PopWatch Confessional: What is the oldest working piece of technology at your parent's house?
Every year, I become more and more fascinated by my parent’s house. It’s like walking into a time capsule of technology. And I’m not talking about cool, retro technology, like record players and classic Nintendo consoles. I’m talking about the dorky stuff. Stuff so bad and useless that even junk-hoarding monsters who troll eBay for nonspecific reasons don’t want it.
I’ll admit, my parents have done a lot of cleaning in the past year. The oldest piece of obsolete tech now is their VCR, and I’m sort of glad it’s there. How else would I watch all the crap I have recorded on VHS tapes that I don’t yet own on DVD? (Tiny Toons’ How I Spent My Summer Vacation, I’m looking at you.) And, in the event of a DVR death, it still records episodes of Modern Family and True Blood via timer.
But a few years ago, you would have found a giant “Macintosh” computer that only typed in chunky green text, a working dot-matrix printer, and a Zack Morris-style cell phone that, if charged, was still somewhat operational. Two of the three were in regular use by my father, the “…but it still works” man. Don’t ask me how. (Is it because technology was more durable back then? Or do parents have this magical power to make the oldest junk last forever? I’ll never know for sure.)
Truth be told, I sort of love this living-history aspect of their house — it’s a reminder of how far we’ve come as a tech-consuming society. And a reminder of a simpler time when Tamagotchis, not Farmville, ruled, and when McDonald’s chicken nuggets weren’t “all white meat.” (Also, when the ancient computer worked, I really loved playing old, blocky-looking computer games — even though they took a half hour to load.)
What about you, Popwatchers? Are your parents’ houses filled with still-working technology of yesteryears? If so, does any of it still work? And do you still use it?