%% Image and caption selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1390585120056360100
%% Old image moved to NoBackwardsCompatibilityInTheFuture.
%% Please do not replace or remove either without starting a new thread.
[-[[caption-width-right:350:Smaller media. Larger capacity. Not [[Series/DoctorWho Time Lord]] technology.]]-]

->''"Computers in the future may ... perhaps weigh only 1½ tons."''[[note]]This quote is actually a [[http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/news/inside-the-future-how-popmech-predicted-the-next-110-years-14831802 partial aversion]].[[/note]]
-->-- '''''Popular Mechanics''''', 1949

So little Timmy is watching a show from the 1990's. In one episode, the characters are all excited because of a new [[VideoGame computer game]] that will be released very soon. A computer game -- on CD-ROM!

And Timmy says, "'[=CD-ROM=]s?"

You see, Technology has marched on, and things like [=CD-ROM=]s and [=VHS=] cassette tapes and so on have relatively recently become either so little-used as to be obscure, or obsolete altogether. This isn't {{Zeerust}}, which is about futuristic tech becoming old rather than about modern tech becoming old. The important qualifications of this trope are as follows:
* Show takes place in modern or modern-ish times, usually the not-so-distant past.
* Show makes reference to something, usually a form of technology, that is "The next big thing" or "state of the art", and indeed it was -- at the time the show was made.
* Said technology has since proved to be impractical, has become obsolete, is at least gradually on its way out, or it is just not in the spotlight anymore.
* Cue HilariousInHindsight for those who remember when said tech was either very common or hyped as the next big thing.

As far as that last point is concerned, remember that there have been spectacular technological leaps in just the past twenty years -- within the lifetimes of many (read: most) Tropers, in fact![[note]]And if you haven't experienced it yet, don't worry. The first time will hit you completely by surprise sometime within the next five years.[[/note]] For the most part, once a technology is invented, it tends to develop at warp speed. Remember, it took only about 65 years (1903-1969) to go from one rickety plane barely able to get off the ground to putting a man on the MOON! So this can lead to some odd moments for those who grew up watching certain things go from "absolutely essential" to "taking up space in your basement".

To clarify, an excellent example would be a scene in ''Series/{{Friends}}'' where Chandler gleefully describes all the awesome features of his brand-new computer:
-->"Twelve megabytes of RAM, five hundred megabyte hard drive, with built-in spreadsheet capabilities ''and'' a modem that transmits at over 28,000 bps!" [[note]]Episode "The One With The List", first airdate November 16, 1995. At that airdate, those features were quite impressive, especially for a laptop.[[/note]]

There was a time when these specifications would be mockingly contrasted with a modern counterpart. However, technology has moved on so far and so fast that Chandler's computer is now unimaginably primitive; these days, even a ''low-end'' smartphone is several times more powerful than that in every way, while fitting in the user's pocket and costing considerably less than he would have spent.

Somewhat related are those moments, during not-so-old films, where you realize the entire plot could be resolved with something the world takes for granted today. ({{Cell Phone}}s, [[CellPhonesAreUseless perhaps]].) A related and increasingly-common source of humor shows down-on-their-luck characters as only able to afford the kind of older technology found in thrift stores today. Additionally, shows set in the past will often {{Lampshade|Hanging}} this for humor.

A LongRunner might even have its earlier episodes/books/etc. have one level of technology, and later installments have more up-to-date technology with little or no HandWave at all.

Often turns a work into an UnintentionalPeriodPiece. Can sometimes be a TropeBreaker: a change in cultural context that affects Tropes. A cousin of sorts to OurGraphicsWillSuckInTheFuture. See MagicFloppyDisk for cases when the tech onscreen in a futuristic series was dated ''when the show was made''.

See also ScienceMarchesOn, and some examples of AluminumChristmasTrees. LongRunnerTechMarchesOn is when this happens InUniverse. Contrast IWantMyJetpack, where the writers ''over''estimated the advance in technology. A fictional world where Technology ''doesn't'' march on despite the passage of time is in MedievalStasis.


!!Computer Size
Nobody, ''nobody'' saw the miniaturization of computers coming[[note]](with the possible exception of UsefulNotes/RichardFeynman -- who was such a physics badass that he was talking about the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There%27s_Plenty_of_Room_at_the_Bottom true possibilities of nanotechnology]], and Music/{{Kraftwerk}}, who implied the possibility of said miniaturization in their album ''Music/ComputerWorld'')[[/note]]. Interplanetary travel will surely be easy, but desktop computers? Impossible! Netbooks? [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs Are you on drugs]]? [=PDAs=] and smartphones? Whatever you're smoking, pass it over here. Handheld calculators? '''Handheld CALCULATORS?'''

Today, the smartphone you carry in your pocket has more computing power than the fastest supercomputers of the 80's. (For example, the Cray-2, released in 1985 and the fastest supercomputer until 1990, performed at about 1.9 gflops. An iPhone 5S performs at about 75 gflops.)

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AILoveYou'': Koube gets all excited because he finds an HDD that's one whole gigabyte. Also, he's quite clearly using 5-1/4" floppy disks, which are probably unrecognizable to anyone born after 2000. Ken Akamatsu, the series creator, commented on this five years later when the manga was re-released, well aware of how dated his earlier manga was as a result.
* Averted by the original ''Manga/AstroBoy'' (created in 1952 or thereabouts) which mentions an Apache scientist developing a computer small enough to fit in the palm of a man's hand sometime in the 1970s which eventually led to the development of intelligent robots (the scientist's background is also interesting in the context of art imitating life, as there is now a reasonably successful Apache Software Foundation). Of course it looked like a tiny version of the Univac-style computers of that era and was said to run on Nuclear power, but it was still pretty groundbreaking for its time. Portable computers also show up a handful of times during the series proper, although they're still quite primitive compared to the modern laptop.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'': Sailor Mercury's Mini Super Computer was practically a super-power back in the early 1990s. It looks very dated now.
** Lampshaded in the fanfiction ''Fanfic/SleepingWithTheGirls,'' where the main character comments that with the advent of smartphones, palm pilots, blackberries, and iPads, the most extraordinary thing about it is how ''extra-ordinary'' the device is.
** ContinuityReboot ''Anime/SailorMoonCrystal'' makes a point of updating prior versions' outdated tech. In Act 2, the computers now all have flat screens and slim towers, while Usagi herself owns a laptop, as opposed to using a dated, ungainly school desktop in the [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]] and 1992 [[Anime/SailorMoon anime]].[[note]]Laptops also existed in 1992, but were not widespread, and used largely by the tech-savvy, like the original anime's Gurio Umino.[[/note]]
* The computers in ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' (1998) still lack the flat screens commonplace today and computer hardware seems pretty normal for late 90s technology. However, the internet or "the wired" has become interface-able with virtual reality, and the GUI looks like a crazy-cool animated wallpaper that conveys "futuristic" very well.
** Many of the computers were actually running a real workstation operating system, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXTSTEP NeXTSTEP]]. It should be noted that [=NeXTSTEP=] is the direct antecedent of UsefulNotes/MacOS X and iOS making the series even more [[VindicatedByHistory ahead of its time]]. Also, if you have Linux you can actually install a [=NeXTSTEP=]-like UI on your system -- it's a window manager called [[http://windowmaker.org/ Windowmaker]] and quite a few people still use it because it's small and lightning fast.
* In the first episode of the 3rd ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' anime, we're shown Noboyuki setting up the Masakis' first computer. Despite the fact that the anime was made in the 2000s, the series is still stuck in the mid-90s, we're looking at a big, bulky Desktop that not even holds Sasami's interest.

* Makes for some great dramatic irony in ''Film/{{Apollo 13}}'':
** Mention is made of NASA's most advanced computer at the time, during a spiel where Lovell is also mentioning Saturn Rockets and Apollo 11 as things which people would have thought were impossible. The rockets are powerful, Apollo 11 ''worked'', and the computer "fits in a single room!"
** Lovell is panicking minutes after the explosion, and asks Ground Control if he got his trajectories right - the scene then cuts to a room full of engineers frantically moving [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slide_rule slide rules]] to check his math. Ironically, slide rules couldn't actually be used to solve the equations, but hardly anyone knows what slide rules do these days anyway, so few people notice.
* In ''Film/TakeTheMoneyAndRun'' (1969), Virgil Starkwell (Creator/WoodyAllen) attempts to bluff his way through a job interview, padding his resume with preposterous lies. Among these: when asked whether he's "ever had any experience running a high-speed digital electronic computer", Virgil answers in the affirmative, adding, "My aunt has one." Cue laughter.
* Parodied in ''MysteryTeam'', where the "wacky facts" book Duncan reads from includes the fact "Did you know that one day, computers will be as small as your own bedroom?"
-->'''Duncan''': "How ''old'' is this book?"
* Cruelly used in the last few minutes of the third ''{{Terminator}}'' film. After the heroes arrive to blow up Skynet's mainframe, they discover that due to all the changes they've made to the timeline in previous films, this current iteration of Skynet is actually a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_computing distributed computing]] network spread all throughout the Internet and thus impossible to destroy, [[GoneHorriblyRight just as its military creators intended]].
* Demonstrated in the 1957 Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy movie ''Desk Set''. Hepburn plays Bunny, a research librarian for the imaginary Federal Broadcasting Network who is worried that EMERAC, the "electronic brain" being installed by computer engineer Richard Sumner (Spencer Tracy), will replace the whole department. EMERAC is cutting-edge for 1957, a huge machine with whirling spools of tape and panels of lights that flash for no good reason, but is rather hilarious to modern eyes. Equally funny is the treatment of the computer: the characters type out questions in standard English and are given answers in the same. For instance, in a demonstration, EMERAC is asked, "What is the total weight of the Earth?" and in reply prints out, "With or without people?" (which presumes that people are the weightiest form of life on earth, we are not even close).
** Of course, in 1957, probably very few people in the audience had any idea how a computer would really operate, so this exchange seemed reasonable.
** Besides, a good enough programmer could get a computer to respond that way, then and now, at least given enough if-then programming.

* ArthurCClarke:
** ''The Sands of Mars'', includes a journalist taking a commercial space flight to the colony on Mars. A journalist who uses a ''typewriter''.
** ''Into the Comet'' is even worse: A spaceship exploring a comet loses its navigational computer, and the complex orbital calculations cannot be performed by hand. ''There is not a single calculator on board''. The ingenious solution? [[spoiler:Building dozens of ''abacuses'', and implementing a production line of crew members using said devices.]]
** Clarke had a massive AuthorAppeal for broadcast satellites well before they actually existed. TechnologyMarchesOn because all of his stories set during this pre SpaceRace period that feature this technology have it being used on ''manned'' {{Space Station}}s with crews required to install and run the broadcasts. One of his stories involves a famous broadcaster deciding to stay up in space to do weather reports because of how much he liked being up there.
** In ''[[http://www.webscription.net/chapters/0743498747/0743498747___1.htm Rescue Party]]'', a story written in 1946, highly-advanced aliens find an abandoned Earth. These aliens discover, amongst other things:
-->"The great room, which had been one of the marvels of the world [...]. No living eye would ever again see that wonderful battery of almost human Hollerith analyzers and five thousand million punched cards holding all that could be recorded on each man, woman and child on the planet."
** In ''[[http://www.mayofamily.com/RLM/txt_Clarke_Superiority.html Superiority]]'', a computer containing just short of a million vacuum tubes requires a dedicated battleship to house it and a crew of five hundred highly trained people to operate and maintain it.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov ran up against this one a lot. He wrote in the 1950s and 1960s, and liked to write about computers, so this was pretty much unavoidable. One story, ''The Feeling of Power'', featured the use of humans with calculators in guided missiles to be an improvement on computers because computers are oh so very bulky -- and ''expensive'' -- in the far future. However, pocket calculators ''were'' used, and Asimov foresaw that they would have the effect of eliminating basic arithmetic skills. The story was based on the exciting new science of ''multiplying by hand''. More to the point, computers powerful enough to make decisions (rather than just make calculations) were expensive. [[WeHaveReserves People were much cheaper]].
** Another example is Multivac, a supercomputer of the size of many kilometers, that in some stories had enough computational power to solve the problems of mankind and in one story called "All the Troubles of the World" was able to predict when, where and by who every crime will be committed based only in psychological information, and then in "The Last Question" it became a deity in and of itself. Oh, yeah and it worked with either vacuum tubes or relays (although "The Last Question" did have it switch to smaller circuitry around 3000).
** There's a U-turn on this is Asimov's {{Foundation}} Trilogy: In the first volume, two psychohistorians have palmtop computers capable of the massively complex math used by psychohistory, but in the last volume (centuries later), the protagonists are using slide-rules -- futuristic slide-rules with lots of whizzy sliders, but still... This is because the first story of the original trilogy was the last to be written; the others originally appeared in ''Astounding Science Fiction'' as short stories, but "The Psychohistorians" was written specifically for the book collection when it was first published.
** Downplayed in ''Literature/TheEndOfEternity''. One of the biggest mainframes fits in the leader's office (and there is still room for a desk), and there are numerous laptops. It all uses punch tape, however.
** Beautifully averted ... almost, by his short story ''The Last Question'' where multivac continues to get smaller and smaller until it all but disappears ... but it's actually getting bigger and taking up room in hyperspace. Years later he lamented that he 'almost' got it right in this story.
** Another interesting aversion is in the various ''Robot'' novels. Robots have [[CranialProcessingUnit "positronic brains"]] that, in more advanced models, provide not only ArtificialIntelligence, but can also be upgraded to enable {{Telepathy}} as well! Bizarrely, at the same time, machines actually considered to be "computers" are big mainframes and often use things like punch cards and microfilm, and cannot even come close to the cognitive capabilities of a robot. Probably the result of a cultural blind spot in the 1950's as "computers" and "robots" were perceived to be very different technological concepts at the time.
* It could be said that Creator/RobertAHeinlein didn't get computers at all, which is all the more jarring, given that he used them in his books ''a lot''. However, the technologies he presented as a cutting edge for his far future stories were quite often already obsolete by the time the respective books were published. And then there's his obsession with the slide rules...
** The young adult novel ''Literature/TunnelInTheSky'' showed a character who, contemplating the flow of people through wormholes transporting them between planets, decided to calculate how long it would take the current population of the earth to go through, accounting for deaths and births along the way. He uses a slide rule.
** In his other juvie ''Literature/HaveSpacesuitWillTravel'', the hero makes a big thing out of receiving a top-of-the-line slide rule as a birthday present.
*** Actual line from that book: "Sliderules are the best thing since girls!"
** The story ''Misfit'' has a scene where nuclear explosives are being configured based on calculations made on the spot with a (circular) slide rule. Later on, the navigation computer for the asteroid being moved fails and a (very exceptional) human is able to step in and do the computations required in his head in real time at least as well as the computer could have.
** ''Literature/StarmanJones'', also by RAH, has starship navigators using huge tables of 8-digit binary codes for navigation data, because the starship navigation computers have an 8-bit binary interface practically identical to the Altair 8800 computers that would come out in the early 1970s, 20 years or so after the book was written, but a couple centuries before it was set. Also, personnel records were indexed with ''punch cards''.
*** It was even worse than that: not only the computers in this novel were apparently unable to convert the data between binary and decimal system, but so were ''the people''. All conversions were done through precalculated reference tables, and the hero's ability to remember them verbatim was a large plot point later on [[spoiler:when the ''navigation'' tables were destroyed, and the protagonist remembered them as well]]: apparently they were too massive to fit in the computer memory, and they haven't thought of things like magnetic tape, for example.
*** To make matters worse, devices that were internally binary but converted to and from decimal in hardware at the external interfaces already existed at the time. They also weren't even using the computer for navigation per se, but just to do raw computations to speed up the work of the human navigators, while it would probably have been more efficient to build a machine to do it directly. And this technology had literally not changed in a generation, since the hero's memorized tables were from the books of a deceased relative.
** In another Heinlein work, ''Literature/ThePuppetMasters'', the main character has the equivalent of a modern Bluetooth earpiece implanted in his skull, people travel around in aircars, and major cosmetic surgery (at least for government agents) takes at most a couple of hours. All well and good, but when the main character goes to do research at his local library, the data is all stored in microfilm spools.
** ''Literature/CitizenOfTheGalaxy'' is guilty as well: targeting computers for the cee-fractional missiles that the spaceships shoot at each other were able to calculate the targeting solutions almost immediately, but were utterly incapable of such things as following the target and even roughly predicting its movement, thus necessitating a quick-witted human operator.
*** Fully automated point defense guns (quad coaxial .50 caliber machine guns with their own target detection and tracking [=RADAR=] and an analog computer that could identify an incoming aircraft and accurately lay fire on it) were deployed on Allied ground vehicles in Western Europe before the end of [=WWII=]. Antiaircraft guns in England had gun-laying [=RADAR=] that could tell when the gun was aimed optimally to get the shell to burst on the target and fire the gun when it was also were in operation during the war, as were similar systems for self-defense guns on some bombers. In short, much less sophisticated technology than was available to the operators of the ships above was able to do essentially the job that they couldn't do.
** Gay Deceiver, the onboard computer of the protagonist's groundcar/aircar/spacecraft/trans-universal conveyance in ''Literature/TheNumberOfTheBeast'' (1980) is described thus - "She stores sixty million bytes, then wipes last-in-last-out everything not placed on permanent. But her news storage is weighted sixty-forty in favor of North America." On top of that, the computer is a limited AI and has speech capability and voice recognition. It's programmed using semi-natural language with specific command words, which can be redefined or created on the fly; for example, "Gay, bounce!" instructs her to translate extradimensionally to a point ten thousand meters "upward" relative to her own frame of reference. (The command is just "Bounce!"; "Gay" or "Gay Deceiver" is used as an attention word, to let Gay know she's being given a command.) Many times during the course of the story, the computer is quickly and easily programmed by all four main characters. At one point they clean things up due to all the multiple programs they've input, which might cause unpredictable conflicts. All that with "sixty million bytes"! In other words, about 57 megabytes, about a tenth of Chandler's computer in that 1995 episode of Series/{{Friends}} discussed above.
*** The very name "Gay Deceiver" evokes a related trope: HaveAGayOldTime
** Also of note, RAH describes a near future where Ford Motors has build a roadster that runs on a reaction-less drive, and can make orbital insertion. And a computers with less storage and CPU as in your cellphone (that is, Gay Deceiver) can be programmed with 'turing test' software to become self-aware. Wonderful optimism.
** ''Literature/IfThisGoesOn'' has the hero mentioning a late 21st century autopilot built out of discrete components and without printed circuits. And later a family-car equivalent ''helicopter'' with a piston engine (with a valve knock the hero doesn't like ''at all''), that also has an autopilot that would, if permitted, have kept up his terrain-following orders ''right across the Grand Canyon''.
* Creator/RogerZelazny wrote a series of stories about an agent who was able to 'blank' his existence because he was part of the team that created the first world-wide person database. He did this by ripping up his punchcards!
* The early Creator/KurtVonnegut novel, ''Player Piano'', feature EPICAC, an ENIAC parody[[note]]The name is a takeoff on an old household staple OTC medicine used to induce vomiting.[[/note]] that takes up the entirety of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlsbad_Caverns Carlsbad Caverns]].
** EPICAC also appeared in a short story named after the device (included in the collection ''Welcome To The Monkey House''). It goes into more detail about the computer - gargantuan, slow for almost every task, all of its output was on ticker-tape, and it apparently could become sentient and an incredible poet if the dials were set just right.
* In the James Blish quartet of novels, ''Literature/CitiesInFlight'':
** Slide rules are apparently still being used for course calculations for interstellar space flight.
** New York City has an AI collectively known as the City Fathers, which reside in a set of self-reconfiguring servers so large they ride around on their own system of train tracks.
---> '''City Fathers''': We conclude that ''we'' are the city.
* In the Creator/AEVanVogt novel ''Star Cluster'', they are even connected via antennae (radio?) to the otherwise room-sized server.
* In Creator/DianeDuane's 1988 ''Franchise/StarTrek'' novel ''Spock's World'', data storage allocation is a high enough priority that changing it requires Kirk's signature. Early in the book, he significantly increases the allocation for the Enterprise's message board, saying that the extra cost is worthwhile. This is shown to be a simple forum and message board. In the same novel, the problem of running out of onion dip is solved by cloning the culture to make more sour cream, but 430 people on a message board can overload their system.
* The novel ''Venus, Inc.'' has a mission to Venus where they decide the required computer would be too large to be practical, so instead they just use a midget. The book being about an ad exec creating a marketing campaign for Venus, that's not the only case.
* {{Averted}} by Creator/MurrayLeinster's short story ''[[http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200506/0743499107___2.htm A Logic Named Joe]]'', written in 1946. The story comes close to correctly predicting the use of small home computers interlinked into a global network, along with search engines, parental filtering, using the internet to find weather, stocks, useless trivia, and Website/YouTube.
** Leinster even predicts ''TheInternetIsForPorn''. He wins at predictions.
* ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' popularised most of the tropes recognised today as SpaceOpera -- but when the hero remotely seizes control of the enemies' computers, what he means is that he has just [[TelepathicSpacemen telepathically]] taken control of a room full of men with slide rules.
** Also, since the books were written before the invention of computers, spaceships are run entirely manually.
* ''CrystalSinger'', set in the distant future, mentions the discovery of a crystal that permits miraculously high-density data storage, at 1 gigaword per cubic centimeter. Assuming today's standard 32-bit word length, this equals 32 gigabits per cubic centimeter. Impressive when the book was written in 1982, but less so in 2010 with modern hard drives approaching 160 gigabits per cubic centimeter. However, word length does vary between computer designs and the book never does mention what word length is common in that setting...
* Then there's Andrew M. Greeley's novel ''God Game'', a rather forgettable piece of fiction apart from the assertion that a computer with a 286 processor apparently can do enough calculations per second to simulate an entire world, right down to blades of grass.
** Although the novel does hint that the computer may be only linking to an Alternate Universe rather than actually simulating it.
* Pretty much any depiction of an artificial intelligence from before the 1960s or so will involve vacuum tubes. Then after that there are transistors. For example, in the original ''Manga/{{Astroboy}}'', at one point Astro is put out of commission because one of his tubes is damaged in battle and in a later story Professor Ochanomizu says "All you really need for a robot's head is a bunch of transistors". These days, most writers have abandoned this sort of thing, as it's unlikely that even modern microprocessors can support a true artificial intelligence and rely on ill-defined fictional AppliedPhlebotinum to explain how their robots can think and feel the way humans can, such as the {{Transformers}}' mystical "Sparks" and later incarnations of Astroboy's "Omega Factor" and/or "Tenma Chips".
* In Creator/IvanYefremov's ''Literature/AndromedaNebula'' (written in 1955) the crew of the latest Earth starship compute their trajectory on what amounts to a programmable calculator, but takes at least a large desk and a couple of cabinets. They are aware of its shortcomings and complain that fully functional computers that are able to completely automate their vessel are too large and fragile to be mounted on starships.
** The irony of the story lies in fact that it's an entirely true description of the situation ''of that time'': in 1955 a programmable calculator would indeed take a large desk and a couple of cabinets ''at best'', and the universal computers only just have started to appear and indeed couldn't be put on any moving vessel.
* In Jack Vance's short story ''Sail 25'' a ship's computer's hard disk is sabotaged on a training flight in the asteroid belt. The students apparently have only that one computer on the entire ship, and no calculators or similar electronics -- they get home by computing their orbit on ''abacuses''.
* Referenced and royally mocked in Creator/GeorgeAlecEffinger's short story "The Aliens Who Knew, I Mean, ''Everything''": the titular aliens use vacuum tubes to run their ''spaceship''. Needless to say, they're more than a little interested in trading their knowledge of space travel for modern hardware. (As for how they're intergalactic when humanity's advanced tech hasn't gotten out of the Solar System, well...)
* In an odd non-SF example, Rachel in ''Literature/PetSematary'' (which was written in the mid-1980s) recounts a lecture about the human brain's superiority over computers: "He made a persuasive case for this incredible assertion, telling them that the human mind was a computer with staggering numbers of memory chips - not 16K, or 32K, or 64K, but perhaps as much as ''one billion K'': literally, a thousand billion.". In other words, a terabyte. In 2014, you can fit a hard drive several times that in your pocket. If you want to go with thumbnail-sized 128 GB [=MicroSDXC=] cards, you can fit a ''petabyte'' inside the volume of a human brain. Of course, as of spring 2014, it will set you back about a million dollars. And we've yet to figure out what the closest approximation to the "storage" capacity of the human brain is, [[http://io9.com/if-your-brain-were-a-computer-how-much-storage-space-w-509687776 estimates range from 1 TB to 2.5 PB to "not a clue"]].
* In Creator/HalClement's ''Mission of Gravity'' and ''Star Light'' (as in 'not heavy'), the humans in the stations orbiting the supermassive "Terrestrial" type planets Mesklin and Dhrawn use slide rules. "Star Light" was published in 1970.
** Although, TruthInTelevision is that people did use slide rules for regular work until well into the 1970s. It wasn't until about 1980 that handheld and desktop calculators and computers that could be readily used 'on the fly' for calculations began to be more efficient than slide rules.
*** More like the mid '70s. TI pocket calculators were beginning to be used in public schools by 1974, for instance, in accounting classes.
* The desk computer, not ''desk top'' computer -- i.e., the computer is actually small enough that it can be fit into an executive size desk. Seen in John Brunner's ''The Jagged Orbit'' (1969) and many others into the 1980s. Some computers in the 1970s actually were built into office desks.
* ''The Adolescence of P-1'' by Thomas Ryan. A 1977 tale of an artificial intelligence that propagates itself by way of punched cards, acoustic coupler modems, and reel-to-reel tape spools that necessitate signaling human operators to change tapes.
* In ''Literature/ThePendragonAdventure'', Bobby uses a 5000-6000 AD holographic computer. While we still don't have holographic computers, the use of the computer (like an encyclopedia), can be accessed today using That Other Wiki
* In the ''EvilGeniusTrilogy'', Cadel's first major challenge is to make himself a computer phone - one that even connects to the Internet! There's an app for that, but Cadel does it the hard way, developing some new DNA-based technology so that it will all fit in his cell phone.
* In Robert L Forward's ''Literature/DragonsEgg'' (written in 1980), at the university in the future year 2000, there are no personal computers and no internet. Indeed one of the issues is the department has to ''pay'' for computer time - one professor even dips into his personal bank account to help a student, which is rather hilarious knowing how widespread and easy to come by computers actually were long before 2000.
** Never mind 2000, you could get your own computer (admittedly much simpler than anything you'd have to buy time on) for less than a thousand dollars by 1980. The savings on buying mainframe time would pay for it in remarkably short order.
* In Greg Bear's book ''The Forge Of God'', copies of the Library of Congress are purchased in CD-ROM format. They are inconveniently bulky.
* In the Creator/GeneWolfe short story ''Alien Stones'', it is somehow possible to determine the last number held in the main register of an alien computer (a bearing). Modern computers have their registers buried inside chips, and the number never stops changing. Also, the computer is identified as the main central computer by the vast number of very fine wires feeding into it from all over the ship. Modern cars eschew complicated cable looms by running a simple 1 or 2 wire bus all over the car, and decoding the messages on that bus using many micro-controllers dotted all round the vehicle.
* Averted in ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', which presents the Guide as being rather like a modern ebook (although with only one book coming hardcoded on it and "complicated" in appearence) and mentions the reason for it being published in "[[{{Technobabble}} micro sub meson electronic component]]" format is because if it was published in normal book format "an interstellar hitch hiker would require several inconveniently large buildings to carry it around in".
** However there is still a nod to how much information is out there and how limited space is as the Earth's entry was "Mostly harmless" and the new entry was "Trimmed a bit" to "Harmless"
* Global satellite broadcasting was [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_television#Early_milestones first used in 1962]], but a handful of years later Rene Barjavel has his Antarctic explorers relaying their discoveries to the Trio satellite to be broadcast live ''on a 24-hour news channel'' in his 1968 novel ''La Nuit des Temps'' (''The Ice People''). One executive is watching this proto-CNN on an airplane.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the 1960s ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "The War Machines", one of the scientists developing WOTAN insists it's the most advanced computer in the world ''despite'' it not being the biggest.
* PADD's, and to a lesser extent Tricorders, in ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Device consolidation in the real world has led to tablets and smartphones matching them in terms of computing power, but also adding capabilities like voice/video communications and speech recognition, which in the various series were relegated to dedicated devices or else much larger computers. Often, processor-intensive tasks were performed at terminals directly linked into the [[MasterComputer ship's computer]], implying that the PADD's were little more than ebook readers. They also seemed to have limited storage and no why of transferring data; many a captain was swamped by piles of PADD's. The commbadges were not an aversion. Although they seemed to have limited speech recognition capabilities, if they were somehow blocked from connecting to the ship's computer they would mostly just beep petulantly at the user. Tricorders hold their own mostly in terms of their [[EverythingSensor sensor functionality]].
* There are some wonderful examples of "what the general public thinks computers are like" on ''TheRockfordFiles'', gigantic structures full of spinning discs, flashing lights and tweeting sound effects, that can tell you practically anything about anyone just by typing in their name. One thing they did get right was the size of the air conditioners that would be required to cool these monstrosities.
* Various Columbo episodes feature tech that was advanced or uncommon for the time of the episode, but commonplace today. These include a home video camera security system(relatively common for anyone who wishes to install one now), sound activated electronics(the release of devices such as The Clapper brought that into the home), a staircase elevator for a wheelchair(relatively common in homes with stairs where an occupant uses a wheelchair), machines to record phone conversations(way too common to do this now), a watch that prints the time in digital numbers(for the early 70s, advanced- as of the 80s into today, nothing special), a home security alarm(being a late 60s episode, something owned more by the wealthy rather than the common homeowner) a cell phone(something of a luxury at the time of the 80s episode, of course- not so much now) and as in the Rockford example above, a computer system that takes up a room yet takes 5 minutes just to print a single sheet of paper containing an employee's basic information, one line of text at a time(again, this was the 70s).


