The Technology That Time Forgot

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One of the principles that guide me is actually an aphorism that was in much of my CEDIA training back in the day:

“Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.”

History is littered with things that seemed like a good idea at the time, but didn’t have lasting appeal.

For your morning amusement, here are some things that I thought were awesome once, but now cringe when I wonder if they’re still in the homes of clients from years gone by.

iPod Docks. At the time it made perfect sense that homeowners and their kids would want to dock their iPods on the wall of their home.


“Can I dock my iPhone 3GS into it?”

Let’s not dwell on how the evolution of iPod form factors, the demise of the 30-pin connector and the rise of wireless streaming turned in-wall docks into a relic.


I was giddy with enthusiasm when Crestron first announced their CEN-IDOCV module.

Speaking of relics, what about analog patch plates in general, and S-video in particular?


And I ask myself “How did I get here?”

I’ve ranted about patch plates before, and I’ve been accused of having an unreasoning hatred for them.

It’s not unreasoned. I’ve reasoned it out just fine.

The problem with patch pates with terminals of any kind is that you’re freezing your installation in a single moment in time.

The world WILL move on. And it will leave your S-video connections behind.


S-video, 3.5mm audio, component video, and DVI all on the same plate? That’s got to be a Hat Trick of inevitable obsolescence.

Another relic that makes me cringe is thinking about those dedicated rack-mounted music servers.


Hey, this was cutting edge stuff in 2004!

The memory that stands out the most for me is the time it took for us to rip clients’ CD collections to their music server while their rack was benched in the office, prior to installation.


Yes, I know the Slim Devices Transporter wasn’t a server, but are there seriously any of these still operating out in the field? Serious question.

Kids getting into the AV business today have no idea what we used to put up with.