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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up? 635

An anonymous reader writes: It's the year 2014, and I still have a floppy drive installed on my computer. I don't know why; I don't own any floppy disks, and I haven't used one in probably a decade. But every time I put together a PC, it feels incomplete if I don't have one. I also have a Laserdisc player collecting dust at the bottom of my entertainment center, and I still use IRC to talk to a few friends. Software, hardware, or otherwise, what technology have you had a hard time letting go? (I don't want to put a hard limit on age, so you folks using flip-phones or playing on Dreamcasts or still inexplicably coding in Perl 4, feel free to contribute.)
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

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  • Telnet-based BBS. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29, 2014 @07:13PM (#47787811)

    I've been on it since '93, and it's still going okay: telnet:// (Formerly of UIowa, but split off some six or seven years ago.)

  • Re: slashdot (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 29, 2014 @07:25PM (#47787917)

    Stop saying that. Einstein never said that. And he was a physicist.

  • Re:Local storage (Score:4, Informative)

    by kwalker ( 1383 ) on Friday August 29, 2014 @07:30PM (#47787965) Journal

    If you're going to do that, at least use IMAP (Unless you're a Comcast customer, in which case, you have my condolences). IMAP lets you keep mail on the server and even organize it, rather than just having one huge Inbox. I use it on two desktops, a laptop, a smartphone, two Android tablets, and a webmail client (RoundCube).

  • Re:Simple (Score:5, Informative)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday August 29, 2014 @07:50PM (#47788117)
    If it's any consolation, I didn't use vi for close to 20 years, using pico/nano instead. It wasn't until I started working with huge flatfiles that needed hundreds of lines of regular expression parsing that I learned how to use vi effectively.

    I'd say that if you really need those advanced features that vi is the way to go, but admittedly pico/nano is a lot easier to use otherwise.

    As for what I use that's old, I have a Dolby-AC3-capable laserdisc player and more than 500 titles and an S-VHS VCR with about 850 titles on tape, I'm hesitant to buy a laptop lacking an optical drive (though my pickings are quite slim these days), I'm still using a Gateway 2000 "Anykey" PS/2 124-key macro-programmable keyboard manufactured by Maxiswitch, the vast majority of my computer monitors are 4:3 ratio, I still have my SCSI Jaz2 drive, my SCSI Zip drive, a couple of 3.5" floppy drive, and one 5.25" floppy drive laying around, and my daily-use TV is a widescreen, high-definition tube . It works great! Cost me only $40! And at 126lb, no one is going to steal it. In fairness, it fits the built-in TV cabinet perfectly and at the time a similarly-sized LCD model was close to $600, so it made sense to go with the tube.

    I don't necessarily equate old with obsolete. Obsolete is when it doesn't do the job that you need done satisfactorily. In that sense my 20 year old beater $700 pickup truck with no straight sheet metal and worn-out steering is fine, as I generally only drive it when either I need a truck specifically, or when one of the cars is out of commission and I need basic transportation in the interim. I'm typing this on a five-year-old netbook with an Atom processor, and I only recently replaced my Xeon-Gallatin-based dual processor workstation from a decade ago because the thing croaked after a power outage and doesn't want to come back up. It was a great box for a long time, even with only two cores. It's been replaced with a newer-used dual-quad Xeon workstation that I expect to use for another decade as my workstation and the whole-house server.
  • Re:Simple (Score:5, Informative)

    by nuckfuts ( 690967 ) on Friday August 29, 2014 @08:54PM (#47788517)

    Actually, real pros use
    cat > filename
    then type Ctrl-d when done.


  • Re:Simple (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anubis350 ( 772791 ) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @01:36AM (#47789543)
    They're not (yet) at the 15c range, but if you buy in a large pack and don't want the fastest drives or USB 3 you can grab 4GB thumb drives for ~$2 each (~$1 each if you in 100+ quantities)- and these days be more assured that the person taking the data can read it easily
  • by macs4all ( 973270 ) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @02:04AM (#47789615)
    If you're handy, here's a DIY ADB to USB adapter: []

    If not, there are a few of the Griffin ones on eBay for $20-30.
  • Re:A basic land line (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @05:41AM (#47790061) Journal
    There are several nice features of a landline, but they can't (in the UK, at least) compete on price. The line rental alone for a landline costs more than I spend on calls on my mobile (pre-pay, no contract, no monthly fees). Calls from my mobile are 3p/minute, a landline is £16/month. I'd need to spend almost 9 hours on the phone each month before I spent as much on my mobile as a landline would cost me before I even made any calls. And then, for the kicker, the calls from the landline cost 9p/min (+15p setup) for calls to other landlines or 12p/min (+15p setup) for calls to mobiles. There's no possible justification for calls from the landline costing 3-4 times as much as calls from the mobile on top of the extortionate line rental. If I wanted to pay BT even more, for another £3 I could get free evening and weekend calls to landlines, but calls to mobiles would still be the same price. For £7.50 on top of the line rental, I'd get free calls to landlines, and calls to mobiles would only be twice the cost of my mobile. Almost everyone I call has a mobile though, so in exchange for paying BT an amount equivalent to about 12 hours of calls on my mobile per month, I could then pay double per minute what I pay for calls on my mobile with no line rental.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.