods, Sony had to discontinue manufacturing
the Walkman in 2010 and had to shift the brand to its mobile platform.
8. Audio cassettes: Audiocassettes met a similar fate to the VHS, but much
later because in-car entertainment still revolved around audio players when
CD’s came out in the late 90s. Audiocassettes continue to be produced
for smaller markets in limited quantities just like they produce records for
9. Map and Atlas: Thanks to Google Maps and other GPS systems, we don’t
need a map anymore, and it’s a welcome change because paper maps were
too tough on users who wanted to locate certain locations or get directions.
10. Photo albums: These days, the only occasion when a photo album is
bought is when someone gets married. Even those are eventually packed
away in the most inaccessible corner of the house. With Facebook, Picassa
and digital photo frames, do we really need to print photographs?
12. Rotary phones: First they were completely overshadowed by feature rich
cordless phones, and then when mobile phones came in, these rotary phones
were classified as antiques.
13. Floppy: Floppies changed the way we store data because it was the first
step towards digital storage, but they couldn’t stay for long because CDs
were much smarter and could carry more data.
15. Atari video games: Our first step into high-tech arcade gaming came
via Atari. At one point of time, we lost count of how many joysticks we
broke and how many we got repaired. Though classic Atari games are now
available online, they are not quit as popular as the arcade.
17. Transistors: When television broadcasting was not that smart, we would
check all cricket matches via the handheld radio, most popular of which
was the one made by Philips. Radio became even more popular in India
with shows like Binaca Geetmala by Ameen Sayani. Things turned against
handheld radios with the arrival of FM stations and mobile phones that came
with radio. We don’t remember when we last pressed that AM button or
used a handheld radio.
18. Fountain pen: Recently when we saw a man using a fountain pen, we
looked at him as if he was writing in his own blood. Now no one takes the
pain of buying a fountain pen and then using a dropper to refill it every day.
20. Cinni table fans: Coolers and air conditioner have taken over from basic
looking table fans. The modern ones look more like art pieces.
21. Television antenna: The simple aluminum antenna first faced a threat
when they started selling huge dish antennas, and then obviously the cable
connections and DTH made it a thing of the past.
22. Single blade razors: There was a time when there was only one blade
in a man’s razor and that too could be completely separated from the razor.
Now every two years, Gillette adds one more blade.
5 THINGS ON THEIR WAY OUT
2. Letter box
- Kumar Saurav