Gear Diary Antique Roadshow


If you see a friend with a gadget fetish carrying something different, chances are it is something new and trendy. Gadget-heads are seen as fickle and trendy, and bitterly loyal … for about 30 seconds until the next bright & shiny object comes along. But I have typically held on to the stuff I loved the most, and recently I’ve been alternating between 4 PDA/handhelds – my Axim x51v, iPod Touch, Psion Revo and HP200LX. Made me wonder – what sorts of ‘old school’ stuff does the rest of the Gear Diary staff use?

So I asked the question – and looked for them not to talk about stuff like the old Kitchen Aid, the ancient clock in the spare bedroom, or even something like my ancient HP Omnibook I use perhaps three times a year. I was talking about regular use. Read on to find out what they had to say!

Joel Mclaughlin
Hmmm….Neuros MP3 Player from 2004…..
Also a 1st gen iPod Shuffle I still use every once in a while
A second gen Nano as well is still in use here.

Doug Goldring
I don’t use anything old. I am constantly going through stuff. πŸ˜‰ The oldest thing I use regularly is my MSI Wind. πŸ™‚

Travis Ehrlich
An 8th grade girl in my Sunday School class yesterday was listening to a cassette walkman! Not sure how she found some tapes. All of the kids were wondering what it was. They were amazed like she brought out some alien device. I got a good laugh.

Jessica Fritsche
I use an iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 (well when my husband isn’t using it) regularly. I also use a TV in our bedroom that I have had since 1993! I
plan on replacing that in 2010, though.

Christopher Spera
Gotcha beat!! My grandmother’s old 20″ color TV from 1986 is in our bedroom and still working…

I also regularly use my 5G 60GB iPod, from, I think 2004-2005… I got it right after they were released.

Jeff Frantz
I have an iPod Photo that use regularly – is that 4th or 5th generation?
I can’t compete with a TV from 1986, but I do have a NAD CD player from 1987 hooked up to an amp in the basement rec room.

Larry Greenberg
The only thing I can come up with is a Sony 42″ rear projection TV. It’s 11 years old.

My wife uses her HP 12C Financial Calculator ever day. She got it in 1989.

Daniel Cohen
If it is your spouse’s, it doesn’t count!

I’m with Doug- I usually give stuff away or sell it on ebay long before it
qualifies as old

Judie Lipsett
I give pretty much everything away while it still has life in it…but I have some gear I’ve held onto for sentimental reasons that I don’t really use.

I still have my ’86 Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio…which come to think of it, hasn’t gotten much use since I moved to the ranch, so it doesn’t even count. :sigh:

Adrian Leibas
You know they brought back a couple versions of those last year!

Judie Lipsett
Maybe I should give the Alfa away while it still has life in it, then… πŸ˜‰

Drew Guttadore
Well, I did have a combo DVD/VCR unit that was about 8 years old, but when I consolidated homes last year, it went out the window!

Carly Zektzer
Hmm. A lot of my stuff is old in gadget years but not really old…like at most 3 years old. My macbook, my iPhone (original), my 2g shuffle…my tivo is around 3 years old. I tend to buy what I can afford at a given time and hang onto it for a while.

David Goodspeed
I love to break out my old yashicamat 124G square format all manual medium format camera for travel photography, and until last year we were using a 15 year old VCR to regularly record our favorite shows on TV. I still have a Nikon D1 (the original digital DSLR) that I bought new and used as a backup until 2 years ago.Our ipods are 3, 4 and 6 years old.And our desktop computer at home is a Mac G4 tower that is probably 6-8 years old.

Thomas R. Hall
Apple PowerMac Cube, circa 2000. Still running strong as a Linux box in my house. Complete with the LCD monitor (using their proprietary connection and all). Love it because the machine is fanless and SILENT.

I have a Mac mini to “replace” it, but haven’t given it up yet. Actually bought a spare so I could get parts if need be.

No, wait, that’s not the oldest. TI-85 graphing calculator. Had it since 1992, I think. STILL use that thing. Used to write programs on
it and transfer it to other classmate’s TI-85’s so they could do homework quickly. πŸ™‚

Joel Mclaughlin
The Cube was cool. As was PPC based Macs. I miss them.