* The soul classic "Wonderful World" (often [[RefrainFromAssuming misnamed as "Don't Know Much About History"]]) mentions ''slide rules'' as another thing the singer don't know much about.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the first edition of ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' published in 1991 and taking place about 300 years in the future, the hand-held computer listed in the equipment section is described as having a "dual drive system, 150 megabytes hard drive with 4 megabytes of Random Access Memory (RAM) and uses one inch disk." Later reprints removed specific capabilities on the computers and simply had it state that they are simply a lot better than the ones that are used currently.
** Which is actually rather strange, as Rifts is a sort of AfterTheEnd ScavengerWorld where much of the planet is struggling its way back to some semblance of technological civilization in the face of unrelenting attacks by various extra-dimensional threats, and has explicitly lost a huge amount of technology.
** What is even weirder is that the end the setting is after happens almost 100 years into the future, so it isn't that the tech everyone scavenges is from before the disaster, it is that the tech they scavenge is from 100 years before the disaster.
* It's not unknown for ''TabletopGame/{{BattleTech}}'' (published 1984) players to express disbelief and/or poke fun at the game's 31st-century ''targeting'' computers, which tend to have weights measured in tons and take up corresponding space in a [[HumongousMecha BattleMech]] or other suitable unit. This was later handwaved as all the additional ''peripheral'' hardware required to improve the linked (and heavy) weapons' performance significantly beyond the "regular" universe-wide defaults, not merely the processing unit alone.
** And they're still unable to hit targets at ranges that pre-digital gunnery computers routinely did in the 1940s... though that's as much a matter of [[SpaceCompression keeping the battlemaps smaller than an auditorium]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' is set between the years 2016 and 2026. And people still use cellphones the size of a small notebook with monochrome screens and monotone ringtones and call them "modern". A reasonably modern (by 2009 standards) phone appears in Miles Edgeworth's spinoff, set in 2019, where it's ''still'' treated as a novelty.
** Also, Case 1-2 featured a Mobile Phone which would ''record'' every conversation you had and store it automatically. Phones nowadays can't do that, yet, [[SelfDemonstratingArticle or can they?]], so it's a bit of a mish mash.
* ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'' largely takes place in Britannia, but has a little bit which betrays its time period in the opening cinematic when "you" as the Avatar thump the old CRT computer screen, which has gone static-y. Also in the game the "Save" Icon is a floppy disk - ''a 5.25 disk'', which wasn't even the floppy disk's last incarnation.
** It's funnier, since the game was first sold in 3.5 disks!

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Lampshaded heavily in a [[http://cutewendy.com/go/41 Cute Wendy]] strip when Wendy describes the specs of her new computer. "It'll only be a matter of months before this comic is completely dated! [[BetterThanABareBulb Funny, huh?]]"
* ''Webcomic/KarateBears'' used to work [[http://www.karatebears.com/2012/05/computers-were-huge.html on those giant computers.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTzxzC728BA&list=UUaWd5_7JhbQBe4dknZhsHJg&index=12 Top 10 Real High-Tech Devices in Movies That Look Hilariously Dated Today]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This whole concept is lampooned in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' in a flashback where a circa 1975 Professor Frink states "I predict that within one hundred years, computers will be twice as powerful, ten thousand times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them." This is in turn a reference to the 1943 Thomas J. Watson misquote, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." (The integrated circuit hadn't been invented back in his day...)
** The ''transistor'' hadn't been invented in 1943, either. It was going from tubes to semiconductors (and, once the bugs were worked out, their vastly greater reliability) that made really interesting and powerful computers possible.
** "Could they be used for dating?" "Theoretically yes, [[PunctuatedForEmphasis but!!]] the results would be so perfect as to eliminate the thrill of romantic conquest!" Computer dating didn't work out exactly like that...
* Thanks to the espionage conducted by [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Paul Smart]], a super-advanced, AI-driven Robo-Buster X1 was set to put ''TheRealGhostbusters'' out of business. At its unveiling, the robot revealed it had an incredible 20MB of on-board memory.
* Believe it or not, having a powerful computer that was the size of a (large) book like Penny's was actually considered REALLY cool when ''InspectorGadget'' was on the air.
* Most of the desktop computers used in ''WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries'' are that with the large square-shaped monitors that weigh about five pounds instead of wide flatscreens. The aversion comes in with the palm-size laptops Mendel and Randy uses to do half the tech-magic shown, from hacking, interface with a MUCH older computer, and various forms of remote controlling.
* Late 80s series C.O.P.S. was set in the year 2020. Despite the fact they have flying cars and robots with very advanced AI - the newspaper vending machine is of human intelligence with emotions, for example - and enough medical prosthetic advancement to replace many missing body parts or even implant a brain into a new body(or implant a set of machine guns with infinite ammo capacity into a criminal's chest), they are still using VHS tapes, computers still use DOS without even a mouse to operate them, and cell phones do not exist whatsoever. Much like Back To The Future(assuming they weren't inspired by that directly), they predicted video conference phones would be the common thing.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In fact, lots of people knew from very early on that computers would become very small and very fast in a relatively short time; the famous Moore's Law was coined in 1965. What they ''didn't'' know was just what you could do with them. It was simply assumed that they'd remain as calculating machines for scientists, while the possibilities for ordinary workplace-use -- let alone entertainment -- weren't even dreamed of for many years.
** By ''most'' people -- but ''VideoGame/{{Spacewar}}'' was created in 1961 on a PDP-1 at MIT. Family members of the staff who visited the lab were supposedly entranced by the game.
** And in the very early 70s, students at Liverpool university in England would stay up into the early hours to play an early "lander" style game on their university's computer (which weighed several tonnes), using punch-cards for input and ticker-tape for output! They would also marvel at the computer's ability to let them send "instant" messages to colleagues at Manchester university at speeds only several minutes slower than using a telephone to just talk normally!
** As far back as 1945, in the article "As We May Think" for ''The Atlantic'', Vannevar Bush discussed his idea for a device called the Memex. This device could fit on a desktop and contained a personal library of up to a million books but also had the ability to call up other works through links between works when related information comes up. That's right, this guy came up with key ideas on hyperlinks (which make up the World Wide Web), personal computers, and even e-books, years before anyone else!
** And G. Harry Stine tossed off the idea pretty casually in an article on ''StarTrek'' for ''Analog'' February 1968, talking about the fact that radios, which used to be huge, could now be "put in a tooth" ("micro" radios about 2x2x1" were hot at the time) and it was only a matter of time before computers would be too. This idea was also discussed routinely in ''Popular Science''.
* Netbooks started a phase of "small, inexpensive computers for going on the internet." Small indeed, as they started with 7" screens. However, this is now inverting itself as the concept took off and people were making bigger Netbooks that were more comfortable to use. Netbooks are now, on average, 10".
** Same with the Personal Data/Digital Assistant ([=PDA=]). What started as literally, a palm sized computer has marched in the form of smartphones (essentially a PDA with cellular phone capabilities) and tablet computers, such as the [=iPad=]. Though with tablets, the size inverted itself since most tablets are at least 7".
*** They do still try to make each model thinner and lighter. And smart glasses are poised to take size back in the other direction since you can make displays arbitrarily large without increasing physical screen size.
* Rules for keeping your kids safe on the Internet usually start out with keeping your computer in a public area. After all, there's no way your kid can drag the computer off to their room - the network cable is too short. Of course now with [=WiFi=] and tablet computers, it's all to easy to sneak off to your room...
** A smart parent could figure out the kid's MAC address and block it. Of course, an equally smart kid can figure out how to change the MAC address (although this has risky implications)...
* Schoolchildren of the 1980s (that in-between generation right before the Internet Age) remember hearing it: "You have to learn how to do this in your head - you can't carry around a calculator with your wherever you go!". Those teachers - who were trained in the 1950s-60s - didn't realize those schoolchildren would be carrying around cellphones which had a calculator built in - and upgradable to handle trigonometry and calculus!
** Even worse, by the mid-1980s, there were affordable scientific calculators that included trigonometric and statistics functions that operated entirely on solar power, and were small enough to carry in your shirt pocket, so you ''could'' carry it with you wherever you went. (This leaves aside the fad of wristwatches with calculators at the same time. They worked, but the buttons had to be impractically small for use... unless you were a school-aged child.)
** Modern day teachers, instead of fighting the unstoppable wave of computer-powered mathematics, instead go along with it and allow their use in the classroom as a learning tool. Instead of just grading the outcome, these teachers will have their students solve the problem with a calculator, ask the students to solve it themselves with the calculator's result as a known-good reference, and grade the students in terms of the procedure used to reach the correct answer. On exam day, all calculators and electronics must be put in a corner of the classroom, and the exam questions will be specially designed so that only small numbers will show up during their execution in order to negate the need to even use a basic numeric calculator.

!!Computer Speed and Internet

Nowadays, computer processing speeds and Internet capabilities often fall victim to this:

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* For being humanoid computers in ''Manga/{{Chobits}}'' the specs of persocoms weren't so great. Although very rarely do you hear about the capacities of persocoms (especially Chii) those that you do learn are rather contemporary for early 2000s computers. Could be a case of AlternateReality.
** Though, of course, Chii [[spoiler: and Freya]] are packed with honest-to-goodness indistinguishable from human ArtificialIntelligence, which still makes them much more advanced than modern computers (as of this update).
* ''{{Mnemosyne}}'' has a fantastic scene set in 1990 where Mimi says that with a computer ''this'' powerful, the guy they're tracking really knows what he's doing. Keep in mind that the show was written in the 2000s, so they were definitely playing the trope for laughs. Although in-universe, it really was top of the line for the characters. Since they're both immortal, they keep up with technology as it happens just like anyone else normally would.
-->'''Mimi''': "This is a top of the line 16-bit 40MHz CPU and 128MB of RAM with a 300MB hard drive with all the bells and whistles."

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A minor one concerning ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' character Cindy Moon/Silk. She'd been locked away in a GildedCage since the late 90s-early 2000s (or since the days after being bitten by the radioactive spider), thus she suffers a bit of FishOutOfTemporalWater when, in her attempt to find her parents, she's left utterly confused at the fact that the last web browser she used, Netscape Navigator, isn't on Peter's computer. Pete also realizes that something like Facebook would be way over her head as it would have been barely started when she was locked away.

* The film adaptation of ''Literature/ThePerksOfBeingAWallflower'' has the song Heroes by David Bowie playing in the tunnel scene. None of the characters know the name of the song at first until later. Today, they would be able to Google a few lyrics or so right when they hear it, or use a specialized app to do so, and know the song right away.
* The modems in ''Film/WarGames'' are museum pieces today, but were so cutting-edge for their day that the film was many people's first introduction to the concept.
* In ''Film/{{Scanners}}'', the very ''idea'' that someone could intrude upon a computer system via its connection to the phone lines seems to be an alien concept to [=ConSec=]'s security director. He and the [=ConSec=] technicians ponder aloud exactly how it might work, presumably because audiences in 1981 would be equally-confused by the notion.
* ''Film/{{Hackers}}'' is rooted in mid-90s technology.
** The characters are in ''awe'' of somebody's new, super-fast ''28.8k'' modem.
** The main characters talking very highly of the RISC architecture (which is commonly used today in smartphones and tablets, but before those it'd faded into insignificance from a consumer point of view for about a decade and a half)
** The "battle of the tapes" scene - nowadays tape is pretty much unknown and they'd be fighting over digital files.
* The [[AdaptedOut conspicuous absence]] of the ''Fate'' computer from ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' in [[Film/VForVendetta the film adaptation]]. Understandably, a computer network where someone can just Google your arse is not going to have the same impact as it did in 1982.
* ''Film/BackToTheFuture Part II'' predicted something like today's heavily inter-connected and information-driven society, but assumed it would be based around the fax machine, not the computer. It also assumed that, by 2015, Japan's economy would have completely overtaken America's. It wasn't such an odd concept at the time; Japan was (and still is) a major worldwide provider of technology and electronics. Even so, it comes across as fairly quaint.
* In ''Film/GoldenEye'', Natalya goes to an IBM office so she can contact Boris via the internet, and gives the sales rep a purchase order as a rather clever lie to use their connection. Computers using 500 megabyte hard drives, with 14.4 kbps modems, seem woefully underpowered today. Although [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny those were impressive specs]] at the time the movie was made, the fact that Bond films are always "present day, present time", essentially makes this an UnintentionalPeriodPiece.
** Then again, the same is true of [[WhyWeAreBummedCommunismFell everyone struggling to adjust to the post-Cold-War era as a new thing]], which is a big part of the plot.
* ''Film/JohnnyMnemonic'' got the Internet both right and wrong; while there is in fact a widespread data network in the film that is used for information and communication all around the world, the interface to access it requires a (implied very expensive) virtual reality rig and is impractical at best - and despite the fact that such a graphically intense interface would require a massively wide data pipe just to work, a huge deal is made of ferrying a couple hundred gigabytes from one place to another. And then, despite all this, the spreading of pirate information from the [=LoTek=] - who would surely be able to steal the 3D-internet technology - happens ''by analog TV transmission''.
* ''Film/{{Kids In America}}'': In 2005, social media was just getting started, yet the students manages to get the news media's attention to their plate. Today, a cell-phone with the ability to film and quickly upload to a social media site, like Facebook and/or Twitter, would've got Donna much faster.
* ''Film/WaynesWorld'' (The ShowWithinAShow from the film with the same name, not the film itself) would not look out of place as a Youtube sensation today... but since the film was made in 1992, ''WAAAAAAY'' before the kind of internet traffic speeds that make video streaming a reality, the guys broadcast it on cable access instead.

* A particularly good example is ''[[{{Janie}} The Face On The Milk Carton]]'', a baroque horror story/thriller/teen melodrama where ''every single thing'' the teenage heroine believes is a lie. The story is the long, painful process she goes through to find the truth... a process that would take ten seconds if online search engines had been invented at the time the book was written (1990).
* The existence of Google renders the main character's job in ''Literature/FoucaultsPendulum'' (finding the obscure connection between seemingly unrelated pieces of information, using a ''cardfile'') completely unnecessary. Much of the rest of the plot is connected to how computers would go on to change the perception of information, as well, with one character spending half a chapter gushing over his new typewriter that let him delete words at will.
* Averted in UrsulaKLeGuin's ''Always Coming Home'' (published 1985, although some was serialised earlier). The setting is a far future non-industrial society, but they have an Internet connection, used very occasionally for communication with other tribes. (The Net, called the "City of Mind", is run by orbital machines, independent of humans, which allow humans to use the network as long as they feed it data about themselves.) There is a piece in there that looks just like a BBS chat transcript.
* WilliamGibson's 1984 novel ''{{Neuromancer}}'' was one of the first works of CyberPunk and popularized (or updated) common tropes and sci-fi setting elements like virtual reality, networked artificial intelligences, cybernetics and computer hackers. Today, though, its depiction of the "matrix" as a collection of brightly colored simple geometric shapes seems laughably old-fashioned. The countless sci-fi movies that shamelessly aped the look didn't help.
** The use of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) is also extremely dated, today it's adapted, diversified and became many things, including wikis. Always keep in mind that the internet is a connection system, which is simply ''better'' than dialing into a dedicated BBS.
** The infamous "three megabytes of hot RAM" are [[HilariousInHindsight laugh-inducing]] to a modern audience who consider an 8 GIGABYTE MP3 player to be one of the cheap and low-capacity ones. Gibson's view of what computers can be capable of is still futuristic, but his prediction of how much actual physical technology would progress became obsolete barely out of the 80s.
** Phone booths are still omnipresent in the novel, since Gibson(to his shame and acceptance) didn't count on the creation and immense progress of cellular phone technology.
* Also from Neal Stephenson, his 1999 novel ''Literature/{{Cryptonomicon}}'' has a couple of scenes showing Randy connecting to the internet on his laptop with a dazzling fast, state-of-the-art 56k modem. Sometimes he connects with a cutting-edge cell phone modem (which would now amount to a 3G dongle). Said laptop also has a makeshift webcam.
** Most of the time he's using this equipment he's either travelling or in places where the cell-phone modem (still used today, in the form of tethering) is the best or most practical option, though. Lots of business travellers continue to have laptops with modems in them, because there are lots of places in the world where traditional telephony is all that is readily available.
* In ''Literature/{{Aquila}}'', the titular ship connecting to the internet wirelessly was pretty mind-blowing back in 1998.
* In ''Literature/SpeakerForTheDead'', there is a character who has artificial eyes. He explains that he has to deal with a lack of depth perception, because only one of the eyes is actually a lens; the other is where the "jack" plugs in so he can download what he sees. Bluetooth, anyone? These books aren't ''that'' old, it is surprising that Creator/OrsonScottCard didn't see more widespread uses for wireless. Particularly since he did a decent job at predicting computer technology in ''Literature/EndersGame''. Written in the 1985, it features both portable laptop computers and the Internet (albeit a very differently structured Internet than the one we know). Remarkably accurate for the time it was written.
* Parts of the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' books would be a lot shorter if wizards had some version of the Internet or at least if the Hogwarts Library had some kind of magical search engine to look up books on. Hell, if the first book weren't set in 1991-92 according to the official timeline, Hermione could have just Googled Nicholas Flamel (a real historical figure) on a Muggle computer while she was home for the holidays.
** Parodied by [[http://loleia.deviantart.com/art/Harry-Potter-Comic-04-96585429 this]] FanArt.
* The Creator/MichaelCrichton novel, ''Literature/{{Congo}}'', at one point mentioned the possibility that one day all of the world's computers would be connected. It also made reference to a counterargument that there would be no way to feasibly create and lay all the linking infrastructure, the advent of wireless communication was completely overlooked.
* It gets more plausible as the story goes on, but the first stage of Hari Seldon's plan in ''{{Foundation}}'' involves publishing an encyclopedia, with updates every ''ten years'', which seems a little quaint from a post-internet point of view.
* ''P.S. Longer Letter Later'' (1998) and ''Snail Mail No More'' (2000) by [[TheBabySittersClub Ann M. Martin]] and Paula Danziger both date themselves just by the use of letters. The books are a series of letters between friends Tara Starr and Elizabeth after Tara moves away. The second novel introduces e-mail (hence the title), but is still dated, since it came out when e-mail and the internet were still relatively new technologies. Nowadays they would probably use social networking sites, cell phones, or even video messaging.
** Paula Danziger's "This Place Has No Atmosphere" is even funnier on this score. Written in 1986, set in 2057, this book features a society where people live in malls and on the moon, take classes in ESP and telekinesis, get their music by video disks and holograms and watch TV on their watches, and write letters home to update their family with how it's going on the moon. An amusing interlude features the main character practicing writing backwards during downtime in class, and she notes that this is what she usually does at school when the projector breaks down. One of the overall themes of the book (mused upon by the main characters when putting together a school production of "Our Town") is that while times change, people are about the same as they have always been.
* Alex Packer's teenage-aimed etiquette book ''How Rude!'' may have been up-to-date and devoid of TotallyRadical when it was first published in 1995, but by 2011, its 'Netiquette' section has not aged well at all. Gems that come to mind include keeping responses as succinct as possible, staying away from images, and not using allcaps in emails, a common early-internet practice.[[note]]All caps are still routinely used in emails by elderly people who can't see very well.[[/note]]
* 1988's ''Chess With A Dragon'' presumes that none of the thousands of alien races who participate in the [=InterChange=] have a clue how to dig up the exact information they want from this gargantuan, out-of-control galactic data library. In retrospect, the humans could've dodged the whole indentured-slaves-and-meat-animals crisis by signing up as data-retrieval specialists and using search engines.
* A 1954 [[http://baseballcontinuum.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/baseball-in-the-year-2044-a-look-at-rocket-on-the-mound/ story written about baseball in the year 2044]] has newspapers as the main source of news in the year 2044, severely underestimating television and completely missing the idea that there could be new types of mass media in the future. The author, like just about everybody else, hadn't seen the internet coming.
* Actually sort of inverted in Scott Adams' book ''The ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}} Future'', where he speculates (based on the work of some computer scientists at the time) that improvements in internet technology might render most hard drives obsolete. Adams predicted that coming generations of computers, at least the portable ones, would eschew drive space in favor of more powerful network connections and massive RAM caches, downloading and running temporary applications as needed from central servers. Of course, this turned out to be the exact opposite of the way computers ended up evolving, as nearly everything from cellphones to coffee machines has a hard drive now, with capacities skyrocketing higher and higher each year, while connection problems and RAM shortages still plague users everywhere.
** The emphasis on more robust in-browser web-based applications as a focal point for development over the last several years could still make this true or at least practical. [=HTML5=] and a growing list of Javascript libraries make it easier than ever to build an application that runs on native browser technology and would mostly use temporary caches for data storage. Video games, office applications, and even [=IDEs=] all have web based equivalents.
** This ''did'' happen, as well, producing the so-called 'diskless workstation'[[note]]Also called a 'dickless workstation'[[/note]]. However, this type of system proved unpopular for general use due to the high bandwidth requirements and poor file access speeds, limiting it to generally small deployments for specialized purposes. Some parts of it (like network-accessible filesystems) gained wider use, but speed and bandwidth issues make them impractical for general use.
* Literature/{{Matilda}}: Mrs. Trunchbull torturing and mistreating the pupils at her school remains a DarkSecret of the school, "because nobody would believe it if you would have told them." Nowadays, in an age of cell phones with movie cameras, Mrs. Trunchbull would have been sent to jail easily.
* The clues provided to teams 1, 3, 5, 6, and 8 in ''Literature/TheWestingGame'', if entered as keywords, all come up with the sought-after [[spoiler: song title]] in seconds with a Google search, usually as the first result (discounting links referencing the book itself). Turtle and Flora could likewise have gotten the answer in a matter of seconds by googling "[[spoiler: May God thy gold refine]]", a quote from the will which we know they remembered (because it inspired Turtle's stock-market solution).

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Audiences watching the various ''Franchise/StarTrek'' series and movies today tend to feel some dissonance due to the apparent absence of anything resembling the internet, or even a proper local area network on board Starfleet ships. For example, characters often carry PADD's around to hand to others in order to show them some information, because no equivalent to email seems to exist in the future. Similarly, all data seems to be tied to individual data rods, and whenever it needs to be transferred to another computer, that particular rod needs to be physically moved there. The idea that data could be copied to a server or transferred through a network doesn't seem to exist. Bizarrely, files could be ''moved'', but rarely ''copied''. Thus any given piece of data or software was fundamentally linked to some storage device. To be fair, many of these could be plausibly handwaved as security measures.
* Current viewers of ''{{Seinfeld}}'' probably wonder why George doesn't just ebay that book he took into the bathroom with him at the bookstore. In general, half of the series' plots would have played out extremely differently if cellphones and the internet were present. Of particular note is the scene in the finale where Jerry chastises Elaine for making a personal call on a cell phone rather than a landline. Given that cell phones are so ubiquitous that some people don't even ''have'' land lines, the notion is so quaint as to seem abjectly ridiculous.
* Ditto for many of the plots on ''Series/{{Friends}}'', many of which could have been avoided with cell phones or the internet. In one, Chandler mentions the chaos he went through to get a birthday gift for a girl he likes, a rare first edition of ''The Velveteen Rabbit.'' He mentioned having to hunt through book stores and contacting the author's grandchildren. Nowadays, he could have easily found a copy of the book on [=eBay=]
* There are numerous situations in books, television and movies that simply could not happen today because of cellphones, GPS and surveillance/security cameras.
* The season one ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "I Robot, You Jane," which was created right in the middle of the panic that online chat rooms were crawling with horrible perverts that wanted to kidnap you. Then there's the scene where Buffy doesn't quite catch on to Willow saying she met a guy online, thinking they were "on line" for something. Most amusingly, the demon Moloch ends up in a deliberately cheesy and ridiculous robot body to demonstrate how much he doesn't belong in modern times, except that it's almost impossible to pick this out from all the ''un''intentional cheesy and ridiculous stuff around it.
* In {{Wishbone}}, the episode "One Thousand & One Tails" features a bad '90s understanding of the Internet. Joe and Sam ooh and awe as David logs onto the Internet for the first time, repeatedly gasping "Go to that one!" before he's even online. Also, the Internet is apparently a ViewerFriendlyInterface, labeled "Internet Online Access" and consisting of a few icons. David accesses a coded chatroom run by cybercriminals by clicking on the oh-so-not-suspicious icon of someone wearing a ConspicuousTrenchcoat, which is helpfully labeled "Private" and is apparently [[ItsASmallNetAfterAll one of only four chat groups which exist on the Internet]]. He accidently logs into his dad's bank account while investigating this chatroom, which somehow causes three million dollars to get transferred into his dad's bank account. FBI agents show up at their house [[InstantEmergencyResponse about five minutes later]]. ''Where to start??''
* In ''TheRockfordFiles'' 1978 episode "The House on Willis Avenue", Jim's apprentice Ritchie types Jim's name into a computer terminal and a few seconds later receives a huge amount of information about his personal life. The rest of the episode, dealing with a villain's attempt at omniscient surveillance and information gathering on ordinary citizens, is frighteningly prescient.
* In an episode of ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'' has Marcy proudly [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd97IzJbiYc list out the specs of a new, top-of-the-line 486 computer]]. To show how fast tech was changing, by the end of the episode, she described the same computer as "slow and stupid."
* The "megabyte modem" in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "The Trial of a Time Lord".

