The VCR is over, but our lives still depend on some retro technologies

The world’s last manufacturer of VCRs is finally pulling the plug on production. Which of course has us asking- someone was still making VCRs? But not all outdated technologies fade away. In fact, our very lives still depend on two relics invented in the last century: pagers and floppy disks.

Who still uses a pager? Probably your doctor. According to the Boston Globe, 85 percent of hospitals still rely on them to communicate. Pagers have zero battery-draining bells and whistles, so they only need to be charged once every couple weeks. With stronger signals and more reliable service than cell phones they’re actually superior during medical emergencies.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon still uses 8-inch floppy disks. According to a report issued by The Government Accountability Office, the Department of Defense uses them to carry out nuclear operations. A spokesperson said they use the system from the 70s because “it still works.” But also sometimes “low tech” means “safer tech.” Would a modern hacker even recognize one?

Despite having major upgrades available, there’s also still a market for film cameras and record players because people appreciate the quality of the “old” style. Could the VCR ever make a retro comeback? Hard to say, but we don’t know many people who’d rather watch a movie on tape instead of streaming it. That is, until internet goes down.