Thursday, September 24, 2009

Computer Antiques


I’ve recently come across some computer equipment that is obsolete. I wonder if anyone is saving this stuff for its future antique potential. I remember when several of these items were must have items for which we paid dearly when they were first introduced. Think back to when you first got some of these items:

A one button mouse (Mac users are still living in that stone age)
A Zip Drive
A floppy disk both sizes
A printer cable
A printer switch
A hand scanner
A tape back-up
A cassette player to load programs and as storage media
A cradle modem where you actually placed a phone receiver
A PS2 connector
A black and white or a VGA monitor

Having been around computers since the Apple I and the Sinclair, when 8k ram was hot and before anyone had a hard drive; I am amazed by the changes. A new version of DOS was a reason for celebration. Those who actually read the manual ruled the world.

15 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

Timely post – have just rounded up all our obsolete computer equipment to take to the annual local Environmental Day drop-off.
And as a Mac user, I am now using a multi-button mouse. (But it’s driving me crazy...can’t get used to it...)

4:32 AM  
Blogger richpix said...

Stone age? There's no mouse at all on my MacBook. It's actually a four-finger track pad which allows one to do various things, with no buttons at all. Mice are so passé. 

I do have an old Mac SE with a 9" B&W screen I need to do something with. It has dual floppy drives and an external 5.5 MB hard drive. It still works, but I don't have a purpose for it. Some people have turned them into fishbowls.

4:59 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

When I was cleaning out my shop I found two boxes of old 'puter parts that I had saved. I'm not exactly sure why I had saved them. Almost that whole list. All of it totally obsolete. I am now hunting for someplace local to shed them. Don't want my old stuff to end up in Zimbabwe or Ethiopia in some huge trash pile.

6:58 AM  
Blogger weese said...

we still have an original mac ibook. the first ones they called clamshells. we pre-ordered it from the first production run.
it was our daughters college laptop - it looks like a babie case.
can't seem to let it go... it stills works too!

7:15 AM  
Blogger Nulaanne said...

The first computer that I ever had was a commidore 64. Those you hooked up to the TV, no monitor.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

I took a class at Lanier to learn how to use a machine that wasn't even a computer, just a word processor. Had two 5.25 inch floppy drives. Stuff you can do now with free software. Makes me feel ancient.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I started with a Brother word processor. My first computer was a Gateway, purchased in 1998 I think. Anyhow the OS was Windows 98.

I still have the hard drive from my first computer to crash. I keep thinking there might be some way to look at the stuff on there, old chat room logs and such.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Trop said...

I got started way, WAY back in the good old 80-character-punch-card days. I'm so old.

1:28 PM  
Blogger g said...

my wife told me the other day i shouldn't save all of my computer "junk".

regarding DOS, i was a student of dos and have read nearly every version manual on several occasions. i was going to install the linux kernal on my new 'puter but opted not to. i came to the conclusion it is simply not necessary.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah the old days. Hauling around a stack of punch cards, waiting for my turn on the DEC-10, carefully reading stacks of output on green-bar paper, trying to figure out what one user could POSSIBLY do with a full kilobyte of memory. Sniff.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dad was a computer repairman for IBM back when he crawled inside them to fix them. He had this big suitcase sized case of really cool tools. As a kids we were strictly forbidden from playing with any of them, but we did of course.

My first computer was an IBM PC Jr. They sold so badly IBM gave them to their employees. It came with 4 dictionary sized books and these weird plug in modules.

Back then I had AOL that charged by the minute. Sigh, I really liked, "You have Mail."

Columbiacritter

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the early 1990s a really really old 1970's apple came up at a KMUN auction. One made in the original Steve Jobs and Wozniak garage. A friend of mine bought it for 75 buck and sold it for 5 Gs on line to a collector.

9:30 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, maybe switch hands and you'll use the other button on the mouse more often.

I've got a scratch pad, too, but I prefer a mouse. Just seems faster to me.

Darev, unfortunately that's where they will end up, in a toxic pile, somewhere.

Weese, that sounds like a museum piece.

Nulaanne, and you had to write your own programs. It would take three days to jam out code that would make you a calculator, and one misplaced comma would ruin the whole thing.

Syd, but on the bright side, you're not as old as you are going to be.

Donna, you totally missed the adventure of DOS. You are relatively a new comer, but I'm glad you made it.

Trop and you look so young ; )

g, Right you are. Every version of DOS came with volumes of manuals in ring binders. Back when computing was a mystery and if you had a good understanding of DOS and could write a good batch file you could solve any problem and people would pay you to do it.

Anon, too funny on the memory. The first hard drive I had was a 10 meg IBM. It was amazing how much 10 megs could hold back then. Now it will hold one high res photograph.

Critter, I still remember the PC Junior commercials on TV. They used a mime. No wonder they didn't sell.

Anon, cool story. My first apple was an Apple I and they were a year out of their garage when it was made. Those were the pioneer days. Lots of fun.

5:33 AM  
Blogger dalia said...

i still have a zip drive.
i still have floppies.
i still have a printer cable.

we got rid of dial-up within the last 6 years.

there is a b/w VGA monitor in the basement.

i have one of the first apple computers...

10 goto 20.

2:18 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Dalia, you're too young to know that language. You must be an archeologist.

5:32 AM  

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