Has anybody once encountered a nifty technology or device that fell out of favor and really miss? I welcome you to list them here:
Nimble tables and TableOrientedProgramming techniques as often found in ExBase. Killed by OOP hype starting around 1992 when GUI's become the rage for office PC's. --top
Here in Oz, there are many character-based PointOfSale? systems still in use by small and medium sized retailers. Paradox is common. Xbase is common. Advanced Revelation is out there. Pick is common in medium sized businesses. I think they are the Blundstones of the industry. Practical but ungainly. Perhaps they are unfashionable because they tick away reliably with no maintenance, so their users have no interest in talking about the technology. -- PeterLynch (I would love to know the statistics - how many businesses use technology X in their operational systems)
Part of it is that servicing such old stuff is considered a career-ender, regardless of the merit of the tools. Another issue is that in the early days such tools were somewhat clunky because they were built around hardware constraints. Hopefully a future re-incarnation of the tools or their ideas will take the good and not the bad.
HyperCard - People rave about its simple-but-expandable approach. (HyperCard even influenced the concept of wikis)
SmallTalk - Smalltalk fans live with Python and Ruby, but still miss SmallTalk, which they consider more "pure".
Spin-knobs, such as found analog alarm clocks - I miss easy-to-change spin-knobs for quickly selecting values. Increment/decrement buttons are slow, annoying, and non-visual. Hopefully spin-knobs will come back in style (in digital form).