QOTD: What’s the oldest piece of tech you still use today?

Air Vice Marshal Rich Maddison is a senior RAF officer with decades of flying experience. “As an Air Force we are as high-tech as you get, but this, this is just me.”

He is referring to a miniature computer with a black and lime green screen and miniscule memory that uses AA batteries to power a 1997 design. It is a Psion 5 device and for AVM Maddison it represents his personal aviation history… More here.

Simon sent me the article above and he mentioned that he “still use my mini disc player every now and then.”

It got me to thinking about how quickly we move on from technology that was so wonderful only a year or so ago. I still have my working Psion 5MX at home and it would suffice for so many tasks in 2021, and with the added benefit of no connection to the outside world.

I believe that technology like the Psion PDAs are rare because I cannot imagine using a Palm or Windows PDA today or even some of the older smartphones. There is just something so simplistic and reliable about the Psion hardware and software that lends itself to being able to, as Rich Maddison, shows keeping a history of events and achievements. The same is true for mini disc which did what it needed to and for most models the quality of the materials was good enough to last long into the future.

So, what is your oldest piece of technology that you still use today?



Categories: QOTD, Retro

6 replies

  1. I guess it depends on how you define “technology”. I have and still use a 2009 MacBook Pro, which I long ago upgraded with more RAM and an SSD and consequently still runs as fast (faster probably) than it was when new. A beautiful piece of kit, but now obsolete in Apple’s eyes and no can no longer get OS updates.
    I’ve got a small flatscreen TV in the bedroom which is even older.
    Nothing to compare to the Psion MX5 though (mine was sold long ago), as were various Palm devices that all served a purpose back in the day. If you didn’t want online connectivity, they’d still be solid devices.

  2. Still have my treo 650 for the odd nostalgic game of Aargon. Not sure the battery is going to last much longer though 😦

  3. I still have my first Palm, a IIIC, but I don’t use it. I do have a SVHS player that I bought in 2001 that still gets some use. And the TV Room 57″ TV is from 2003 but the screen is starting to degrade. And like Simon, I have a 2009 MacBook Pro that’s had an SSD added. I’ve upgraded/patched it up to High Sierra and still use it whenever I need software that won’t run on Big Sur.

  4. I had to think about this a while. I still have many of my old Palm devices, Apple Newtons, Psion, and other devices as well as a couple old Casio Boss devices and old handheld games from the ’80s. I think I still have my first Walkman. But you asked which ones do I still use. That would most certainly be a piece of musical electronics because they have a much longer cycle of use. I just bought a new guitar pedal that hasn’t been changed for 10 years other than software updates. That wouldn’t interest most of the folks here though. For computer electronics I don’t have anything more than a few years old other than my 2011 iMac which is really showing its age now even with SSD and plenty of RAM. So I’m afraid I don’t have anything very old. Everything useful gets used enough to wear it out or require replacement to maintain connectivity or relevance.

  5. I guess it depends on what you mean by tech, and then by “use”… I mean my dad got a (then vintage) 1940s-era typewriter that i sometimes plunk some stuff on… or my Atari 2600, I still write stuff for and play some games. My tuba dates from the 50s and gets a lot of use but is that tech? So not counting that, probably my old speakers and subwoofer, and/or some older wired headphones…

  6. Use my Treo 680 and my original iPad daily as I have games that only play on those platforms.

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