Obsolete things that you miss

Retro

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I miss writing out paper cheques at the till. Especially so at the supermarket when there's a long, impatient queue behind me lol.

What obsolete things do you miss?
 

Arantor

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I had no love for writing cheques, thankfully they were on the way out as I entered the world of having money.

As for things I miss… while Steam and GOG are very convenient, I do miss games coming in real boxes with real manuals so I could sit and read them and have all kinds of what felt like bonus stuff. I remember games coming with monster manuals, especially Microprose games. No messing about - you got a flight sim, and you’d get not only how to play the game but details about all the planes, flight manuevers, the terrain, all kinds of extra material they didn’t *have* to include.

Or the games that came with stickers or t-shirts or whatever in the box. I miss that. Even the weird copy-protection things like code-wheels feel sadly missing in this day and age.
 

Tiffany

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I miss the headphone jack from my cell phone.

I miss the experience of flipping through a huge shopping catalog. I used to look forward to JcPenney's 1.5 inch thick catalog to arrive every year in the mail. That's been long gone for over 25 years or more.

There's more I miss, I'll just have to think about it. ;)
 

DIMIDEAS

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CRT TVs. How the picture would slowly fade in when you'd turn them on. How you'd be able to "sense" when it was on due to the high pitched ringing of the transformer. The clicking sound it would make when you'd turn it off.

I also miss live TV as opposed to streaming. I miss the excitement of catching your favorite episode when it was on, as opposed to being able to watch it whenever you want. It takes the fun out of watching now. Thanks to streaming, most shows now are a continuous storyline, instead of a new story each episode. Certain episodes of shows are no longer considered rare either, since all of them are equally as accessible.

Cable started to decline when Blockbuster went bankrupt in 2011, but streaming didn't completely take over until five or six years later. COVID put the final nail in the coffin, and now most people only watch live TV for sports.
 

Retro

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now most people only watch live TV for sports.
Yup, that sounds like me.

I record everything to watch later, while sport is live, but I still record it and immediately delete it afterwards if there's no moment I want to go back to.

If it's a series, I'll record the whole lot and then watch it "all at once". Well, not quite when it's 22 episodes long or so, but you get me. Incidentally, that means it takes patient waiting for 22 weeks before I can watch it with it consuming increasing and significant space on the hard drive in the meantime. But when I finally watch it, it means not having to wait a week between episodes, which is especially annoying with cliffhangers.

It's satisfying to delete all the episodes at once afterwards and watch the Sky Q box do it, reclaiming all those gigabytes space. Can take quite a few seconds to do it too, if there's a lot of episodes.
 

DIMIDEAS

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Yup, that sounds like me.

I record everything to watch later, while sport is live, but I still record it and immediately delete it afterwards if there's no moment I want to go back to.

If it's a series, I'll record the whole lot and then watch it "all at once". Well, not quite when it's 22 episodes long or so, but you get me. Incidentally, that means it takes patient waiting for 22 weeks before I can watch it with it consuming increasing and significant space on the hard drive in the meantime. But when I finally watch it, it means not having to wait a week between episodes, which is especially annoying with cliffhangers.

It's satisfying to delete all the episodes at once afterwards and watch the Sky Q box do it, reclaiming all those gigabytes space. Can take quite a few seconds to do it too, if there's a lot of episodes.

I haven't used a DVR since 2015.
 

DIMIDEAS

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Whut?! 😲 I'm genuinely shocked. Do you not watch TV, or do you just stream instead?

I haven't had cable since then. I only use streaming. Some things I prefer to just keep in the past, it wouldn't feel the same if I were to have cable now.
 

Retro

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Ok, fair enough. I've got Netflix and Amazon Prime too, but the lion's share of viewing goes on Sky for various reasons, not just the content.

Presumably you don't watch any live TV then, or do you watch the free to air stuff through the standard antenna?
 

DIMIDEAS

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Ok, fair enough. I've got Netflix and Amazon Prime too, but the lion's share of viewing goes on Sky for various reasons, not just the content.

Presumably you don't watch any live TV then, or do you watch the free to air stuff through the standard antenna?

No live stuff. Not even an antenna.

One thing I like better about streaming, is that it has better image quality than live TV.
 

Retro

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No live stuff. Not even an antenna.

One thing I like better about streaming, is that it has better image quality than live TV.
That's an interesting point about the video quality. It's actually variable and tends to be lower after a program has just been started, especially with Amazon, but then once it stabilises to its maximum resolution, it can sometimes look better than Sky transmissions. Note that 4K streaming looks about the same as 4K Sky and both do HDR now which makes a very visible difference to the clarity and vividness of the picture.
 