* Generally averted by {{Music/Weird Al|Yankovic}} in his song "It's All About The Pentiums." Some of the jokes haven't aged well (Y2K, the trademark "Pentium" itself has moved from top-of-the-line [=CPUs=] to cheap bottom-shelf models, etc.), but the "Hundred Gigabytes of RAM" remains a ludicrously large amount, and the "Flat Screen Monitor Forty Inches Wide" is still huge.
** In the Music/WeirdAlYankovic song "White and Nerdy" the nerd sings, "My MySpace page is all totally pimped out/I got people begging for my top 8 spaces..." Not likely these days.
* One can only assume that Music/FiftyCent was trying to make his listeners envious when he bragged his car that contains, among other things, a fax machine and a phone. For reference, this song, "High All the Time" was released in 2003.
* Lampshaded by Music/KidRock in "All Summer Long" when he sings "it was 1989" and "we didn't have no Internet".
* Music/{{Everclear}}'s song "AM Radio" similarly lampshades the trope in its first verse, which is an extended explanation that things like [=VCRs=], [=DVD=] players, the internet, and [=CD=]s didn't exist in 1970, and thus the singer had to listen to the radio and wait to hear his favorite music.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}} 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert'', Scott Adams' commentary points out instances of this in early strips. For example, in one '90s strip the joke was that Dilbert and Wally were sending e-mail to each other despite their cubicles being right next to each other. Yes, that was considered funny all by itself. Also, when Adams started inserting his e-mail address into the strip in 1993, it was labeled "Internet ID" so newspapers wouldn't think it was an embedded advertisement. He further reports that much of the e-mail he got at the time essentially read "I contacted you because I don't know anyone else who has e-mail."
* Some of the older ''ComicStrip/FoxTrot'' comics are susceptible to this. For instance, there's one from the early 1990s where Jason has a dream about finding an unopened present under the Christmas tree, and when he unwraps it he's absolutely thrilled to have been given a Macintosh Quadra 950 with 64 [=MBs=] of RAM and a 240 MB hard drive. Those specs made for a nice high-end desktop computer system in 1992; in 2012 it would make for a nice high-end graphing calculator.
** This sort of thing was eventually lampshaded when Jason spends a week (of reader and comic time) drooling over a high-end computer in a magazine. GenreSavvy Andy just ignores him. Then we see Jason saying the computer is obsolete, and Peter goes "duh, it's been a whole week".
* Similarly to the ''Dilbert'' example above, some old newspaper cartoons about computer technology are basically nothing more than "someone is using these new-fangled computers ''for mundane tasks in their daily life''! Hilarious, isn't it?" For example, one cartoon shows a white-collar worker who is sitting in the toilet, but, instead of reading a newspaper, he's using a laptop. This was probably considered a great gag on its own in the nineties.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGames/{{Traveller}}'''s first edition is an offender here as well, with those huge computers that drive interstellar ships having a mere 16KB of memory.
* ''TabletopGames/{{Shadowrun}}'' averts this by using a fictional measurement for memory (Megapulses, or MP). When asked how many megabytes were in a megapulse, one of the designers pointedly declined to answer the question, citing the ''Traveller'' example in doing so.
** And yet not totally, as the Megapulse is roughly plot-sized and it doesn't always line up nicely. In 3rd Edition, an implanted camera could take high-fidelity video at a rate of roughly one minute of video per Megapulse, or 60 still shots per MP... compared to the tables for program sizes for things like hacking, hacking countermeasures, or "skillsofts" which allow you to temporarily upload a skill into your brain. Given rough comparisons of the real-world sizes of similar programs, and how big they'll probably get to satisfy the vastly increased complexity of the Shadowrun future, well... that's ''ridiculously'' wasteful encoding and compression for video, even extremely high-quality video.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Inverted (!) in the HollywoodHacking simulator ''VideoGame/{{Uplink}}'', which takes place in 2010 and where ''60 Ghz'' is considered ''slow''. In RealLife late 2010 a quad-core 3 Gig is seen as solid.
** That one could be accidental, a result of the industry standard changing from high-power single-core machines to multicore machines whose cores are individually slower but enable multiple tasks to run at once. Even so, 60GHz is still FAR more powerful than anything a multicore CPU today can offer. ''Uplink'' also did have some prediction of parallelism - one of the computers you can buy has 8 (or 16?) CPU sockets but only supports slower processors, while most high end ones have 3 or 4.
** For the tech-savvy, this makes it a bit of a PeriodPiece. During TheNineties, computing power was mostly boosted by increasing the clock frequency and this prediction was no doubt based on that trend continuing, probably helped by the PC market focusing on the [=MHz=] as selling point. In reality, clock frequency didn't change all that much during other decades, and is unlikely to ever grow much beyond current values. For one thing, current clock frequencies are well within the microwave range, and microwave electronics is ''different''. There is also the matter of clock cycle length putting an upper bound on the physical size of the computing device, by speed of light.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfKyrandia Book 3: Malcolm's Revenge'', clicking on the Fish Queen's tic-tac-toe board will cause [[DeadpanSnarker Malcolm]] to state his idea of a proper circa 1994 PC gaming system. And cordless mice still aren't that common.
** Cordless mice will continue to not be that common until they come out with one that won't possibly run out of juice midway through an MMORPG dungeon/important work stuff/etc. [[note]]Although you can get one which can be temporarily tethered to a USB power source to recharge its batteries.[[/note]]
* Despite possessing artificial intelligence, advanced cybernetics and genetics, the ability to deconstruct matter and create it into something useful... The world of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' continue to use computers that boast a whopping 64KB of RAM and use a command line like interface. This is, of course, part of the game's {{Zeerust}} aesthetic, set in a world where nuclear technology advanced by leaps and bounds while computer technology stagnated (the transistor was never invented.)
** However, it's also worth noting that the technology is hardy enough to withstand electromagnetic effects from a nuclear blast, as well as last through two hundred years of neglect and downright abuse. Also worth noting is that the primary storage medium is a tape that can be used to hold anything from an audio recording to programming instructions for a robot, and is compatible with practically anything that has some level of processing capability.
* Played for laughs in ''[[VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh TRON 2.0]]'', set in the early 2000s. Jet Bradley has to retrieve some code written in the 1980s (after [[Film/{{TRON}} the first movie]]) from an old mainframe. One of the programs in the mainframe starts commenting on the specs, which were state-of-the-art in the mid-'80s, but a handheld console would be embarrassed to have them these days.
--> '''I-NO:''' [=EN12-82=], top of the line mainframe. Capable of 16 bit processing, full monochromatic display support, and a local storage of 128MB! I challenge you to find a more robust system!
** Becomes a minor TearJerker later on when [[spoiler:the mainframe is on the verge of breakdown due to the protagonists' actions and I-NO decides to stay behind and face deresolution claiming that the modern computing world has no place for an obsolete program like him.]]

* Spoofed in [[http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/03/14 this flashback in]] ''Webcomic/PennyArcade:''
-->'''Tycho:''' Alright. The modem works again, and I tucked in thirty-two megs of RAM. \\
'''Gabe:''' Is that... is that good? \\
'''Tycho:''' Let's put it this way. You'll never need to buy a computer again.
** [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/09/07/cuspin Tycho has an revelation]]
--> ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' is a game I bought twelve years ago to my PC. It came on five CD-Roms. Now, I am going to condence it out of thin air and install it on a machine you would have seen on Franchise/StarTrek. We are living in the future but I didn't even notice. I was confused by the lack of hoverboards.
* Invoked in [[http://xkcd.com/768/ this]] ''Webcomic/{{XKCD}}'' strip when two folks browsing through old magazines find advertisements for woefully outdated 90s era computers... and the more or less unchanged Texas Instruments graphing calculator. [[note]]In case you were wondering, they don't actually need to develop much, since math hasn't really changed that much unless you're in the areas where a calculator is woefully inadequate, they constantly have new customers, and more advanced calculators allow easier cheating on standardized testing.[[/note]]
-->"OK, what the hell, TI?"
-->"Maybe they cost so much now because there's only one engineer left who remembers how to make displays that are ''that'' crappy."
** Also played with in that strip because the Texas Instruments graphing calculators sold the early-to-mid-90s had a processor designed for general purpose computing, were capable of very limited networking (which wasn't a given with computers back then), came with a BASIC interpreter, and could be programmed to do things you wouldn't expect a calculator to be capable of (like play ''Videogame/{{Tetris}}''). They were some of the first truly inexpensive mobile computers and are still useful because most modern computers usually don't come with equation solving mathematics software.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On an episode of the cartoon ''WesternAnimation/{{Birdz}}'', Eddie Storkowitz has to explain e-mail to his friends. In 1998.
* Lampshaded in several jokes about the internet in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** That it took Farnsworth ''years'' to log onto AOL (AOL!), which is accompanied by dial-up noises. That the future internet is pretty much virtual reality is a borderline example, as it's not ''impossible'' at this point but VR never quite took off despite ITS hype in the 90s. Plus there's a joke about having to wade your way through hordes of flying pop-ups ("My God! It's full of ads!") which is less of a problem for most websites today, as they realized that people just don't click on those things.
** That it takes Farnsworth years to logon to AOL is a reference to an actual phenomenon. Back when most everybody was on dialup, you only received a certain allocation of hours per month in order to keep network load within reasonable limits. Eventually AOL abandoned this and permitted users to remain logged on as long as they wanted. While this was great for users who could get a connection, AOL's network hit capacity very quickly and people had to wait in a queue for long periods of time- hours, even- for enough users to log off. This was exacerbated by the fact that, freed of limits, many people simply remained logged in to AOL 24/7 so they wouldn't have to wait!
** In an early, promotional interview for the series with Wired magazine, Creator/MattGroening made some jokes about how his vision of the future was actually a lot like the present in many ways, including crime still being prevalent, politics still being crooked, and "the internet is still slow."
** Parodied when, in his first appearance, Richard Nixon's Head made a joke about computers being twice as fast as they were ''in 1973.'' He said this in the year 3000.
*** Though, to be fair, civilization did collapse and rebuild several times in the interim.
* Lampshaded to hilarious effect in ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'', with the 50s era [[FictionalCounterpart Area 50]] robot's boast "There is no way you can defeat the superior power of my massive 56 Kilobyte [[UnitConfusion processor!]][[note]]Processor capabilities are measured in hertz, bytes are for memory[[/note]]" This giant robot also ran on magnetic tape reels.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** "Homer Goes to College" – From 1993, it had the series' first reference to the then-novel medium of the Internet, nerds Doug, Benjamin and Gary use a phone line to hook up their computers to connect to the Internet (dial-up, which was state-of-the-art at the time) and engage in a newsgroup discussion about ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
** "You Only Move Twice" – Originally aired in 1996, the Simpson family moves to a planned community called Cypress Creek. One example of how advanced the town is is the fact that its elementary school has its own website, which few real-life schools had at the time. On the episode's DVD commentary, Simpsons writer Josh Weinstein says this is one of the most dated jokes they've ever done.
** "Half-Decent Proposal" (2002) – Artie Ziff has become fabulously rich with a device that converts the sound of a modem dialing into soothing music. No wonder Ziff had hit the skids by his next appearance.
* In ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', an in-universe example occurs with Quagmire believing that as of 2009, the internet was still incredibly slow and only used solely by nerds, only to be informed that's no longer true, in addition to the ridiculous [[TheInternetIsForPorn amount of pornography]] that can be found online. When he's next seen finally venturing outside of his house several days later, he's clearly not slept, is severely dehydrated and has the [[ADateWithRosiePalms left arm of a bodybuilder]].
* Lampshaded by Randy in the WholePlotReference[=/=]{{Homage}}-episode "Trust No One" in ''WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries''. He waxes poetic on how the 1940s/1950s transistor computer shown is a classic, and then notes that his wristwatch has more memory than it does.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' centers around the Venture Compound's [[ZeeRust superscience]] computer systems misunderstanding a problem and deciding to begin ''World War III''... by dialing up the Pentagon on a 1200 baud modem. After the 3rd line-noise disconnect the characters decide that while the problem is real they probably have some time to sort it out.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* NASA still uses old fashioned DOS systems and computer chips with a few hundred megabytes of RAM for their spacecraft. [[RealityIsUnrealistic Huh.]]
** Should be noted this only applies to critical systems of the spacecraft or satellite in question. Mission control is up to date (where permitted) and when the scientists need to do actual work, they do it on modern laptops.
** Any space mission has good reason to use rather primitive systems. Satellites and space probes have to operate for years, and the last maintenance most of them get is right before launch. Space is a [[DeathWorld really harsh place]], so the hardware has to be as [[MadeOfIron rugged as possible]] - much easier to do when a system is kept simple. Programming and testing these systems is much more straightforward, and sending equivalently shorter commands is faster, more accurate, and more reliable, especially when the distant end is millions of miles away. Upgrading the system would cost a ''lot'' (and NASA is often subject to budget cuts), mostly due to the exponentially increased time required to test every single potential problem -- problems that will prove fatal out in space.
*** A lot of NASA's spacecraft are built with off-the-shelf equipment left over from previous missions (as spares, test articles, etc.) The space shuttle ''Endeavour'', built as the replacement for ''Challenger'', was almost entirely made of spare parts. To save both time and money, they use what's already been paid for, even if it is a little more primitive.
** To get a sense of how "behind the times" NASA is with selecting their parts, the Mars Curiosity Rover, launched in 2011, has a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAD750 PowerPC-750 based CPU]], 256MB of RAM, and 2GB of flash memory. This is slightly better than the original Apple [=iMac=] released in 1999.
* Similarly, nuclear power stations take a long time to update their controls software. Even hardware is rarely updated with new wiring on top of or combined with old wiring to build in additional levels of redundancy and security. Considering that, barring a complete shutdown and removal of all potentially radioactive material, the monitoring instruments and controls of a nuclear plant can ''never be turned off'' this is a good thing. Some plants refuse to upgrade, fearing that even the slightest error would cause a catastrophe.
* Even more similarly, software. For instance, a lot of math based libraries for Python are based on the very old and "obsolete" Fortran and Pascal. They haven't updated the software because they have years and years use and acceptance. And plenty of other companies don't update old code unless it's absolutely necessary for this very reason.
* And even some businesses. It would cost more to train the IT department (who has probably documented all issues for the past 20+ years) and the normal users of the program than it would to just keep the old system. Upgrading hardware doesn't tend to be an issue thanks to DOSBox and virtual machines now able to run on consumer level computers (unless you happen to need DOS to drive some ancient hardware that uses a connector that no longer exists on modern computers). But so help you if your entire system was on a [=PDP-8=].
** IBM mainframes address this by having their OSes be entirely binary-compatible with their predecessors: it is possible to take a program written in 1970 on an 8-bit System 360 mainframe, and run it on a modern [=zSeries=] mainframe with almost no changes, and it is also possible to take a program written in 1990 on an AS/400 server and put it with no changes at all on a modern [=POWER7=] server running the IBM i OS.
* In the early 1990s there were several big news stories about people who had heart attacks, strokes, etc and were saved by their online friends who called the person's home police department. The Internet is so prevalent today that while these stories can still make news, they aren't such a big deal anymore. And lots of old people get cellphones so that they can make their own 911 calls when they've fallen and they can't get up.
* Most of the world's embedded devices (more basic than your cellphone), either uses Intel's 186 (1982), Intel's 8051 (1982) Freescale's 68MC000 (based on the Motorola 68000 from 1979), Zilog Z80 (1976), MOS 6502 (1975), and various 8-bit micro-controllers from PIC, AVR, etc. Why? Because they don't need features of a modern processor, they're simple to program, and they tend to use a lot less power (important for a sensor that needs to stay out for weeks without intervention). ARM has come out with cheap yet effective 32-bit micro-controllers, but it also comes with the complexities of such, so the 8-bit/16-bit guys will still be around for a while.
* Anyone remember the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsNaR6FRuO0 modem dialtone]]?
** Fax machines don't seem to be going away just yet...
* Linguists - not that long ago - wondered where the various branches of English would go. Some people said that within 200 years or so, British and American English will have little in common. However, this was mostly said by aging linguistics scholars in the 1980s. Then the Internet came along, and we're talking to each other, watching each other's TV programs, talking live to each other on headsets as we play ''WorldOfWarcraft''... and it seems English is moving closer together rather than apart. Almost all similar languages are experiencing this now.
** The same effect is intensifying the pressure against minority languages. Except for those groups that are intentionally insular (living among people who speak a different mother tongue, but not ''with'' them) many minority language groups are finding themselves dying out faster than ever.
** Rather weirdly, branches of major languages are coming '''closer''' due to modern media (albeit slowly, as the German spoken in Vienna has plenty of different words and a funny pronunciation compared to Standard German), while languages who evolve apart from modern media (regional dialects which are not taught in school and do not creep into TV or newspaper speech) are '''going away''' from standard language. Centralized school systems prior to 1980 forced the standard language on all social groups in a country, which does no longer happen.
* The California Science Center in Los Angeles was originally built in 1913, and a massive expansion was done in 1998. The museum's technology exhibit seemingly hasn't been updated since that renovation - every screen in the exhibit hall is a cathode-ray tube, the CPU on display is an ancient Pentium, the description of e-mail and the internet is highly archaic, and no discussion of video games at all. The transportation exhibit is just as outdated; the exhibit's example of clean transportation is a fuel-cell car (touted as the future in the 1990s) instead of a more realistic electric car (the problems with fuel cell vehicles haven't been solved, and electric vehicles are much more common now). However, given the speed at which technology advances, it may be unfeasible to keep updating these two exhibits, though an update once every five years should be enough.
* Now that the world has fully embraced digital technology, anything that has the characteristics of analog medium (static, uneven synching of video, etc.) seems out of place.
* It used to be that computers that people would normally used were dumb terminals that had to connect to a mainframe or servers as the "micro computer" or personal computer hadn't taken off yet (mostly because it was slow). Once hardware got powerful enough for a personal computer, this idea started to fade out. But now this is inverting itself as internet speeds got fast enough. With "Cloud computing", a basic computer could have expanded storage to even playing high-end games like ''{{Crysis}}'' over an internet browser.
* There's an Internet exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry featuring a timeline of important events contributing to development of computers--and its most recent date is in 1999. As one could imagine, many elements of the exhibit are quite behind the times, such sections extolling the then-new wonders of downloading image and picture files from the internet. To modern visitors, the whole thing feels like huge CaptainObvious.
* Internet cafes. While they were somewhat common in the late 90s to early 2000s as Wi-Fi wasn't as readily available, the idea of needing to go to some specific place, pay per hour or whatnot, just to go on the internet on what is basically a public terminal seems odd and outdated, at least in the U.S. and some European countries. Latin American, African and some Asian countries, barring Japan, South Korea and possibly Israel still uses them.
* Looking at the website for the movie ''Film/SpaceJam'', which for some reason has been up since '''1996''', is like observing a time capsule of website design from the mid-90's. Frames, repetitive background artwork, simplistic layouts, animated [=GIFs=] with few colors and frames of animation, the works. See it [[http://www2.warnerbros.com/spacejam/movie/jam.htm here]].
* The rise of online dating sites, social networking, and cell phone apps have had a negative affect on [[WhereEverybodyKnowsYourFlame gay bars]] and bathhouses. Once considered sanctuaries of the community, they've been on the decline in developed countries as many GLBT people no longer feel the need to segregate themselves and endure "the scene" in order to socialize or find a mate. It can get annoying, however, if one actually enjoys going to such places... only to find everyone glued to their phones browsing Grindr.

!!Storage Devices

It is several decades ago by now, but the effect the invention of IC chips had on storage is ''more'' profound than its effect on the processing of data. Before IC chip memory, every single ''bit'' of RAM had to be built manually, which made the very idea of storing large amounts of data electronically pretty much absurd; if a computing device in fiction back then could store much data, it was probably a full-blown AI. When IC chip memory came into general use, memory size became very firmly hitched to the Moore's Law[[labelnote:*]]the ''classical'' Moore's Law, mind you; it's all about the number of transistors you can fit on the chip[[/labelnote]] rocket, and since then the sky is no longer the limit. Current trends of solid-state hard drives (which as flash drives are just another application of IC chips) replacing magnetic disks may be the final step in which older types of memory are replaced.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* People use floppy disks all the time in ''GGundam''.
* ''Manga/AILoveYou'' has the protagonist getting worked up over the prospect of having a computer with one gigabyte of storage space on the hard disk.
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop'': Faye Valentine's home videos in the 2000s were taped on Betamax. 54 years later, she has to resort to raiding an abandoned museum to find a working machine to play them on -- whereas VHS machines are still ubiquitous and readily available second-hand. Even in 1998, when ''Cowboy Bebop'' was released, Betamax machines were becoming scarce; while Sony managed to keep the format on life support in Japan until 2002, pretty much everyone had moved on long before that. Now, in 2011, Betamax machines are considered collectors' items, and it's already become difficult to find one in working order (much less one of the better ones from the format's early-1980s peak). However, VHS machines have not only not disappeared completely, they're still available new (as part of optical combo decks), and as in the show, they're a fixture at second-hand shops. It helps that VHS's wild popularity and LongRunner status (it's been available since 1977) means that there's huge libraries of tapes still in use.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'': [=KaibaCorp=] is one of the largest companies in the world, and their supercomputers use floppy disks. This comes from the same company that has machines that can project holograms and other highly-advanced technology.
* ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' has a character in the Advanced Challenge season's Castform showcase episode use a floppy disk to store information on Castform. The episode in question aired in 2004, when USB flash drives started to become commonplace among computer users, and computers began phasing out their floppy drives.
* According to ''Manga/TheKurosagiCorpseDeliveryService'' (or rather the advertising for an eighties cryogenic fraud company they have to deal with), the billionth Betamax was sold in 2052. As previously mentioned, the format was basically dead by the early nineties.
* In the original 1992 version of the ''Manga/SailorMoon'' manga and TheNineties [[Anime/SailorMoon anime]], Ami's seminar used floppy discs [[spoiler:for brainwashing]]. Following the OrwellianRetcon in the UpdatedRerelease of the manga, Act 2 of ContinuityReboot ''Anime/SailorMoonCrystal'' uses a CD-ROM.[[note]]CD-[=ROM=]s existed in 1992, but were not in widespread use.[[/note]]

