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Why Pay Phones and 11 Other Old Tech Still Exist


You’re walking down the street when you suddenly remember you need to call your bank Oh no, your phone battery’s at 1%! You look around and here it is: a pay phone booth! And even better, there’s a phone book inside with the number you need

Come to think of it, though, how many other seemingly obsolete things are still out there? And why? 1 Fax machines If you were born in the 2000s, you probably haven’t even heard of them To use a fax machine, you need a printed copy of your document and the recipient has to own another such machine too Bulky and pretty unreliable, fax machines became a thing of the past in the late 90s, when emails appeared, allowing documents to be sent instantly and printed out by the receiving party That is, except in many hospitals they still use this technology

Despite having electronic records, they don’t share them with each other for many reasons and thus rely on this outdated piece of equipment Hopefully, you’ll never have to visit a hospital, but if you do, don’t forget to take a selfie with this digital dinosaur! 2 Photo labs Back in the second half of the 20th century, developing films with your vacation photos was all the rage You had only 24 or 36 photos you could take before your film ended, so you took them carefully and then went to a photo lab to see what you had Today, with smartphones capable of taking superior quality pictures in any number you like, developing photos is a thing only professional photographers still do

So photo labs have gone, but not completely — and they still offer their services to those interested 3 Encyclopedias How long has it been since you took an actual book in your hands when you needed explanation of some term or phenomenon instead of just googling it? Let me know down in the comments! I bet some people haven’t done it in their life at all But you can still see paper encyclopedias on the shelves of bookstores — and many people, surprisingly, still use them I guess some just can’t help holding a hardcover book in their hands

Speaking of which… 4 Physical books and bookstores In the age when we have e-readers designed specifically to rid you of the need to carry physical copies of books, and even apps for phones and tablets allowing you to download as many e-books as you like, it’s kinda strange to see so many bookstores still up and running Yet there they are, although now many of them have changed their profile a lot Most importantly, a bookshop has become not just a joint where you can buy a new novel by your favorite author, but a place to sit back, have a cup of tea or coffee, and relax in a comfortable chair, reading right there Admit it, reading in comfort and without a hurry is a much more pleasant experience than doing it in transport or even at home where there are so many distractions

5 VHS tapes Gone are the days when you recorded family events on a Super-8 and watched it later from VHS tapes on your player And even CD players that came later are now a rarity — everything’s on hard drives now or even on the web, where it’ll stay for a very long time, if not forever, or replaced itself by something newer or better But surprisingly, though they’re gone from households, there are still VHS tapes that are incredibly rare and valuable even today For example, there’s a Star Wars sealed box tape for sale on eBay that costs $3,500

And owners of Disney Black Diamond series video cassettes, which got its name for a black diamond symbol on every box, sometimes ask astronomical sums for their treasures It’s best to do your research, though, because some of the prices are simply crazy for no good reason 6 Photo albums Some decades ago, any family reunion eventually came to a point where the hosts retrieved a huge family album and started showing their guests all the photos in their archive Today, with Instagram and digital pictures all around, it seems obsolete, but almost any photographer you ask will offer you to make a photo album of your own

That’s because such things never really get old: a nicely decorated album with your photos may even become a good present to someone you love, or just be a warm reminder of things you’d like to remember 7 Old cell phones A smartphone is basically a full-blown portable computer that you can use for a variety of things, from checking your social media to actually doing all your work on it This can’t be said of the first mobile phones of the 90s and early 2000s, which were little more than bricks with buttons that you could talk and send short messages with Still, they’re quite popular today, and for a good reason: unlike smartphones and tablets, these simple devices are very hard to track, so if you’re worried about being watched, an old cell phone is a really good choice

Better yet, you can use… 8 Pay phones It’s really convenient to have your own phone to call anyone from anywhere in the world, but cellular network is not as sturdy as we all wish it was, and it doesn’t cover the whole planet yet In some distant areas of the world, you’d be stranded without any connection if not for pay phones that are still installed in many countries Also, in case of a natural disaster, pay phones often remain intact while both cellular network and landlines go down — they’re built to withstand a lot of damage and ensure connection even in dire circumstances 9

Pagers Wait, now, what’s a pager? It’s a little device, like a small radio, that receives messages sent to it from a phone You can’t send messages from it, so it’s only works as a receiver They were extremely popular at some point in the 90s, but for obvious reasons they soon became outdated and replaced by more versatile mobile phones But pagers haven’t become some old junk — rather, one of them just might save your life one day Paramedics and emergency care workers use this little piece of tech in their everyday jobs even today

Pagers are more resilient, able to take a lot of damage before turning off, they have much more battery life than a smartphone, and their design is conveniently intuitive, so they’re perfect for such conditions 10 Copper pennies These coins are probably the most useless piece of stuff on my list: if you’ve met a person who actually uses pennies to pay for something, pat them on the back By and large, pennies are next to worthless, but they’re still being widely circulated And if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll even find out that the cost of producing a penny is more than it’s actually worth: 1

7 cents for a 1 penny coin 11 Vinyl records Hey, vintage lovers out there, you’ll probably say that vinyl discs aren’t obsolete in the least, but that’s what they are in our modern age, sorry But in any case, the rugged, warm quality of sound they give and the feeling of authenticity when listening to the great bands of the 20th century makes lots of audiophiles around the world collect vinyl records and keep them as the treasure they certainly are 12

Landlines Who uses landline anymore when there are smartphones? Well, the decline of stationary phones is obvious, and they’re all but gone from households, but many businesses still cling to this piece of technology, and in some countries banks won’t even give you a loan if you don’t own a landline As they explain, having a landline means you own a home or at least have some place to live — as if having a job record wasn’t enough Anyway, although we’re looking at landlines’ complete disappearance in the coming years, they’re still quite strong in many ways Finally: What’s more lasting than all of this technology? Graham crackers Delicious! Haven’t changed in over a hundred years, and will probably outlast us all! Don’t you just love graham crackers? Hey, if you learned something new today, then give the video a like and share it with a friend! And here are some other videos I think you'll enjoy

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Source: Youtube

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