Is there a place for old tech in the 21st Century? – BBC News

It might have been the general consensus that the floppy disk, which was big in the 1980s, had had its day – but after the US government’s revelation that the technology remains in use at the Pentagon, enthusiasts wonder whether there is still a place for old tech in today’s hi-tech world?


Dan Hatfull, Kent

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I am a pilot, and I understand the role of new equipment allied with old stuff that, in my life at least, still has a role to play in life.

I have a Sharp VHS recorder purchased in 1999 in my drawing room, and an Aiwa hi-fi stack system, all still going strong.

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I have cassettes from when I was a child in the 80s.

I am proud to say I still use video cassettes and vinyl, and have a huge record collection, supplemented by CDs to play in the car.

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I get disillusioned with this throwaway society where once something is not fashionable anymore it’s discarded.

I don’t see why serviceable films on VHS from the 80s have to be digitally re-mastered, so that people must replace their video collection with DVDs.

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Then, we have to do the same thing again with Blu-ray, and replaced again with downloads.

I don’t like waste.

What I don’t see is why I need to keep changing my collections because of marketers and society – it’s nonsensical.


Mark Partridge, London

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I bought my 1972 Akai 4000D player about a year ago from eBay and reconditioned it.

I’m an enthusiast and collect equipment like that.

You get 45 minutes on each reel, and it is very high-fidelity.

It still provides much (easy) listening pleasure.


Richard McKenzie, Australia

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I use the Apple Extended Keyboard II on my home computer as my main keyboard.

I write quite a bit for my day job and for pleasure, and I feel much more productive typing on a keyboard like this.

The only thing is that they are loud compared to more recent types; everybody in the house knows when I’m typing.

But that’s a small price to pay for the pleasure of a mechanical keyboard.

Technological progress isn’t always for the better, and our desire to have computers (and smartphones) as compact as possible has meant that keyboard design has suffered.


James Clephane-Cameron, Surrey

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I collect and restore old British computers.

In the 1980s and 1990s the UK was a world leader in computing, developing the ARM processor which now runs in almost all smartphones.

The systems still have their uses. Everything from music notation to complex mathematics.

I use mine to teach my children about computing and to help them understand how modern computers work.


Compiled by Andree Massiah

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36388265

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