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Top Ten: Obsolete Devices

This is an unedited, uncensored re-print of an article originally posted on another site, included here so that fans can read the uncensored versions.

WARNING! This article is intended as a piece of satirical diatribe. Some readers may find the language and themes within extremely offensive.

Good news! I’ve been fired from writing Top Tens. Or at least, I will be soon. Just three more weeks of torture after this and Peter will be back with the old format. Fans of controlled rage can read my new column ‘The Rant’ on Fridays instead.

The three weeks after this will have my usual top ten style before normality returns, but this week sees a temporary return to normality as I forgot to write something up and it’s now 4am on Friday morning. So without further ado, here are my top ten favourite owned obsolete devices:

Palm m500 – where would I have been without it, especially the 3-way folding full-size keyboard that let you clip the tiny screen on. We were extremely impressed with its crisp monochrome display and the fact you could read offline web pages on it!

Sky analogue box – a set top box for real men. You could move your satellite dish round and pick up free Hungarian TV. Ah, glory days *shakes her head slowly*

MP3 CD player – oh yeah, these were gonna change the future. I had the very first model released, it was incredible how much music you could get on it – unfortunately the interface was as awkward as trying to wallpaper your living room with beans on toast.

Dot matrix printer – ah my beloved Panasonic; there’s nothing quite like 4 minutes of screeching noise late at night when you’re trying to print out a 1-page letter. Followed by the 4 minutes of noise I made when the paper inevitably got jammed and you spent eternity trying to fix it, carefully balancing and uncreasing each sheet with infuriating futility.

5.25in disk drive – for my beloved BBC Micro. EEE EEE!! Click, click, click, click, click. EE EE!! What was really cool about this was you could tell how many kilobytes the game was from how many times the drive clicked as it was loading. 4 clicks? A pretty small game. 8 clicks – that’s an AAA title. 10 clicks – woah, they have totally MAXED the machine out here. It was rare to get a 10-click game, those were awesome.

ZX Spectrum – come on then who remembers it? Loading a game: J, Symbol Shift + P, Symbol Shift + P, Enter. Usability in its truest incarnation. Like the disk drive it also made a great sound, I just loved those yellow and blue jiggly bars when the game was loading. You know what I’m talking about.

RS-232 cables – seriously, how cool were those? You could hook up two computers and send tiny amounts of data to each other! Who needs the internet when you’ve got RS-232 – with RS-232 you’ve got no spam mail, no advertising and most importantly of all, no Twitter.

Channel 36 – not a device as such, but you’ve got to love channel 36. It is the backbone of modern communications. If you want to watch your VHS, play on your computer or watch Sky, channel 36 was the place to be. Until Channel 5 pissed all over it, of course.

Texas TX-82 calculators – if you’re old enough to be a parent, then face it, you owned one and you loved it. You could code in BASIC on it for goodness’ sake! If you were one of those rich upper class types you bought a TX-85 and could do assembler as well. I was well jealous of you guys.

DJ Hero turntables – sorry, it had to be said. They weren’t even that good to start with. Therefore, please overlook my ironic signature below.

Have a good weekend everybody!

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