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Tech gadgets we once loved but have since abandoned (photos)

Products that were once must-have items now clutter the family garage. Check out these blasts from the past.

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Charles Cooper
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1 of 16 Sarah Tew/CNET

Kodak digital camera

Talk about a high-profile casualty of the digital age. Come July, Kodak, the company that invented the handheld camera, will stop making its digital camera. Yes, it's the end of an era but the news is hardly a shocker. What with Kodak's inability to fend off stepped-up competition from rivals with better digital cameras--not to mention the emergence of smartphones doubling as cameras--this was a slow-motion rendezvous with failure. Then last month the company filed for bankruptcy protection.
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2 of 16 Sony

Sony Walkman

Sony made its first cassette Walkman in 1979. It enjoyed a terrific run that lasted 30 years. But someone wasn't minding the store and Sony got its proverbial clock cleaned by Apple and the iPod revolution. You can still buy CD- and MD-based versions of the Walkman but good luck trying to buy a new cassette version. Then again, why would you want to?
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3 of 16

Flip camera

I'll give you my Flip when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
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4 of 16 Wikipedia
OK, it's not technically high-tech, but the venerable slide rule at least deserves an honorable mention. (Besides, it helped pull me through my trigonometry class in high school). Tech historians trace its origins back to the 17th century, but the slide rule's longevity came to an abrupt end when personal computers became popular in the 1980s.
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5 of 16 Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET

Electronic pocket calculators

They rose to prominence in the 1970s and the early models cost a bundle. But by the middle of the decade, pocket calculators could be had for around $20. The popularity of the devices was not without controversy as many teachers--including several of my own--were convinced students who used the devices would never learn math.
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6 of 16 Wikipedia

Phonograph

I've still got mine and many of you still have yours, but thanks to the Internet and digital media, the phonograph is part of a dying breed of devices.
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7 of 16 Ion Audio

Cassette tape

Long before Napster, cassette tapes were the go-to product for music swapping. Best of all, the RIAA couldn't get on your case because they couldn't track you.
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8 of 16 Wikipedia

Reel-to-reel recorders

Before the cassette era, audiophiles turned to reel-to-reel recorders and magnetic tape audio recording.
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9 of 16 Sarah Tew

Boom box

The best thing about the advent of the digital era? Very simple: the beginning of the end for boom boxes. Or so one can only hope.
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10 of 16 Wikipedia

Telex

Some companies still use telexes for specialized applications, but they've long been supplanted by fax and e-mail.
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11 of 16 Wikipedia

Pagers

Once a must-have accessory of the early adopter--or anyone who was part of the cool set. Nowadays, if you see someone still wearing a pager on their hip, odds are high that he or she is a complete dork.
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12 of 16 Wikipedia
Analog telephones were standard features in offices and homes for decades.
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13 of 16 Wikipedia
Vinyl records were inexpensive to produce and they reigned as the last century's dominant music format.
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14 of 16 Wikipedia

Transistor radio

With transistors supplanting much larger vacuum tubes, the smaller, portable transistor radio became a hit consumer item starting in the 1950s--just in time for the rock n' roll explosion.
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15 of 16 Wikipedia
Back in the day, using a PC meant first making sure you could clear a big enough space for the monitor. But the only cathode ray tubes you'll find nowadays are littering e-dumping grounds.
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16 of 16 wikipedia

Dial-up modem

Companies like Hayes, present at the creation of the PC industry, once made a bundle selling dial-up modems. Dunno about you, but I really miss that unique modem connection handshake sound. Difficult to describe that screeching wail, but I daresay you'll never get it out of your head once you've heard it.

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