Tech Items You Don’t Need Anymore

Technology advances at such a rapid pace that the phone in your pocket is millions of times more powerful than all of NASA’s combined processing capacity in 1969, which assisted in the landing of two astronauts on the moon.

More devices become relics of the past as we continue to make advancements. This post will highlight 10 outdated devices that you no longer require. Let’s take a look at what replaced them and why.

1. Typewriters


Typewriters are old keyboards that print directly on paper. Prior to the invention of typewriters, all official papers and correspondence were either handwritten or produced on a printing press, which was rather expensive. Christopher Latham Sholes created typewriters in 1868 as a low-cost alternative.

Mechanical keys were attached to lever-like metal surfaces with raised letters and characters on the early typewriters. To print on paper, an inked ribbon is placed between the paper and the metal surfaces when you push a key.

It was a game-changing invention that altered the way businesses operated and individuals shared information. By the mid-nineteenth century, they had become vital in offices. They ruled for over a century until being surpassed by computers.

However, many individuals, particularly poets and novelists, still enjoy the tactile feel of typewriters, so they aren’t entirely extinct.

2. Payphones

Front view of a pay phone next to an empty rural road.
Front view of a pay phone next to an empty rural road.

Communication via payphones was the norm prior to the advent of mobile phones. Users may use these public landlines to make calls and pay using cash, debit cards, or credit cards. Payphones were frequently installed within booths (kiosks) to provide the user with privacy, something contemporary phones have to sacrifice for mobility.

The first pay phone was established in 1881, and by the 1900s, they could be found on major streets, train stations, and other public areas. However, they began to diminish in the mid-2000s, when telecom giants AT&T and Verizon auctioned off their payphones.

3. Photographic Films

photographic film

It is now the era of instant photography, when taking a snap and sharing it takes only a few seconds. Previously, individuals used still cameras using photographic films, which were created in 1885.

Prior to this, photography was primarily available to the wealthy, but the invention of films made it more widely available. These light-sensitive photographic films were exposed to light for a limited period of time in order to capture photos of things, and then chemically developed to generate viewable images.

The adoption of digital cameras in the 1990s was a time-consuming and expensive procedure. Photographic films and film cameras became outdated by the end of the twentieth century.

4. Answering Machines

Answering Machine

An answering machine performs the same function as your phone’s voice mail system. The sole difference between the two is that an answering machine records caller messages locally on storage means such as cassettes, whilst a voice mail system stores them on a centralized computer server.

The first answering machine was created in the 1930s, but it did not become widespread until the 1980s. By the early 2000s, voicemail had mostly supplanted answering machines because it allowed users to view recorded messages from any location.

5. Pagers (Beepers)

Pagers (Beepers)

Prior to the invention of mobile phones, individuals only had landlines, and there was no means to convey an emergency message to someone. In order to address this issue, Alfred J. Gross designed pagers in 1949 for use in hospitals. These were radio communication devices with individual numbers, much like telephones.

So here’s how a pager works: anyone who knows your pager number may call your pager and transmit a message (a phone number or a brief text) to it. When you get a message, your pager will show it on the LCD screen.

While one-way pagers could only receive messages, two-way and response pagers could send them as well. Pagers became obsolete as mobile phones grew more prevalent.

However, they are still utilized (though infrequently) for emergency services such as healthcare and fire protection.

6. Cassette Tape

cassette tape

Although many people, particularly audiophiles, adore vinyl records, they are cumbersome and fragile to transport. Phillips produced small cassette cassettes in 1962 to address this issue. Initially, they were utilized for audio recording and playback. However, as the VHS standard evolved, cassettes began to accommodate video as well.

Cassettes were a big hit in the music industry, and they revolutionized the way people listened to music. Cassettes allowed individuals to carry their music anywhere they wished. They remained popular throughout the 1970s and 1980s, but cassettes were phased out in 1991.

7. Floppy Disks

Floppy Disk

To transmit information between two computers today, we utilize cloud storage systems or external storage devices, but back in the day, floppy disks were used. With the development of floppy disks by IBM in 1971, it became easier to share programs and load operating systems.

They have been the go-to storage method since the 1980s, replacing punch cards—a sheet of paper with punched holes to store digital data. However, because to storage restrictions, CDs superseded floppies by the 1990s.

To put this in context, a floppy disk has a storage capacity of 1.44 MB and a regular CD has a capacity of 700 MB. Why not put your old floppy disks to good use if you still have them lying around?

8. Portable Music Players

Portable Music Players

We now have the ease of having millions of tunes in our pockets, but individuals did not have that choice prior to the 1970s. They were only allowed to listen to music at home or in their automobiles. However, the development of portable music players changed all of that.

Sony launched the first genuinely portable music player, the Walkman, in 1979. The Walkman, which replaced the Boombox, drastically transformed how people listened to music. Aside from being portable, it also made listening to music a more personal experience by including a headphone jack, which let you to listen to music in private using headphones.

9. CDs


Compact Discs (CDs) were one of the most popular storage media at the time. CDs, the replacement to cassette tapes, were invented in 1982 by Philips and Sony for Hi-Fi digital audio reproduction. Older CDs could only hold 10MB of data, but they eventually reached a capacity of 700MB.

CDs quickly acquired popularity in the music business because they had greater storage capacity than competitors, making them perfect for storing high-fidelity audio. However, since the late 2000s, when music streaming services took control, CDs have become increasingly unpopular.

10. DVD Players

dvd players

Nowadays, if you want to see a movie, you just download or stream it from the internet; however, this was not the situation in the 1990s. People rented DVDs and watched them on their televisions. A DVD player is a device that reads these DVDs and displays the contents on a television through wires.

Following in the footsteps of VHS players, Toshiba created the first-ever DVD player in 1996, and they have since become an important aspect of home entertainment. They were immediately accepted because to the low cost of DVD rentals and the low cost of DVD players. By the end of the 2000s, however, they had been supplanted by movie streaming services.


We’ve gone a long way in the last two centuries, from barely being able to transmit messages through telegraph to engaging electronically. With each new generation of technology, society evolved, and technological gadgets became obsolete at an increasing rate. And this tendency is just going to get worse in the future.


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