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David Lee King

Gadget Graveyard



Remember my library’s techie toybox? What happens when those gadgets are new no more? Check this article out (found via vBSetup): Gadget Graveyard: 10 Technologies about to go extinct.

Here’s their list:

  • landline phones (ok, my family still has this – check back with me in another year or so)
  • floppy disks (my kids once asked me “what’s a floppy disk, dad”? I stared at them a sec, then realized they had never seen one. Time flies!)
  • wristwatches (don’t wear one – that’s what my iPhone’s for! and the computers I stare at all day)
  • VHS Tape and VCRs (yep – still have these, too)
  • Beepers (iphone again – the beeper is no longer needed)
  • Film Cameras (haven’t had one for years)
  • typewriters (interestingly, my 9-year old has one … ONLY because Molly [the American Girl Molly who lived in the 1940’s] had one, and my mother-in-law still had an old one in a closet. Yes, a typewriter was an odd present for a 9-year old, but she loves it!)
  • walkmans & discmans (haven’t had one in years)
  • dialup (My library serves a whole county – Topeka has broadband, the county is pretty spotty)
  • DVDs (I still use these, and we still watch DVDs. But that’s now. They’ll be gone in 10 years time, I’ll bet).

What would you add to this list? Or how about this question – what in this list does your library still support, and why?

Pic by Timothy Hamilton

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://brandonsheley.org/ Brandon Sheley

    I was never one to get into beepers, but I have everything else mentioned in our basement..lol

  • http://brandonsheley.org Brandon Sheley

    I was never one to get into beepers, but I have everything else mentioned in our basement..lol

  • http://www.swissarmylibrarian.net/ Brian Herzog

    I personally still have an use a typewriter and a landline, but I’m with you on most other things. Along with DVDs, I wonder how long CDs will be around – and if they’ll last longer in the software industry than the music industry.

    As for my library, we offer a public typewriter, which is used occasionally. We also just added a public fax machine – which seems like old technology, but is in big demand and has no easier-to-use newer-tech replacement. We also still have books-on-tape and CD-ROMs in the collection, but are no longer purchasing them. We buy the local paper in print, on microfilm and in a subscription database, and provide its headlines via free rss to our website.

    And one new technology that already seems to be dying off are Playaways – we bought a bunch and they were very popular, but their circ has slumped to the point that we can’t justify buying new titles – alternately, use of Overdrive rises a little each month.

  • http://www.swissarmylibrarian.net Brian Herzog

    I personally still have an use a typewriter and a landline, but I’m with you on most other things. Along with DVDs, I wonder how long CDs will be around – and if they’ll last longer in the software industry than the music industry.

    As for my library, we offer a public typewriter, which is used occasionally. We also just added a public fax machine – which seems like old technology, but is in big demand and has no easier-to-use newer-tech replacement. We also still have books-on-tape and CD-ROMs in the collection, but are no longer purchasing them. We buy the local paper in print, on microfilm and in a subscription database, and provide its headlines via free rss to our website.

    And one new technology that already seems to be dying off are Playaways – we bought a bunch and they were very popular, but their circ has slumped to the point that we can’t justify buying new titles – alternately, use of Overdrive rises a little each month.

  • http://librarygarden.blogspot.com/ JanieH

    We still have a typewriter for the public and it is surprising how much use it gets. It had to go out for repairs last year (not easy to find someone to repair them these days, by the way) and we had several people upset that it was gone.

    We have a wheel slide projector and it has been used 3 times in the last year — mostly when we have artists give art talks. We still also have an overhead projector, but I can’t recall the last time it was used… more than a year ago at least, so it can probably go to the graveyard.

    Our gadget garage is in constant need of updating — we need the new Kindle at the very least at this point. It is hard to keep ahead of gadgets.

  • http://librarygarden.blogspot.com JanieH

    We still have a typewriter for the public and it is surprising how much use it gets. It had to go out for repairs last year (not easy to find someone to repair them these days, by the way) and we had several people upset that it was gone.

    We have a wheel slide projector and it has been used 3 times in the last year — mostly when we have artists give art talks. We still also have an overhead projector, but I can’t recall the last time it was used… more than a year ago at least, so it can probably go to the graveyard.

    Our gadget garage is in constant need of updating — we need the new Kindle at the very least at this point. It is hard to keep ahead of gadgets.

  • Erin Valentino

    Do you really think it will take 10 years for DVDs to disappear?

