What separates humans from the other sentient beings in this world is probably our technology or our capacity to use available resources to make things or create things.

The earliest forms of human technology is probably related to the advent of fire and our capacity to control it as well as the creation of simple tools made from rocks that helps us to kill for food or survival, gather food from vegetation and facilitate early agriculture.

The first and more complex technology of the early humans is the creation of the wheel around 4000 B.C. but its use for transportation was only realized around a thousand years after.

But we’ve gone a long way from the first wheel – a really long way. We now have ships that go to space and even created our own cyberspace. We’ve created more massive tools for killing and now have the means to clone other sentient beings.

Some technology has remained with us from the day it was created, and yet some are either have gone extinct (rendered obsolete), near extinct or replaced with something better –  more advanced.

I have listed down below some of the technology from the late 20th century to the early 21st century that is now obsolete or nearing extinction. If you can relate to most of the items here, then you might also be nearing extinction <hehehe>.

Instant Messenger (1996)

The BlackBerry Messenger is the latest messaging technology to go down as it stopped all services last May 31, this year. There are of course other mobile messaging apps out there but it was BBM who started it all. They were the first to use read receipts and typing indicators but its main selling point is the security that it provides users. FB Messenger, Instagram and even WhatsApp wont be able to give you that.

However, mobile number-based predecessors like Telegram, Viber, Signal and iMessage provides almost the same BBM security features like end-to-end encryption.

The earliest form of successful instant messaging was developed in 1996 with a service called ICQ. This was quickly followed by AIM (AOL Instant Messenger), Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger and Skype.

By 2010, IM was replaced by dozens of instant messaging apps that offered unique capabilities and targeted younger crowds like Line, WeChat, KakaoTalk, SnapChat, and others. Most are extinct now.

Floppy Disks (1967)

Invented in 1967, the first FDDs or diskettes came out as an 8″ flat and thin square device with a storage capacity of only 80KB.

Old computer CPUs are fitted with drives that allowed these diskettes to be read.

In the late 70s, FDD manufacturers came out with a smaller 5.25 diskette with a 110KB capacity. Now imagine if you’re storing a 1GB video using this, you’ll need around 9,532 of this disks and maybe a couple of days to finish.

By mid-80s the 3.5 disks came out with a slightly larger storage capacity of 720kb to 2.88MB.

In the early 1990s, Zip Drives and Zip Disks came out which provided storage of 100MB to 750MB. But these discs also provided some technical complications.

The reign of the Zip Drives were short because it was quickly overshadowed with the invention of the CD-Rs and CD-RWs that offered the same storage capacity but with faster writing speed.

CD-Rs and CD-RWs ruled the portable storage industry from the late 90s up until the mid-2000. Its fate caught up with the dawning of the Thumb Drives at the start of the new millennium.

The Floppy Disks are now extinct. The CD-Rs and CD-RWs are almost extinct. Thumb Drives that has a capacity of less than 2GB are also gone now.

Aside from thumb drives and external hard disc drives with higher storage capacities and built-in security features, we can now store loads of data through internet cloud storage which offered more flexibility and various online applications.

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