[SIGCIS-Members] Telegram service ending soon - have any other info technologies actually died?

Pierre Mounier mounier at msh-paris.fr
Tue Jun 18 13:49:35 PDT 2013


Among information technologies that have  completely vanished from use  
and been replaced with computer systems, many devices designed for  
bank operations may qualify, such as:
- Anti-fraud machines like this Protectograph *
- Mechanical check sorters, like the NCR machine we recently excavated  
from the backrooms of BNP Paribas.

it is not only the machines which have disappeared, but also most of  
their functions, as the cheques themselves are gradually vanishing  
from the scene, as did clearing houses in the past decades.


Pierre Mounier-Kuhn
CNRS & Universite Paris-Sorbonne


Le 18 juin 13 à 17:39, Thomas Haigh a écrit :

> Hello everyone,
> Slate has an little interesting story, framed with the idea that  
> “dead” technologies take a very long time to actually depart.  
> Apparently the last telegram will soon be sent, as India is  
> discontinuing the service as a result of widening losses.http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/06/17/death_of_the_telegraph_world_s_last_telegram_to_be_sent_in_india_on_july.html 
> . According to the original story http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2013/0614/India-to-send-world-s-last-telegram.-Stop 
>  the system was down to its last 998 workers and was handling only  
> about 5,000 messages a day.
> Of course, it’s only really with a service based technology that an  
> actual date of death can be established. Something like a PC can  
> just go into the attic and might one day come out again in working  
> order. Even pneumatic tubes, a retro technology favorite, are still  
> in use in some settings. Punched cards are still used in voting  
> machines. Vacuum tubes are still used in expensive amplifiers.  
> According to Wikipedia even semaphore flags are still “used during  
> underway replenishment at sea.”
> So, can anyone come up with another information technology that has  
> definitively and verifiably vanished completely from use? Specific  
> products don’t count.
> Tom
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