Magnetic tape with WordPerfect 4.2 for UNIX Systems - 1988
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All technology has an expiry date

You are probably reading this article on a smartphone, without thinking about it, as all other technology has an expiry date, where it no longer can be used. Even though the hardware might still work, one day it will fall silent.

The first step will be when the operating system no longer will be supported by the factory who made it, the apps will begin failing, because the newest version need a newer OS.
Next step might be that the radio spectrum that you are using to connect to the mobile broadband and/or Wi-Fi standard is reserved for another purpose, like NMT was in Scandinavia, and 3G networks in a series of countries.

In the end, your shiny new toy will end as a curiosity in a museum, or a retro paperweight.

The same thing will happen to a lot of other hardware, software and file types.

So remember to backup your old stuff, on new media before it’s to late, because one day, you could find your self with a box of old floppy discs, with all you childhood memories, and nothing to read them with.

File types


In the 2000s you could hardly find a webpage without some kind of Flash based content or animation, but at the end of 2020, Adobe pulled the plug on one of it’s previously largest successes.


Compact Disc

After a period of time Compact Discs change colour, crack and oxidate.

Especially the blank disks that are burned in a drive tend to become corrupt faster than factory made software and music CD’s

Compact Discs for sale - CD's can contain a long row of datatypes.
Compact Discs for sale – CD’s can contain a long row of datatypes.

Magnetic tapes

Most people think about cassette tapes for their old boom-box, when they hear about magnetic tapes, but the medium was used for a lot of different data storage products.

8 track, tape streamers and diskettes (3.5″, 5.25 and 8″ floppies), just to name a few.

Magnetic tape with WordPerfect 4.2 for UNIX Systems - 1988
Magnetic tape with WordPerfect 4.2 for UNIX Systems – 1988

Memory Cards

Today the most used standard is the microSD kard, but not that long ago, we were using CompactFlash, Memory Stick, MultiMediaCard, SmartMedia or xD-Picture Card

Memory Stick PRO Duo - 512MB SanDisk
Memory Stick PRO Duo – 512MB SanDisk


NMT telephones

Nordic Mobile Telephone was an analog celular phone service, that is a first generation (1G) technology. It was closed down in the early 2000’s in all places but Russia, where they continued to use it in a few sparsely populated areas until 2021.
One of it’s primary strengths is that it can reach users up to 30km from the cell tower.


Operating Systems



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