DIMIDEAS

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You also get to take a breather after each new episode with live TV.

With streaming, you get a sense of fatigue or burnout from watching the same show for so many episodes in a row. Marathons of shows weren't very common in cable, but they'd still give you that streaming hangover, and you'd want to watch something else after the 6th or 7th episode in a row.
 

Retro

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Oh yes, I get that hangover alright! I just give them a little rest and then come back to them.
 

Retro

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Going back to the main subject, I miss the early 80s era with its interesting gadgets. I especially liked the tiny CRT TVs of the time with screen sizes between 1 and 3 inches or so and especially the colour ones. I remember seeing a Panasonic 2 inch colour TV in the shop for about £300 or so. A large amount of money then so as a kid I had no way of buying it and the Bank of Mum and Dad wouldn't stretch that far, it being a lot for them too.

The PCs of the era were more interesting too, despite being many orders of magnitude less powerful than what we have now. There were such a great variety of themm all with different designs and operating systems. Now, one PC is basically like another, just with different specs and cases and a handful of form factors. Even smartphones are all pretty similar, even between Apple and Android.
 

Retro

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Oh and my first experience of forums was around 1988 - as the letters pages of a long defunct magazine called New Computer Express. It was great when they published my letter that I sent through the post and I actually got into a back and forth argument with an Amiga user over a few magazine issues. I've never had that before or since, a once in a lifetime experience. Now, we do the same thing electronically all the time without even thinking about it, like right here.
 

Arantor

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I haven't actually plugged my TV set in since 2017. I barely watch TV on broadcast, I usually end up watching shows years after they came out, when it's on my schedule.

But I also don't watch too much of a show in one hit.

As for the early 80s, I loved the CRTs of the era, I loved the inventiveness of the rapidly evolving tech scene - how quickly we went from the likes of the ZX Spectrum to the likes of the Commodore Amiga and beyond. I love the wonder that a cassette, and later, a bundle of 5 1/4" or 3 1/2" disks would bring. I miss the joy of buying a box of wonder that would contain a manual and disks and *imagination*. In the pursuit of the digital (which, I will note has opened so many doors for so many creators), we have lost something.
 

DIMIDEAS

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Who misses HD CRT TVs? That time period was the most interesting in TV history, as it was the one that had the most diverse (and inconsistent) amount of formats.
 

Retro

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I've never seen one in real life, only a YouTube video recently where the guy visited someone with one (a Sony) and the machine and content to play on it to make that video with. I might be able to find it, but I'd have to do quite some digging.
 

DIMIDEAS

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I've never seen one in real life, only a YouTube video recently where the guy visited someone with one (a Sony) and the machine and content to play on it to make that video with. I might be able to find it, but I'd have to do quite some digging.

I've seen a few in person. They have better picture than most flat panels that aren't high end. The picture just isn't as clean. Text still looks bad on them.

I used to have one, it was a CRT rear projection from 2002. Had no HDMI, had two component inputs labled "YPBPR-1" and "YPBPR-2". It was 1080i native. It could also do 720p.

I played 360 games on it via component and they looked amazing in 1080i. When you turned it on it would say "1080i" on the top lefthand side of the screen during the first five seconds of powering it on whenever you'd use the HD inputs.

Nowadays we just have boring flat screens.
 

Retro

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Skin tones are typically better than LCDs, especially. I've found that Sony LCD TVs do much better here so I bought a 4K one a few years ago and haven't regretted it. Motion blur, the bain of sample and hold displays, isn't so bad on it, either.

OLEDs of course blow everything else away for image quality, including skin tones compared to CRTs, but are expensive and suffer image retention and burn-in. There's no one display tech out there that has it all, unfortunately.
 

DIMIDEAS

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Skin tones are typically better than LCDs, especially. I've found that Sony LCD TVs do much better here so I bought a 4K one a few years ago and haven't regretted it. Motion blur, the bain of sample and hold displays, isn't so bad on it, either.

OLEDs of course blow everything else away for image quality, including skin tones compared to CRTs, but are expensive and suffer image retention and burn-in. There's no one display tech out there that has it all, unfortunately.

CRT TVs do better with color range over component than composite.
 

Retro

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Indeed, composite is the worst connection possible, because the colour signal interferes with the luminance signal causing that characteristic dot crawl. Sharpness isn't too great, either. Any display tech using that will look terrible.
 

DIMIDEAS

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Indeed, composite is the worst connection possible, because the colour signal interferes with the luminance signal causing that characteristic dot crawl. Sharpness isn't too great, either. Any display tech using that will look terrible.

In the NTSC, I believe older shows were transferred over using composite, typically before 2002, causing bad rainbow effect and dot crawl.
 
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