* It's a little strange seeing Timmy and Lex flip out at the sight of the [=CD-ROM=] inside the Jeeps in ''Franchise/JurassicPark''.
-->'''Lex:''' Wow! An interactive CD-ROM!
* According to ''Film/BackToTheFuture Part II'', the UsefulNotes/LaserDisc format will have ''just'' gone out of style in 2015.
* The forgettable and all-but-forgotten 2001 film ''Film/OneNightAtMcCools'' features numerous characters oohing and awwing over the fact that one of the characters owns... a UsefulNotes/{{DVD}} player. It'd be a minor thing, but the movie just keeps harping on it, with two characters even deciding to rob the DVD player owner's house, and arguing heatedly about who get to keep this fine luxury item. This was bordering on dated even in 2001, when DVD players were falling rapidly in price. Might have made more sense circa '97-98 when they were still very new.
* ''Film/JohnnyMnemonic'', a 1995 film set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture (in 2021) in which the protagonist sacrifices his long term memory to be able to transport 80Gb of data in his head, 160 if he uses a doubler. He finally squeezes 320, but spends the rest of the film having seizures and headaches and [[spoiler:dying because of it]]. J-Bone also urges people to get their [=VCRs=] ready to record the story's MacGuffin from their pirate TV broadcast.
** The original short story, written in the 80s by the same author as ''Neuromancer'' below, the units were ''mega''bytes.
** For a brief time in the early 21st century, combining this trope with Medical ScienceMarchesOn, gave a case of AccidentallyAccurate. A top of the line USB thumb drive the size of your brain's Hippocampus, which aids with long-term memory, would have stored up 64 gigs. That level of storage is already well below what you can get by spending $200 on a thumb drive, and you would probably want to splurge higher on the storage media if you were sacrificing a piece of your brain to implant it.
*** Obtaining a single, roughly Hippocampus-sized, commercially available device exceeding 320Gb was impossible until January of 2013 when a 512Gb USB thumb drive came out selling for about $800.
* Peter's floppy disc with the virus in ''Film/OfficeSpace''.
* Records of Mugatu's attempted assassinations are stored on a zip disk in ''Film/{{Zoolander}}''.
* ''Franchise/StarWars Episode IV: Film/ANewHope'': As was {{lampshade|Hanging}}d by IrregularWebcomic [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/67.html here]], "We have the ability to destroy a planet and ''tape'' is the best backup medium we have?"
** This is a case of ''RealityIsUnrealistic'' as [[http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/09/information-storage tape is still very much used in]] areas that require storage for MASSIVE amounts of data. While it is much slower than more modern methods, it can hold much more, and for security reasons, if someone were to hack into the system, it would take them much longer to steal/destroy the data than it would on modern methods.
* The makers of ''Film/FreeEnterprise'', a 1998 film, were avid collectors of movies on UsefulNotes/LaserDisc, as were the film's characters. The movie includes a scene filmed on location in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles' premier [=LaserDisc=] shop, and the long-awaited [=LaserDisc=] release of ''Film/LogansRun'' even provides one of the movie's central metaphors. The format was already in its death throes while the movie was being made. By the time most audiences ''saw'' the film, it was quite dead, and those audiences almost certainly were watching it on... DVD. ''Free Enterprise'' also has the distinction of being one of the last films to be ''released'' in the [=LaserDisc=] format.
* Used for laughs in ''Film/SLCPunk'' when a wealthy punk rocker in the 1980s brags about his new [=LaserDisc=] player, a technology that would very quickly become obsolete.
* There's a wonderful scene in the 1951 film ''Film/WhenWorldsCollide'': A rocket is built to rescue a small remnant of humanity from the impending destruction of Earth, taking with them the entirety of human knowledge. Queue a room full of people frantically scanning encyclopedias onto microfilm.
** Compare that to the fact that [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Database_download you can download all the text of Wikipedia all for you to do as you please]] ''right now''. The text of every article, excluding discussion pages and edit histories, comes to about eight gigabytes; on a good broadband connection you could download that in a couple of hours. Want all the pictures and audio/video content as well? That runs to about three terabytes, so it'd probably need a weekend to torrent, and would mildly stretch the storage capacity of a commercial-grade file server.
** The novel (written in 1933) has them taking the ''actual books'' with them. They aren't quite as inefficient as it sounds, though... they also function as insulation for the ships.
* ''Film/RoboCop1987'' predicted several pieces of technology that would become mainstays in later years (notably, the fact that VHS would be succeeded by videodiscs - a la [=LaserDisc=] and DVD, and Dick Jones' PDA-like tracking device). However, it also made it a point to show that Old Detroit's police department stored its records on the most advanced technology (funded by OCP) - tape-to-tape reels, which are shown as taking up a massive amount of space in the department. This concept carried over to [[Series/RoboCopTheSeries the 1994 television series]], even though the series had a TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture aesthetic and computers were in the process of minaturization.
* In Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/BatmanReturns'', a big deal is made about the Batmobile having an on-board CD recorder. At the time, this seemed incredibly futuristic; now, after the rise of flash memory storage for music, it seems more pointless than anything else. Imagine the kind of Bat-Suspension the laser would [[RequiredSecondaryPowers need]].
* ''Film/{{Hackers}}'', made in 1995, has many examples. First and foremost is that the main storage media is 3.5" floppies. While Dade is fiddling with Kate's brand-new laptop, she mentions that it has an internal 28.8 kbps modem (an impressive amount at the time; for an internal modem, doubly so). The tech-savvy team of hackers mostly have pagers rather than cell phones. And also, the trick of using recorded dial tones to spoof pay phones into accessing pay-to-call numbers was obsolete even when the movie came out.
* In the first ''Film/WaynesWorld'', Wayne puts a CD in his dashboard CD player and Cassandra asks him when he got a CD player. He responds "With the money!" (that he had gotten from selling the rights to his cable access show). Portable CD players then were still pricey and status symbols - cassette tapes were still big in 1991.
* In the 1990 film ''Taking Care of Business'', Jim Belushi plays an escaped prisoner. At one point, in a bid to flatter some guy, he acts all impressed by the guy's IBM PC, specifically mentioning, in awestruck terms, its "''20-megabyte'' hard drive".
** Also, the entire plot hinges on the fact that Belushi's character is able to impersonate a stuck up advertising exec due to having found... his filofax. ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filofax His what?]])
* In ''Film/MenInBlack'', K shows J a miniature (about thumbnail sized) disc and says "these're going to replace [=CDs=] soon". Not only were mini-discs larger than that, when they did come out they didn't exactly catch on, and nowadays we have pretty much abandoned discs entirely when storing music for flash memory.
* In the ''Film/JamesBond'' movie ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'', made in 1971, the codes that control [[KillSat the satellite]] are stored on a tape cassette that protrudes prominently in Tiffany's bikini bottom. Today, a flash drive would've been more discreet, though there'd still be the [[PoorCommunicationKills communication]] [[TwoRightsMakeAWrong SNAFU]] between Bond and Tiffany.
* Played with in ''Film/TronLegacy'', when Sam returns from The Grid and ensures its continued existence by copying the entire cyber-universe's '80s-era program -- the most complex simulation his father could construct back then, using every available resource of a massive cutting-edge software firm, stored in a console roughly the size of a fridge -- onto ''one memory card''.
* In the original ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious'':
** The main plot is motivated by Dominic Toretto (Creator/VinDiesel) and his crew stealing shipments of DVD players. While it was probably more plausible back when the film released in 2001 (though, like ''[[Film/OneNightAtMccools One Night at [=McCool=]'s]]'', DVD players were rapidly falling in price by this point), it comes off as over-the-top many years later when the thieves risk life-and-limb by using harpoon guns to steal shipments of low-end consumer electronics in transit, the LAPD has organized a joint investigation with the FBI and Brian O'Connor (Creator/PaulWalker) gives up his career to aid Toretto and the others.
** At one point, Jesse (a member of Toretto's crew) demonstrates the schematics of a vehicle to Brian... by putting a floppy disc in a computer and showing him a picture of the vehicle. Most modern software can do this much easier, including [=AutoCAD=] (which had been available for desktop use for a long while at the time the movie was made), Visio and many others.

* Creator/TimothyZahn's ''Literature/TheCobraTrilogy'' has mostly no indication that it was written in the 1980s... then a character mentions storing computer data on a cassette. On the other hand, still nothing beats tape in the term of the long-time archive storage of large amounts of data.
** Virtually all of Zahn's '80s SF falls victim to this, to greater or lesser extents. Ironically one 1985 novel that takes place beginning in 2016 is the ''least'' affected, with networked computers, widespread personal cell phones, etcetera, while ones set 400 years later feature tapes and '80s style computers. When he wrote a 2006 sequel to one of these, he chose to embrace the Zeerust rather than retcon the setting.
* The Novelization of ''Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan'' features a scene where some researchers on a space station orbiting an alien planet are enthusing over the brand-new, high-tech magnetic bubble memory storage device they've invented. It's the size of a filing cabinet, and stores an amazing ''40 megabytes'' of data. Later Franchise/StarTrek works introduced the fictional ''quad'' unit of computer memory capacity to avoid this sort of problem in the future.
** TheyJustDidntCare. 500 pages of printed text is [[http://www.franca.com/cmps002/2lect/hardware/how_much_memory.htm about 1.5 MB]]. Depending on how the data is presented and exactly how big a file cabinet they were talking about, they could a much better data-to-space ratio with ''paper''.
* The Star Trek Novel ''Literature/SpocksWorld'' has a scene where Kirk is attending to routine duties, one of which is requests for data allocation. That's right, hard drive space on the Enterprise is so sparse that it take's the Captain's signature to increase space allocations.
* For a storage device of a different kind, some of the Literature/MythAdventures novels show minor characters being stunned by Skeeve's incredible wealth because he carries (gasp!) a ''credit card''.
* An early plot point of Creator/WilliamGibson's ''{{Neuromancer}}'' involves the hustler protagonist moving "three megabytes of hot RAM" -- enough, apparently, to kill for. Life's cheap in Gibson's future Chiba City, but probably not ''that'' cheap. At the time of the novel's release (1984), RAM was around $1000 a megabyte - now the price is closer to half a ''cent'' per megabyte. Other stories set in [[SprawlTrilogy the Sprawl]] feature things as complex as human memories recorded on tape.
* In ''Literature/DreamPark'', the Griffin boasts of being the best thief in the world. One of the examples he facetiously cites, to prove his credentials, is his claim of having procured the only existing copy of ''Star Wars''. Pre-digital media and mass-market home video, this probably did seem impressive.
* ''Literature/TheMurderOfRogerAckroyd'' is one of the first murder mysteries to feature the use of a sound recorder as part of the murder plot (written in TheRoaringTwenties). Specifically a Dictaphone is used, and part of the reason the murderer is found out is that he needed to move furniture to conceal the large machine.
** Rather implausibly, the playback of the Dictaphone is apparently indistinguishable from an actual human voice (admittedly through a closed door).
* ''Literature/TheEndOfEternity'' uses punchtape, film - which takes two meters to store a bookcase, and a molecular recorder - sixty million words in less than a cubic inch. The last one would have been still impressive by today's standards had it been recording words as sound, but an attached transliterator is described.
* Arthur C. Clarke's ''Odyssey'' series makes this list again. In ''3001: The Final Odyssey,'' the current method of data storage is a glass-like block that holds 1 Terabyte. While having it use a transparent medium is still out of reach, 1TB of storage is nothing special in 2012, let alone 3001.
* ''Literature/TheCavesOfSteel'' is three thousand years in the future. The first storage media mentioned? [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delay_line_memory Mercury delay lines]]. How many here have heard of that? The trope is further emphasized by the fact that the technology to create sentient robots with [[AppliedPhlebotinum "positronic brains"]] exists, the technology has been around since the 21st Century, and a robot with such a brain is shown ''impressed at Earth computers''!
* In Gerard O'Neill's ''2081'', a 1981 futurist treatise incorporating fiction segments, the orbital-colonist narrator marvels over various high-tech gadgets he encounters while visiting Earth. One of these, a "slate" that functions as an e-book reader, can store at least a hundred thousand words; not only is this a ''much'' lower capacity than a present-day Kindle or Nook, but it's hard to believe anyone from an orbital colony would've grown up reading ''non''-digital books.
* The novel ''JurassicPark'' has the program which tracks the dinosaurs. It stops counting when it reaches the target numbers, as that is all that's necessary to make sure if all the dinosaurs are in their enclosures, to save processor cycles. This, of course, comes back to bite the heroes [[spoiler: when it turns out the dinosaurs have begun to breed]]. For the time, it was a reasonable, if slightly shortsighted, set-up. For the modern reader, whose cellphone has more processing power than the park supercomputer, it seems mind-bogglingly stupid.
* In Lois [=McMaster=] Bujold's "VorkosiganSaga," books are stored on "book discs;" from the text, it appears that each disc is one book. The text doesn't exactly explain how large these discs are, but given that a micro-SD card can currently hold a large number of books, this is dated.
** Notably, however, the same series has "wrist comms" that function exactly like cell phones...and comconsoles, which are effectively desktop/videophone hybrids. Apparently, tablets and laptops were never really invented in this universe, which is odd, because the series started in the 80s, when laptops existed and were becoming increasingly popular.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''[[{{Literature/Foundation}} Foundation's Edge]]'' (published [[TheEighties 1982]]) has the main characters Trevize and Pelorat carrying a very important historic library aboard spaceship ''on one disk''. This is treated as some major technological breakthrough [[TimeAbyss 15 000 years into the future]]. It wouldn't exceed the capabilites of [[CompactDisc a mid-1980s CD]].
* In Asimov's ''The Martian Way'', one person complains that his partner brought along a lot of dead weight - fifteen pounds of books. Now, maybe he meant microfilm, but today, a lot of books will be needed to fill fifteen pounds of storage medium appropriate for a Martian colony...
* In ''Literature/TheBourneIdentity'', Jason Bourne's Swiss bank account number was on microfilm. [[Film/TheBourneSeries The 2002 adaptation]] put it into a special laser pointer because director Doug Liman thought [[WhatAreRecords most young viewers wouldn't know what microfilm was]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In the 1980s revival of ''Series/MissionImpossible'', Jim Phelps' trademark reel to reel tapes are updated to a small CD-Rom device. In the pilot episode when he gets his first mission, he takes a second to marvel at the small disc in his hand saying to himself "Time DOES march on."
* In the commentary to ''KnowingMeKnowingYouWithAlanPartridge'', the cast cringe at the phrase "CD-ROM dotcom paranoia".
* This process is {{justified|Trope}} in ''Series/RedDwarf: Back to Earth'' (2009), where DVD were rendered obsolete and VHS tapes were phased back in when it was realised that nobody could get the DVD back into their cases. This may also be an in-joke since video boxes frequently appeared in earlier series, which were filmed in the late-Eighties and Nineties. Then there was that time they once digitally stored Lister's mind on an audio cassette.
** Not just any audiocassette, either, they used a microcassette from a dictaphone. These are still around today, outliving their larger cousins, but are generally even ''shorter.''
* Two notable examples from the second season of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' in 1997-98. When Angel loses his soul and reverts to evil, the information that Willow needed to restore Angel's soul was stored on a 3 1/2 inch floppy disk that fell between desks. Earlier, Joyce's boyfriend Ted, who worked for a computer company, curried favor with Willow by giving her freebies from work, including a new hard drive with a gargantuan capacity of ''9 gigabytes'' - a tad more than a $15 USB drive could hold little more than a decade later.
* Examples from ''Series/BabylonFive'' (written in 1994-99, happens in 2257-62):
** Reports are routinely passed around on paper. This was supposed to be more realistic than ''Franchise/StarTrek'', in which paper has disappeared from common use. It remains to be seen which show's depiction of the 23rd century is more realistic, but bear in mind that the "paperless office" has been confidently predicted as imminent since the early 1970s. The series itself {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d this in one episode, where a character bemoans the fact that "every time someone tells me we're moving to a paperless society, I get three new forms to fill out."
** One thing that ''is'' pretty jarring to modern eyes is the frequent use of ''Universe Today'' (a reader-customizable CaptainErsatz InSpace of ''USA Today''), as a print newspaper. A decade later, and print journalism is a dying medium. Whoops.
** In "Deathwalker", Garibaldi refers to a character named Abbut as a "vicker", a {{cyborg}} who acts as an all-purpose recorder (Kosh hired him to record Talia's thoughts). According to Garibaldi, the term "vicker" is a phonetic pronunciation of [=VCR=]. One wonders what they would have called him in the DVD and Blu-ray era. (A "daver"[[note]]from DVR[[/note]], maybe?)
** "Data crystals" are commonly used to carry important data, and seemed pretty cool and futuristic at a time when the CD-ROM was just starting to be widely used and "multiple floppy disks" was still a common storage method. But today, the data crystals are larger and a bit more clunkier than a USB drive, with no clear advantage in capacity over that 21st century storage medium.
*** In an episode of the SpinOff ''Series/{{Crusade}}'' the entire output of an alien culture was stored on a dozen or so crystals, implying that they have a very high data capacity.
* The original ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' references tapes as data storage. The later series, did, at least, take measures to specifically avoid this trope by [[FantasticMeasurementSystem inventing their own fictional unit of data storage, the quad]], and avoiding giving any quad-byte ratio, in the light of data storage capabilities constantly rising quicker than people might initially predict.
** One aversion (though it might not be in a few years' time) was when they gave the storage capacity of Data's positronic brain in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' as "eight hundred quadrillion bits". In other words, one hundred petabytes, which is ''still'' one hundred thousand times larger than the average computer hard drive in 2011. Quite brave considering the episode was written in TheEighties.
** In the [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG]] episode "Evolution", out-of-control [[{{Nanotechnology}} nanites]] start compromising ship systems, and [[CreatorsPet Wesley]] states that each nanite has a storage capacity of 1 gigabyte. Not very large by today's standards, but still quite impressive when you consider that it's all packed within a microscopic space (and that there are ''billions'' of nanites, for a total storage somewhere in the millions of terabytes).
* The DisneyChannel original movie ''Twas the Night'' (released in 2001) has Santa, Kaitlin, and Peter going to the computer store to use a top-of-the-line computer there to hack into the sleigh's computer. Kaitlin comments that the computer has an 8 [=GHz=] processor, a 1 terabyte hard drive, and... 512 megabytes of RAM. 8 [=GHz=] is just below the world record overclock as of 2013, with 4 [=GHz=] being about the maximum for high speed CPU's, a 1 terabyte hard drive is a stock standard part in even budget computers, while 512 megabytes of ram is below the common stand of several gigabytes of RAM.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode ''[[Recap.DoctorWhoS18E7Logopolis Logopolis]]'' the highly advanced aliens who are holding the world together with pure mathematics use bubble memory. As the Doctor puts it, "Bubble memory is non-volatile. Remove the power and the bit patterns are still retained in tiny magnetic domains in these chips!" The writer was a computer scientist and bubble memory was quite cutting edge in 1981. Nowadays, not so much. This still isn't as bad as ''[[Recap.DoctorWhoS12E2TheArkInSpace The Ark in Space]]'' where the entirety of human knowledge on a space station built in the 30th century is stored on ''microfilm''.
* In a 1970s episode of ''Series/{{Columbo}}'', the murderer was a rich TV actor played by WilliamShatner who faked an alibi using an amazing high-tech wonder called a [=VCR=]. (He tricked an acquaintance into thinking they were watching the ball game together at the time of the murder.) Columbo was appropriately awed when Shatner showed the [=VCR=] off to him and explained how such a device would cost about three thousand dollars. (Today you can get a [=DVD=] player for less than a hundred dollars and that's without taking inflation into account.) At the end Columbo commented that it was "very brave" of Shatner to show him the [=VCR=], saying "you certainly like to take a chance."
** A 1980s episode has Columbo fascinated with a fax machine in much the same manner.
* In an episode of ''Series/TheXFiles'', a FBI computer expert tells Mulder and Scully that the information they got from... somewhere would be enough to fill "seven 10 gigabyte hard drives". Not one seventy gigabyte hard drive, no, "''seven ten gigabyte hard drives"''.
** This might be more subtle than it appears. Until the early 2000s, you had to make a rather strange choice in hard drives for big systems: You could go for the types of hard drives used in [=PCs=] (which were rapidly growing into the hundreds of gigabytes in size) or you could go for the smaller but faster [=SCSI=] drives, which were limited to 10 GB for a long time. The latter largely died out when the former got as fast as them.
* In a 1980 episode of ''Series/{{Buck Rogers|InTheTwentyFifthCentury}}'', Buck is put on trial for evidence taken from a Betamax videotape from 1987. The show seems to have assumed that VHS would have been supplanted by Sony's Betamax as the dominant video format by this time. In fact, by 1987, VHS had clearly won the format war, and in early 1988, Sony effectively surrendered when it announced the production of the company's first VHS-format [=VCRs=]. That said, Betamax didn't really die in the US until the mid-1990s, when Sony stopped selling blank tapes for it, and even had one more decade in Japan.
** On the other hand, the tape in question was never ''specifically'' referred to as a Betamax tape by any of the characters, so this is probably just a case of the production staff using whatever props they happened to have lying around at the time and figuring [[ViewersAreMorons the viewers wouldn't notice or care]]. (Seeing as how this was one of the last episodes filmed before the series was cancelled, it's likely [[TheyJustDidntCare the production staff didn't care, either]].))
** This, of course, assumes that the videotape (and the equipment needed to play it) was [[RagnarokProofing either preserved or restored]] in such a way as to render it playable five centuries into the future. Most magnetic media would do well to last 50-100 years under controlled conditions.
* The grand prize for contestants who caught Carmen on ''Series/WhereInTimeIsCarmenSandiego'' was a desktop computer with an 850 MB hard drive. 850 megabytes. Yeah. Now, those lucky winners can fit their whole computers on [=USB=] drives and still have space left.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': In 3rd season episode “Impact” (1998), when escaping from the Bradenhurst facility, Harm captures a 3.5” floppy disc containing digital photos of the UFO-like UCAV, taken directly out from a digital camera.
* In ''TheBrothersGarcia'' (2001) George talks excitedly about wanting to give his mother a gift-a computer with 850 MHz, 100GB of storage and a CD burner. Nowadays it's standard for every computer to be able to burn [=CDs=] and there are hard-drives capable of storing ten times that amount of GB.

In general, the amount of time that a particular storage medium is in general use for music has been rapidly dropping. Vinyl lasted nearly one hundred years before being superseded by compact discs. Cassettes existed alongside vinyl for around twenty five years before compact discs again replaced them as the default. Compact discs themselves were only on top for around fifteen years before digital storage began to replace them. Hard drives (at least on portable models) lasted less than ten years - all modern music storage is on flash or similar memory. With the advent of cloud storage, instant mobile streaming and other technologies even the idea of locally storing music may be on the way out.
* ''No Aphrodisiac'' by the Whitlams (released 1997) contains the opening lyric 'A letter to you on a cassette...' Still a great song though.
* Music/{{Gotye}} and Music/{{Kimbra}}'s "Somebody I Used to Know", released in 2011, has a line in the chorus: "''But you didn't have to stoop so low / Send your friends to collect your records and then change your number''". Even considering the song was about a relationship that was some time in his past, there probably wouldn't have been many "records" to collect.
** Even in 2014, someone who's dating a singer-singwriter is quite likely to own vinyl records, which have even been on an upward sales trend for the last few years.

* Similar to the movie, ''Pinball/JohnnyMnemonic'' recognizes the last player who accumulates 320 gigabytes of data as "The Cyberpunk".

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the first edition of Rifts published in 1991 and taking place about 300 years in the future, the hand-held computer listed in the equipment section is described as having a "dual drive system, 150 megabytes hard drive with 4 megabytes of Random Access Memory (RAM) and uses one inch disk." Later reprints removed specific capabilities on the computers and simply had it state that the computers in Rifts are 100 times better than the ones that are used currently (which is ''still'' bad; [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore%27s_law Moore's Law]] predicts computers reaching 100 times better in just over ''13 years'').

