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Old 2007-11-28, 13:22   Link #1
grey_moon
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Old Technology Still in Use

After watching Rocket Girls again the point about old trusted tech v old deprecated tech got me thinking about old electronics that I currently still use.

For example my main work horse of a PC is left on 24 x 7, runs VMware that host my internet servers and basically does lots of work. From what I remember it has only been off when I upgrade it, or move house and once when I had a power cut for 3 hours (on Halloween of all the days, that's why I remember it so well). The motherboard in it was a present from my GF at the time and was given to me Jan 2003. So it has been on for nearly 5 years! *crosses fingers that nothing will happen to it*

What I would like to know is does any one else have any examples of the reliable tech that are it has to be still in use. I know 5 years isn't all that, but IT stuff does cycle pretty fast and being ripped out of its case and surviving a flight in a cargo hold is pretty impressive in my books

Only rules are it has to be in use, so the ZX81 in the cupboard doesn't count and it has to be electronics based, so old cars are a no no, unless it is the Sinclair C5

@Mods - Arrrgggghhh sorry I thought I was in the Tech Support thread, can someone move it please?
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Old 2007-11-28, 14:02   Link #2
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Eh... I still use an iPod 3G, that's from 2003, does that count?

I also still have my 1.2 GHz Athlon - one of those first-gen 1 GHz processors. It needs to be placed into a new case, but I was thinking of some uses for it... also, my old 550 MHz Pentium III is used by my father for Windows-only things. I imagine that'll change when he upgrades to an Intel-based Apple and can virtualize. That PIII used to be my IRC presence before I started university.
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Old 2007-11-28, 15:02   Link #3
kitto-chan
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Does a Sony Walkman AM/FM cassette player from 1995 that sees no use count?
Still functional if I put in 2 AA batteries. Or a pressure cooker from god know when in my house that we use once a year count as well?
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Old 2007-11-28, 18:41   Link #4
SeijiSensei
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Mucking about
Age: 64
I just retired my home firewall, a 1995 Dell Dimension 133 loaded with 64MB of memory and two, count 'em, 6.3 GB disk drives. It wasn't that the machine wasn't doing its job; I've just been upgrading things of late. I replaced it with an 7-yo or so Dimension 4400 that used to be my daughter's PC, then was a commercial mail scanner for a while.

Why is this in the download forum?
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Old 2007-11-28, 18:43   Link #5
hikaru2895
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i still have two HP-15Cs that work, i guess they are from 1985 or so... and they both use RPN (Reverse Polish Notation)!

and i remember working with the HP-41C like they used in the show! and RPN is superior! (at least until they started coming out with calculators that showed a full line of text, so you could actually see the full formula you typed in...)

i now have two HP-48Cs, two so i always have a spare...
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Old 2007-11-28, 18:54   Link #6
2H-Dragon
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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I have a small tv. That dates back from 1989 or even earlier. It's brand is Starlux. The standby mode doesn't work anymore, but the rest does. Though I don't actually use it anymore. It has sentimental value I guess?
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Old 2007-11-28, 19:10   Link #7
X10A_Freedom
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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A TV dating from the early 1980s - it's branded as "National" instead of modern-day Panasonic. Still in use but doesn't get many "hours" on it.

My parents PC dating from 2001, an IBM with P4 1.3ghz, 128mb RDRAM, 40gb HDD.
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Old 2007-11-29, 02:55   Link #8
grey_moon
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Pretty impressed with the responses so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Eh... I still use an iPod 3G, that's from 2003, does that count?

I also still have my 1.2 GHz Athlon - one of those first-gen 1 GHz processors. It needs to be placed into a new case, but I was thinking of some uses for it... also, my old 550 MHz Pentium III is used by my father for Windows-only things. I imagine that'll change when he upgrades to an Intel-based Apple and can virtualize. That PIII used to be my IRC presence before I started university.
Wow that is pretty good for the iPod, it outlasted my little cheap MP3 SD player from eBuyer . Does it get daily use? Also did you have the battery problem that I heard that iPods suffer from?

Can't count the Athalon until its back in use as it might die when you switch it on, but that does bring back memories. Especially since you mentioned your dads PIII. How does he still use it? I'm guessing its Windows 98....

