While doing some serious spring cleaning this year, Crave writer Amanda Kooser embarked on an archeological mission to uncover the oldest, oddest gadgets she owns. Here's what she found, in her words.
I don't even remember how I came to own this odd piece of military surplus, but I know I acquired it in a quest to uncover the origin of some "Battlestar Galactica" television reboot props. The device was most likely built in the 1980s, but it fit right into the retro-futuristic aesthetic of "BSG."
At one point, I planned to make my office look like a set from "Battlestar." This phone was to be mounted to the wall to add to the look, but I soon realized the limitations of my set design skills and it ended up in the closet. I still wear my brass dog tags on occasion, though.
These two Verizon phones are both made by LG. The VX8000 is from 2005 and the VX10 is from 2002. The latter still sports an extended-life battery like an unsightly growth on the back. These were extracted from the depths of an office desk drawer. I've had many an involved conversation on these phones. But while I'm still a little nostalgic for the long battery life and crisp feel of a flip phone, I'm not likely to give up my Droid X anytime soon.
There is a horror lurking in my closet. This eldritch creature writhes and twists in a mass that will drive even the sanest person mad. Cables and cords roll around each other in a tangle beyond imagining. There are speaker cables, power cords, phone lines, USB cables, a set of earphones, and a power cord for a Jawbone Bluetooth device that I can't even locate. I may never be able to separate these hideous things. They may have to get tossed out as is.
Before tablets were such hot stuff, Netbooks stepped up as portable computing alternative. This Asus Eee PC 1000HE is relatively new, hailing from 2009. It was used as a replacement for an original Eee PC, but was made redundant by a much sleeker MacBook Air.
Since I'm in confession mode, I have to admit what really drew me to this netbook originally was the deep blue color. Coupled with the relatively inexpensive price, this was a decent purchase at the time.
This Roomba is only 6 years old, but it hasn't worked for the last three years. The poor creature came down with the dreaded circle disease and can no longer prowl the house, sucking up dirt and freaking out the CNET test cats. Despite its current state, I have kept it in the closet, hoping it would magically revive itself and save me from hand-vacuuming the house.
I've often thought about sending it in for repair or even cracking it open and seeing if I could fix it myself, but after several years, it might just be time to admit that I'm not going to get around to performing Roomba CPR.
This Apple Macintosh Plus is pretty much good to go. It powers up, though the phone cord-like connector for the keyboard has gone AWOL. This little trooper from 1986 probably deserves better than recycling, so I'll likely try to find it a new home instead.
It can be especially hard to let a device like this go. It symbolizes a piece of my childhood, back when some of the most exciting games were made purely out of text. The fact that it still turns on is a testament to the quality. I very much doubt my current MacBook Air will power up 25 years from now.
When it comes to kitchen gadgets, you can't get much more retro than this Dazey Ice Crusher. This beast grinds away at ice cubes and deposits the results in the rocket-shaped red plastic container below. This device likely dates to the late 1940s or 1950s.
A friend gave me this odd little piece of kitchen history. He had used it as a child, which makes it a bit of a family heirloom. I just used it last weekend to crush up some ice to fit into a water bottle. It's very satisfying to turn the crank and watch the ice pieces fall.
Got any dusty old tech hidden in your home or office? 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 do some collective reminiscing.