Artifacts from the distant past

So I started reading this:

Via Ace of Spades HQ’s overnight thread, we get this story: Obsolete technologies that will baffle modern children — in pictures.

You know what that looks like to me? A quiz about what things Brian J. still has lying around the house.

I jumped to the bottom of the list, where he disclosed that he had (or had had) eleven of the 21 technologies named. I probably had nine or ten, I thought, and then started from the beginning. I will borrow his formatting: boldface for things I currently have, and italics for things I once had but have since disposed of.

  • Floppy disk (5.25″ and 3.5″, and a drive for each)
  • Sony Walkman (two, one which plays tapes and one which no longer plays MP3s)
  • Rotary phone (and the little dial insert noting that it was a PErshing 2 number)
  • Typewriter (electronic, with spellcheck and everything, but it’s still a typewriter
  • Stand alone camera (a little Minolta 35mm point-and-shoot)
  • Atari 2600
  • Nintendo Game Boy
  • Betamax (not an actual Sony, but using Sony’s tape format)
  • VHS tapes (oddly, my VHS machine is a Sony)
  • Cathode Ray Tube Monitor (in the closet for now, but it was working when it was put there)
  • Slide projector
  • Game cartridges (some for the Mattel Intellivison, a few for the Commodore 64)
  • Walkie talkies
  • Pagers
  • Polaroid instant camera
  • Answering machine (on my third now)
  • Sony MiniDisc Player
  • Camcorder (little tiny thing with just enough resolution; I don’t remember when I last saw it)
  • Edison Gold and Stock Ticker
  • Fax machine (seldom used, but still works)
  • BBC Micro

Ten of ’em still on hand. (I also still have some 1980s-vintage video tape, new old stock.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    13 October 2018 · 2:49 pm

    I still use a tape-player and radio Walkman (and yes: Sony brand, Walkman “sports”) for distraction during my morning workout, not sure what I will do if it goes belly-up. (I presume they no longer make that sort of thing, figuring everyone uses their iPhone instead).

    I still have a Carousel full of photographic slides somewhere; I remember getting extra scrutiny a few times at airports (back in the 90s) when I traveled with one to conferences because the security people didn’t always recognize them on x-ray.

    the camera I have (a horribly outdated Mavica) still uses floppy disks so I hang on to the ones I have, and I have a USB-port drive to upload the photos.

  2. Francis W. Porretto »

    13 October 2018 · 3:13 pm

    I once had a PDP-11/34 in the basement. Wonder what today’s young’uns would think of that?

  3. Roy »

    13 October 2018 · 4:22 pm

    Everything on that list I have, or have had at one time except for the “Edison Gold and Stock Ticker”, (I know what it is but I’m not rich enough to have ever actually owned one), and the “BBC Micro”. I am not a resident of Great Britain, but that thing looks surprisingly like an Apple II. Does that count?

  4. McGehee »

    13 October 2018 · 4:28 pm

    Does my erstwhile Sony Discman count?

    Anything game-console related, I never had — except a Radio Shack video hockey/tennis/pong doohickey from when Radio Shack still sold neat stuff.

  5. CGHill »

    14 October 2018 · 2:33 am

    The Discman, as successor to the Walkman, should count.

    The BBC Micro looks Apple II-ish; it runs the same processor (6502) at 2 MHz, and eventually could be stuffed with 128K of RAM, same as the original Macintosh.

RSS feed for comments on this post