Many of us rely on Apple computers as our workstations, which means that we have to upgrade every few years to keep up with the technology and horsepower available (same on the PC side actually). Apple has always led the way with new technology, but it’s also in the forefront of booting old tech to the curb before the rest of the industry as well. Here’s a great chart courtesy of The Verge that illustrates this perfectly. The Apple I/O Death Chart shows an impressive array of ports that have fallen by the wayside.
As you can see, the floppy disc drive, VGA port, CD/DVD drive and SCSI were just some of the ports that Apple killed off before anyone else. Now it’s been rumored that Apple will soon do away with the 1/8th inch headphone jack in favor of using the Lightning port on the upcoming iPhone 7. Of course, the USB-C port on the latest Macbook laptops have replaced the power, Display Port, Firewire and HDMI jacks on previous models.
While this is supposed to make it more convenient for most users, pro users suffer as we have lots of peripherals and interfaces using the old technology that a new computer might not support. That means it’s off to buying either a host of unexpected new gear with compatible ports or some expensive adapters.
That said, I don’t know anyone who’d trade in their Thunderbolt interface for SCSI, or HDMI for VGA, or go back to floppy or Jazz drives for storage.
Thunderbolt may be an exception. It’s fast and in theory more practical to implement, but the cables are expensive (mostly because there’s intelligence built in) and you never seem to have enough ports.
So check out the Apple I/O Death Chart with a nostalgic eye and know that we’re part of an industry where things constantly change, evolve, morph, transform and hopefully, improve. One last thing to keep in mind, Apple’s I/O standards last about 15 years, so the 1/8th inch headphone jack is way beyond it’s lifespan.