The smartphone has made other gadgets obsolete - sort of

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

It was decided that we need a camera, a real one with a nice lens that looks like a camera when we attend meetings and events, to shoot some photos for the paper.

“What’s wrong with using your smartphone camera,” I asked the complainer. “ It has good resolution, and you just point and shoot. That’s all we need.”

Then you can email me the photos, and we’re done.

“But it’s not a real camera. The other media have real cameras,” the complaint continued.

So, I found a real camera and bought it. What a great deal. Nice lens, all type of gadgets included, a memory card and a case. It set me back a little, but The Bulletin now had a real camera at its disposal.
It can be used as point-and- shoot, or set manually. Problem solved.

And, it’s sitting on a shelf, begging to be used, while we continue to take photos with our smartphones.
I really like the camera, though. I take it out occasionally to play with it, or on trips, and then back it goes on the shelf. After a brief trial period, the real Bulletin camera may have been handed a death sentence by the cell phone.

Sure, photographers still like to mess with the bulky stuff. They can’t just show up at a wedding shoot with a cell phone. But over all, there is really no need to haul around an extra gadget.

There is also no need for a GPS. Three of those, with updated maps, sit on the shelf next to the new Bulletin camera.

This cell phone thingy has really made waves since the first bulky ones came out in 1980s.
(The first hand-held cell phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973, using a handset weighing around 4.4 pounds. In 1983, the DynaTAC 8000x was the first to be commercially available.)

I can’t remember the last time I looked at a paper map, you know, with the lines and street names printed on them. You can still buy them, but it has basically been made useless by the cell phone if you know how to use the feature.

Need a compass? There is an app. A level gauge? No problem. Want to write a letter? Why not just send a message? It doesn’t take a week to get there, and no stamp is required. Want to learn a language? And so on, and so on ….

Here are the 10 things made obsolete by the smartphone, as compiled by Business Insider:
Flashlight: I still use them, though, being born BC (Before Cell Phones). I like the LED 3000 lumens that lights up the whole backyard. Smartphones can’t do that yet.

Watches and alarm clocks: I still like wearing a watch so that I don’t have to take the cellphone out and look at it. It’s easier to look at my wrist. And, I still use an alarm clock radio because there is a lesser chance that I mess up the settings.

Maps: We already covered this.

Paper checks: I still write them, although infrequently. It’s easier to use the bank’s fund transfer function on my cellphone.

Audio recorders: There is an app for that also, but I don’t use it. A pen and notebook work just fine.
Mirrors: Most people still use them. I have never seen people in a public bathroom look at their cell phones rather than the big mirror on the wall.

Paper tickets: I still print them out and hand them to the usher.

Cameras and video cameras: Mostly useless.

CD players and radios: I still use a cassette player in my car, so go figure. I like old things also.
Long-distance fees: Thank God, those are gone.

Stand-alone phone: I still have one for the business, but seldom used for personal calls. It’s too inconvenient.

So, Business Insider, some of us tend to mix the old with the new, because the old used to be new when we were newer.

Now, where can I still buy a floppy disk for my PC? It’s getting harder and harder to find.