* The song "Mix Tape" and accompanying scene from ''Theatre/AvenueQ'', which debuted on Broadway in 2003. The term "mix tape" itself is still commonly used, even though said "tape" nowadays would most likely be an MP3 playlist, but Princeton specifically tells Kate that he went through his CD collection and made her ''a tape'', and later on they both mention "side A" and "side B" while they look through the songs he picked. The most recent off-Broadway and touring productions of ''Avenue Q'' have changed and updated some of the other lines and dialogue in the play in order to stay as current as possible, but so far this charmingly dated little scene remains untouched.
** In many ways, ''Avenue Q'' is a love letter to TheNineties. Using Gary Coleman as fodder for comedy was a decade-old joke at that point, and even in 2003 few people were still making mix tapes. They were burning [=CDs=] instead.
** In newer productions, it's changed to just a "mix," burned onto 2 [=CDs=], but the lyrics remain the same. Just calling it a mix sounds clunky anyway.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Parodied in ''FreedomForce vs. The Third Reich'', set in the 1960s: Minuteman brags how the Freedom Fortress' computer (which is made from ''alien technology'', mind you) can store "hundreds of kilobytes of information" (the game itself requires over half a million kilobytes).
** And he's doing the bragging to their visiting allies from ''the 40s'', who just act confused.
* Many DOS-era games (''VideoGame/DukeNukem'', ''VideoGame/JazzJackrabbit''...) had floppy disks as collectible items. (Often said to carry a copy of the game.) [=CDs=] were used briefly like this as well before the 3D age took over.
* Done intentionally for some 1980s nostalgia in ''WorldInConflict'', when one of the U.S. soldiers shows his buddy the latest and greatest gadget of the day....a portable CD player.
* The ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series had a history of intentionally evoking this for nostalgia purposes by how save icons are fashioned, appearing as period storage devices that have fallen or are falling out of use by the time each of the games was released: ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity'' has cassette tapes, ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' has 3.5" floppy disks, ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoLibertyCityStories'' has compact discs, while ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCityStories'' has 5.25" floppy disks.
* The ''VideoGame/TonyHawksProSkater'' series has long since used VHS tapes as one of the collectibles in its career mode. The HD remake has switched over to [=DVD=]s.]
* ''Franchise/MetalGear'':
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'', set in 1999, a scientist stores the secret of his genetically engineered petroleum-excreting microorganism on an MSX cartridge. There's a partial justification in that the scientist is supposed to be into the [[RomHack homebrew]] scene, but Snake still immediately knows what an MSX is and calls it 'the legendary worldwide computer' ([[NoExportForYou laughably wrong]]).
** InUniverse - in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', the character Psycho Mantis' claim to fame was reading data off your memory card. In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'', Psycho Mantis' ghost comes back to haunt Snake and tries the same trick, only to freak out when he sees that the PS3 uses internal data storage and thus has no memory card.
** Earlier in the latter game, Otacon tells Snake to switch to [=CD2=] before suddenly remembering that the game is on Blu-Ray and thus swapping disks isn't necessary.
* In ''VideoGame/ShadowrunReturns: Dragonfall'' - which is set in the future, the player happens upon a pile of ancient optical discs that are identified by an older character as DVD re-writables. A brief quest ensues to find a DVD-player in the year 2054.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The [=CD-ROM=] in the description was inspired by an episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''.
* The episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' where they must perform an episode of Single Female Lawyer for aliens because all VHS tapes were destroyed during the Second Coming of Christ. No [=DVDs=] or Website/YouTube in the future?
** Remember that YouTube is pretty [[Main/ScrewedbytheLawyers touchy about copyright]].
** In "I Dated a Robot" the people at [[spoiler: Kid]]Nappster have Creator/LucyLiu's personality copied onto a ''floppy disk'', which they use to create evil duplicates of her. Of course this also might be RuleOfFunny. It's pointed out in the DVD Commentary if you want to take a look.
** Though WordOfGod is that because the world has ended before, technology is a little...funky.
** Played with in another episode, "Mother's Day", when Mom gathers all robots together and declares she won't be around forever... When a cassette player goes "Oh, shush."
** And humorously averted with a library housing the largest collection of literature in the universe... on two CD sized disks labelled "Fiction" and "Nonfiction".
* Any attempt to update the {{Transformer|s}} Soundwave's alt mode from tape deck to a more modern audio storage device is very likely to be flat-out rejected before coming to fruition, which is odd, since - as a communications specialist and spy for the Decepticons - you'd expect him to keep with the times and [[MerchandiseDriven alter his alt mode, accordingly]] to keep from being spotted due to how {{Zeerust}} his original form looks. Even a recent toy of his that doubles as a functional MP3 player is modeled wholescale from his original tape deck form. [[http://www.seibertron.com/transformers/news/toy-review-of-device-label-jaguar-ravage/17211/ Evidently, his underlings aren't as picky as he is]].
** This is parodied in a ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch where Soundwave is sent to infiltrate a science lab. The scientists are quick to laugh at the old boom box. Rumble, labeled as '1985 Summer of Love', has his tape pulled out and dies, and Soundwave's D batteries are removed and he's sold on Ebay.
---> '''Shockwave''':Request permission to buy it now!
** Part of the problem is that Soundwave's G1 toy was insanely iconic and popular, and changing him to a new altmode (like a car or satellite or drone aircraft) eliminates why people love him.
** The live action films managed [[spoiler:to change him into a satellite in the second, then a car in the third. Specifically, Carly's car, which she was given by Dylan Gould so he could spy on her.]]
** An issue of the {{Marvel}} comic takes the cake, though, by ending with Optimus Prime's mind being copied onto a...[[{{MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext}} floppy disk]].
* ''{{WesternAnimation/Recess}}'': Gretchen Grundler has a Personal Digital Assistant called Galileo, which was a big deal in the [[TheNineties 1990s]]. Forward to 2010 and beyond, where having Smartphone is SeriousBusiness.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode "Here Come The Neighborhood", circa 2000, the kids mock Token for being from a rich enough family to have a DVD player and not knowing what a VHS is. New viewers could soon have the same question.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' used the record player joke in the episode where Francine plays Thomas Edison in a school play.
--> '''Mr. Ratburn:''' Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph. ''(deadly silence)'' The ... record player? ''(more silence)'' It was before [=CDs=]. Plastic hadn't been invented yet.
* HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw parodies this trope as it applies to TheJetsons. When they come back from the "far off future year of 2002" (Harvey glances at his 2004 desk calendar) to sue the people of the past for ruining the environment, they bring evidence in the "futuristic" form of punch cards and a Betamax tape.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In both reality and in fiction, a physical PornStash of videos and magazines is an UnintentionalPeriodPiece. These days people buy a USB storage device or keep it buried on their hard drive - or just leave it all on the Internet and bookmark it.
** And before it was piped straight into our homes, many had to make do with [[PoorMansPorn catalogs and National Geographic]].
* Video especially. Each physical format had a narrow window between invention and obsolescence.
* Anyone remember Digital Audio Tape? Thought not. Think of them as digital 8-track tapes...Oh, you don't remember 8-tracks? [=DAT=] seemed to be around in the early 1990s in radio/audio, as a more stable digital recording format than [=CDs=], which tended to scratch and skip. [=DATs=] were replaced by minidiscs. Oh, forget it...
** Well, not quite -- [=DAT=] and [=MD=] [=(MiniDisc)=] actually hit the market at roughly the same time. [=DAT=] died fairly swiftly in the consumer-audio world due to the [=RIAA=] throwing a hissy-fit over how its ability to make perfect bitwise copies would promote piracy (sound familiar) and threatening lawsuits if it was marketed to consumers, but it hung around in the professional-audio world for quite a while, and as a data-storage and backup format as well. The [=MD=], on the other hand, was quite popular in Asia and Europe, but didn't do well in the US due mostly to some mis-aimed marketing by Sony which made people think [=MD=] was supposed to replace the [=CD=] (this in the early-to-mid-90s, when most people hadn't even finished making the leap from [=LP=] to [=CD=] yet!) when what it really was, was the logical successor to ''cassettes'' because you could record and erase them at will on a portable device, which couldn't be done with [=CDs=] back then.
* A common complaint about "obsolete computer entities we still use" (the fifty-cent term for which is 'skeuomorphisms') is the floppy disk icon for saving. A lot of people probably don't even know what it is now.
** Funnily enough, it feels like optical disks are going this route, due to the cheapness of external hard drives and the capacity of thumb disks. When was the last time someone asked you to burn them a CD/DVD for data?
** Some Linux distributions have taken note of this and use an arrow pointing at a hard drive.
** A debatable example happens on Android, which often uses a Micro SD card as a save icon, as Micro SD cards have been the de facto standard removable storage used on Android cell phones. However, as of 2014, Google began to attempt to go down the [=iPhone=] route of making the phone a completely sealed device with fixed battery and no SD card slot and applied this design pattern to its Nexus phone and the Motorola Moto X. Nobody followed suit at first, but then 2015 saw Samsung's flagship model, the Galaxy S6, being released with no removable storage and battery.
** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emacs Emacs]] uses an icon of an arrow pointing down at a ''file cabinet'' -- although any real Emacs user knows the toolbar is for newbies, and that the proper way to save a file is by pressing Control-x Control-s, or Control-x Control-w to "save as".
*** Similarly, Lotus [=SmartSuite=], last updated in 2002, uses an icon of an arrow pointing into a ''file folder''. Naturally, in its successor Symphony, ever-state-of-the-art Lotus has replaced that icon with...a floppy disk.
*** [=LibreOffice=] has also reverted to the floppy disk icon as of version 4.
** Computer Science has a trend on this:
*** Hard Disks are usually represented as a tall cylinder on disk activity [=LEDs=]. There haven't been hard disks shaped like this in ''decades''. Similarly, some logical HDD addressing schemes still use ''cylinders'', heads and sectors.
*** Eventually, hard disks themselves will be this trope, as Solid-State Drives are making headway -- although [=SSDs=]' uptake will continue to be limited by the fact that flash memory can't be written non-destructively, meaning that every time you save a file to that shiny new SSD, you're measurably shortening its remaining lifetime. Mechanical hard disks, in spite of those who disparage them as "spinning rust", have no such inherent limitation; especially when power cycles are avoided (i.e., the disk is kept constantly spinning, which is actually ''easier'' on the hardware than stopping and restarting it would be) it's not unusual for a server-class hard disk to remain continuously in service for ten years or more.
** Some [=PCs=] identify Ethernet ports with an icon showing 2 or more [=PCs=] connected to a single line. The ''bus'' architecture represented by such icon is no longer in use, and current Ethernet interfaces ''don't even work like that anymore''.
** Virtual architecture still reflects the designs of yesteryear. On Microsoft [=OSes=], A:\ used to be the floppy directory, because the first few editions of MS-DOS had to be booted from a floppy. Because the floppy had to remain in the drive, if you wanted to move something out of your computer you required a second floppy drive, which was B:\; if you had a hard drive, it would get mounted to C:\. Today, floppy disks are long obsolete, but on most computers the default hard drive directory remains C:\, and poorly written programs will often malfunction if for some reason you didn't choose C:\ as your system partition's letter. The convention of having filenames end with a three letter filetype also comes from the old days of MS-DOS, which limited filenames to 8 letters and a 3-letter filetype. Likewise, the UNIX convention of putting system programs on /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/sbin and /opt comes from the third edition of Ritche and Thompson's Research UNIX, which required four hard drives to store the core system programs and usually had an extra hard drive for user-provided programs.
** Data centers still use magnetic tape drives for data storage. However, that's because it is much easier in general to save data to a long, slow-moving sequential tape than it is to save data to a platter that spins at 5600-7200 RPM -- as of 2015, it is not uncommon to see a single tape cassette being able to stash more than 150 terabytes of data. Because magnetic tapes have the limitation of having to rewind or fast forward the tape in order to find the required data, they are usually used for backups and data archival.
* Unfortunately for John Logie Baird, his [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonovision AVD]] was a no-starter. Still, recording an actual image on something other than a roll of film was really something for the 1920s.
** Around the same time the leading Soviet electronics magazine, "The Radio", discussed [[OlderThanTheyThink recording]] [[spoiler:[[OlderThanTheyThink mechanical]]]] [[OlderThanTheyThink TV programs]] on the blank phonograph disks or celluloid tape, ''with sound''.
* In 1956, [[http://www.snopes.com/photos/technology/storage.asp this]] was the modern day equivalent of a flash drive.
** Never mind the size, note the price - it ''leased'' for $3200 1956 dollars a month, which in 2015 dollars is more or less $32,000 -- ''it cost literally one luxury sedan a month''.
* As of 2011, motion pictures are still often called ''films'', despite the fact that a large number are no longer shot on or projected with film. Similarly, directors often talk about ''filming a scene''.
** Editing is done digitally now, but we still use terms like ''left on the cutting room floor''. Traditional animation is sometimes still called ''cel animation'' although actual cels have mostly been replaced by digital ink and paint.
* As anyone with eternal (or near-eternal) archive legal requirements knows, in the 80s, it was popular to microfilm important documents for easier mass storage. As anyone trying to digitize these archives knows, these neat, little microfilms are a pain in the neck to use and quite time consuming to transfer to computer.
** Might be somewhat subverted by the fact that, when properly stored, microfilm is an amazingly durable medium. Computer storage systems have a typical life expectancy of a few decades at most (before the medium starts deteriorating and causing reading errors.) Microfilm, on the other hand, has a life expectancy of about 500 years.
* Brazil had a magazine called ''Revista do CD-ROM'' (Magazine of the CD-ROM), which had an attached CD with programs. [[LongRunner 15 years and 175 issues later]], it evolved into ''Revista do DVD-ROM'' in 2010. Then in 2013 it became ''Revista dos Apps'', ditching the bonus media for only web and computer journalism.
* In his landmark 1945 essay "[[http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1945/07/as-we-may-think/303881/ As We May Think]]", Vannevar Bush predicted many technologies we take for granted today, like a desk-mounted appliance (i.e., home computer) that gives the user access to vast sums of human knowledge quickly (i.e., the World Wide Web), and the ability to cross-reference related terms instantly (i.e., hypertext). But he thought the total of human knowledge would still be stored on microfilm.
* Interestingly, storage for MP3 players has actually regressed a bit nowadays. Around 2005-2008 it was possible to buy them with capacities in excess of 40GB; the iPod Classic, for example, was released with capacities of 80, 120 and 160 GB. This trend reversed quite quickly because A) your average Joe from that time didn't usually had more than 4 GB of music in total, B) the only way to achieve this was using 2.5-inch hard drives, the kind with moving parts which don't tolerate rough handling very well, and C) as wireless broadband connections developed, your average Joe stopped saving his music on his portable device and began to just stream it from Spotify -- no hunting for your favorite songs, no dealing with a cumbersome file sharing program, no having to put up with virus infections spread through P2P networks, no having to maintain an entire music collection, you just search for your artist, touch Play and It Just Works.

!!Computer Interface
Old computer interfaces certainly didn't look like a modern one; computer programs came in the form of punch cards, and they were ugly. It mostly applies to works from before the 90s.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The creators of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' were aware of how outdated it looked by having starships in the future being run by dials, switches, sliders, knobs, and buttons (really, The Original Series has not aged well in this regard,) so they decided to invent a new interface to run the starships and computers by: The LCARS interface. This let the actors look like they were controlling the ship entirely through a touch interface, and that touching the same small series of buttons could read out numerous different functions. The catch is, back when this was first envisioned, Windows had only just begun its fight in becoming the most preferred interface to use for computers, so all the starships and computers in the future are run by what is basically a touch screen version of DOS.
** This in turn, was intentionally {{Inverted}} in ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' by history and pop culture enthusiast Tom Paris. When given the task of inventing a new type of shuttle craft for Voyager, he intentionally designed the cockpit with an entire section of knobs, switches, and a flight stick to control the craft with ''because'' of the nostalgic feel it gave, despite being pointed out by Tuvok that it was functionally unnecessary since the LCARS was still just as efficient. Paris also included this because he was well aware that the computers ''could'' fail, and having a flight stick for manual control would allow him to fly the craft better during an emergency.
** The communicators used in the Original Series were basically a Walkie-Talkie version of Flip-Phones.


* The bizarre 3D interface in ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' that has been mentioned in passing above [[http://www.siliconbunny.com/fsn-the-irix-3d-file-system-tool-from-jurassic-park/ was a real file-browsing tool]] made for a custom UNIX distro that shipped with Silicon Graphics workstations.
** Also in Jurassic Park, when Nedry's seemingly talking on a videoconference call, he's actually just talking to some [=QuickTime=] movies. Moviegoers these days are more likely to detect and understand the scrollbars on the bottom of the screen.
* The fact that technology marches on is the driving force behind the entire plot of ''Film/SpaceCowboys''. The main character, a remnant of the defunct Air Force space program, is chosen for the mission to repair an old Russian satellite because he is intimately familiar with several outdated computer technologies which are present in the satellite. His fluency in [=COBOL=] is particularly noteworthy.


* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''The Fun They Had'' mostly avoids this trope, aside from the digital books being on a TV screen. But when the only things keeping school days from being utopian is the computer being large and ugly and the tedious punch cards (the elimination of a facet of society doesn't count, as the main characters don't mind that and it eliminates many, many problems.) this becomes a PlotHole. And the computers are glitchy and require an actual repairman to come in and fix problems. You'd think that Asimov would expect such problems to be fixed by the 24th century in which this short story takes place.
** In ''Literature/TheEndOfEternity'', everyone walks around with a decoder for punch tapes - and no one thinks to put one in a mainframe.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TheMoonIsAHarshMistress'' has Mike, a computer that can be programmed ''from multiple locations''!! However, when he gets glitchy, they have to call in a computer repairman (who got expensive training in microcircuitry back on Earth) who can program him at the main computer using the powerful microtools of his mechanical arm.
* Creator/StanislawLem's old fifties novel ''[[Literature/TheAstronauts Astronauci]]'' ("The Astronauts"), set in 2003, features a spaceship's computer which has no textual interface ''at all'', instead displaying all its output as wavey graphs without any numbers or words. The operators must specifically learn to read these.
** Those would be ''analog computers''. Unlike ''digital'' computers, which solve scientific problems by number-crunching (not unlike manual computations on paper), analog computers compute by forming an electrical circuit whose behaviour matches the mathematical formula of interest. The output device was typically an oscilloscope or a roll of graph paper. Due to imperfections in the electrical components (in particular, they tend to be sensitive to temperature) the results were always only approximate, but the same is true for slide rules. The number of components needed to do useful scientific calculations with analog computers are orders of magnitude lower than for digital computers, so before integrated circuits were invented, analog computers were a more natural match for manned spacecraft.
** Also the spaceship's computer (The Predictor) is designed to actually fly the ship - until it gets into an AsteroidThicket and it begins to manoeuver like a crazy WorldWarTwo fighter pilot to avoid them. The crew has to painfully crawl to it and push a few buttons to return to a normal trajectory. Any computer, regardless how primitive, designed to ''predict'' a spaceship's trajectory would gain data from sensors and plan in advance.

* Command Line Interfaces (CLI) still exist, despite the fact that only a small fraction of computer users can use them effectively. While commonplace up until the early 90s, they're a mystery to the mainstream world, so much so that some people actually think such interfaces are magical tools capable of HollywoodHacking. Which is actually kinda-sorta-somewhat true; a well-used [=CLI=] handily outdoes a [=GUI=] for whole categories of tasks - like, say, making a text file listing everything in a given directory, or batching a hundred repetitive jobs into one single instruction.
** For the curious, the UNIX command to write a file listing everything in a directory is ''ls > output.txt'' - Windows is similar, ''dir > output.txt''[[note]]From the command prompt. What do you mean, what's a command prompt?[[/note]]. Handy tip - Shift-right-click on a folder allows you to open a command prompt at that folder... with Windows 7, at any rate. How long before ''that'' is declared obsolete?
** Command-line interfaces are still widely used for accessing and maintaining remote servers (especially Unix servers). These servers often don't have even any kind of display hardware. An experienced system administrator will usually find the CLI significantly more flexible, expressive and powerful than any kind of graphical administrative tool (which by its very nature will often be limited in functionality.) A CLI is like writing in a scripting language on-the-fly. (Many Linux/Unix users, especially those with decades of experience, will also often use the CLI even on their local computers for maintenance and other tasks.)
*** Even GUI-intensive operating systems like Mac OS X, Apple [=iOS=] and Android will sometimes require some command line fiddling for advanced tasks or when fixing issues. For example, if the media file scanner is eating way too much of your Android phone's battery, you have to open a command line, type ''ps | grep mediaserver'', find the process ID of the ''mediaserver'' process, then type ''lsof | grep '' and delete the file that is hanging the media scanner.
** Go up to a server running a [=VMWare ESXi=] host and you may be surprised that everything is operated from a simple text-based menu with an option to access a command line. The justification for this is that the simple interface will allow the server more resources to run it's virtual machines.
** Cisco's Internetwork Operating System (IOS) used on their professional routers & network switches is a command line interface, so most hardware resources can go to actual network function.
* Linux and UNIX-like operating systems have lots of holdovers from as far as the early days of Dennis Ritche and Ken Thompson's Research Unix. The physical terminals, for example, are known as ''ttyX'' because the first few text terminals were teletypes ([[=TTYs=]) -- electric typewriters connected to the system that physically printed out program output and sent key presses to the computer. The idea of putting all executables under /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin and /usr/sbin was because the third edition required four hard drives to store the entire suite of system commands. The ''dd'' command's syntax was designed to mimic that of a similar IBM mainframe command. UNIX-like operating systems that officially stick to the Single UNIX Specification such as IBM AIX and Mac OS X have their basic commands perform exactly like the old System V UNIX commands of yesteryear (unlike Linux, whose basic commands usually have much more functionality).
* The pioneers of the Modern Internet as it grew by bounds in the 1990s assumed their children would use desktops with keyboards and mice - that's still around of course, but many people in the 2010s are enjoying sitting on the couch (or toilet) or lying on their bed as they interface with their portable tablet or smartphone through [=WiFi=] and a touch and swipe interface.
* Interface changes have rendered a number of programming languages (many developed at MIT for reasons related to one of the things that helped kill them) effectively unusable. A whole group of languages were developed that required a wide range of exotic characters to be typable from the keyboard, usually using a special keyboard known as the [[http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/S/space-cadet-keyboard.html Space Cadet Keyboard]]. This interesting (and obsolete) interface had a total of seven different keys that performed functions analogous to the Shift, Control, and Alt keys on a modern keyboard, allowing direct typing of over 8000 distinct characters (using double-width key codes, this thing produced 14 bit keycodes in an era when 7 bits was the norm). This keyboard was invented at MIT, and was used on many machines there, and the design influenced the development of dense, symbol-laden languages like APL. (The Space Cadet Keyboard dying out in favor of IBM-style keyboards helped kill languages like APL, as did their extreme lack of readability and difficulty of debugging. The poem "There are two things a man must do before this life is done, write two lines of APL and make the buggers run" isn't really a jest.)
** As an example, the notoriously hotkey-heavy and unwieldy (on modern keyboards) interface of the aforementioned GNU Emacs, sometimes [[FanNickname called in jest]] "[[FunWithAcronyms Escape-Meta-Alt-Control-Shift]]", among others, was directly influenced by the Space Cadet Keyboard, because its author Richard Stallman happens to hail from MIT. All those escape characters and modifier keystrokes? — there was a dedicated key for any of it!
* Universal Serial Bus (USB) and Serial ATA (SATA) [[DeaderThanDisco killed off a lot]] of connectors. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC_Card PCMICA]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCSI SCSI]], most of the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_port serial]]" and "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_port parallel]]" connectors. Before TheNewTens it was common for printers, cameras and other devices to have special connectors so they could be hooked into a computer. Some programs required a "dongle" to run, lose it and your software won't work. Copy protection schemes advanced as did connectors. Aside from Apple, most now use USB and most drives use SATA. Dongles are a thing of the past.
** A quite common connector-that-no-longer-exists problem is the parallel port, commonly used for printers before [=USB=] came along. There are a ''lot'' of high-end laser printers out there in commercial and industrial installations that will last for decades (because they were both very well made and were designed to be repairable). The solution is the [=USB=]-to-parallel adapter, essentially a parallel port that connects to [=USB=]. You can also gets [=USB=] adapters for serial, base-T ethernet, and just about anything else you can imagine. As well, the old PS/2 style keyboard and mouse connectors aren't likely to go anywhere on high-end systems, since they will work under conditions where [=USB=] won't (and yes, [=USB=] can and does have software failures that will lock you out of the system, but that doesn't happen with PS/2).
** Ironically despite the ubiquity of USB and the extinction of parallel ports, there are ''still'' headers for a standard RS-232 port if you really need one. From 2005 to roughly 2009 mainboards with parallel ports were practically extinct, none could be found in ordinary shops. After 2009, producers brought back the classic mainboard configuration (2 serial ports, 1 parallel port, 4 to 8 [=USB=] ports, 1 PS/2 port), due to public demand. The DIY computer market and the embedded development industry use serial and parallel ports to talk to computers according to TheOtherWiki, since their underlying circuitry is so simple many microcontrollers support it out of the box with dedicated pins.
** [=AGP=] ports have been made extinct by [=PCE-Express=] ports, while [=PCI=] has generally been reduced to a single 'legacy' port on new chipsets, with various types of PCI Express being used for the majority of slots on a motherboard.
** Despite all the stereotypes about Japan being on the edge of technology, most of the economy is still being run by older generations who refuse to upgrade technology in a country that is already notorious for refusing to adapt to just about anything. [[http://www.cracked.com/article_20118_5-things-nobody-tells-you-about-living-in-japan.html This Cracked article has no qualms about shattering the illusions of many a Japanophile of how glorious the country must be]] by pointing out that most banks do not have outdoor ''[=ATMs=]''; many businesses do not accept credit cards of any sort; and most businesses still operate using fax machines, paper, and a good old-fashioned no. 2 pencil. Much like the NASA examples listed above, many computers being used in businesses are likely to be primitive 80s or pre-Windows 95 systems just because they know that the systems work. It's like the old adage: "If it isn't broke, don't fix it."
*** [[JapanTakesOverTheWorld Yeah, about nothing being broke...]]
*** [[GoingCritical And about not fixing it...]]


!!"Check Out Life Before Cell Phones"

The widely-available cellphone is a major TropeBreaker, leading to many clumsy [[CellPhonesAreUseless explanations for why cell phones don't work]] in particular circumstances. And far fewer characters get [[DisconnectedByDeath murdered in a phone booth]] these days, for instance.

The mobile phone is actually OlderThanYouThink, though, especially in the form of a "car phone." While expensive and limited in many ways, commercially-available car phone technology dates back to the late 1940s, often with radio used to contact an operator, who then would patch the call into the regular phone system. An episode of the 1950s TV series ''{{Superman}}'' shows editor Perry White using the MTS radiotelephone in his car to call his office. There are several episodes of ''PerryMason'' showing Paul Drake using one.

Related to the cell phone trend is Caller-ID, which has put a damper on the once-common childhood pastime of prank phone calls. On most phone systems, it's possible to override Caller-ID on a per-call basis... but then the problem becomes the fact that many people won't answer calls from "Unknown Caller" or "Blocked Number".

Do note that while cell phones are everywhere nowadays, cell phone ''service'' is not. It is still possible to lose coverage in remote areas, so stories where the heroes are stranded in the middle of nowhere can still be plausible.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d on ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', when Conan realizes something was amiss that a famous novelist is still writing plots that have been outmoded thanks to just about everybody and their brother having cell phones. [[spoiler:It turned out that the said novelist's brother locked him into an attic and forced him to go on writing.]]
* In the final [[StoryArc arc]] of the ''Anime/{{Patlabor}}'' manga (written in the late '80s - early '90s, set in the late '90s - early 2000s) the bad guys [[spoiler:attack the police station where the protagonists are stationed during a hurricane to force a Griffon - Ingram match]]. To prevent anybody from interfering, they [[spoiler:blow up the bridges leading to the station and wreck any landline phones and radios they can find (including a car phone) so the protagonists can't call for help]]. Considering how common cell phones were in the early 2000s... Yeah.
** Which is strange because they averted this in an earlier episode where the same bad guys use the Phantom, a robot with a retractable electronic warfare suite in its torso that jams communications.
* ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', and [[{{Macekre}} by extension]] ''{{Robotech}}'', have a trash-can-sized phone-bot walking around asking for Hikaru Ichijyo/Rick Hunter. Cell phones make that completely unnecessary.
** Most cell phones probably don't have coverage inside the belly of a retrofitted alien warship that is currently somewhere out near the orbit of Neptune. Macross can also get a pass for having a history that diverges from ours beginning with a prolonged global war that only ends after the catastrophic impact of said warship in 1999. Technological innovation has simply [[GiantRobot gone in different directions]].
* In ''Anime/SailorMoon'', for something that is from the future, Luna-P is extremely dated in her (its?) function as a communication device. The sound quality is absolutely awful, and Sailor Pluto is barely recognisable on the screen. Could be excusable however seeing as how she's calling THROUGH TIME.
* In {{Revolutionary Girl Utena}}, super rich and powerful playboy Akio drives around town (and pretty much everyplace else) in a souped-up convertible. Everything about the car is meant to emphasize extreme luxury, and its crowning feature is the inclusion of a car phone. When the show came out, this was an item only typically only used by powerful and wealthy businessmen, so it underscored what a well-connected player Akio was. Nowadays, it looks downright quaint, and makes the car look like a 20 year old model that Akio got second hand.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* There was a time when ''IronMan'', maker and wearer of a [[PoweredArmor flying super-strong suit of armor]], had a ''rotary phone'' built into his armor. (This was the same era when said armor was powered by that wonder of the age, the ''transistor''.)
* ''[[Franchise/{{Batman}} Batman and Robin]]'' have been known to use a hotline to talk to Commissioner Gordon. Several stories implied that the Batphone worked off of a direct physical phoneline that went all the way from Wayne Manor to police headquarters. One example is an actual phone, cord and everything, in the glove compartment of the Batmobile. Also, they've used radios to talk to each other, but it was something hidden in their belts.
** The iconic Bat Signal itself may qualify. Originally introduced in the 1940s, it was a handy way for Gordon to tell Batman he needed to see him when Bats wasn't near the hotline phone. Once tech rendered the Bat Signal unnecessary, later stories have dealt with the problem by implying that the real purpose of the signal is to inspire hope in the people of Gotham, and remind them that there is someone looking out for them.
** The series beginning with Batman: Year 1 actually gives Gordon a Bat-Pager initially, which he throws off the building as being "too secret", to be replaced with the Bat Signal as an open acknowledgement and endorsement of the police to Batman.
** Of course a cell phone or pager can easily be traced to its source, making figuring out who Batman is a pretty trivial challenge for a goverment agency that choose to. The Bat Signal isn't traceable. For a vigilante, that gives a pretty big advantage. Of course, it's not that hard to use private e-mails to get a decent degree of privacy, and use of third party out-of-the-US privacy brokers could make an e-mail about as untraceable as the Bat Signal and still more convenient.
* The GreenArrow story "Quiver" has Ollie brought back to life, about ten years out of date (long story; his soul opted to remain in heaven, but he allowed Hal Jordan to resurrect a version of himself from before his life was screwed up). Since the story was written in 1999, this means he was unfamiliar with cellphones, mistaking one for a walky-talky, and believing it to be an expensive piece of tech when he was told it could call anywhere.
* ComicStrip/ElNegroBlanco is a 1990s Argentine comic strip. Chispa, who was avoiding her boyfriend, instructed her friend to tell him that she wasn't there if he calls to the office. And what if he calls to her cell phone? "Oh, this thing? Tell him that it's broken again", and she tosses into the trash bin, compacting everything that was there. A comic strip from the times when cell phones ''did'' exist, but had the size and weight of a brick or even more.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The fan fiction "The Prince" is an alternate retelling of the story of Jesus Christ from the New Testament set in the Midwest USA and in the present day (originally written in the year 2000). In this fanfic, the character Lucas has a cell phone. Back in 2000, this was unusual for a 13 year old in the 8th grade - the author included this to show that Lucas was the most scientific, intellectual, and techno-savvy of all of Joshua Christopher's friends. Nowadays, the author would have to have Lucas have at least an iPad in order to show his nerdiness.