So what is the conclusion? Well … it seems pretty clear that I am in the minority by having such an assemblage of classic technology at my disposal for day to day use (keep watch for my upcoming look at using a 1999 Revo in a 2009 world!). And the funny thing is that I got rid of the majority of stuff when we moved from state to state last year!

One thing I noticed as I looked through my box of tricks: I am an ‘early adopter’, but a ‘late keeper’. For example, my Newton is the MessagePad 2100, the last produced; likewise my Psion is the late-entry Revo; my HP Omnibook is the 800CT, and I’d sold a 300 and 430 to help pay for the 800. Same with my HP200LX – I had a 95LX and 1MB 200LX but sold it all to get the 4MB 200LX.

That gets to the trend mentioned by a large percentage of Gear Diary folks – getting rid of stuff while it still has value. Anyone who loves gadgets knows it is an expensive habit, but ultimately fun and rewarding (and yes, also frustrating, irritating, heartbreaking and infuriating), so you need to find an efficient way to help keep the new toys rolling in!

So how about you? Do you keep your gadgets – and do you continue using them? What are the oldest things YOU use on a regular basis?

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About the Author

Michael Anderson
I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!

4 Comments on "Gear Diary Antique Roadshow"

  1. Hm, let’s see.
    I have 8 years old 30″ CRT TV as my only TV (will probably be replaced in next couple of months), then I still use 10 years old 17″ CRT monitor connected to my home server (it’s switched off most of the time, but there are things you can’t do via RDP) and I still use my 2004 Qtek 2020 (HTC Himalaya) – not as a phone anymore, but as an alarm clock and music player. The funny thing is that Himalaya (originaly Windows Mobile Phone Edition 2003 device) is running new Windows Mobile 6.5 and my current phone/PDA the shiny new Touch Pro 2 is still on Windows Mobile 6.1.

  2. Great post. I have hardly anything old, and nothing that gets regular use. Do have an Axim X51V that my daughter sometimes used until she discovered the iPhone, and a non-working very old Compaq PDA.

  3. I tend to collect for awhile, then purge. My last purging included:

    Tandy 1400LT (working, no battery)
    Tandy 1400FD (not working)
    Tandy 1400HD (not working)
    Tandy 2800HD (working, no battery)
    Zenith SuperSport 286 (not working)
    2 – IBM PCJrs (1 working, 1 not)
    Packard Bell Statesman 200M (working, no battery)
    ITC 286 “Cellular” Laptop (not working)

    The ITC was interesting. It originally came with an analog cellular modem. The concept apparently tanked, and they sold them later without the modem, but they still had the jacks for a cellular handset. They weighed a ton, partly because they had full-sized ISA expansion slots, and ran on 2 12-volt camcorder batteries.

    But I still have my Kaypro 1, which despite the name was not the first version. “Non Linear Systems” built the first Kaypro II, using “II” to make people think it was an established model. (That’s the same reason there was no “dBase 1”) The Kaypro 1, 10, and “Robie” were the last CP/M machines built in 1984 before Kaypro went DOS.

  4. I have an old Dell Dimension I got at least 7 years ago from the Dell outlet, it was a leased return, so it is at least 9 years old.

    Next I use my Dell Axim x51v every day, and often.

    I tried selling my X5 on Craig’s list, but had a no show and some inquirers suddenly go silent, so I gave up. I eventually recommissioned it for my 6 year old son as a gaming device. I have all the old games I play on it when I used the X5, and some I’ve gotten since (mostly free games).

    I also have a Garmin Palm GPS. It is about 5 years old. I’ve only encountered 2 mapping errors; my father-in-laws block is not on the map (it goes from 1100s to the 900s and totally skips all the 1000s), and I355 & I55 have changed their connections, so that whole area is goofed up on my GPS. Otherwise I have not had any problems with it.

    I have this old Korean LG TV, the OSD is in Korean, so I can’t read it. I got this from where I worked, a group came over from Korea to help us get a head start on a new project, and they brought 2 TVs. They left them, and when we downsized, I won the pool for one of them.
    It is better than any other analog TV I’ve ever had.

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