Office Computing Hardware That Is No Longer Used

Gordon Moore once claimed in 1965 that the number of components in a computer chip would double every year.

Whilst he was not necessarily talking about computer power, the idea of Moore’s law was that computers evolved at such a rapid rate that technology could within a couple of years go from ubiquitous to obsolete.

Whilst neither Moore’s law nor the impression that people received from it turned out to be true, it is astonishing how one day a company will contact IT support in Colchester asking about a brand new piece of technology that within a really short space of time gathers dust in a drawer.

Here are some of the most infamous examples of this.

Personal Digital Assistants

Whilst neither the first PDA (IBM Simon) nor the first device to be called a PDA (the Apple 

Newton’s marketing coined the phrase), the Personal Digital Assistant was one of the first incredibly successful handheld computing devices.

It was cheaper than a laptop and more functional than a personal organiser, making devices such as the PalmPilot exceptionally popular with executives for almost a decade.

The PDA did not die out per se but was completely superseded by smartphones such as the BlackBerry and the iPhone. Palm did not make it out of the first decade of the 2000s and most office uses for PDAs have been replaced by tablets.

Pagers

Whilst still finding use and popularity in some medical fields, the simplicity of pagers in allowing instantaneous short messaging was replaced by the end of the 1990s by mobile phones, which allowed for the same device to send and receive messages over a phone network.

Before computers and the internet were ubiquitous parts of business, the fax machine was the easiest and fastest way to send a copy of a document to someone for a very long time, as all you had to do was dial the number of the machine and scan the document.

It would then be converted into an audio signal that would be relayed and reproduce the document.

It did work very well, but in the wake of the internet and emails, fax machines have largely disappeared, and fax capability is typically replaced by email instead. The widespread move to paper-free offices has all but ended the need for faxes for many people.

With that said, given that in a lot of countries an electronic signature is not legally recognised but a faxed contract with a signature is, many businesses retain some kind of fax support, although with a rapid switch to digital technologies in 2020, even this has started to fade.

PC Cards

In the 1990s companies not only ran on Microsoft Windows or Apple MacOS but on a wide variety of computer systems, including Acorn’s RISC OS and Commodore’s Amiga.

As it became clear that the computer world was shifting towards one dominant PC system, a lot 

of computer manufacturers made physical hardware that would allow you to run PC-compatible software on them.

They were almost always too expensive and with the rise of emulation and many of these alternatives going out of business, the PC card is no longer used.

Faxing The Nda

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