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People Explain Which Pieces Of Outdated Technology We Still Use Today

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Technology is one of those things we are constantly updating in our personal lives. We have the newest phones, the latest computers, and televisions with the highest possible definition.

But the same can't be said for a lot of surprising, and honestly a little worrying, stuff.


One Reddit user asked:

What is the most outdated technology still used today?

Like I said, it's a little worrying.

All You Can Be?

army GIF Giphy

Like how all of the U.S. Army's systems run on Windows XP and they can't update because it would require converting so many files and programs and protocols that it would be very expensive to insure the process/be very hard make sure all their files transferred successfully?

- D_Redacted

I always loved how we can spend over a trillion dollars on building a modern aircraft with advanced avionics and stealth technology.

But we won't spend money to modernize the computers.

- thatAC130

Completely Separate Desktops

I went out my local tax office a few years back, because I needed new plates for my car.

While waiting in line I realized that each teller had two desktop computers. I then discovered that one was for property taxes and one for automobile taxes.

I can't even imagine what archaic system they were using that required completely separate desktops.

- Hactar42

Medical Faxes

I work in healthcare: fax machines.

- chadwick586

Sysadmin here. Laws may differ but where I live, faxes are in the same class as registered mail, so anything that can only be legally sent via registered mail can also go via fax.

Email etc don't have the same classification even though 90% of businesses who still use faxes do so electronically. Doesn't matter... so legally the fastest way the medical practice can send documents to you? Faxes.

This is starting to change and all the hospitals here have set up secure alternatives for sharing between one another, but random GPs and small clinics haven't caught up yet. Another few years and there will be less faxes but I'm guessing it's going to be around for a good while longer either way.

- wafflesareepic

Intentionally Impossible

Probably the 'computers' used in nuclear missile silos. Though kept that way, intentionally, they are really outdated.

- __groundhogday__

You can't tamper with something you can't interface with.

Until just a couple of years ago, they were using 8 inch floppies in the nuclear silos. No, not even the far more common 5 1/4 inch floppy, the even older 8 inch. They were so old that it would be nearly impossible for someone to mess with it.

The government is tracking the few places that you can still get these components. Anyone who's buying more than just replacement parts for anything they already have (i.e., trying to assemble a whole working system) will get severe scrutiny.

- WardenWolf

Historical Legacy

The NYC subway system

It is one of the oldest train system around but it has never been updated or replaced for better technology. They keep updating train car designs but the rails and signal systems are f*cking trash.

There is no reason for us to be stopped in the middle of a tunnel for fifteen minutes because of signal problems or because there's "traffic".

The MTA's excuse for not replacing the entire system is because it's a staple of NYC and is considered a historical legacy.

Like f*ck you MTA! I would like to not get fired from my job because of you! I would like to not have to leave my house 3 hours early to avoid being late for work and appointments because of your trash system.

The trains weren't as bad before, but ever since that hurricane hit, the MTA was all "well, we tried guys. The hurricane said no. Let's just drain the tracks of water and f*ck renovating anything that needs fixing."

The trains run weirdly too. The D and F trains will randomly switch lines with one another due to construction work... WHAT CONSTRUCTION WORK!?!?? THEY'RE BOTH STILL RUNNING!!!!!

The B line stops running after 9:45pm but then at 11pm, when you're drunk off your ass and need the D train (which runs the same line as the B in Manhattan but separate onto a different line in Brooklyn/Bronx), you will get on the train without looking and then just as you cross into Brooklyn/Bronx, you realize "oh my god! I'm on the B train! Tonight's the night it's running late! I'm so f********cked!"

People living near stations with just one train line... like I don't even question it. When the train that pulls up, it's our train. It's the "f*ck it. I'll figure it out once I'm in Manhattan" mentality.

And then just as you're beginning to relax, the conductor gets on the intercom to tell everyone the train will not be going into Manhattan. No, it will be reversing back to Coney Island and you will need to take literally any other train line but the one you're on in order to get into Manhattan.

That's when you wonder if you should just throw yourself onto the tracks and get it over with.

- jtrisn1

Ancient Leatherworks

If you want really outdated technology, craft leather workers (and honestly a lot of craftspeople) are using basically the exact same tools they were in the BCE.

How we make the tools is slightly different, but a leather awl is a f*cking leather awl and has been for around 3000 years.

- Sethrial

Leather burnisher. Basically a polished bone that's not been significantly changed or improved upon in the past, oh, 40,000 years or so.

Leatherworkers still use them the same way today as back then.

- Warpmind

"Old Reliable" Is Just Old

green light episode 13 GIF Giphy

Traffic light controllers.

In today's world we should have smart traffic lights that promote better flow of traffic- or at least don't make you sit at a red light for 5 minutes at 2am when there are no other vehicles on the road.

Only argument I've heard is that the older systems are tried and true, reliable, etc... Well as a police officer with lots of experience directing traffic when those old "reliable" systems fail, no. They're not reliable.

- Trouble-free

I work really early and leave the house at 4.30am. It feels really stupid sometimes when you're stopped at the traffic light for a couple of minutes when there's literally nobody else around.

I wish they'd turn the intersections in residential areas into a 4-way stop from midnight to 5am or something.

- DekeKneePulls

They Aren't Ineffective

A lot of militaries have very old airframes, with no retirement in sight. See: B-52 and Tu-95, F-5s and MiG-21s, and a whole lot more.

Also most 4th Generation jets were designed in the 70's (think F-15, Mirage 2000 MiG-29, etc.) and while modernized they're still Cold-War era frames.

- Capt_Torres

The reasons those planes don't get retired is simple they aren't ineffective against the enemy they face.

A few rebel groups can't harm them so why not keep them flying.

I guarantee if America went to war with say China those machines, or the few that survive the first year, would be retired.

Just look at the tank in WW2, any pre war tank was made obsolete within a year or two of the start of the war, even tanks that only entered service slightly before the war.

- mrv3

Balancing That Budget

I just moved to Japan and I have a bank book now??? No credit or debit card, no app, a bank book that i need to keep updated at all times.. so far for my expectations of Japan being technologically advanced.

- wndrksnk

The tsuucho. I have them too. The bank uses dot matrix printers to update them.

Culturally, the Japanese seem to like things that seem important to be more tangible. The hanko is another example.

- label974

CCTV

CCTV Footage.

How in the hell is that 2mp looking stuff going to pretend it's the best we have when a rollercoaster can snap a clear image of you at like 80mph?

- youreclappedmate

I can easily answer you that: they build for demand and the demand also has to worry about data storage.

Since COVID started, we've been recording our lectures. We generate about 15GB of footage in less than a week (And that's only for the classes/hours where we have permission).

Imagine if a story camera (running 24/7) would try to do this in the same/similar resolution

-usernamenotta

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