20 Supposedly Obsolete Products That Still Work Surprisingly Well

Wired headphones are still going strong
20 Supposedly Obsolete Products That Still Work Surprisingly Well

If you could travel through time, would you go forward or backward? If you said “backward,” you’re lying, both to us and to yourself. First of all, if you’re any kind of minority, any day in the past is going to be worse for you, and that includes, like, yesterday. But also, unless you’re one of those off-the-grid weirdos, life would be unbearable without modern technology. If you wanted to learn something, you’d have to go to a physical building full of books. If you wanted to see a movie, you’d have to go to a physical building full of movies. If you needed to talk to someone, you’d have to call them, without warning. They’d be forced to do the same to you.

But planned obsolescence is a thing, and so is enshittification. That means a lot of products that supposedly no one needs anymore often still work great and might even have advantages over their allegedly “improved” versions. So when user Casca_In_Red asked r/AskReddit, “What ‘obsolete’ technology is still surprisingly useful?” there was no shortage of examples in the comments.

Simpletruth2022 5mo ago Mechanical clocks. Power does go out now and then.
OCDimprovingWriter 5mo ago Walkie talkies are still very useful, despite cell phones existing with a seemingly similar function.
MattWolf96 5mo ago Do Flash drives count? I usually prefer those over cloud services. Faster and I don't have to log into things.
zerbey 5mo ago I've changed the batteries in my calculator once in 30 years.
DJ_Baxter_Blaise 5mo ago Printed maps, the number of times my phone has died while exploring a city has made me either memorize a city map or get a printed city map.
tiamy 5mo ago Mechanical buttons in car dashboards. I don't know why every control has to be accessed via touch screen.
DarthRayner 5mo ago I have an old red and gold game boy micro who's proprietary charger I lost at least 15 years ago that still works and still has a charge. Not sure if it fits the 'useful' bit, but is still surprising to me.
quicksand400 5mo ago Ipod/Mp3/Mp4 player. Phones can work in a similar way, but with their battery capacity, it's better to have a separate device for music or audio books.
Witty_Masterpiece463 5mo ago Wired headphones. Zero interference and no need to charge. Just have to find a phone or device that has a jack.
commentreader12345 5mo ago I have a Walkman. It's great when there is a power outage from a storm that lasts for days. Can get news off the radio to know what's going on. If I still had a cassette tape, I could listen to the 1980's hit songs. Runs on AA batteries that I do not store in it.
joe0418 5mo ago Analog guitar effects pedals. They're mostly irrelevant compared to modern effects units, amp and cab simulation, etc. However, there's an entire industry around boutique guitar effects- hand built units using old school silicon parts, and some of them sound fucking fantastic!
copingcabana 5mo ago Old fridges. I had to replace my 2014 refrigerator last year with a fancy $1,800 model. Meanwhile, the beast in the basement has been keeping beer, soda, and frozen junk food cold since Reagan was in office.
Lord_Duckington_3rd 5mo ago My fountain tip pens. I haven't had to replace a pen in nearly a decade. I have refillable cartridges, so the bottle I'm currently on is about 6 years old.
cwsjr2323 5mo ago I have oil lamps and boxes of kitchen matches in five rooms. Besides being pretty antiques, they are good for power outages.
LawTider 5mo ago Early 2000s LCD screens. They have terrible view angle, which make them perfect for ATM's, because people can't see what you are doing from the side.
eyebrowshampoo 5mo ago Edited 5mo ago CDs. Only our most recent car is post CD player and I kind of want to buy an external one. We have a huge CD case and they're so nice on road trips. No signal issues, no queues or playlists to make, better sound quality, just pop one in and enjoy the songs the way the band intended.
Sharp_Style_8500 5mo ago Remember when you could pick up a movie where you left it using the scene select feature of a dvd menu? I really do not understand why streaming services don't make this available. Trying to rewind or fast forward to the last spot you remember like I'm using a VHS in 2024 makes me feel stupid.
AmicoPrime 5mo ago People laugh at me for still holding on to my DVDs and Blu-Rays, especially since I also like to stream, but when The Office gets moved around to a new service for the umpteenth time and they don't want to take five minutes to find a way to pirate it, they'll be grateful for my box set.
Wittgenstienwasright 5mo ago Edited 5mo ago I have a dictaphone I keep by my bed. I sleep poorly and use an old ipod with podcasts and a pillow speaker to try and sleep. Sometime I think of things or remember things or a Podcast inspires something so I record it. Sometimes it is days later I download it and I am really amazed how useful my past self can be, I always thought he was an ass.
Significant_Cut_7009 5mo ago My 1996 kylie minogue calendar can be used this year. Every 28 years the days match up.


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