* The IntrepidReporter heroine of the 1957 BigCreepyCrawlies film ''Film/BeginningOfTheEnd'' has a car phone. Interestingly, it's treated in a matter-of-fact way, not like an unusual technology that has to be explained to the audience.
* In ''Film/AClockworkOrange'', Alex's gang's MO for breaking into houses is to knock on doors reporting an accident and ask to use the telephone. These days it would be more suspicious that no one involved in the supposed accident has a cellphone.
* In Richard Lester's 1965 Swinging London movie ''Film/TheKnack'', a pompous guy is using a limo phone. Tom, a rather mad young man, holds up a potted plant and taps at the window. When the guy rolls it down, Tom tells him "Pardon me, sir, you're wanted on the other fern."
* The famous "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcHdF1eHhgc&feature=channel_page Birth]]" sketch (also known as "The Machine that goes Ping") from ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife'' was, at the time, a cutting satire on what was seen as unnecessary spending on medical equipment. Nowadays, anyone who's seen a modern medical drama, with the surgeons surrounded by massive banks of electronic equipment, may wonder what all the fuss is about -- to the point that operating ''without'' such equipment nowadays would be seen as unusual and dangerous. Other parts of the sketch though remain relevant.
** Also, Cleese and Chapman tell the woman after the birth that she can get a video of the birth of her child on VHS and Betamax!
* ''Film/SoylentGreen'' is set in 2022, and yet Thorn is forced to rely on police call boxes, opposed to a radio or a cell.
* In ''Film/TimeBandits'' Evil asks Robert to explain "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_trunk_dialling subscriber trunk dialing]]", which is a means of direct dialing a long distance number (rather than going through an operator), which is now largely obsolete now that every call is direct dialed.
* ''Film/TronLegacy'' lampshades this with [[CoolOldGuy Alan Bradley]] telling [[TheHero Sam Flynn]] that he got a message on his pager from [[DisappearedDad Kevin Flynn]]. Sam seems almost as surprised that Alan still has a functional pager as he is that the message came from his father, who disappeared over twenty years ago.
* In ''TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', Floyd uses a video payphone. Payphones are obsolete now and video phones flopped, though video conferencing over computers is fairly common and there are Skype/Facetime apps for cell phones.
* The rapid evolution of the cell phone is given a nod in ''Film/WallStreetMoneyNeverSleeps''. Among the personal items that Gordon Gecko gets back once he leaves prison is his (formerly) extravagant and top-of-the-line brick-sized cell phone.
* ''Film/{{Zoolander}}'' (2001) is an odd half-example. The joke is that Derek's cell phone is teeny-tiny, less than an inch long, again in reference to his pampered lifestyle and expensive tastes. But it's still [[TheAestheticsOfTechnology a black, only-slightly-flattened brick]], with its little antenna. It [[HilariousInHindsight failed to anticipate]] that the advent of smart phones would stop dead the trend they were exaggerating.
* In the original ''Film/DieHard'', John [=McClane's=] inability to contact the outside causes him some problems initially, as he's forced to use a captured radio to try and call in the police. If he had had a mobile phone, the movie would have gone ''much'' differently.
* Throughout ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance'' (1995), [[BigBad Simon Gruber]] has John [=McClane=] and Zeus Carver driving all around [[BigApplesauce New York City]] to answer specific payphones where Simon issues different instructions, and he bluffs the NYPD off their radios by insinuating some of the bombs were keyed to police frequencies... then he locks up ''the entire'' New York switchboard by calling a popular radio station about the [[spoiler:fake]] bomb he planted in a school, to destroy the ''other'' means of communication the NYPD could've had. Cell phones would've beaten both in a second ([[TheChessmaster but then, Simon would've probably had something for]] ''[[TheChessmaster that]]'' [[TheChessmaster eventuality as well.]])
** Under heavy loads, cellular phone networks jam as well. A real life example would be during the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
* In ''Film/{{Scream|1996}}'' Billy is taken to the police station and questioned as a suspect because he has a cell phone (the calls made by the killer were from a cell phone). The film came out just before cell phones were about to take off and Billy even tells the sergeant "everybody's got one".
* Lampshaded in ''Film/DriveAngry''; the protagonist, who has been - well, out of touch for a while - picks up a cell phone, has no idea what it is or what it can do for him, and tosses it aside. He eventually figures it out and later asks a companion if she has one of those "portable phones."
* ''Film/TheHaunting1999'' has Dr Marrow saying he has a cell phone in case of emergency. Naturally it gets broken and the characters can't contact anyone for help. These days the likes of Theo and Luke would definitely have one too. Eleanor perhaps not considering how repressed she was.
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''TheHangover''. When they're checking in, [[ManChild Alan]] asks if the hotel is pager friendly. The woman behind the counter plainly has no idea what he's talking about, even as he's waving his pager at her. He then asks if they have a bank of payphones he can use in case he gets a page.
* ''Film/{{Clueless}}'' (released in 1995) is a bit of an odd example: the teen protagonist and her friends all have cellphones...which was meant to show how ridiculously ''wealthy and privileged they were''. Since nowadays every teenager regardless of social class has a cell phone, anyone watching the film today would simply comment on how dated the phones look.
** Likewise, the scene where the girls are talking to each other on the phone while walking side-by-side isn't quite so hilarious because, even if they're overwhelmingly texting each other rather than talking nowadays, it's entirely possible to see people doing this ''in real life''.
* In ''Film/TheBirdcage'' it's a fairly major plot point that while a character can dial out from her car phone, she can't ''receive'' calls on it. Thus while she can call out for her messages, and then call the protagonists, they can't call her back to say that plans have changed yet again.
* ''Film/CasinoRoyale'' (2006): The presence of mobile phones were probably intended to show how gadgets aren't necessary in the modern world. They looked terrific at the time (remember that GPS?) but amusingly, in the smartphone era, they all now look terribly out of date.
* In a Check-Out-Life-Before-''Smart''phones example, when one of the passengers in ''Film/SnakesOnAPlane'' suggests they e-mail the herpetologist photos of the snakes they've killed so he can identify them, everyone else assumes they need to find a digital camera and computer. She holds up her smartphone and tells them it has both.
* In ''Film/{{Commando}}'', a group of baddies [[IHaveYourWife kidnap John Matrix' daughter]] and try to use her as leverage to get him to do an assassination for them. He rebels, (of course) and begins trying to get her back by tracking down the members of the group and getting them to reveal where she is. One of the first such members, Sully, frantically tries to get to a phone booth to inform his superiors about what's going on and in one case is in the middle of dialing when Matrix destroys the phone booth to stop the call from going through. Starting about 10-12 years later, Sully would almost certainly have had a cell phone and could have placed the call within seconds of seeing Matrix, leading to the grisly demise of his daughter.
* ''Film/{{Matilda}}'': A point of tension in the film comes from the fact that no one believes the children about how ridiculously abusive the Trunchbull is to her students (and Miss Honey). The film was released in 1996. Nowadays, such a problem would very easily be fixed by the fact that most cell phones have video-capture capabilities.
* In ''Film/TheRef'', the OneLastJob of cat burglar Gus goes badly wrong, and he forces a local upper middle class couple to hide him from police patrols in their house. There's a problem though: it's Christmas Eve, and the extended family is already on the road, so there's no possible way to cancel them coming over now! Instead they have to improvise by having Gus pretend to be the dysfunctional couple's marriage counselor, pretending to attend the dinner with them. The film came out in '94, it's a pretty safe bet that within the next five years or so the extended family would have had cell phones and could have been called off with a convincing lie.
* In ''Film/ToWongFooThanksForEverythingJulieNewmar'', a 1995 RoadMovie about a trio of {{drag queen}}s, it's a big deal when Vida tosses their road map after a bad encounter with her parents early in the trip. Chi-Chi wonders how they'll get to LA, and when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, they have no idea where in [[FlyoverCountry "Gay Hell"]] they are. Had the movie been more contemporary, the queens would have had smartphones with Google Maps or a standalone GPS.
* Invoked in ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'' -- when Harry is showing Eggsy all the cool [[ShoePhone spy gadgets hidden in mundane objects]], Eggsy points to a wall of smartphones and asks what kind of gadget is hidden inside them. Harry admits they're just off the shelf smartphones, as civilian technology has caught up with the spy game in that area.

* For all of Gibson's eerie prescience in ''{{Neuromancer}}'', he didn't foresee the mass saturation of cellphones.
** As even Gibson admits, it wasn't that he was prescient, it's that a ''lot'' of people read the book, looked at some aspect of the technology and went "That's so ''cool''! I want to have that!" and went out and made it happen.
* ''Literature/{{Cujo}}''. The mother and son could have called animal control and gotten out of the car in an hour if they had a cellphone. Instead, they are trapped for a couple of days.
* In the original NancyDrew and HardyBoys books, there was almost always a scene of someone ''scrambling'' to find a pay phone to call for help. In the newest books, they just zip off text messages. It makes trying to get a kid interested in the old books difficult when they keep asking "what's a payphone?"
* Deliberately invoked in the ''Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse'' novel ''Business Unusual'', written in 1997 but set in 1989. Mel's dad sees his G1 mobile phone the size of a brick as a bit of a status symbol (he's a businessman involved with computers). The Doctor is not impressed.
* Creator/RayBradbury's "The Murderer" not only described a world with universal personal phones (though he imagined them on your wrist like Dick Tracy's wrist radio,) he predicted the drawbacks - being called at all times by salesmen and phony surveys, the noise of other people's phones around you - to the extent that the story is told from the POV of someone who's been driven mad by it.
* In ''Back to Methuselah,'' written in 1918-20, the 21st century has videophones, but in the far future people communicate at a distance by holding a tuning fork by their head and speaking at the same pitch. No hint how it works: it's future tech, it's meant to be baffling.
* In the MyTeacherIsAnAlien series, Peter is given an incredibly useful device called a URAT (Universal Reader And Translator) by the aliens, which just goes to show how amazing their tech is. It can be used as a video communicator, can look up pretty much any information, can give you directions to anywhere you want to go, and can even be used to order merchandise that will then be delivered to your home! In short, it is a smartphone, which sounded a lot more futuristic in the early 90s when the books were written. Considering that one of the major plot threads in the story is the aliens being afraid of how quickly the human race is advancing, this could be HilariousInHindsight.
* The gimmick of the children's book ''Calling Questers Four'' is that the pre-teen protagonists have the unique ability to contact each other without having to look for a payphone -- they own a pair of walkie-talkies.
* In ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'', published in the late 80s-early 90s, a big deal is made of Claudia's having her own phone line so that they can use it as the Babysitter's Club number.
* The first ''Literature/RedDwarf'' novel from 1989 has Rimmer reminding Z-Shift to "stay by a 'phone" in case of emergencies and Petrovich trying to get through to Rimmer for "over an hour" because Rimmer isn't answering a pager-like device.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'': Although filmed in the 1970s and early 1980s, there are abundant examples of the early workings of technological marvels that we take for granted today in these episodes, set in the late 1870s and early 1880s. The telephone is first referenced in Season 4's "Whisper Country," where Mary explains to the family the new invention called the telephone. Season 5's "The Godsister" saw Charles work on a crew installing telephone line; and in Season 6's "Crossed Connections," the contraption is seen in use. All episodes were set circa 1880, which was about the time some smaller communities started to get connected.
* ''TheBradyBunch'': Before cell phones and iPhones, there was pay telephones. These all-but-obsolete devices make up a large part of the plots of two first-season episodes: "Sorry, Wrong Number" (where Mike installs a pay phone inside the house to teach his kids phone-related lessons) and "Tiger, Tiger" (where the family dog runs off and the family – making liberal use of pay telephones – work with Carol and Alice to track the pooch down). The former episode could easily be re-written today, with Mike being frustrated that his kids are running up cell phone bills, going "over their minutes" on their family plans and so forth; "Tiger, Tiger" has, among other reasons, become a relic of its time, as the use of other modern technologies (such as vehicle navigation systems and [=GPS=]-chipped dog collars) has also come into play along with cellular phones and iPhones.
* GameShows:" Oohs" and "aahs" abounded when a car phone was shown as a prize on many game shows of the 1980s era, including (but not limited to) ''WheelOfFortune'', ''SaleOfTheCentury'' and ''ThePriceIsRight''. Always, said item was at least $2,500, and on ''$ale'' was one of the end-game prizes (during the shopping era).
* Agent 86's ShoePhone in ''Series/GetSmart'', which was a parody of spy film [[GadgeteerGenius gadgeteering]] to begin with.
* The cast of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', which ran from 1997 to 2003, would have been saved from many a scrape if they'd just had cellphones. Quite a few episodes use a character being in peril and unable to contact Buffy as a plot device. This wasn't a big deal in the earlier seasons, but the show hit it big just as cellphones were starting to become mainstream, so after a few years it began to seem rather odd, especially since the cast was full of teenagers (later, young adults), the group most likely to carry a cellphone. This was lampshaded at the start of the final season (in September 2002) when Buffy gives her sister Dawn "a weapon" to help protect herself, which turns out to be a cellphone. From then on most of the cast had cellphones - although ironically, they hardly ever needed to use them, since that season also saw every single character move into Buffy's house.
** One episode reveals that Giles ''does'' indeed own a pager, joking that they should page him if the apocalypse happens when he's not around.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}''. In order to hand-wave it, they explained it as Angel being a cranky old man unwilling to adapt to new technology. Also, bad coverage.
* The first episode of the '60s series ''ThePrisoner'' uses a cordless phone as an eerie, impossible-seeming device that the protagonist does a double take at. Though it does still have an odd {{Zeerust}} design so nowadays it can seem like that's what he's noticing.
* The first season of ''Series/DueSouth'' (1994) had Fraser track a drug dealer by triangulating the signals from the cell phone towers the dealer's cell phone was using. The script establishes Fraser's solution as innovative and clever, and has Fraser's partner loudly doubt that it will work. Cell phones weren't very common in 1994, and it wasn't common knowledge that they even ''could'' be tracked. Today, it's routinely done; and using triangulation is neither a quaint relic (Fraser introduces the idea as "the way we used to track caribou up north") nor especially obscure. In fact many modern Smart Phones can use the same technique as a local GPS equivalent.
* In a SaturdayNightLive Weekend Update, Kevin Nealon says "And a recent study indicates that cellular phone users may be more likely to develop brain tumors. The problem has gotten very little public attention, however, since most people don't care if people who use cellular phones die." Probably wouldn't get that much applause now.
* One of the reasons the [[Series/{{Batman}} 1960s Batman show]] used the Bat-phone far more than the more well-known Bat-signal was because it was supposed to be cool that Batman would have a phone in his car and would let the show seem more high-tech. More recent comic storylines even {{lampshade|Hanging}}d this, with Commissioner Gordon asking if he could just have Batman's cell phone number instead of having to turn on the Bat-signal every time he needed help.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Ellen}}'', she and her friends are in a limo and one of the characters wants to call someone to brag that she's calling from a limo, and another character retorts "Do you think Creator/StevenSpielberg calls ''his'' friends saying "Guess where ''I'm'' calling from!"
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' relies a lot on PoorCommunicationKills, with various characters' inability to communicate vital information causing an unending series of humorous escapades. One memorable example would be George's frustration at being unable to use a pay phone at a Chinese restaurant because a patron is hogging it.
* The "cutting-edge" technology seen in ''Series/MiamiVice'' is quite funny to look at in retrospect. Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs have to pose as undercover drug dealers for the purposes of their job, and subsequently have access to all the latest tools and technology. The series establishes this early on in the third episode, with a scene shot solely to emphasize the fact that Crockett has a car phone (and the receiver looks like a giant brick).
* The idea of the swingin' bachelor's "little black book" of women to call up was referenced in many 80s and 90s sitcoms, but this has been made obsolete by cell phone "contact lists". Which leaves the 2004 film ''Little Black Book'' with something of an ArtifactTitle for younger viewers, as the eponymous item is a [=PDA=], not an actual booklet.
** Not to mention the fact that, in the years since the film came out, smartphones have supplanted [=PDAs=] in almost every professional field.
** Younger viewers may also be confused as why having the phone number of everyone you know is a signifier of anything at all.
* A good one from ''Series/TheWestWing'': Bartlet sees Leo after not being able to get in touch with him when he needed him, and does a little sarcastic speech about how "if only there was some sort of telephonic device with a personalized number we could call... perhaps it would look something like ''this'', Literature/MrMoto" -- he says, pulling Leo's ''pager'' off his belt.
** Though this was also because Leo was old; most of the staff used and were comfortable with cell phones from the pilot onward, even in the flashbacks.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': In "Sightings", Harm asks a ten year old girl: ''Do you know how to operate a cellular phone?''
* ''Series/ReadAllAboutIt'' had a bulky communicator about the size of a small beverage cooler that sends text messages in 1983. It's redeemed by its extraordinary range that not only reaches vast instances without the need of a cell network, but also can communicate into different ''time periods'', perfect when you've been thrown centuries into the past via accidental TimeTravel.
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode [[Recap/CommunityS1E25PascalsTriangleRevisited Pascal's Triangle Revisited]] Britta points out they don't live in a Creator/JaneAusten novel and can use cell phones to stay in touch over the summer.
* ''Series/{{Ghostwriter}}'' was about a group of kids who solved mysteries with the help of a ghost who could communicate with them by rearranging letters. Distance was no issue and the kids could write messages to each other without being in the same place. A cellphone could have produced many of the same results. [[note]]One thing they ''wouldn't'' be able to duplicate would be his ability to read and repeat any sort of information in the form of text, including digitally. In other words, a modern GW would be more akin to the NSA.[[/note]]
* ''{{Rescue 911}}'''s cases were all taken from TheEighties and TheNineties, and a lot could have been made much easier with cell phones. however; during that timeframe, cell phones were expensive, bulky, and all around uncommon.
** One episode shows a woman noticing people breaking into her house run to call 911. She at first grabs the rotary phone (still actually existed in the 90s!) but decides it takes too long, before going to the digital phone.
** Another episode about a five year old girl finding her house empty would seem like an IdiotPlot today. What normally happened was that she rode the bus to another school where her mom would pick her up. However; instead that day, her friend's parents gave her a ride home, and word didn't make it to her mother, who was at the other school. Nowadays; her friend's parents would ''surely'' have called her mom's cell phone if they were going to drive her home. Or, if she came home and found it empty, she should have thought to call her mom's cell phone to tell her she was home.
** One case ''did'' involve a cell phone -- and you can see just how ''big'' they were at the time.
* Zack in ''SavedByTheBell'' has a cellphone in HighSchool in 1991-1992. The joke at the time was that this kid has is such a HighSchoolHustler that he's able to invest in a tool associated with big-shot executives. Now it's the size of the thing that's the joke.
* This is seen in ''Series/SwitchedAtBirth''; texting is the go-to means of communication among the main cast with the Deaf characters all having smartphones ([[EverybodyOwnsAMac specifically iPhones]]) with video-chat functions. Carlton School and some of the more established Deaf households have TTY/TDD machines (which could transmit text to each other over landlines but require a relay service for communicating with regular phones); these sit unused, being a clunky special-needs workaround obsoleted by the above-mentioned mainstream tech.
* Parodied in ''That '80s Show'', where at one point (and heavily used in the commercials) one of the characters is in a bar, yelling into a big gray brick "Guess what? I'm calling on a portable phone! No not a pay phone, a ''portable phone''!" While cell phones were obviously not the ubiquitous devices they are now, they weren't mysterious space-gadgets and most folks would at least understand the concept.
* Subverted with ''Series/TheXFiles''; cell phones were commonly used by Mulder and Scully. Chris Carter himself stated that he made cell phone usage by the heroes a regular feature, in order to sidestep critics who would complain that the characters having cell phones would have allowed them to solve their cases faster.
* In the early seasons of ''Series/{{Frasier}}'', there are frequent references to pagers, and Niles is the only one of the cast wealthy (and [[ValuesDissonance pretentious]]) enough to have a cellular phone (his first one isn't ''quite'' a brick, but you can watch cell phone technology change with his upgrades). One episode even highlights how relatively rare the devices were when Frasier notes that a recently-arrived professional juggler must have been contacted on her "car phone", prompting Niles' near slack-jawed shock that "Street performers have ''car phones''?!" Of course, most of the various FawltyTowersPlot styled antics wouldn't have worked quite the same if the characters could just call each other at any time.
** A seventh season episode has Roz enthused by the fact that Cafe Nervosa has put in a ''phone line'' to allow people with (rather clunky) laptops to go online.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "The Invasion" predicts a future where everyone has videophones, but everyone still has to go through an operator to collect their calls. This is briefly relevant to the plot when a mid-VillainousBreakdown Tobias Vaughn is forced to affect a smooth and flirtatious manner while making a phone call so the operator doesn't suspect anything's amiss.

* Sheeler & Sheeler's 1990 parody of "Convoy", "Car Phone", is doubly dated: not only does it praise a type of phone which is long since obsolete, but it describes people freely using them while driving -- even to ''call the highway patrol and report a drunk driver'' -- without any suspicion that doing so will soon be illegal.
* The coke dealer who narrates SteelyDan's 1980 song "Glamour Profession" subtly brags about having a car phone ("''When it's all over / We'll make some calls from my car / We're a star''"), as a benefit of having high-end customers like pro athletes. By the late 1990s even street-level dealers had their own cellphones.
* The video of Savage Garden's 'Truly Madly Deeply' follows two lovers who failed to meet because one of them was running late. They rush through the city of Paris to find each other. This would have been solved in seconds with cellphones.

[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'' had his wrist communicators for decades before cell phones starting in the 1940s. Furthermore, they are upgraded about every twenty years for additional functions. Interestingly enough, there have been various versions of wrist-cellphones - often compared to Det. Tracy's radio - since the early 2000s.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Lampshaded in one of the examples in the 5th edition {{Champions}} genre book. A villain cuts the phone lines to isolate the bank he's robbing, and everyone trapped by his mooks immediately goes for their cell phones.
* The first couple of editions of ''TabletopGames/{{Shadowrun}}'' had "The Crash" to explain using the internet as a 3D virtual reality network. After cellphones and wifi became commonplace, the later editions added "The Second Crash", changing everything to wireless, since searching for a terminal to plug in to started seeming a bit ridiculous...

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TheClueFinders'' has a videophone - in the days before cell phones.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'': The game is set in the 2050s, but pay phones are still seen in in public. And this in the same world that has infolinks, which are pretty much radios [[strike:built]] augmented into your head.
** Possibly in reference to this, the prequel ''[[VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution Human Revolution]]'' still has payphones scattered around Detroit, albeit high tech ones. This game came out in ''2011.''
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoII'', which is set in TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture, resorts to using phone booths as points where the player receives missions (as is in earlier GTA games). Being a game that incorporates {{Zeerust}} aesthetics, though, this bit of detail can be forgiven as being a stylistic choice.
** Pay phones and pagers are the only communication devices used by the player in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'', a game set as late as 2001. While it's {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' that the main character of ''GTA III'' is implied to be [[HeroicMime a man of few words]], it doesn't fully explain how silent characters from both the first ''{{Grand Theft Auto|Classic}}'' (set in the late 1990s) and ''Grand Theft Auto London'' (set in the 1960s) also receive calls on mobile phones or walkie-talkies. ''Grand Theft Auto Advance'' (set a year before GTA III) is a similar offender.
* ''LANoire'' requires the player to call up dispatch on various phones, often using the witness or suspect's house phone without asking permission, in order to research names and information. The speed with which the clerk finds such information [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality matches the speed of a Google search, however.]]
* {{Lampshaded}} in ''VideoGame/ScarfaceTheWorldIsYours''. Tony snags a box-shaped cell phone off the body of a high-level henchman early on in the game, and uses it to call various people throughout the rest of the story. Several characters (including Tony himself) reference how rare and top-of-the-line the phone is, and how lucky he is to have one.
* Surprisingly enough, ''VideoGame/MegamanBattleNetwork'' actually ''invoked'' this trope - Lan carries a device that has a cell phone functionality.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/PhoebeAndHerUnicorn'' regularly invokes this trope for laughs, such as when [[http://www.gocomics.com/heavenly-nostrils/2012/11/20 Phoebe discovers her Mom's CORDED phone.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Website/CollegeHumor is on this trope very extensively:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH2B9F-GPm0 This]] video demonstrates a number of cases where a movie plot conflict could easily be eliminated or the story shortened because characters had cell phones to call for help/look up information/reveal information to people that had been withheld from them/etc.
*** In ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', Juliet gets the message to Romeo that she will fake her own death, instead of the miscommunication caused by a plague outbreak that closed the road.
*** The ''Film/HomeAlone'' clip shows Kevin being called by his mother right after he finds himself all alone, and she tells him to go to a friend's house - which if done in the actual movie would have reduced the running time to about 45 minutes. Except for the fact that this doesn't explain how then booby trapping the house to stop Harry and Marv would work.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laF-x1grqTA And this video]] shows similar examples of plot conflicts being resolved because the characters had the ability to go on the Internet:
*** For example, in ''Film/BasicInstinct'', the damning evidence against Catherine Trammell is that Nick Curran looks at her Internet search history that indicates she's been reading websites with information about how to use an ice pick as a murder weapon. [[note]]While several criminals have been caught this way, someone with a little forethought and knowledge would've just used Incognito/Private Mode, which is now standard on all mainstream modern browsers.[[/note]]
*** The plot twist of ''Film/TheSixthSense'' (that Malcolm Crowe [[spoiler:has been DeadAllAlong]]) wouldn't be a surprise because he'd be looking himself up on the Internet when Cole asks him if he's a certified doctor.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OSCjbru1Gk This video]] continues the concept with smartphones:
*** In ''Film/TheUsualSuspects'', the reveal [[spoiler:that Verbal Kint is Keyser Soze]] would come simply by Agent Kujan looking up Keyser Soze's Facebook page.
*** The revelation in ''Film/CitizenKane'' that [[ItWasHisSled Rosebud was the name of a popular brand of sleds]] would come from a simple Wikipedia search.
** Behold, the [[http://www.collegehumor.com/video/3052195/24-the-unaired-1994-pilot unaired 1994 pilot]] of ''Series/TwentyFour''.
* The "Technology Ruins Romance" series by Creator/WongFuProductions.
* ''Website/{{Cracked}}'''s [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19325_6-technologies-conspicuously-absent-from-sci-fi-movies.html 6 Technologies Conspicuously Absent From Sci-Fi Movies]] explores technologies widely available when several well-known science fiction films were first published that would have completely [[TropeBreaker broken]] their plots: bicycles, night vision goggles, unmanned combat vehicles, Wi-Fi, GPS, and cell phones.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A 90s episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' had Muffy, the rich girl, the only character who had access to a cell phone. There was another episode from the same decade that had Arthur lost downtown, and unable to reach home since he had no money for a pay phone (and apparently didn't know how to call collect). Recent episodes of course have everyone with a cell.
* One of the pre-cancellation episodes of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' aired in 2000 - "Brian Wallows as Peter Swallows" - has Brian singing a song to a shut-in about all the modern things she's missed over the last 40 years. One of the things he sings about is that a guy with a cell phone would make everyone think "that guy's life must rule!".
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Lard of the Dance", new student Alex Whitney has a cell phone; it serves as an indicator of how mature and grown-up she is, or at least is attempting to act.
** The earlier episode "Bart Gets Famous" had Bart given one only because he was Krusty's assistant. If the episode aired today the joke of an elementary school student answering a phone in class wouldn't be as funny.
* Going along with the ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' parody example mentioned above, the Jetsons' quaintness was shown when George proudly showed off a cell phone almost as tall as him as one of their 'technological marvels', which is promptly lampshaded when Peanut pulls out his pocket sized cell phone.
* Played with in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'', where Billy tries desperately to make a successful prank call, but everyone in his house has Caller ID, which hilariously even contains his personal information. After even wearing a costume to not be recognized and failing, Billy looks in Grim's trunk for some way to beat caller ID, and discovers the dangerous Phone of Cthulhu.
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', where a new invention has rendered cell phones obsolete, and people does no longer need to carry them to all places. This incredible invention of the year 3010? Phone booths!