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitto-chan View Post
Does a Sony Walkman AM/FM cassette player from 1995 that sees no use count?
Still functional if I put in 2 AA batteries. Or a pressure cooker from god know when in my house that we use once a year count as well?
Hee hee its got to by in use, but its great to see that some of the old stuff still works. The hard part I guess in the near future is finding media for it. Batteries shouldn't be a problem for a while, but will cassette tapes ever get dropped?
Not too sure about the pressure cooker. Is it one of those that is programable and does all them fancy congee things? After I posted the message I thought to myself that I bet it would be old TVs that are most popular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I just retired my home firewall, a 1995 Dell Dimension 133 loaded with 64MB of memory and two, count 'em, 6.3 GB disk drives. It wasn't that the machine wasn't doing its job; I've just been upgrading things of late. I replaced it with an 7-yo or so Dimension 4400 that used to be my daughter's PC, then was a commercial mail scanner for a while.

Why is this in the download forum?
Now these are great examples and ones I think in the true spirit of the wasshisname the engineer from Rocket Girls. My first x86 PC i gave away when I moved countries and that I was using as a router until someone pointed out that a dedicated home router takes less power. It was a lot more relible then the Buffalo thing i replaced it with

Snigger at the size of the HDDs, I remember when I got my Amiga 500 (with built in hard drive), I think that had 30 or 40MB hard drive in it. I was so proud of it them days. Wish I kept it instead of flogging it off for beer money.

Currently it is in the download forum coz I had a spaz attack

Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaru2895 View Post
i still have two HP-15Cs that work, i guess they are from 1985 or so... and they both use RPN (Reverse Polish Notation)!

and i remember working with the HP-41C like they used in the show! and RPN is superior! (at least until they started coming out with calculators that showed a full line of text, so you could actually see the full formula you typed in...)

i now have two HP-48Cs, two so i always have a spare...
Wow that is old and I'm not even going to ask what RPN is.... Since they still work means they are reliable, but acutually being used is more impressive.
Is the HP-48C a PDA? From a quick google they do seem dated. What do you still use them for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2H-Dragon View Post
I have a small tv. That dates back from 1989 or even earlier. It's brand is Starlux. The standby mode doesn't work anymore, but the rest does. Though I don't actually use it anymore. It has sentimental value I guess?
Quote:
Originally Posted by X10A_Freedom View Post
A TV dating from the early 1980s - it's branded as "National" instead of modern-day Panasonic. Still in use but doesn't get many "hours" on it.

My parents PC dating from 2001, an IBM with P4 1.3ghz, 128mb RDRAM, 40gb HDD.
I was expecting lots of entries of TV, and I was shocked to recently hear that the old CRT TVs consume less power then the new plasma TVs... I think at least in places like the UK, old style TVs will phase out of use when digial and HD takes over analogue. I suppose some die hard ppl will get digital adapters just so they can use their vintage stuff
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Old 2007-11-29, 05:58   Link #9
Quarkboy
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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We had a microwave in our house that was older than I was.... when I was 21. Bought in 1978 it was still working great until 2001, when one of the keys finally gave out.

Never bought a new one because they don't make microwaves the size that one was anymore, it was HUGE. Could cook a full turkey in there if you wanted to. Full sized glass baking trays - no problem. Unfortunately it was replaced with a much smaller convection/microwave combo thing that just never works as well.
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Old 2007-11-29, 08:33   Link #10
hobbes_fan
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Join Date: Apr 2007
I have a dell laptop, PIII, 512 ram, Win 98. I really should make it into either a SNES/Mame Emulator, torrentbox. Folks have a black and white portable tv somewhere from before I was born
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Old 2007-11-29, 09:13   Link #11
minhtam1638
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I still have a Super Nintendo lying around somewhere.
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Old 2007-11-29, 09:30   Link #12
Fynal_Fyre
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I'm sure my Gameboy Color counts? Amirite?

Well, aside from that, I have my Parents' old Macintosh laptop running MAC OS 9, so old that I don't even bother remembering the exact specs.

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Old 2007-11-30, 00:34   Link #13
hikaru2895
GPL Freedom Fighter
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Space City Houston Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaru2895
Originally Posted by hikaru2895
i still have two HP-15Cs that work, i guess they are from 1985 or so... and they both use RPN (Reverse Polish Notation)!

and i remember working with the HP-41C like they used in the show! and RPN is superior! (at least until they started coming out with calculators that showed a full line of text, so you could actually see the full formula you typed in...)

i now have two HP-48Cs, two so i always have a spare...
Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_moon View Post
Wow that is old and I'm not even going to ask what RPN is.... Since they still work means they are reliable, but acutually being used is more impressive.
Is the HP-48C a PDA? From a quick google they do seem dated. What do you still use them for?
RPN is Reverse Polish Notation.... for use with the original Hewett-Packard calculators, they had a "stack", you would "enter" the numbers you wanted to work with into the "stack", then punched an operation key to get the answer. So there was no "=" key, which our hero in "Rocket Girls" complained about in the classroom scene...