  • Erin Valentino

    Do you really think it will take 10 years for DVDs to disappear?

  • davidleeking

    Erin – yes, I think it’ll take a while for DVDs to disappear (but I could be wrong!). I think DVDs are the cheaper alternative right now… digital models like iTunes or Netflix is cool … but you also have to get that video to your 50″ HD screen – pricey if you don’t have that equipment yet.

    DVDs will DEFINITELY disappear – just not sure when.

  • davidleeking

    Erin – yes, I think it’ll take a while for DVDs to disappear (but I could be wrong!). I think DVDs are the cheaper alternative right now… digital models like iTunes or Netflix is cool … but you also have to get that video to your 50″ HD screen – pricey if you don’t have that equipment yet.

    DVDs will DEFINITELY disappear – just not sure when.

  • http://librarianbyday.net Bobbi Newman

    A great reminder to libraries that we shouldn’t be married to the format but rather to the content. We need to be willing and able to adapt quickly when the container for that content changes!

  • http://librarianbyday.wordpress.com Bobbi Newman

    A great reminder to libraries that we shouldn’t be married to the format but rather to the content. We need to be willing and able to adapt quickly when the container for that content changes!

  • http://walt.lishost.org/ walt crawford

    Well, let’s see, as we call to make sure the landline is working in the house we’re buying…where we’ll buy a Blu-ray player which, to be sure, will play the DVDs we continue to buy, I check the watch on my wrist to see what time it is.

    (Arguing for DVD’s continuation for quite some time: Backward-compatibility with Blu-ray, and downloading Blu-ray-equivalent video just ain’t happening barring a HUGE increase in broadband bandwidth. Given that cable companies are moving toward capping monthly usage, and that one Blu-ray movie can be 50GB, well, don’t hold your breath.)

    My first thought was: Isn’t it time for Faux News to be obsolete?

  • http://walt.lishost.org walt crawford

    Well, let’s see, as we call to make sure the landline is working in the house we’re buying…where we’ll buy a Blu-ray player which, to be sure, will play the DVDs we continue to buy, I check the watch on my wrist to see what time it is.

    (Arguing for DVD’s continuation for quite some time: Backward-compatibility with Blu-ray, and downloading Blu-ray-equivalent video just ain’t happening barring a HUGE increase in broadband bandwidth. Given that cable companies are moving toward capping monthly usage, and that one Blu-ray movie can be 50GB, well, don’t hold your breath.)

    My first thought was: Isn’t it time for Faux News to be obsolete?

  • JC

    Dear David,

    Wristwatches will stick around longer than you think because they also function as status symbols. Probably longer than your iphone.

    Cheers,
    JC

  • JC

    Dear David,

    Wristwatches will stick around longer than you think because they also function as status symbols. Probably longer than your iphone.

    Cheers,
    JC

  • http://www.davidleeking.com/ david lee king

    JC – I personally never used a wristwatch OR an iphone as a status symbol, but whatever. You might want to check those facts – Gartner seems to disagree, for example (and a quick google search does, too).

  • http://www.davidleeking.com david lee king

    JC – I personally never used a wristwatch OR an iphone as a status symbol, but whatever. You might want to check those facts – Gartner seems to disagree, for example (and a quick google search does, too).

  • http://www.tombrarian.net/ Tom

    Of that list, I only use DVDs. I do have to agree with JC that watches still have a lot of cache as status symbols, and I doubt they will disappear anytime soon.

    Personally, I have a thing against fax machines. They need to die, die, die. I’m a little obsessed, really.

  • http://www.tombrarian.net Tom

    Of that list, I only use DVDs. I do have to agree with JC that watches still have a lot of cache as status symbols, and I doubt they will disappear anytime soon.

    Personally, I have a thing against fax machines. They need to die, die, die. I’m a little obsessed, really.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com/ david lee king

    Tom – you and JC must be onto something! I never liked wearing the things – but that’s just me. I wonder if watches will eventually be more like the outdated pocketwatches on big chains that hip hop types wear, or vinyl records (a whole “new” niche market)?

    Either way, I’m with you on the fax thing – that has to go. I’m certainly sending fewer, as PDFs and online forms are replacing what I used to fax.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com david lee king

    Tom – you and JC must be onto something! I never liked wearing the things – but that’s just me. I wonder if watches will eventually be more like the outdated pocketwatches on big chains that hip hop types wear, or vinyl records (a whole “new” niche market)?