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This was mentioned in a true-crime documentary about an unsolved homicide of a taxi driver near Edinburgh in 1983. Two teenage witnesses who saw the crime in progress cycled two miles to a nearby hotel to get to a telephone. One of the original case detectives observed that had mobile telephones been common then the police would have been alerted much sooner and the perpetrator perhaps would've been caught.
* Many older humans mention that if someone got on the wrong train or off at the wrong bus stop they'd have to hope that the person they missed either waited for them or followed them to the right station or stop. Could go very very wrong if people's instincts were different.
* Many people today still don't wholly understand how profound the consequences of the cell phone age are. For example, lots of people still routinely get outraged to see [[http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/03/michelle-obama.html homeless people with cell phones]], thinking that they're enjoying an undeserved luxury, without stopping to notice how cheap prepaid cell phone service is these days, or more importantly, how valuable a phone can be to a homeless person. Cell phones mean that the homeless can now leave callback numbers for interviews or odd jobs, dial 911 anywhere they are, call their family and friends, etc. There are actually charities that accept used cell phones as donations and give them to the homeless.
** Not to mention programs like [[http://www.mygovernmentcellphone.com MyGovernmentCellPhone]], which provide free cell phone service to anyone on federal aid (Medicaid, food stamps, and the like) or below the poverty line. People need to keep in mind that many people on assistance, including homeless people, ''are employed'', they just don't make enough to afford rent.
** This point is raised in Polly Toynbee's book ''Hard Work'', about minimum wage jobs in the UK, in relation to unemployed people having mobile phones. She points out that if you're looking for work you need to have access to your phone at all times: one missed call from an employment agency and a potential job opportunity is lost.
*** Barbara Ehrenreich, trying to see if you could really earn a living wage [[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-ehrenreich/nickel-and-dimed-2011-ver_b_922330.html working incognito at low-end jobs]] in 2000[[note]]If she'd tried to do this project a few years later, she wouldn't have been able to.[[/note]], often used pay phones for this purpose. The hole-in-the-wall "apartments" she could afford either had no phones or charged extra for them.
** Along these lines, in some very poor developing countries, cell phones are more ubiquitous than most people from developed countries would imagine, because it has been cheaper to set up cell towers than to finish the extremely arduous task of running additional landlines to remote or poorly-maintained areas. More info [[http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/article855494.ece here]] and [[http://my.ewb.ca/posts/34529/ here]].
* Many people have a similar reaction to children with cell phones, believing them spoiled, not realizing that a phone lets them keep in touch with their parents (and vice versa), call 911 wherever they are, and talk to their friends without tying up the house phone.
* Before cell phones were widespread someone who owned one and called the local emergency number from their cell phone while they were travelling might have been connected to an emergency operator hundreds of miles away from where they were. Before the American GPS and Russian GLONASS global positioning systems were available to civilians, cell phone calls were routed by the caller's area code and emergency operators would then have had to relay information to the local emergency responders.
* People sometimes say "instantaneous communication didn't exist before the internet/cellphones." But it did, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_telegraph since 1837]], and certainly [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention_of_the_telephone since 1876]]. Public pay phones, 1902. [[WhoShotJFK Kennedy conspiracy theory]] posits that Cronkite couldn't have gotten the initial news within scant minutes of the shooting. There was a telephone in the press car. [[http://www.loyno.edu/~lorenz/jfk.html Merriman Smith]] grabbed it the moment he heard the shots. He spoke to local UPI, which transmitted to UPI teletypes everywhere, including CBS. Four minutes, tops. And it would have been sooner if the news bureaus hadn't all started sending at once, fouling up the UPI transmission. Cronkite was on the air six minutes later, as Smith continued to phone in bulletins from the hospital.
* Wristwatches are falling out of style these days, as most people simply check the display on their phones. But didn't wristwatches replace such pocket watches in the first place?
** In David [= McCullough's=] book ''The Johnstown Flood'' the author mentions this trope in action as he interviewed survivors of the 1889 flood in the 1960s - some people he interviewed mentioned knowing the time of the flood by looking at their wristwatches, however wristwatches didn't become popular until the 1920s, 30 years later. Over the years they had become so accustomed to wearing them, they assumed they had them at the time of the flood.
** But your great-grandfather's windup hunter-case probably does not play [=MP3s=] or have GPS function. Why carry two pieces of electronics when you can make do with one?
** The 6th generation iPod Nano capitalizes on its small, square formfactor with a clip that accessory makers make wristbands for it so said iPod can become a watch. Not to mention there are dedicated wristwatches with cell phone functions like ''ComicStrip/DickTracy'', made practical through bluetooth tech.
** It is still useful in areas where cellphones and other similar devices are prohibited, or if you turn your cell phone off for whatever reason.
** Or for swimmers who want to time their performance while in the pool.
** Old-style watches do have one massive advantage over cell-phone; battery power. A decent battery-powered watch can last months or even years before it needs to be replaced. Even a really, really good cell phone power supply won't last more than a few days to a week, if you aren't using it much.
** Forget batteries: you can get digital watches with solar cells on the face so that you don't need to replace any battery, and analog watches can use old-fashioned winding or more sophisticated kinetic energy systems that store energy when the watch moves so there's no need for any electrical power.
** In any case, wrist watches replaced pocket watches in the trenches of World War I because it was much easier and quicker to check the time on your wrist than to have to put down what you were holding (likely a shovel or a gun) and pull it out.
** Another reason some use wristwatches over cellphones for checking the time is for convenience, oddly enough. Pulling up your sleeve and turning your wrist is somewhat quicker than pulling it out of your pocket, and much faster than rummaging through a handbag or backpack where you're not sure where it exactly is. You can also check the time while holding something in the hand its attached to.
** There also the fact that smart wrist watches, often working in conjunction with smart phones, are the consumer item that various tech companies are gambling will be the next hot accessory.
** {{lampshaded}} by this [[http://www.ispot.tv/ad/76Ke/jack-in-the-box-jalapeno-bbq-burger-social-media-intern Jack-in-the-Box ad]]
* For the most part the actual [[http://www.oldatheart.co.uk/old-phone-4.jpg telephone dial]] became obsolete long before you were born, but the term 'dialing' survives.
** Nor do you hang or place the phone on a cradle anymore to disconnect - you press a button. It's still called "hanging up", though.
** The term "hanging up" for that matter. Hanging a receiver on a hook (instead of putting it unto the cradle) died even earlier that the rotary dial, except for certain wall-mounted phones, which still have a specially designed cradle, rather than an exposed hook, and ''maybe'' certain pay phones.
*** An actually "hook" that held the receiver and also functioned as the switch control for accessing the network was generally used on wall-mount rotary phones. Rotary desktop phones generally had a button in the handset cradle that performed the same function. Interestingly, while modern residential touchtone phones (early models often just replaced the rotary dial with the touchtone pad) usually use something more sophisticated and harder to bypass (like a magnetic sensor and an embedded magnet in the handset), many professional phones retain a physical switch as well as adding external software control of this function, so office workers of different types can control their phone in the way best suited to the work they are doing.
* While still around, highway call boxes are starting to fade out due to the proliferation of cellphones.
** A lot of call boxes still get active maintenance, though, especially in deserted areas where cell signal is [[CellPhonesAreUseless spotty or nonexistent]]. The dispatcher would also know exactly where you are without having to wait for cell tower or GPS triangulation from the caller. Call boxes are also useful on college campuses (where students are [[TruthInTelevision always getting robbed of their phones, or misplacing them during wild nights out]]), suicide hot-spots (in case the perpetrator intentionally leaves their cell phone behind and [[InterruptedSuicide suddenly has second thoughts]]), if you need help ''immediately'' (cell phone emergency calls usually have to go [[BeleagueredBureaucrat through a statewide highway patrol dispatcher first, who has to first figure out where you are, then route your call to the appropriate local station]]), if you survive and escape a car accident and your phone is still in your [[MadeOfExplodium possibly-dangerous-to-go-back-into vehicle]] or if your [[MurphysLaw cell phone just dies on you]].
* In the same vein, pay phones have disappeared from some areas but still remain in others. In some areas, the government has stepped in to prevent payphones from being taken out of service because they're still commonly used by the poor. It might also be cheaper to keep a payphone in operation than to erect a cellphone tower in a remote location where few people would use the cell service.
** In many places, especially in railway stations and airports, phone booths have been replaced by public terminals, that still function as payphones if you really need one, but their main function is to allow Internet access for tourists without laptops.
* In the past in North America, apartment buildings were equipped with buzzers that were basically columns of buttons; each button was hard-wired to a console in one of the apartments, where tenants would be advised of visitors by a literal buzz coming from the console. (You can see this in ''BreakfastAtTiffanys''.) As buildings became larger (and as tenants balked at the ugly plastic consoles that disfigured their walls), a new system was devised whereby the buzzer on the main floor was instead connected to a telephone line and would send the buzz instead directly to the tenant's telephone. (Still used in many gated communities and apartment complexes.) Unfortunately, tenants don't always have landlines, so the buzzer would often be connected to a cellphone number - which could be both expensive and insecure if the tenant were out of town or had an out-of-town cellphone number. This is why landlords often specify that tenants must have landline phones. (Apartment buildings outside of North America may still have the old style of buzzer due not just to the above problems but due to the fact that in many countries it can take months to get a landline telephone installed.)
** In Canada especially the smaller provinces like Saskatchewan still use buzzers primarily.
** The fear of burglars made (quite literally) all apartment buildings in UsefulNotes/{{Romania}} to install intercoms [[TheNineties in the 1990s]]. Complete systems, with a separate (from the "true" numbered phone) landline phone for each apartment, digital buzzer panel and digital keyboard at each entrance. Economies of scale made the expense affordable even for the years of poverty after the fall of Communism.
* It's becoming more and more common for people to eschew knocking on doors in favor of calling the person's cell phone for a couple reasons.
** The front door of an apartment complex may be locked, and the resident is expected to answer the call, come to the front door, and unlock it.
** It can be a safety issue. If a person is underage, elderly, or disabled, getting a knock on a door can be scary. It's a gamble between whether they should even look out the window (if there even is one) or just sit very quietly and hope the knocker goes away. A call telling them that so-and-so is coming over, or a call that so-and-so is sitting in the driveway gives a sense of peace and safety and is far easier for someone with limited hearing to understand than a shouted name.
** Calling also gives residents who have skittish dogs a chance to reassure or restrain their pet before it starts barking its head off about the strange intruder at the door.
* Remember those strange chimes that used to be heard in department stores? Those [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq4MnSCSWEo chimes]] were actually used to [[http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=402 page departments]] in the store (instead of using a PA system), though they are rarely used today. Sometimes those are used as StockSoundEffects, such as the "perfume department" scene in the ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' episode "Shanghaied". These days, if the retail clerks in any given store want to talk to each other, they'll typically all have two-way radios, sometimes with ear pieces and microphones. In addition to not bothering the customers by blaring an announcement over the whole store, it allows the staff to talk to one person or one department specifically, which saves time.
** The chimes, themselves, were the descendants of an even older obsolete technology: the use of differently-pitched bell-pulls to summon household servants in wealthy homes. Household intercoms and/or cell calls are the norm now.
* In 2000, the police department in Ontario, California, disciplined two of its officers for using their digital pagers to send personal text messages, some of which were sexually explicit, in violation of department policy. Since the department had obtained the messages by asking the pager company for transcripts to see (ostensibly) if the officers needed a higher character limit than the city had contracted for, the officers took the city to court, arguing their privacy rights had been violated. Ten years later, it had reached the U.S. Supreme Court, by which time no one was using digital pagers anymore. Appropriately, the court's unanimous ruling in the city's favor declined to set what might have been a precedent in its first-ever case involving privacy in personal electronic communications technology, citing the fluctuating state of the technology involved.
** The [=SCOTUS=] has Marched On since then, decreeing that personal smartphones are now comparable to personal homes in terms of how much private information they contain, hence can't be searched without a warrant.
* This trope shows a key difference in thought between generations. Most older adults in the West still have land lines--their "home" phone--and wouldn't dream of getting rid of it despite being redundant with cell phones (good luck getting your grandparents to drop the service they've had for decades). Meanwhile, most younger adults don't have land lines in their homes at all.
** The extremes of this are the term "cell phone" becoming less common, especially among younger speakers who assume the term "phone" on its own refers to a device carried in one's pocket.
** One factor tending to reduce the elimination of landlines is the proliferation of DSL and cable modems with landline support. If you're getting DSL, the extra for a landline in minimal, and the extra cost for adding landline service to cable modem service is also generally quite low.
** Parents will sometimes get a landline for several reasons - for instance in case there is an emergency in the house and the parent's cellphone is broken or lost or unavailable (or the parent is out), plus more simple reasons like the parents are tired of their children's friends calling the parent' cellphone asking if they can talk to their child. Other parents want to give their children experience using a telephone before actually giving their children their own cellphone.
* In the case of technology having ''long'' moved on, many elderly people still [[http://consumerist.com/2012/04/30/hundreds-of-thousands-of-people-are-still-leasing-their-home-phones/ lease their home phones]] from the telephone company. Back in the Ma Bell/Klondike-5 days, most people leased their phones from the service provider for about $6 a month per phone. Obviously, it has since become cheaper to just buy a phone, but hundreds of thousands of seniors never got around to cancelling their lease as it has been part of the bill since day one. This means that they have paid thousands of dollars over the years for a basic telephone that you can buy at a discount store for eight bucks. The telephone companies, unsurprisingly, have had no incentive to inform elderly customers of this and cancel what's basically free money.

!!Thrift Store Tech

* Recently, many thrift and second-hand stores have stopped accepting Cathode Ray Tube televisions – and in some cases, video cassette recorders – because of their outdated technology and lack of interest by the public. Most of the old CRT [=TVs=] and [=VCRs=] sit on the shelves for months, unsold, before the stores wind up taking the items to an electronics recycling center (often at a financial loss to the thrift store), and signs at the stores often direct people wishing to make such donations to go to the nearest electronics recycling center. (Although most stores do still accept [=VHS=] videotapes, much like it's relatively easy to find eight-track tapes at thrift stores.)
** For people that work in facilities that deal with confidential information there is actually a battle to get CD players. Since facilities trying to protect confidential information may not allow phones or MP3 players, for fear of someone saving information on them and walking out the door with it, but generally will allow older cd and tape players. The problem is no one makes cd players any more, so if you want to be able to listen to music at your office your going to have to find an old player that still works. If your office is large you may be fighting hundreds of other people who are also stalking the local thrift stores for this out dated technology. Still, it's a pretty niche need.
** In countries where analogue transmission has been turned off in favour of digital (a large chunk of Asia, Europe and Australasia), CRT televisions are outright worthless without a set-top box, which has added to second-hand and thrift stores turning them away.
** This trope is deliberately invoked and lampshaded in ''WebVideo/HalfInTheBag''. Mike and Jay run a VCR repair store, and their main source of income is from Harry Plinkett, who they defraud and lie to in order to have him constantly return his VCR for repairs.
* There have been a few shows set in the far future which feature static-y [=TVs=] for added colour (''Anime/CowboyBebop,'' for example). However, since digital television is replacing all forms of analog TV, the only way you could have old-style static or bad reception on future [=TVs=] is if you intentionally put it in. Bad reception does happen on digital TV, but differently; instead of static, you get horizontal strips of garbled blocks like a badly scratched, worn out DVD.
** Unless the video was a recording that had at some point in the past suffered decay in analog transmission or storage -- converting a static-y analog recording to digital is going to perfectly preserve the static. That's no excuse for live transmissions, though.
* Somewhat related to the analogue transmission idea is the ubiquity of curved CRT screens in the future. A notable example is ''Film/TwoThousandTenTheYearWeMakeContact'', which used small [=CRT=]s everywhere on the sets for the Discovery. (This is especially ironic as Creator/StanleyKubrick used rear-projection to accomplish the illusion of flatscreen monitors for the same ship in ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.)
** Similarly, the producers of ''Series/BabylonFive'' tried to hide their use of CRT monitors by embedding the screens in bulky, futuristic looking equipment with lots of lights and buttons. Unfortunately you can still see that the screens are curved, like the screens of CRT monitors in the early-mid 1990s.
** ''EarthFinalConflict'', produced in the late 20th century and set in the late 2010s/early 2020s, also used bulky CRT monitors in government buildings, corporate offices, and the Taelon Embassy, despite flat screens becoming cheaper and more ubiquitous late in the show's run.
** 2010 has other examples of thrift-store tech. (i) HAL's "memory module" room was reconstructed for 2010, but alongside the original futuristic-looking memory modules, a previously unseen keyboard is used to interact with HAL (due to his damaged speech circuits). Not a dead tech, but unfortunately it looks like a typical early '80s keyboard, contrasting badly with- and looking more dated than!- the original film's inventive design. (ii) Floyd's secret failsafe cutoff for HAL is to be activated by him typing nine 9s on a hacked calculator. Again, not a dead tech, but one which would be a far less obvious "first choice" gadget for that use today than it would have been in the mid-80s when calculators were still (somewhat) new and high-tech.
* In Kevin O'Donnell's novel ''ORA:CLE'', published in 1985, personal names are replaced by alphanumeric strings encoding personal attributes (including allotted public time and computer-related knowledge [!]); for example, the main character's name is [=ALL80 AFAHSC NFF6=] (Ale Elatey for short). However, it's set in a universe where ''all computers run unprotected operating systems like DOS'' and ''all news are shown in Bulletin Board Systems''. In '''2188'''.
* On the subject of CyberPunk, many of the genre's works (print and video) featured extensive virtual realities that today are being realized with applications such as ''Second Life''. While we can see the usefulness of VR for entertainment, education or training purposes, is it really more efficient to walk through a fully rendered VR representation of an automated factory to control and maintain operations, or would a screen of text and numbers and a keyboard be sufficient?
** The US Navy is actually incredibly enthusiastic about using VR and Second Life in particular to train servicemen and -women on things such as submarine operation. However some of their other applications reek of "we must retroactively justify this expense."
* When you pull up next to someone in traffic and motion to them to roll down their window, what do you do? That's right. You motion like you're rotating a lever, despite the fact that a vast majority of cars on the road these days have ''buttons'' to roll down windows... not levers. Still, everyone knows what you mean, presumably because levers are recent enough that everyone driving today can remember the days when they were common and also lever controlled windows are still included on vehicles (mostly base-model trucks and very cheap subcompacts) without power windows installed.
** Credit to comedian SteveHofstetter for trying to bring everyone forwards...
--> "I don't roll down my window. Because my car wasn't made in 1997. I vsshh down my window."
* Similarly, the accepted icons for saving (a floppy disc) and a movie (a roll of film) are both representations of entirely obsolete technology - but likely to last longer than the memory of the media themselves!
** Theater movies are still largely released on film, digital distribution (and even projection) still being rather new and expensive technology. Downloading a feature film at a high enough resolution that it doesn't appear blurry when projected onto a large screen is a large file download ''even by early 2010s standards.''
*** The editing is cheaper than it might appear. Editing on film requires large quantities of film, lots of chemistry, and lots of time. In contrast, you can do a year's worth of film editing in two weeks on digital editing equipment, meaning you can quite feasibly rent the editing rig instead of buying it, and the film processing lab, and hiring all the support staff needed for it, and come out ahead, even if you don't already have a more-or-less finished idea of how the film needs to come together (which is almost a necessity in editing on film). Home [=PCs=] are to the point now where there's really only two things inhibiting private production of Hollywood-quality feature films: It's hard to get hold of the specialized video cards needed for the special image format used in high-end digital movie editing, and the cameras available on the home market usually have tricky restrictions built into the licensing agreements for the video and audio [=CODEC=]s they use.
* People still use the term "dial a number" when telephones haven't used dials for decades.
** Similarly, we still "call" other people, whether it's on a telephone, cell phone, or VOIP services like Skype, even if it also includes video.
* Many pictograms of telephones are also hopelessly out of date, ranging from the depiction of just the phone receiver, which looks a bit too clunky for today's standards, over the "classical" key phone with the receiver sitting on top like a torero hat, to the same design, but with a dial plate. Likewise, pictograms that tell you to switch off your cell phone can hardly keep pace with the rapidly evolving appearance of said cell phones.
* We also turn our finger in a twisting motion when we're asking someone to turn volume up or down, despite the fact that most devices now have buttons with up and down arrows on them. Granted, some speakers have dials, and so do many MP3 players, but those are outnumbered by the buttoned devices.
* The use of double-spacing at the end of sentences, like this.[[color:white:--]]This is a hold-over from the days of typewriters with their monospacing (where every character occupies the same amount of space), to help the period stand out. Such a necessity has long been rendered obsolete by digital word-processors and just plain looks silly when used nowadays, but a lot of older typists (or younger ones taught by them), still use two spaces after periods. Even on this very wiki, though ThatOtherWiki and other [=MediaWiki=]-based wikis generally format pages so only one space is displayed even if more than one is typed into the code for the page.
** It's still a handy method for students to pad papers that are to be a certain number of pages long. Two spaces at the end of every sentence adds up.
** And this practice continues to serve its original purpose if something is to be printed in Courier or another typewriter-like font.
** Ever proving the ancient maxim, "There's the right way, the wrong way, and the Army way," The U.S. Department of Defense (which shows up on this page in several places) still uses the "two space" rule in official correspondence, even though the proportional Times New Roman is the mandatory font, and still has instructions like "indent three spaces," which don't make much sense when using proportional fonts.
* Calling solid-state storage media a "tape":
** In ''Film/CloakAndDagger'' everyone calls the game cartridge with the hidden data a "tape".
** The ''{{Starfire}}'' books by David Weber and Steve White often has warship personnel say "on the tape" to mean they've recorded a message for transmission. The series is set several hundred years in the future but was written in the mid 2000s.
** The "[[SegaGenesis Sega]] tapes" of ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner''. Like a lot of elements in the series, this is deliberate parody of this trope.
** The exposed tape sticking out of the [[http://www.wackypackages.org/stickers/91_topps/4a_front_supid_moron_bros_small.html package of "Stupid Moron Bros. 2"]] from Topps' ''WackyPackages''.
* Who else here has ever talked about "taping" a show on to a hard disc, or "rewinding" a DVD?
** The "DVD rewinder" even exists as a joke appliance.[[labelnote:*]]It's simply a base with a powered spindle and a button turning the motor on and off.[[/labelnote]]
* Even though ''WheelOfFortune'' switched to an electronic puzzleboard in 1997, people still refer to the letters being "turned" as if they were still physical trilons.
* Creator/BillCosby has an old and hilarious routine about how he wants Polaroid to develop a way to produce a baby quickly. "Kiss your wife, wait five minutes and BOOM - there's the kid! Of course you have to dip him in the lacquer or he'll fade..."
** A [[http://carnal.orfinlir.de/ third party]] TabletopGames/DungeonsAndDragons book (not quite SFW) refers to that with the spell "Irnar's Polaroidic Pregnancy" (shortens the pregnancy to 9 hours). The guide isn't quite complete, and the name is yet to be changed.
* The trope page for PoorMansPorn has a whole section (Type C) dedicated to people trying to watch scrambled porn on TV. This is now outdated (except in 80s-90s period pieces), as newer television sets recognized the scrambled signal and replaced it with a blue screen, and nowadays you simply get a screen saying you do not get that particular adult video channel.
** For that matter, the very concept of PoorMansPorn is mostly obsolete. Actual porn is freely available, in huge quantities, over the internet. Admittedly, you're probably not going to be viewing porn at the local library, so you do need your own computer and internet service. Still, the most common users of PoorMansPorn weren't the poor, but children who weren't allowed to view anything else. Nowadays, like it or not, any kid who has hit puberty has probably looked up some illicit porn at some point.
* "Hi-fi" used to mean a stereo system, and is a bit outdated in these days of MP3 players. (As a term for ''high-fidelity sound'' it is still used by people in the sound industry). This is a bit troublesome tech-wise for people having FunWithPalindromes because "If I had a hi-fi" is still a popular palindrome in books, etc.
* In the ''Manga/{{Appleseed}}'' universe cyborgs and typewriters exist side by side.
* When a factual show requires background music to suddenly end for humorous purposes, nine times out of ten they'll STILL put on [[RecordNeedleScratch the sound effect of a needle skating across a vinyl record.]] This even applies to kids' shows, where it is otherwise assumed that the audience won't have a clue what vinyl records are and need it explained every time they're mentioned.
* People are often told to cut the doors off refrigerators before throwing them away, to keep playful children from being locked inside and suffocating. However, this only applies to older fridges with latch handles that are impossible to open from the inside. Fridges built since the 80s, however, use magnetic strips to hold the door shut, which can be easily opened from either side.
* A positive variant is depicted in the film, ''TheMagdaleneSisters'', which the notorious Magdalene Asylums, de facto Irish gulags for women who didn't conform to local religious mores (Like [[DefiledForever being raped]]), earned their main income from doing laundry which had to be done by hand in earlier years. Later on, the first washing machines were installed and although the Nuns and their prisoners didn't know it then, the very ubiquity of these relatively inexpensive and obviously practical appliances in personal residences would destroy the economic viability of those prisons.
* From ''Music/TheWall'' the alienated rockstar complains he's "Got thirteen channels of shit on the T.V. to choose from." BruceSpringsteen claims "57 channels and nothin' on." These days it's more likely to be hundreds of channels of shit.

* In 1981's ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'', a monitor displays a 3D model of New York as Snake lands his 'plane in the city. The film makers wanted to use an actual computer model, but since technology wasn't there yet, they compromised by building a physical miniature New York, outlining it with reflective tape, and filming the result. This was the ''budget option''.
* Played straight in universe in a 2015 era antique store in ''[[Film/BackToTheFuture Back To The Future Part II]]'':
-->'''Antique store saleswoman:''' Now this has an interesting feature - it has a dust jacket. Books used to have these to protect the covers. Of course that was before they had dust repellent paper. And if you're interested in dust, we have a quaint little piece from the 1980s. It's called a Dustbuster."
** Funnily enough, the Dustbuster continues to enjoy popularity and has even taken on BrandNameTakeover.
** And paper books may be on their way out, dust-proof or otherwise.
** Later, as the 1955 Doc looks at Marty's camcorder, he says "Now this is truly amazing: a portable television studio. No wonder [[UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan your president is an actor]], he's got to look good on television!"
* Kids who grew up with [=DVDs=] and digitally-downloaded movies probably won't get the locker-aliens' "Be Kind, Rewind" reference in ''[[Film/MenInBlack Men In Black II]]''. The "Adult section in rear" gag, teens can probably figure out, though it also [[TheInternetIsForPorn dates the picture]].
* In ''Film/TimeBandits'', the embodiment of evil explains that he knows better than the Supreme Being because he has knowledge of "Digital watches. Soon I shall have knowledge of video cassette recorders and car telephones. And when I understand those I shall understand computers. And when I understand computers '''I''' will be the Supreme Being." In 1981, those really were cutting edge and were meant to be. [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation Now they can be considered evidence that Evil is a little out of touch]].
* In ''Film/TradingPlaces'', Louis Winthorpe tries to sell his watch at a pawnshop, mentioning how it's waterproof up to 3 atmospheres as proof of how top-of-the-line it is. Today, many watches are waterproof to as many as ''50'' atmospheres.
* Lampshaded nicely in ''TheWeddingSinger'': [[JerkJock Glenn]] brags about buying a CD player for around $1,000, and [[LoveInterest Julia]] promptly offers to get a record to play on it.
* ''OneHourPhoto'' was made in 2002, probably at the last possible moment before it'd need a period setting to explain why anyone would need to take pictures somewhere for them to be developed.
* One of the ''Film/AlienNation'' TV movies had people using CRT monitors well after flatscreen monitors had become cheap and readily available in the real world. This was deliberate on the part of the filmmakers... while they were still using CRT monitors, they were using much more advanced interface devices and streaming video was slightly ahead of where it is even today, several years later. This was to highlight that technology had developed in entirely different ways due to the Newcomers.
* In ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'', Ferris' line "I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?" seems strange today, because having your own computer is almost as much a status symbol for teens as having your own car.

