CXO

10 tech products that belong to the walking dead

Deathless, slow moving, yet relentless, the walking dead are among us in the form of scary, disintegrating tech bits that refuse to die. Here are 10 that need the double-tap.
iStock_000026815344Small_spooky_johnnorth.jpg
 Image: iStock/johnnorth

 The zombie horde has nearly reached critical mass. Other than not nomming my gray matter, the only thing I would ask is that they take certain technologies back to the grave with them. There are some tech products and services out there that simply refuse to die! Why? Because some users and companies are frightened to give them up!

Well, I'm here to say it's time to let those pieces of technology amble off into the sunset with the walking dead. Which technologies? I have ten of them...here they are.

1. Windows XP

The death of Windows XP will mean a lot of companies are going to have to make a major choice: which platform to migrate to? In all honesty, it's time for XP to go away. It's been around for as many years as the "Friday the 13th" franchise has entries. And like Jason Vorhees, Windows XP has had its time and should be buried. The biggest problem with the death of XP is the massive amount of hardware that will go with it. That hardware could be re-purposed (with Linux) or recycled. It should not simply be chucked into the dumpster to find its way to landfills. That is a ghost story that will come back to haunt us.

2. AOL

I cannot tell you how many times I've had to troubleshoot a problem on a client machine, only to find out they still use AOL. Can you imagine my horror when I see this? Why? Why? Why?!!! AOL should have died a tragic death long ago. And what's worse, some of these clients are using AOL for their business communication. For the love of Clive Barker, Gmail is free and considered far more respectable than AOL. Leave behind the Grand Guignol trappings of AOL and live!

3. Blackberry

This one is a tough one. Anyone that travels frequently will tell you how desperately they cling to their Blackberry. It's cheaper to travel with. But the truth of the matter is, the technology is as dated as Full Moon Videos. Supporting Blackberry can be a nightmare and most administrators would rather users make the move to Android or IOS.

4. Dot matrix printers

Seriously...they still exist. I'm fairly certain Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly used dot matrix printers to print the first edition of Frankenstein. Why are they still around? Is it because some grave-robbing company still has tons of paper for the devices and doesn't want to part with that profit? Those printers should have died years ago. Let them go...please.

5. Fax machines

These are the stuff that drove the machines of torture during the Marquis de Sade era. They smack of mimeographs and modems. Technology has come so far – to the point where we can actually sign documents and send them with more reliability and security than the fax allows. Although there are plenty out there who would argue that the fax is too far ingrained into the world of business to go away, the ability to sign and send PDFs have clearly made the fax a ghost in the machine.

6. Internet Explorer-only web sites

Why are there still those out there coding websites to only work with Internet Explorer? Those sights are zombies in the world of business – slow moving, refusing to give up their narrow-minded scope, and causing no end of frustration and horror to those that have to interact with them. Companies need to come to grips with the fact that IE is not the juggernaut it once was. Developers need to create sites for every browser – including mobile browsers.

7. Internet Explorer

The Microsoft browser is riding on the coattails of it's former glory. Now? It's unsafe, unreliable, and as buggy as a rotting corpse. With so many other, superior, browsers available, everyone on the planet needs to stand up to the face of death that is IE and hold up the Chrome cross and the silver bullet of Firefox and back that sub-par browser back to the crypt.

8. Pagers

Hello? The original version of "The Evil Dead" called and wants its technology back. Pagers were cool in the 80s. Pagers were necessary in the 90s. Now? Pagers are simply a holdover for industries that simply don't want to acknowledge the ever-evolving scope of technology. Yes, it would mean setting aside an investment made decades ago, but it's time to make use of smart phones and give up the pagers (aka "beepers").

9. VHS

There's a "found footage" horror film called V/H/S. If you can get beyond the found footage format (and the brutality of the film), it's not that bad. There was also a little title called "The Ring" which foretold of your death within seven days of watching a video on VHS. That premise wouldn't be possible today because they only people with VHS are convenience stores and businesses holding on to old-school surveillance tech. VHS is dead and buried. Let it go.

10. DSL

Connection speeds continue to shoot through the roof...at least with some forms of technology. DSL? Not so much. If we were back in the 90s, the speeds and reliability of DSL would be unimaginable. Now? Comparing the speeds of DSL and cable is like comparing the walking speed of zombies from "Night of the Living Dead" and "28 Days Later." There is no comparison! Period. On top of slow speeds, the technology used to deliver DSL is as ancient and creepy as Vincent Price in "The Abominable Doctor Phibes."

There are so many tech products that should be in the grave; but for whatever reason, people hold on to their tech like their lives depended upon it. I say it's time to let the beast free and embrace the light of evolution and superior technology. Anyone refusing to upgrade is nothing more than meat for the walking dead.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

Editor's Picks