Confessions of a technology pack rat

Crave writer Amanda Kooser dives deep into the tangles of cords and ancient tech around her house on an archeological mission to uncover the oldest, oddest gadgets she owns.

MacIntosh Plus
Yes, it still turns on! Amanda Kooser/CNET

I'm taking spring cleaning seriously this year. I've already Craigslisted a good chunk of my furniture and hosted a massive yard sale. Now, I'm breaching the depths of uncharted waters in my closets and desk drawer. I'm going after all those old gadgets I've been hanging onto for years. What wonders will I discover?

I have old cell phones. I have old computers. I have sickening piles of cords tangled about each other in knots that may never be unraveled. Why do I do this to myself? Do I really think I'm going to need to make a call on that 2002 LG VX-10 with the extended battery pack? It's time for it to go, along with all the other dusty old tech that hasn't felt a surge of electricity in years.

Before these lumbering old beasts are sent on their way, I'm holding an unofficial awards ceremony to mark their passing into the realms of recycling.

Winner, "Battlestar Galactica" division: TA-954/TT Why on earth do I have a Digital Non-secure Voice Terminal model No. TA-954/TT in the back of my closet? Because, for a time, I was obsessed with the props used in "Battlestar Galactica." I don't even remember how I came by this military surplus device from the 1980s, but I do know these phones were modified and used in the "Battlestar Galactica" reboot series. Perhaps I was hopeful Adama would answer if I picked up the handset.

Winner, Still-functioning kitchen gadget category: Dazey Ice Crusher Likely dating to the 1940s or 1950s, the Dazy Ice Crusher is a lovely example of space-age design. The metal top part destroys ice cubes, chewing them up into little chunks. Those bits are captured in a plastic container shaped like a rocket ship. Best of all, it still works like a champ.

Winner, Most useless cell phone: LG VX-10 This little dumbphone hails from the year 2002 and it's easily been 10 years since it was the least bit relevant. Excavated from the darkest depths of my office desk drawer, this little phone was once a plucky low-end contender on the Verizon network. It still sports an extended-life battery. It's most entertaining feature is a the word "Web" in red ink printed just below the "0" key.

Winner, Overall: Apple Macintosh Plus This beige beauty from 1986 is a genuine part of Apple history. Best of all, it still powers up. The built-in handle and tiny screen really take me back to my early childhood days of playing Scarab of Ra and marveling at the existence of home computers. I promise this little bundle of joy won't end up in the scrap heap. I'll try to find a good home for it.

I'm mulling over my propensity for hanging onto outdated gadgets. Most of them are not beautiful to look at, they're just tools I used at one point that were replaced by devices that are faster or better (or just simply functioning). I'm going to have to turn these creatures from the darkest depths of my closet out into the light and stake them through the heart like the space-sucking vampires they are.

I bet I'm not alone in hoarding my gadgets. Are you a tech pack rat, too? Confess in the comments and we can all commiserate. And if you have some really old, odd stuff hanging around, send a photo(s) and blurb(s) to crave at cnet dot com with "oldest tech" in the subject line. If we get enough submissions, we'll put together a gallery and see who among us is clinging to the oldest gear. Then, let's pledge to get rid of all that old tech junk.

 

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