Our Top 10 Biggest Regrets in Technology
Yesterday was the start of the High Holidays for the Jewish faith. Dubbed "Rosh Hashanah
" (meaning "Head of the Year"), most Jews have now begun their 10 days of repentance leading up to Yom Kippur. Since we always have tech on the brain, it got us thinking: What technological advances dowe
Sure, technology is in many ways amazing, and has brought on advancements we probably could've never dreamed up. But a lot of it has been
an overall time suck in our lives. You know, those gadgets that --
though quirky and innovative when they first came out -- really drove us
crazy down the line.
So in honor of the Holidays, we've come up with our Top 10 Biggest Regrets in Technology. Some are old, some are new, and some are now just so outdated that they don't function properly. Check them out and have a laugh after the jump.
Apple is pretty much running things nowadays with producuts like iPhones, iPods, iPads, Macs, and the like. But in the late 80's and early 90's, we can't remember them being used for anything more than playing a green and black version ofthe Oregon Trail
. Apple taught us to hunt, gather, and protect our families from dysentery and typhoid virtually, sure. But the images were probably as low-tech as it gets, and the computer itself looked pretty much like a miniature TV propped on top of a typewriter. And can you remember all of the commands you had to input to make pictures with letters on the screen? Talk about a hassle.Nintendo Power Glove
Originally released in 1989, this controller accessory looked like the epitome of cool. We felt like we time traveled into the era of the Jetsons when we put it on, and we're sure many sported them as accessories. But did it really work? The concept of the glove was probably a good 20 years before its time, making its functionality a little hard to grasp. The wearer's fingers fed an analog signal to the microprocessor on the glove, and the microprocessor then converted said signal into two bits a finger. So we have to wear a glove while pressing buttons with the other hand? There were only two games on the market that catered to the glove, and the controller was always getting jammed. But hey, at least it looked cool, right?The Sony Walkman Tape Player
When the Sony Walkman first came out, it was the coolest concept: Taking your tapes with you wherever you went?! It was name dropped in the best movies, and being able to listen to your sweetheart's personalized mixtape on the go was just so convenient. The novelty wore thin when the tapes constantly jammed, and fast forwarding to a song we liked on an 11-song tape meant waiting around for an hour with your finger forcing a button down. With the advent of the CD, tape players became virtually obsolete almost instantly, and what once looked "super cool" transformed into "you're not cool enough."The one-way Pager/Beeper
We're not knocking how handy the pager is. Today's modern incarnations come with full text on the screen, and the ability to even reply if need be. But the first pagers we ever got our hands on were a major inconvenience. Whenever someone wanted to reach us, we'd have to decode the numbers on the screen with a beeper "cheat sheet." A friendand
an ex-boyfriend both consider "13" to be their personal identification code, and just sent you an "823*123" message? Uh-oh. What's worse were those beepers that merely said "1 page," or when acquaintances sent messages with just their phone numbers, leaving you stuck with a guessing game and whether or not you wanted to splurge the 25 cents on a phone call to kill your curiosity.The First Mobile Phone
When Zach Morris first sported one onSaved by the Bell
, we all scratched our heads. They just looked so convenient. Not needing to carry a ton of change to make phone calls on the road seemed so "out there." And how did those people get all of those little phone receptors in that box? In retrospect, that phone was enormous. How did anyone fit it into their pockets? Did women need to carry overnight bags wherever they went just to bring their mobile phones with them? And though mobile phone users looked "cool" talking on the streets when it just came out, once the newer much smaller models hit the market, they just looked plain silly.
Ahhh, floppy disks. We really didn't mind them all that much. What we really regret about the black squares was the ease with which they became outdated. One minute we were using them to save all of our important files. The next our computer crashes, and when we go to buy a new one, they no longer come with disk drives, but rather CD drives. What were we supposed to do with all of our floppy files? Save the disks for posterity until some genius comes up with a rare portable floppy drive that probably costs a small fortune?Big Mouth Billy Bass
When we first locked eyes with Big Mouth Billy, he was hung up next to a large Marlin. We were entranced. Did that fish on a plaque really just start singing to us? Did his head really pop right off the plate and stare right at us? It was laugh at first sight for many, and we all ran to get one of our own. But after the 10th time that Bass started singing, the novelty wore really thin, really fast. What gave us the bright idea to prop a plastic talking fish on our walls in the first place?Installation CDs
Installation CDs have been a necessity in the past. Up until a few years ago, whenever we bought a shiny new PC, we had to go through a lengthy process of installing at least 4 different CDs in order for the computer to function properly. But nowadays when some method of technology comes with a CD that requires installation, we squirm. Do wereally
have to spend hours on end waiting for the programs to install and load? Shouldn't they come standard, or at the very least just link us to a website that will install the program automatically?The Nintendo Game Cartridge
This is perhaps our number one technological regret, and it's not because of the nonstop gaming addiction we had as kids. It's because of the gray little cartridge that housed said games. On the Nintendo, whenever a game froze on the screen, we had to remove the cartridge from it's casing and blow on it. Hard. Sometimes it would take as long as 10 minutes to clear all the "dust" off of the game and make it suitable for playing. There were certain techniques for removing the dust, too. You had to turn the cartridge sideways, and blow at a certain angle. We're pretty sure we've lost at least a day of our lives in the combined time spent shaking that cartridge silly.The Self-Lacing Shoe
You probably thought this only existed inBack to the Future
; remember when Marty McFly rocked those Nike HyperDunks, and we thought they were the coolest thing to hit the 80's? Well Nike thought so too, and decided to release a limited run of 300 pairs in 2008. What's more,they applied for a patent of the power lacing shoes this year
, and have suggested this will become an actual mainstream product. We've come across a few prototypes of the shoe, and are convinced they've been created for the world's laziest human being -- or worst shoe lacer. The laces are bulky and look plain strange, and the motor at the heel makes us feel like we should be doing a lot more than just tying our shoes. Taking flight, maybe?
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.