By the way, "Rocket Girls" is just about my favorite show! I really really liked it!

the HP calculators were standard for engineering and land surveying, and the HP-41C was actually taken on the first space shuttles to calculate orbits if the main shipboard computer was down, and contact was lost with earth, as a backup...

I really liked RPN because it worked the way i thought, first i would think of and enter the numbers i wanted to work with, then decide what operation i wanted to employ...

The HP-48C was the next calculator in line after the HP-41C calculator... it is very powerful, but doesn't have a querty-style keyboard, so it isn't considered a computer, so some professional tests will allow its use.... Like the State of California Professional Land Surveyor's test, which i just got word i passed! now i can apply to take the Texas test and be licensed here as well...

The HP-48C was a standard for the Land Surveying industry, even though a newer one came out, everybody had programs and interfaces for the 48, so nobody wanted to change... It was powerful and could be loaded up with coordinates in the office and taken out to the field to calculate things on the go...

but now everyone is moving to taking laptops out there and emailing their work back to the office with their cell phones...

I remember before cell phones, we had radios in the survey trucks, and the radio in the truck would be connected to the horn, so when we wanted to call the party chief (leader of the land surveying crew out in the field, yes that was his actual title!), the horn would go off at the truck, so he would know to return to the truck and pick up the phone!
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Last edited by hikaru2895; 2007-11-30 at 19:48. Reason: spelling
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Old 2007-11-30, 03:10   Link #14
Ledgem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_moon View Post
Wow that is pretty good for the iPod, it outlasted my little cheap MP3 SD player from eBuyer . Does it get daily use? Also did you have the battery problem that I heard that iPods suffer from?
I used it quite frequently for a while, and then didn't. The battery life wasn't hot compared with iPod minis, and it can't compete with what's available now, either. But it lasted for about the expected time, I'd say.

Quote:
Can't count the Athalon until its back in use as it might die when you switch it on, but that does bring back memories. Especially since you mentioned your dads PIII. How does he still use it? I'm guessing its Windows 98....
The system came with Win98, but I loaded Windows XP onto it and it still runs rather decently. As I mentioned, he's a Mac user, so he largely just uses it for those sites that require Internet Explorer, or when there's a Windows-only application that he must run. I still administer the system as a 24/7 on-call tech for him, if you know what I mean
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Old 2007-11-30, 07:11   Link #15
SaintessHeart
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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I still have a Pentium I which I used to run and store all my old games like Wolf3D and stuff.
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Old 2007-11-30, 08:54   Link #16
SeijiSensei
AS Oji-kun
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikaru2895 View Post
RPN is Reverse Polish Notation.... for use with the original Hewett-Packard calculators, they had a "stack", you would "enter" the numbers you wanted to work with into the "stack", then punched an operation key to get the answer.
RPN is a great method of calculation. I was surprised it stayed limited to HP's line of calculators.

With RPN you never need parentheses to group operations like you do on, say, a TI calculator. To computer (a + b) X (c + d) on an HP with RPN, you'd enter the sequence a, enter, b, +, c, enter, d, +, X. When you enter c it pushes the previous sum up a spot in the stack, so when you've finished the second sum, the two sums then occupy the bottom two registers of the stack. Hitting "X" multiplies the sums together.

I'm sure this makes no sense to anyone except those of us who've used an HP calculator! Trust me, RPN makes chained calculations a lot easier.
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Old 2007-11-30, 09:29   Link #17
hobbes_fan
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Oh and I still have pager/beeper thing, but my oldest peice of kit is an Atari 2600
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Old 2007-11-30, 12:34   Link #18
grey_moon
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Join Date: Dec 2004
@SS - My head hurts, but thank you for the explanation I can now say that ASF has educational value.

@hobbes_fan - Wow does it still work? What games do u have for it? I can think of Pong and Space Invaders Pretty cool if it still works as it would have outlasted the company that made it as I hear that this may be the last Christmas for Atari.
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Old 2007-11-30, 16:04   Link #19
hobbes_fan
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I have Pitfall, Double Dragon, Asteroid, River Raid, California Games, Track and Field. I also have a Commodore64 but the tape machine is shot. yeah works perfect, the joysticks are still working, but I only ever play it maybe 3 times a year
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Convert AVI/MKV/MP4 to DVD
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Old 2007-11-30, 21:00   Link #20
grey_moon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
I have Pitfall, Double Dragon, Asteroid, River Raid, California Games, Track and Field. I also have a Commodore64 but the tape machine is shot. yeah works perfect, the joysticks are still working, but I only ever play it maybe 3 times a year
Even though it is not in daily use, I am really impressed that the joysticks still work. I remember getting a really expensive one for my PC and that failed within 2 years (most likely closer to 1.5).
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