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outdated technology
bad memories
compact disk
what the heck
younger generation
A Tribute To Outdated Technology
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A Tribute to Outdated Technology

The ability to forget things in humans is considered to be a feature and not as a bug by many. In fact, this is one of the main features of human mind that makes us live our lives forgetting many things of which we have bad memories. But we also forget about many of the good things with which we have grown up in life.

Today I am going to talk about some of the things without which at one time we could not survive in this fast changing computer technology. I am referring to the Disk Operating System (called DOS), the Floppy Disc, Magnetic Tape, Wheel Mouse, CRT Screen and similar things. They used to be our best companions when we started with computers. DOS, Floppy, Tapes, CRT Screens etc have almost vanished from the market and if you ask the younger generation about such items, will wonder what the heck are they?

Computer Discs mainly were of three sizes Medium (8 inches), Mini (5 ¼ inch) and Micro (3 ½ inch) which used to reign the market before the arrival of the Compact Discs and DVDs. Though they had only very little storage capacity, they were doing a great job by storing applications, data, operating system and many electronic documents. It was very convenient to handle them from place to place and computer to computer. We saw the floppy disc disappearing from the market with the arrival of CDs which could store 500 to 700 times data compared to a micro floppy disc. Many of the newer computers do not have a floppy drives. Of course it became impossible to store applications and data files of bigger size on a single floppy as technology advanced. Thus one would have to span the files to more than one floppy disc and carry boxes of floppies where we could have all of them in one single compact disk.

I have jumped into the field of computers at an era when Disk Operating Systems were popular. We did not have Hard Disks to store the operating system, data or documents at that time. I had two mini floppy drives on my computer and the Operating System was getting loaded from a mini floppy disc. There was no Graphical User Interface (GUI) at that time and we all depended heavily upon the DOS commands. I have seen the MS-DOS or PC-DOS only after years, since I started working on computers. Before that we had something called CP/M and MP/M Operating Systems of which none of the new generation would have heard about. I now even know how to work fluently with DOS commands and Batch Files (DOS command files with multiple lines of commands in it). But the new generation cannot live without the Graphical User Interface.

Of course, Magnetic Tapes were favourites of System Administrators where they could backup the entire computer data on to one single tape (Cartridge Tape) of varying capacities of Mega Bytes and Giga Bytes of storage space. We had Spool Tapes before the arrival of the cartridge tapes. With the invention of single and multi layer DVDs we can store much more data on one DVD compared to a compact cartridge tape. Oh, with the development of storage technology, we have now Hard Disks of Terra Bytes of storage capacity. The magnetic tapes are also being thrown out of the market by these high capacity disk drives.

The Green Phosphor CRT Monitors used to be the pride of computer technology at one point of time, which gave way to the Black and White ones during the 90’s. Colour monitors took over the white ones and they were ousted by the LCD Screens of various sizes. LCDs have been replaced by LEDs now and god knows what it will be tomorrow.

Though we had Windows Operating System, initially graphics capabilities were much limited and we did not even have a Mouse device to control. Short cut key commands were available (which even now we have) to perform many actions. With mouse, life became very easy. We had wheel mouse with no scroll facility at one time. Then came mouse devices with up/down and right/left scrolling wheels. Track balls were also popular at one time. With the advent of Optical Mouse devices, the wheels have gone off the mouse making it easier to work with. We have touch pad mouse devices on notebook computers where we can move the pointer around just by moving our fingers on the touch pad. But the Multi-Touch enabled Touch Screens are in the market, the mouse is not going to be around us anymore. Spanning, scrolling, moving, rotating and what not, all have become so easy with the touch screens which are today’s technology.

SD Cards and USB Sticks are available in the market with varying capacities. The Photographic films that were once popular have been replaced by the SD Cards in this generation of Digital Photography.

Operating Systems are well known to everyone and they are becoming some sort of aliens to the common man though any computer cannot work without it. People may not know them as OS in the coming years but as the Power behind the computer systems because they don’t have to worry about the OS commands and Executable Files any more. It is all managed efficiently by the Graphical User Interface available to them.

What we have seen is an evolution where things which are old are giving way unconditionally to the newer ones who can outperform the oldies in all aspects. So, we slowly and conveniently forget about these oldies.

Remember, anything new has to get old at one point of time and will be history for the new generation. Even while adapting to changes and thinking for a better future, we should never neglect our past and those who have helped us to live a better life.


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