Friday, February 10, 2012

Gadgets we once loved


Eastman Kodak Co, the inventor of the digital camera, plans to get out of that business in the first half of the year as the bankrupt company looks to cut costs. Even as the iconic company comes to terms with changing times, let's take a look at the gadgets we once used as an integral part of our lives, only to replace them with a trendier contraptions. Here's a eulogy to top defunct gadgets:

Eastman Kodak Co , the inventor of the digital camera, has planned to soon get out of the digicam business and cut costs to survive. The decision to stop selling digital cameras, along with pocket video cameras and digital picture frames, marks the end of an era for Kodak, which also invented the handheld camera.

The Sony Walkman changed the way we listened to music as it allowed us to carry our music wherever we went. Designed by Nobutoshi Kihara, the Walkman was marketed in 1979 and enjoyed a superb run the world over for almost 25 years before the Apple revolution changed the market dynamics.

There was a time when compact audio cassette was the most economical and widely used device to listen to music all over the world. Between the early 1970s and the late 1990s, the audio cassette ruled the music market but with the advent of compact disks, the compact cassette died a slow death.

The typewriter was once an instrument of choice for offices and professional writers, but -- by the end of the 1980s -- computers and word-processers displaced the age-old tool marking the end of an era.

A pioneer among external storage devices, the floppy disk today is used as coasters. The floppy disk became a hit in the 1980s and 1990s, but new devices like recordable CDs, flash drives and external hard drives made the floppy disk redundant.

These were a must-have in offices and homes for decades, but the use of the analog telephones declined rapidly with betterment and penetration of mobile technology in common households.

The phonograph, or gramophone, was the preferred choice for music buffs throughout much of the 20th century, but with the advancement in digital media and the Internet, the erstwhile instrument in now well nigh extinct.

Once a must-have accessory, today the pager is as dead as a dodo. A pager was used for sending short messages and was quite popular for a while, but with rapid progress in the mobile telephone technology, the instrument was left redundant and useless.

Who can forget the cacophony that a dial-up Internet connection made whenever it was turned on? Although it is still useful in the rural areas, the dial-up modem will in the near future be replaced by the faster, steadier broadband connection.

Remember the portable music system that you carried along to a party or to a picnic? Well, these boom boxes today have become defunct with the advent of devices like MP3 players, portable speakers, iPods and the digital media

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