• Where do we go from here?


    Marty Silbernik is the author of I'm Too Old To Do This, a tech blog for folks who remember when none of this stuff existed. This article appears with permission.

    I was reading something the other day and it got me thinking. The article was about what the future held for electronics and tech devices. If you read this blog regularly, you've probably seen this article about the Millennials that I shared with everyone.

    And if you happen to follow the tech industry, this week is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This annual even showcases the latest and greatest products and ideas in the tech world. I’m anxious to see what’s being talked about and share some of that with you.

    Anyway, all three of these things got me thinking about all the changes I’ve seen, especially related to my electronics and tech stuff. Over the years, there’s quite a few things that were “must have” things that are no longer part of our lives or have changed dramatically. Things like:
    Reel to Reel recorders

    • 8 Track tapes
    • Casettes
    • Video Tape Recorders (Beta THEN VHS)
    • Black and White TVs
    • Rotary Dial Phones
    • Encyclopedias
    • Leaded Gasoline
    • Sony Walkman
    • Portable CD Players
    • Pagers


    And the electronics landscape is changing quickly.

    • Desktop computers are being replaced by Laptops
    • Laptops are getting replaced with tablets
    • Music devices are getting smaller with larger and larger capacities
    • Landlines are slowly disappearing and being replaced by VOIP (Internet based telephone services) and cell phones
    • People “cutting the cord” - getting rid of cable or satellite and find alternate sources of programming that cost less


    In essence, technology is evolving and at a faster pace than ever before. So that’s what this post is about. But, I want to take a slightly different approach today. I could give you my thoughts about what I think might happen. But I want this blog to be both informative and thought provoking. So rather than me talking (or actually writing) about what I think is going to happen, I’d like you all to give me some of your thoughts. We’ve all seen and experienced changes that have affected us. Tell me what you think!

    • What do you miss that’s no longer with us?
    • What would you like to see happen?
    • What do you think will appear or disappear in the next 5-10 years?
    • What kind of tech changes would make your life better or easier?

    Lets make this topic interactive. Take a few minutes and post a reply here. Send it on to your friends… let them take a look and offer their insights and thoughts. But lets’ not just lock ourselves into a simple “like” on Facebook. Lets get a discussion going among all of us. Let’s have some fun with this in the new year!

    Thanks for reading and be sure to forward, follow, comment on and share it!

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    Comments 4 Comments
    1. LCTAG's Avatar
      LCTAG -
      Lifecycles becoming shorter and shorter. Maps replaced by stand-alone GPS units, stand-alone GPS units replaced by GPS integrated into smartphones. Cassettes replaced by CDs, CDs replaced by downloads, downloads replaced by subscription music services. VHS rental stores replaced by DVD rental stores, rental stores replaced by kiosks, kiosks being replaced by streaming. And whatever happened to used music stores (kinda hard to buy a used download)?
    1. Stuart Sweet's Avatar
      Stuart Sweet -
      Yeah, actually it's illegal to resell a download, and it's still not clear what happens to it when you pass away (from a legal perspective.)
    1. PhilK's Avatar
      PhilK -
      I miss the BBC shortwave broadcasts.

      All the old tech is still around, I bought a turn table a few years ago since I could no longer get parts for the old one. I did this so that I could convert all my LPs to CDs. I managed to get through all my LPs but then my wife wanted hers done and her collection was much larger than mine. She eventually bought one of those boxes to convert all her LPs to CDs but has never found the time to actually do it.

      More than any technology I miss having the time to actually use any of this stuff.

      I'd like to see a little stability and interchangeability take over the DVR video recording industry. I can't share a show on a DISH DVR with any other kind of video player I own, I want to be able to do that. I want a standard hard drive (or E-memory) format so that shows saved on one DVR can be ported to any other DVR or video player or the external HD I use to get the shows off the DISH internal HD can be hooked up to my computer or another video player and actually be able to play the shows, which means it has to be able to understand the DISH HD formatting as well as the saved content.

      In the next 5-10 years CDs and DVDs are going to diminish in importance as long as the Internet providers don't charge us an arm and a leg for content as they seem to now be allowed to do, U.S. appeals court kills net neutrality. Net neutrality is where the Internet provider cannot charge more for or slow down the competition. It must remain neutral and give every provider of content equal access/speed. For the cable company any Internet venue that shows TV programming is competition for cable TV programming and thus it is now open for the cable company to either charge you more for that provider's bandwidth or to slow it down so that it is no longer so attractive. (I posted this in another blog comment.)

      The thing is I don't see any technology going away, yet. I never liked 8 track tape and so never got on that band wagon. As far as I'm concerned it's dead, but is it? I do know about some things I've been interested in. I used to repair all sorts of electronic equipment, and when I can, I still do. One of the things that has almost disappeared is the ability to repair electronic devices. I used to repair tube, transistor, IC type TVs, well the tube TVs are gone but tube electronics is not. There are still audiophiles who claim that the old tube amps were, and still are, much better than anything transistorized (that includes ICs) and so there is still a tube industry supplying tubes and some people still making tube electronic devices such as guitar amps and stereo audio amps.

      Tube TVs and Radios are gone, but some tube electronics is still with us and because of demand will probably remain for some time to come, if not forever, as a specialty area.

      What tech will make life better? Well, I think less connectivity for devices that really don't need it will help. Do I really need my washer, toaster oven, fridge, etc. hooked up to the Internet? I don't think so. Also, at present even things I think I would like connected I'm not going to connect in today's lack-of-security Internet environment.

      With things like an iPhone we have an audio device, a video device, an Internet device, oh yes, and a phone. Google glass & others are making the same kind of thing in a set of glasses for us, these will be 3D if they aren't already and we'll be connected all day long. The only thing I see to come will be these attached to your eyes 24/7/365 similar to contacts & the computer/connectivity will be implanted in your head and it will be powered my your own body heat. Probably not in 5-10 year but possible? I think so... "Resistance is futile!"

      I've seen the Borg, and they are us.
    1. PhilK's Avatar
      PhilK -
      Quote Originally Posted by SS@SolidSignal View Post
      Yeah, actually it's illegal to resell a download, and it's still not clear what happens to it when you pass away (from a legal perspective.)
      Interesting idea. We used to be able to buy used records, CDs, VHS tapes, DVDs, books etc. Now, we have rights to them but we can't even pass them on to our spouse or children. Except, we can at least share them. So, if we share everything then the people we share with can use them & our libraries continue on after us? I guess we could always sell a share to someone to view content we "own." The thing is, we don't really own e-content like we used to own a book etc., do we? Can we transfer "ownership" of our content? Then we don't sell the e-content we sell our "ownership" of the content and transfer the content access to the buyer & give up our rights to it.

      Humm, A step further, Imagine if they put copyrights on houses, cars, guitars, radios, etc. We wouldn't be allowed to sell any of them?!