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The 40 best dying or dead technologies

A spirited send-off for the best tech of yesteryear

Technology evolves at a breakneck speed, which mean's today's most-used technology, could just be a fleeting memory by tomorrow.

Sometimes, the loss is a good thing - who wants busy signals or staticky TV?. At other times, the departure stirs bittersweet feelings (remember saying farewell to your trusty old C:\ prompt?).

We've compiled a list of 40 once-commonplace activities that are rapidly approaching extinction. Some are in danger of disappearing, while others have already vanished. So join us for a spirited send-off.

1. Playing video games at an arcade

Status: On life support

Once a favourite activity of geeks worldwide, going to the arcade to play video games began fading away in the mid-1990s, just as going to the arcade to play pinball had done a decade before.

A few arcades survive, but the days of gamers lining up to feed fifty pence pieces into Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat are long gone. It's easy to see why: the advent of advanced gaming systems allows you to experience the same action at home, minus the dungeon-like lighting, the deafening game noise, and the premature exhaustion of your lunch money for the week.

2. Running out of hard-drive space

Status: Deceased

With terabyte-size drives now selling for less than £100, hard drives that exceed your storage needs aren't exactly hard to come by these days. But remember when an 80MB drive was the pinnacle of luxury and a 1GB drive would have seemed extravagant?

3. Getting a busy signal

Status: Nearly deceased

Thanks to advances in voicemail and call-waiting technology, you rarely hear that annoying broken tone any more. Unless, of course, you're voting for X Factor or listening to Pink Floyd.

4. Going on a 'blind' first date

Status: Deceased

What with Google, dating sites, and a slew of social networks, it's not difficult to get to know a person digitally before choosing to interact with them in a brick-and-mortar environment. Heck, you might even get to know them intimately before ever meeting. Or instead of ever meeting.

Broadband speed tester

NEXT PAGE: Chatting with the SysOp

  1. They're now nearly obsolete
  2. Chatting with the SysOp
  3. Checking your answering machine
  4. Storing data on a floppy disk
  5. Flipping on an incandescent light bulb
  6. Sending documents via fax


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