    Either way, I’m with you on the fax thing – that has to go. I’m certainly sending fewer, as PDFs and online forms are replacing what I used to fax.

  • Tina

    I still like wristwatches. Its faster than finding my cell phone in my purse or hunting down a clock (when not in front of a computer).

    I have a typewriter much like the one in the photo you have, except I use it for mixed media collage works. Love the typeset.

  • Tina

    I still like wristwatches. Its faster than finding my cell phone in my purse or hunting down a clock (when not in front of a computer).

    I have a typewriter much like the one in the photo you have, except I use it for mixed media collage works. Love the typeset.

  • Donna Berryman

    If the pricing model for internet access changes, that could have a big impact on the “life” of the DVD. Recently, here in Rochester, NY, Time Warner cable announced that they’d be introducing a tiered pricing model for internet service — the more you use, the more you pay. If you were to go over your set amount of bytes, you pay overage fees. (Sound familiar?) They’re already doing this in a market in Texas. Won’t be doing it in Rochester, NY at this time due to public outcry (we have no real alternative purchasing from Time Warner). But that could ensure that the DVD remains a viable format.

  • Donna Berryman

    If the pricing model for internet access changes, that could have a big impact on the “life” of the DVD. Recently, here in Rochester, NY, Time Warner cable announced that they’d be introducing a tiered pricing model for internet service — the more you use, the more you pay. If you were to go over your set amount of bytes, you pay overage fees. (Sound familiar?) They’re already doing this in a market in Texas. Won’t be doing it in Rochester, NY at this time due to public outcry (we have no real alternative purchasing from Time Warner). But that could ensure that the DVD remains a viable format.

  • http://www.westdeptford.lib.nj.us/ Carolyn Wood

    I think there are still a few folks around who enjoy the “timeless luxury” of sporting a nice Rolex.

  • http://www.westdeptford.lib.nj.us Carolyn Wood

    I think there are still a few folks around who enjoy the “timeless luxury” of sporting a nice Rolex.

  • http://www.tombrarian.net/ Tom

    Donna, that’s a very good point about the Internet pricing models. I thought it was all talk at this point and didn’t realize some places are already doing it. My semi-informed opinion is that a tiered pricing scheme would never fly. But if it does, you’re right that it would help extend the longevity of DVDs.

  • http://www.tombrarian.net Tom

    Donna, that’s a very good point about the Internet pricing models. I thought it was all talk at this point and didn’t realize some places are already doing it. My semi-informed opinion is that a tiered pricing scheme would never fly. But if it does, you’re right that it would help extend the longevity of DVDs.

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  • http://www.greengecko29.blogspot.com/ Penny

    Wristwatches are a bit of a fashion accessory so maybe they’ll be around for a bit longer. ;)

    I agree with the fax machine. We ditched our personal one. The ones at work are part of the photocopier/printer but I think the interloans librarian is the only one who ever uses the thing.

  • http://www.greengecko29.blogspot.com Penny

    Wristwatches are a bit of a fashion accessory so maybe they’ll be around for a bit longer. ;)

    I agree with the fax machine. We ditched our personal one. The ones at work are part of the photocopier/printer but I think the interloans librarian is the only one who ever uses the thing.

  • http://walt.lishost.org/ walt crawford

    Fax (a more than century-old technology!) seems to stick around because of special cases–for example, realtors still use it. A lot. Fortunately, they (at least some of them) understand fax-to-PDF to attach faxes to email–and that some of us can sign and return-PDF such forms (by scanning the printed PDF after it’s signed), but won’t (and can’t) use fax to do so. (I imagine there are PDF-to-fax converters as well, but good grief…)

    Still: The authority of signatures may keep fax around longer than anyone might wish.

  • http://walt.lishost.org walt crawford

    Fax (a more than century-old technology!) seems to stick around because of special cases–for example, realtors still use it. A lot. Fortunately, they (at least some of them) understand fax-to-PDF to attach faxes to email–and that some of us can sign and return-PDF such forms (by scanning the printed PDF after it’s signed), but won’t (and can’t) use fax to do so. (I imagine there are PDF-to-fax converters as well, but good grief…)

    Still: The authority of signatures may keep fax around longer than anyone might wish.

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  • davidleeking

    Good point, Walt. IF you need a signature, fax still works. So far, I’ve not been too impressed with digital signature technology … and the “check here if it’s really you” works great – as long as it’s not an “official” document like legal realtor forms, etc.