* Also appears in the ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'' series. ''The Skies of Pern'', written in 2001, has cell phone-ish tech cropping into usage. ''All the Weyrs of Pern'' however, written in 1991, essentially has the Dragonriders saving the world by what amounts to handling ships' embedded electronics via console (TakeThat, graphical interface!) because the "real" computers were removed [[RagnarokProofing millenia]] ago. Funny part is that lots of things that are only one notch above PIC but run OS-s used to support telnet terminal access are [[http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/Linux-For-Devices-Articles/The-Linux-Devices-Showcase/ already here]].
* The original (circa 1980) edition of ''[[Literature/{{Fudge}} Superfudge]]'' had Peter asking for and receiving a pocket calculator for Christmas. Later editions change the gift to a check from Grandma since, by about 2000, a regular calculator was a standard school supply and could be bought for about a dollar. He asks for a stereo in the original, but only in jest. Current editions have him ask instead for a laptop and mp3 player, and by 2010, it's hard to tell whether the latter was supposed to be an outrageous request.
* In the original print of ''Literature/AreYouThereGodItsMeMargaret'' by JudyBlume, Margaret is instructed in the proper use of a belt to secure her menstrual pad. The invention of menstrual pads with adhesive backing (something often taken for granted these days) had to wait until women's undergarments became snug enough for adhesive pads to be practical, which in turn required the invention of Spandex and cheaper methods of creating inexpensive fine-gauge cotton knits.
* The protagonists in Ken Grimwood's ''Literature/{{Replay}}'' are stuck in a 25-year GroundhogDayLoop from 1963 to 1988, so it isn't surprising this pops up. The author had [[ShownTheirWork shown his work]] though, by pointing out that some devices could be procured before they caught on with the public (though they were expensive) there were appearances of the [[http://www.wang1200.org/ Wang 1200]] and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1%22_type_C_videotape Sony VTR]]. The following quote happens in 1974:
-->"Near the window was a large desk stacked with books and notebooks, and in the center of it sat a bulky, greenish-gray device that incorporated a video screen, a keyboard, and a printer. He frowned quizzically at it. What was she doing with a home computer so early? ... 'It's not a computer,' Pamela said. 'Wang 1200 word processor, one of the first. No disk drive, just cassettes, but still beats a typewriter. Want a beer?'"
* The famous quote from ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' that humans are so primitive "they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea." Funny in the late '70s, rather on-the-nose now.
** The radio adaptations in the mid-2000s had novelty ringtones instead. Not quite as dated yet.
* In ''TheSpaceOdysseySeries'' [[TheSpaceOdysseySeries by the year 3,000]] humanity has developed technology to match song lyrics to the EarWorm stuck in your head for you for a fee... uh... it's called a search engine and it's free.
* An instructor in ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' was blinded in combat. Towards the end of his class, he feels the watchface to see how much time is left. Maybe he couldn't afford a talking watch.
** Soon it's likely to be asking why he didn't get prosthetic eyes.
* An inventor in {{The Dead Past}} by Isaac Asimov demonstrates his newest gadget, a time viewer. He turns on the monitor, then warns his impatient colleague to "let it warm up." When the story was written, televisions used vacuum tubes and frequently took 30 seconds to a minute to display a picture after being turned on.
* JulesVerne's ''Literature/ParisInTheTwentiethCentury'', written in 1862 and taking place in the distant future of 1960, makes some rather impressive predictions about the future. One of the reasons it wasn't published had to do with the publisher finding stuff like electro-mechanical calculators, widespread use of automobiles, fax machines, skyscrapers, automatic security systems and remote-controlled warfare too unrealistic. On the other hand, people still writes using quills, records are still kept in books (that is, a colossal book apparently four meters tall, whose pages are turned with machinery) and there is apparently no air transport (except the odd airship or two, probably).

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* GameShows: Watch any classic episode of a game show that offers prizes, particularly prior to 1990 (or even 2000), and you'll see electronics and other items that were cutting edge then that are today outdated.
** Examples include the countless '''video cassette recorders''' (first offered circa 1978, when they cost $1,000 or more and were considered a "grand prize"(!)), the '''Muntz projection [=TV=]''' (the "deluxe" style of television viewing, with a (gasp) 3-by-4 foot viewing screen) and the '''large satellite dishes''' (from companies such as General Instruments). '''Cellular car telephones''', which were worth $3,000(!), was a common top-level prize, as were '''portable telephones'''.
*** Several shows also offered an "'''entertainment center'''" – basically a stand with several dividers, which went along with the TV, [=VCR=], audio equipment, connectors and remote control – whose components today would be worthless (except for perhaps the audio components, even though there's virtually no market today for cassette tapes and even compact discs are declining in share).
** '''Computers''' are another common example. Take a look at, for instance, a ''Series/TicTacDough'' episode from 1979, when the Apple [=II=] computer was offered as a prize (worth $2,000-plus(!), counting the disk drives, monitor and printer that came with it) ... state of the art for the time with its 64K memory (expandable to double it), and people were truly excited about winning one. Today, they're junk - and all the computers today have hundreds of gigabytes. The Commodore 64, Radio Shack and Texas Instrument computers also saw their computers given away as game show prizes (with and without the other items), and likewise, except for hobbyists, these computers have long since become obsolete.
*** Speaking of ''Tic Tac Dough'', each of those video screens on the big board were generated by its own Apple [=II=], in stunning 16-color 40x40 lo-res graphics, with the nine Apples networked by an Altair 8800. Compare, at the time, the 1978-79 version of ''Series/{{Jeopardy}}'', which still used ''printed cards'' on their big board! By 1984, when the Alex Trebek edition of ''Jeopardy!'' debuted, its 30-screen board made ''Tic Tac Dough'''s board look quaint by comparison.
** Years before Skype and other no-cost proprietary voice-over-IP services, there were videophones. At least one episode of the 1980s version of ''HighRollers'', which is uploaded to various video sharing sites, offers '''video phones''' (a $500 item) as a prize; it was touted as state-of-the-art way to see and hear the people you're talking to.
*** However, videophones differ in one key respect from all the other items in this entry in that nobody really wanted them. Video chat systems, the modern equivalent, are nothing like as popular as voice only or text chat.
** Speaking of music devices, one ''Series/SaleOfTheCentury'' shopping-level prize was a $12,000 '''video jukebox'''. Manufactured by Rowe International, users simply deposited their money into the jukebox and chose one of the 100 (or so) selections; after the selection was made, the computer would pick out the appropriate video cassette the song was stored on, cue up the video and play it on the video screen above. This was a giant machine that likely cost a ton to maintain and was only modestly successful. (Rowe had been making video jukeboxes, actually, since the 1960s.) Today, while certainly not cheap, video jukeboxes (such as those made by [=AMI=] Entertainment) are far more compact, using [=WiFi=] to access videos that connect to a nearby TV monitor.
* ''TheDukesOfHazzard'':
** "Double Sting," from the first season, sees Rosco using a large "field telephone" to communicate with Enos. The field telephone was typically used only by law enforcement (and in large cities, more populous counties and state agencies at that) and the very rich in 1979. Today, everyone – even in the most backwoods of communities – is using cell phones and iPhones, perhaps videophone sites like Skype just like the rest of us.
** "Uncle Boss," taped in 1979 but aired during the third season, sees Boss Hogg's corrupt nephew, Hughie, introduce Boss and Rosco to the state-of-the-art technological marvel ... the video cassette recorder! Quite a bit of time is dedicated to explaining how one of these contraptions work. Although its purpose in the plot is to attempt to frame Bo and Luke for bank robbery (as a security camera is attached to the [=VCR=]), there may have been a subliminal message in it all – buy a [=VCR=] and you capture the Dukes on tape ... every week! In any case, the [=VCR=] has long met its match, and banks typically now use hard drives and hidden security cameras to monitor banks. In addition, note that Boss (along with Hughie) hand-deliver the videotape with the incriminating evidence to the [=FBI=] ... but get detoured into a junkyard and are held up briefly by Cooter's magnet(!), which erases the tape; today, Boss could simply send the footage of his "bank robbery" to the [=FBI=] via a private internet connection (such as file transfer protocol, or ftp, site), making his favorite scheme of hiring impersonators to pull off a "Duke boy bank robbery" even easier to accomplish without Bo and Luke even having a clue what's going on ... until federal authorities converge on the farm with warrants for their arrest.
* ''SesameStreet'': Around the mid-1980s, Oscar the Grouch owned a "grouch computer." The buzzword back then was "friendly computer," which simply meant easy to use; of course, with Oscar involved, the "friendly greetings" were replaced by "grouch" ones. Other Sesame Street residents (notably, Luis and Maria) also owned a computer. All segments with computers were used to teach basic computer skills and workings of computers. And of course, these were computers that were state-of-the-art for the era, at a time when they were far less common.
* In the pilot of ''LoisAndClark'', the Kents' use of a fax machine was presented as evidence they weren't subject to the old-time "American Gothic" farmer stereotypes. Now it has the opposite effect of making them seem out-of-date.
* On ''{{Rescue 911}}'', the prevalence of carbon monoxide poisonings looks weird to modern audiences because carbon monoxide alarms are about as common as fire alarms. Possibly a case of SeinfeldIsUnfunny, as said poisonings were what led to demand for the development of an alarm that would detect carbon monoxide.
* On an older episode of ''Series/LawAndOrder'' Lenny got a lead by looking at the victim's pager. Remember pagers?
* In an episode of ''Series/SavedByTheBell'', Bayside High decided to put their yearbooks on videotapes. Good luck to them finding a VHS player in the 21st century.
* In the original ''Series/{{Carrusel}}'', video games were not present at all. While this was Mexico in 1989-1990, the Brazilian 2012 remake did insert them, since it would no longer be credible to have a show about children's school and daily life without video games present in any way.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/WorldInConflict'' a RunningGag is Mike's inability to find batteries so he can show off a high-status gadget of his, a ''portable'' CD player. Granted, ''WorldInConflict'' is a PeriodPiece set in 1989, but in the modern day, when [=CDs=] have gone the way of the dodo, it stands out.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', made in 1998 and set in [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture 2005]], the Briefing segments are presented through the inserting-ejecting sound effects and screen artefacts as a series of VHS tapes (in a world which also has fully immersive virtual reality simulations). Otacon also has the original [=PlayStation=] in his lab, though it's not out of character for an {{Otaku}} to be into retro games. Finally, Psycho Mantis's television-breaking powers imitate the Video mode on a specific brand of 90s Sony CRT [=TVs=], making the holdover quite odd when they reappear with Mantis's [[TheCameo cameo]] in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidGroundZeroes'', a game released on consoles made primarily for [=HDMI=] output.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Barely 10 years after the series HeyArnold aired, younger viewers seeing the show the first time would wonder what exactly Helga's father (the "Beeper King" of "Big Bob's Beepers") was selling.
* Cellphones are present in ''WesternAnimation/GodzillaTheSeries'', but the designs are that of the old clam shell style with antennas, having aired from 1998 to 2000.

!!Electrical Components
When transistors came around in the 70s to do everything a vacuum tube could, it'd mean that the old vacuum tube would go the wayside, right? Or when integrated circuits came around, who needed a discrete transistor? Or hell, why are we even using electricity? Optics would be way cooler.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* It's not uncommon these days to find audio amplifiers with vacuum tubes. The reason being is that audiophiles say it gives audio some kind of "warmth" to it. It's probably the same thing as an incandescent bulb does for light versus a fluorescent tube.
** Apparently vacuum tubes also react to different harmonics than transistors, and overdriving a guitar on a tube amp sounds infinitely better than overdriving a transistor amp.
** The difference is in the kind of distortion that gets generated when the amplifier stage is driven hard enough (or overdriven) that the amplified signal would exceed the actual supply voltage (which, of course, can't happen). Because of the way tubes work, their output can never actually reach 100% of the input-supply voltage; instead, as you approach the limit, a tube's output "rounds off" in an asymptotic curve (look it up) known as soft-clipping. A transistor, on the other hand, will go all the way to the limit and then simply "hard-clips" any part of the signal that would drive it any higher. Both are, technically, distortions of the e signal, but a tube's soft-clipping produces "low-order harmonics" which are more pleasing to the human ear than the "high-order" harmonics produced by a transistor's hard-clipping. (Transistor circuits ''can'' be designed to simulate a tube's natural behavior, but it vastly increases the complexity of the amplifier, and is a lot more difficult to pull off convincingly than you'd think.)
** Tubes also amplify in a fundamentally different way than transistors. Tubes default to manipulating the current, while transistors default to manipulating the voltage. They both manipulate both, but the default is the primary way the output is manipulated for typical amplifier circuits. This means that tube and transistor amps sound different regardless of what you're doing with them, even if you aren't overdriving them.
* Quite a few people prefer incandescent type bulbs versus fluorescent and LED lights. The first is that the warm light an incandescent bulb gives off is very pleasing (YMMV - if you're not used to it anymore, incandescent's yellowishness seems wan). The second is that fluorescent and LED bulbs flicker[[note]]. Fluorescent tubes glow very briefly and need a constant hammering of electrons to stay "constant". LED type bulbs are driven by a PWM[[/note]]. For some people, this causes headaches. And it can be very irritating to many autistics, who can see the flicker and hear the constant humming.
** The flickering of fluorescent and LED bulbs is dangerous for machines that reciprocate or rotate. If the machine is going at the correct frequency, it may appear to be going slower than it really is, or in the opposite direction, a phenomenon called the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagon_wheel_effect Wagon-Wheel Effect]].
*** This problem is made worse by the fact that some electric motor designs want to spin at a speed directly related to the AC power line frequency (which is what LED and fluorescent lights normally flicker at). While all three can also be made to not flicker at the line frequency, it takes extra components (and extra cost) so it's not normally done unless there's a reason.
* The Soviet Union [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mig-25 MiG-25]] was built with vacuum tubes for a substantial amount of its electronics, mostly because it was more robust to the environment and could withstand an EMP blast better than transistors.
** Vacuum tubes are also much easier to manufacture than the types of transistors that are more reliable than vacuum tubes. The early (and most easily manufactured) types of transistors are actually ''less'' reliable than vacuum tubes under normal operating conditions, and are particularly prone to failure due to vibration (which is almost impossible to avoid in an aircraft, especially a relatively small one that travels extremely fast).
** Never mind vacuum tubes: British Naval officers still learn to use slide rules and Morse signals, on the assumption that none of the fancy electronics can be relied on in a pinch.
*** They are, as far as it goes, correct. They also still teach celestial navigation in at least some navies for the same reason. Very simply, all your electronics ''can'' fail, for many reasons. If you can't use your sextant and slide rule, you're probably already dead anyway.
*** For the same reason, soldiers on the ground are taught to use a paper map and a magnetic compass, and artillery crews learn how to calculate their shots manually.
*** SchizoTech: there are many apps for modern smartphones which turn the magnetometer inside into a magnetic compass. Reason: data transmission needed for maps may fail or simply you're too far away from a cellphone tower, GPS signal may be too weak, but the Earth's magnetic field is still there.
*** The same goes with leisure boating, especially blue-water voyaging. Electronics not only ''can'' fail; rather, they ''will'' sooner or later fail, especially when least desired, and knowledge on how to use sextant and slide rule has saved many long distance sailors. Especially crucial this is on [[CrewOfOne single-handed sailing]].

Drifting is cool, right? Keeping your head cool and your car in balance while on two wheels is the epitome of badass driving? It might have been ...until [[TheSeventies the 1970s]]. Most modern cars, not just performance cars, have tire sizes which a few decades ago were just for [[CoolCar Ferraris and Porsches]] and the ''quality'' of tires and suspension is ages beyond. Even a humble modern hot hatchback may pull stunts which in the past were barely imaginable outside racetracks.

* In ''Film/GoldenEye'', Film/JamesBond pulls a few stunts in his old companion the Aston Martin [=DB5=] while street-racing FemmeFatale Xenya in a Ferrari [=F355=]. While impressive by 1965 standards, the chassis and suspension of the [=DB5=] would have never held up to a modern [=GTI=], leave alone a [=F355=]. To film the chase, the [=F355=] had to be modified, otherwise it wouldn't drift. [[SarcasmMode Maybe this is the reason]] Q retires the Aston and gives Bond a [=BMW=] instead.
** Film/JamesBond's Aston Martin [=DB5=] was [[ImprobablyCoolCar an exceptional vehicle]]... for [[TheSixties the 1960s]]. 284hp may seem a lot (and 71bhp/L wouldn't be bad for a naturally aspirated engine today) until a turbocharged [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Focus_%28third_generation%29 Ford Focus RS]] or [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subaru_Impreza_WRX#WRX_3 Subaru Impreza WRX]] zips past. [[BoringButPractical And it's 4 times cheaper]]. The [=DB5=], however, is still undeniably about 470 times cooler. How many wankers do you see rolling past with an ill-fitted trumpet exhaust on an Aston Martin?

* Obviously, quite a lot of books were written before the automobile was invented. We could probably have a whole "Check Out Life Before Cars" section on how some classic works of literature might have easily resolved themselves if cars had been available.
* While a period piece, in ''Literature/TheGrapesOfWrath'' the Joads have to deal with a broken transmission - they have to find an old one in a junkyard and then install it themselves with only basic hand tools, something only the most hardcore car guys would attempt on a do-it-yourself basis and would require at least a hoist in any post-WW2 vehicle.
* Invoked in Booth Tarkington's ''{{Penrod}}'' (set and published in 1914), the 12-year-old title character temporarily has use of a small outbuilding since the family horse has died and his father hasn't decided whether to get another horse or a car. One later edition's professorial introduction describes it as "no longer a stable but not yet a garage".

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/NashBridges''' [[ThePreciousPreciousCar ultra-rare and expensive as a Renaissance sculpture]] Hemi'Cuda is beaten senselessly in both drag racing and manoeuvrability by a modern Mitsubishi Evo. Any Evo since [[TheNineties the late 1990s]]. Then add a few hundred dollars' worth of mechanical improvements for the Evo...

* Racing simulators such as ''Videogame/ForzaMotorsport'' and ''Videogame/GranTurismo'' often showcase the huge gap in automotive performance over the years. In ''Forza'', for example, the roaring first-generation [[CoolCar Mustang GT]] will get curb-stomped around a race track by a modern Ford hatchback due to the newer car's better power delivery, tires, and more advanced transmission. However, [[MagikarpPower ye olde cars often end up being more upgradeable due to their layout and simple design]], allowing tuned muscle cars to thrash (lower-end) supercars around the track.


A lot of the old science fiction features a world with food shortage and rationing due to extreme overpopulation. [[FutureFoodIsArtificial 90% of the food is yeast or synthetic]]. Except that... the figures stated have been surpassed or near so, and there is significant overproduction. This is largely thanks to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Revolution Green Revolution]] which, in addition to mechanization of planting and harvest, also included breeding a lot of high-yield and drought- or pest-resistant crops. (Not all "technology" is machine-based.)

It should be noted that some of the agricultural technologies depend on petroleum and other materials which can soon run out... assuming we will not have enough energy to synthesize more, or develop alternatives. A society with no energy shortages depicted that way...

* TheCavesOfSteel. Everyone lives in [[{{Megacity}} megacities]], almost all the food is yeast, efficiency is necessary to the point of a personal cubicle in the communal bathroom being a luxury, and there is strict PopulationControl. Population? Eight billion.
* {{Foundation}}. Trantor needs twenty agricultural worlds to feed its forty billion people. Today, over half the population of Earth is urban, meaning the agriculture of a single planet should have little problem feeding four billion people who produce no food. If you take into account that later sources claim Trantor has significant artificial food production on its own...
** A related problem is that Trantor is stated to be a single, planet-covering city hundreds or thousands of levels deep, and there are special observation towers that you have to use if you want to see the sky. There's absolutely no way that you need that kind of urban structure to house a mere 40 billion people when we have 7 billion on Earth with cities covering only a few per cent of the land surface and most of that you can't travel around in much without going outside. (Yes, there are places where you can travel around significant sections of cities entirely indoors, but you have to do it intentionally and it's both limiting and inconvenient in most places where it's possible at all.) It is admittedly ''possible'' that the billions Asimov referred to are in the long scale, which would make the population several orders of magnitude larger than on the now-usual short scale (the long scale billion is equivalent to a short scale trillion).
* Literature/LuckyStarr: Earth has a population of six billion. Enough to be dependent on food imports from Mars and Venus.
* Literature/TheLatheOfHeaven. The year is 2002. A man can afford an egg maybe once a month, and it's been twenty years since any grain could be spared for making alcohol. Population, seven billion.
* [[Literature/MakeRoomMakeRoom Make Room! Make Room!]] (the book on which Film/SoylentGreen is loosely based): The year is 1999. As stated in the book:
-->Now the oil is gone, the topsoil depleted and washed away, the trees chopped down, the animals extinct, the earth poisoned, and all we have to show for this is seven billion people fighting over the scraps that are left, living a miserable existence...
* ''Warhammer40K'': Zigzagged. On the one hand, hive cities easily reach populations in the billions, but the reason they exist is that they're the only habitable ([[NoOSHACompliance sorta]]) places on the planet (usually a DeathWorld, in desert, an ocean, or so polluted and/or radioactive even bionic systems only last a few minutes variants), so a planet of ten billion people has them in three or four hives. These get pretty much all their food from off-planets, with other worlds entirely devoted to agricultural production (using both mind-bogglingly advanced machinery and manual labor techniques medieval peasants would have laughed at.
** On the other hand [[PlanetTerra Holy Terra]] is so densely populated that its soil is utterly barren and its atmosphere is a fog of pollution. Massive, labyrinthine edifices of state sprawl across the vast majority of the surface. Its oceans have long ago boiled away. Many mountain ranges have been leveled, perhaps all of them except the Himalayas, which seemingly remain all but untouched due to the laboratories said to be underneath and the chambers of the Astronomican that course throughout the whole mountain range. No specifics are given on the population anymore, just "billions", possibly at least a trillion depending on the source.

!!Television and Radio
* Numerous shows and comedians use to make a joke that "in the future there will be hundreds of channels, and nothing to watch". Congratulations, it's officially the future.
* Lampshaded twice in the first Film/BackToTheFuture. First, when Marty dines with his future maternal family in 1955, Lorraine asks whether his family owns a television set, to which Marty says "Yeah, you know we have two of 'em...", making her younger brother say "Wow, you must be rich!", to which their mother says "Oh, honey, he's just teasing you. Nobody owns two television sets!"
** Later, Marty tries to explain his knowledge of an episode of ''TheHoneymooners'' as having seen it as a rerun. No one knows what a rerun is.

!!Health Care
The practice of medicine has advanced ''incredibly'' over the last 100 years (and in some ways, even over the last ''10'' years). Much of that is precisely due to technological advancements in regard to everything from far more advanced ways to look into the human body and more advanced anatomical understanding, surgical instruments and techniques, pharmacological chemistry, and much, much more.

''Many'' illnesses and injuries are now curable or at least treatable as a result, and many tropes revolving around fatal injuries and infections had to change. Some actual tropes that have become [[ForgottenTrope forgotten]] or [[DiscreditedTrope entirely or partially discredited]] include:
* BloodFromTheMouth: Now that doctors can almost always tell ''where that blood is coming from,'' there's a high likelihood it can be treated or cured. Outside of certain overwhelming infections (such as Ebola and similar hemorrhagic fevers) and some metastatic cancers, causes from most forms of tuberculosis to some cancers to gum disease can all be outright cured, and other sources treated. Even severe internal injuries can be repaired to some extent.
* BracesOfOrthodonticOverkill: Now even for the most crooked teeth brackets (which can be translucent) and a wire are enough. Not to mentions various "invisible" (transparent or mounted on the inside of the mouth) solutions.
* BrainFever: Due to increased knowledge of the brain and how it works, no longer exists as a disease. Sources were found to be various and discrete mental illnesses, and/or physical infections of the brain, such as encephalitis and meningitis.
* CatchYourDeathOfCold: Advances in microscopic analysis and simple germ theory have proven beyond a doubt that even being hypothermic will '''NOT''' give you a common cold. (It will cause other problems, but not that one...)
* CATTrap: As of TheNewTens, there are now "open" CAT and MRI and PET scanners that can be used for the claustrophobic.
* ConvulsiveSeizures: Still exists for the RuleOfDrama, but it's now understood epilepsy can express in ''many'' different ways.
* InstantDeathBullet: Many gunshot wounds that don't involve the brain, both the heart and a lung at the same time, or multiple shots to vital organs or arteries can now be treated if there is prompt surgical care in a modern trauma center. People have survived being shot ''multiple'' times with such care.
* TheLoinsSleepTonight: Not since 1997 or so, unless the cause is ''absolutely and entirely psychological,'' or a result of absolute loss of neural connection to the lower half of the body (e.g. quadriplegia and some cases of paraplegia), or the person is so unhealthy that taking the multitude of relatively safe medications available for the purpose would kill them.
* ThePlague: Unless antibiotic resistance makes ''all'' antibiotics useless, bacterial plagues can be easily stopped with the correct use of antibiotics. While the trope still exists (and could unfortunately well exist in RealLife in TheNewTens with ''viral'' disease, the aforementioned viral hemorrhagic fevers), the plague now has to be not the Bubonic Plague or otherwise of bacterial nature, or the setting has to be before antibiotics or after widespread antibiotic resistant bacteria, or it has to be a MysticalPlague.
* RupturedAppendix: Still does ''very rarely'' happen (primarily ''because'' appendicitis being so easily treated has made it entirely drop off the radar for most people as a possible cause of their abdominal pain), but in most settings where immediate imaging of the appendix combined with immediate surgery in cases of appendicitis is the standard of medical care, an actual rupture rarely happens. In the rare cases where it has, it has been where patients have chosen non-surgical treatment for some reason or another.