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Old words never die; they just wend their way to their just deserts.

12 Old Words that Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms. We generally know what the idioms we use every day mean, but do we give much thought to the individual words that make them up, or why we rarely, if ever, see some of them out of that context? Maybe they're just plain outdated. [more inside]
posted by The Underpants Monster on Dec 29, 2013 - 52 comments

Drag it over to the wastepaper basket

The Floppy Disk means Save, and 14 other old people Icons that don't make sense anymore
posted by infini on Dec 10, 2012 - 256 comments

Goodbye Cruel World

Ceefax, the world's first teletext information service will be turned off today. [more inside]
posted by arcticseal on Oct 23, 2012 - 45 comments

A new life for old tech.

19 ways to recycle old, unused computer hardware [more inside]
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere on Oct 21, 2010 - 20 comments

You may regret tossing that old, broken stuff.

Feeling nostalgic for all that old, broken "junk" you tossed out? "The wizards of obsolete" can help you to not make the same mistake again.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere on Sep 9, 2010 - 28 comments

From floppy to hard

The floppy disc is about to go to the great slot drive in the sky. Japanese sales of floppies have dropped from a record 47 million disks in 2002 to 12 million in 2009. So why not use those discs to make a bag, celebrate dead media by hacking together a Game Boy and a 3.5" drive, or admire the sleeve of New Order's Blue Monday? [more inside]
posted by mippy on Apr 26, 2010 - 145 comments

I'd like to send this letter to the Prussian consulate in Siam by aeromail. Am I too late for the 4:30 autogyro?

The Jobs Of Yesteryear: Obsolete Occupations
posted by Rhomboid on Mar 5, 2010 - 105 comments

103: Having a lawn you could tell kids to get off

100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About a rather comprehensive list, ranging from the gone-and-forgotten (22: Using jumpers to set IRQs) to the not-yet-extinct-but going-there (41: Phone books and Yellow Pages). But missing a few like 101: wired.com not being a nostalgia site and 102: getting punished for calling your dad a geek.
posted by wendell on Jul 22, 2009 - 92 comments

It Came From the Stacks

Awful Library Books Volumes that are so outdated or so outmoded that they no longer belong in a public library. Your grandfather's Computer Science. Your grandfather's Rocket Science. Your grandmother's Feminism. Your great-grandmother's Pre-Feminism. (And your great-grandfather's.) Your grandparents' parents! World Powers that no longer exist! Old predictions that didn't happen! Bios of people when they were famous for something else! Roller Disco! Books considered crackpot when they were new! Stuff even the Politically Incorrect would think are Just Plain Wrong! And more! Are any of these books hiding in YOUR library? (If so, mail them to me.) [more inside]
posted by wendell on Jul 13, 2009 - 78 comments

Memory lights the corners of my mind

Computer data storage through the ages. From the punch card to the cassette drive to the Jaz, and much more.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 5, 2009 - 57 comments

Tromba marina

The tromba marina, also known as the marine trumpet or nun’s fiddle, is an obsolete, 4-7 foot tall, single-stringed instrument in the viol family. Played with a bow, the tromba marina sounds strangely trumpet-like (for mp3's, scroll down to the bottom of the first link), hence the name . Buy one here or make your own. You can also see one up-close in the Musical Instrument Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but they don’t bother putting an image on their webpage, and the gallery’s carpet smells intensely of mildew.
posted by unknowncommand on Aug 4, 2006 - 5 comments

Old And In The Way

Old And In The Way. Their economy has lost any resemblance of dynamism, their military might has shrunk to the point of irrelevance, and their society is regressing towards a centrally planned socialist political system. Now with their standard of living dipping below even the poorest sub-group of Americans, is Europe a dying continent, with all its glory days already way behind it? [more inside]
posted by VeGiTo on Mar 11, 2003 - 38 comments

Obsolecence and adolescence

Obsolecence and adolescence I came of musical age during the beginning of the tectonic shift between cassette/vinyl/CD (vinyl on the way out, cassette taking precedence and CD waiting in the wings). Crushes, science and lots of bad music I still love (yeah, too much Anglophilian pop) was spooled on those tapes. This story about the demise of the cassette has it all! And it's a great bit of writing, too...
posted by chandy72 on Oct 30, 2002 - 26 comments

The DMCA

The DMCA isn't the only Dumb Law. So may Strange Laws, even Sex Laws. There's many fun Obsolete Laws still on the books. The list Goes On and On.
Not sure what laws to follow, try A Law Librarian, or, better yet, WWJD?
posted by Blake on Oct 16, 2002 - 6 comments

99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete

99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete An excerpt from an upcoming book by Mr. Zeldman in which he continues to argue the practice of standards compliance - "Held up as a Holy Grail of professional development practice, backward compatibility sounds good in theory. But the cost is too high and the practice has always been based on a lie." I enjoy his writing but he seems to be repeating himself as usual. Still, it is a good argument: where do we focus our priorities for future development - pure standards compliant CSS models, backwards compatibility, or somewhere in between? I know this has been discussed before but thought it postworthy due to the new book and all.
posted by poopy on Sep 6, 2002 - 110 comments

The end of Edison's greatest invention.

The end of Edison's greatest invention. All good things must come to an end, I suppose. This one lasted longer than most of the 19th century's great inventions -- like the steam locomotive.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Dec 12, 2000 - 10 comments

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