  • davidleeking

    Good point, Walt. IF you need a signature, fax still works. So far, I’ve not been too impressed with digital signature technology … and the “check here if it’s really you” works great – as long as it’s not an “official” document like legal realtor forms, etc.

  • http://walt.lishost.org/ walt crawford

    And it’s a point I make reluctantly, because fax is a pretty awful technology. Still…well, when hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars are at stake, a “digital signature” is still a little iffy for the average individual.

    [In practice, if everybody involved has access to scanners and printers, otherwise known as multifunction printers, fax isn’t needed for such transactions. But these things take an incredibly long time, since there’s inherent and reasonable technological conservatism at play given the sums involved.)

  • http://walt.lishost.org walt crawford

    And it’s a point I make reluctantly, because fax is a pretty awful technology. Still…well, when hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars are at stake, a “digital signature” is still a little iffy for the average individual.

    [In practice, if everybody involved has access to scanners and printers, otherwise known as multifunction printers, fax isn’t needed for such transactions. But these things take an incredibly long time, since there’s inherent and reasonable technological conservatism at play given the sums involved.)

  • xiwhang

    *My first thought was: Isn’t it time for Faux News to be obsolete?*

    Ironically, Mr. Crawford, the New York Times–one of the finest purveyors of false news [e.g., Jayson Blair]–will be buried first.

  • xiwhang

    *My first thought was: Isn’t it time for Faux News to be obsolete?*

    Ironically, Mr. Crawford, the New York Times–one of the finest purveyors of false news [e.g., Jayson Blair]–will be buried first.

  • Matt

    I still have and use the discman I got in 1998 when I was in 8th grade. I have never owned an mp3 player of any kind and haven’t had the interest in buying one. The only time I listen to music is in the car so the CDs work just fine, although when I am at work I sometimes listen to Pandora. I am not one of those people who needs to be listening to their mp3 player everytime they run an errand, take a walk, sit at Starbucks, or sit at their desk (which I think is rude along the lines of someone talking on their cell phone when interacting with a cashier, bank teller, etc.). So there is at least one person out there still using a discman.

  • Matt

    I still have and use the discman I got in 1998 when I was in 8th grade. I have never owned an mp3 player of any kind and haven’t had the interest in buying one. The only time I listen to music is in the car so the CDs work just fine, although when I am at work I sometimes listen to Pandora. I am not one of those people who needs to be listening to their mp3 player everytime they run an errand, take a walk, sit at Starbucks, or sit at their desk (which I think is rude along the lines of someone talking on their cell phone when interacting with a cashier, bank teller, etc.). So there is at least one person out there still using a discman.

  • http://www.privatelibrary.typepad.com/ L. D. Mitchell

    I have every single one of these, and still use most of them!

    Reminds me of a Comdex show I visited some years back. The show’s organizers had set up a portable Museum of Computer Technologies (or similar title). Except that all the old technologies they were highlighting were still still sitting in my garage….!

  • http://www.privatelibrary.typepad.com/ L. D. Mitchell

    I have every single one of these, and still use most of them!

    Reminds me of a Comdex show I visited some years back. The show’s organizers had set up a portable Museum of Computer Technologies (or similar title). Except that all the old technologies they were highlighting were still still sitting in my garage….!

  • http://www.privatelibrary.typepad.com/ L. D. Mitchell

    I have every single one of these, and still use most of them!

    Reminds me of a Comdex show I visited some years back. The show’s organizers had set up a portable Museum of Computer Technologies (or similar title). Except that all the old technologies they were highlighting were still still sitting in my garage….!

  • connie

    A criminal is a person who stilll uses a beeper. My ex-husband is a very sneaky, ex-con, who is a convicted child molester. It is just simply amazing the manipulating games these monsters play. They also never sign up for a cell phone plan. Buy those cheap phones at walgreens, walmart & use the phone cards so they arent traced. Scum of the earth is the majority of beeping idiots left.

  • http://donthaveone connie

    A criminal is a person who stilll uses a beeper. My ex-husband is a very sneaky, ex-con, who is a convicted child molester. It is just simply amazing the manipulating games these monsters play. They also never sign up for a cell phone plan. Buy those cheap phones at walgreens, walmart & use the phone cards so they arent traced. Scum of the earth is the majority of beeping idiots left.

  • davidleeking

    Connie … our library still uses beepers (and will for probably a few more years still). At least, until we get a new voip phone system (that costs an arm and a leg… and I like my arms and legs).

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