IPad Mini, Meet Your Ancestors

There’s quite a bit of hoopla over Apple’s new iPad Mini, rumored to be released next week. But I’m not all that interested. It seems like every few weeks there’s some hot new gadget coming out.

It’s not that I’m immune to the charms of technology. Over the weekend my husband unearthed these relics from a prior century that he had stored away in a long-forgotten box. They definitely do strike a sentimental chord with me. Most were gifts we gave each other in courtship. They are the techie artifacts of our love.

Perhaps one day iPad devices will join these gadgets in obscurity. Can you identify them? Even more fun… Ask your kids to take a guess. (Our 8-year-old daughter thinks the device on the lower left is an ancient cell phone.)

Please post your answers in comments, and check back this afternoon for the big reveal.

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  1. I’m older than you and have better (that is, more obscure, odd, clunky, weird) gadgets in our basement box! A while ago, my husband hooked up…the original Atari, complete with 22 games.

  2. VERY jealous about the Atari and 22 games! My son is asking how much you want for that? I am telling him I bet you aren’t selling. And if you were, his life savings of $40 might not cover it 😉

  3. It’s easy to recognize the Palm Pilot on the bottom left, and the Discman on the bottom right. The upper items, for many, will be a little harder to recognize, so here goes: Upper left is the dial, with several holes missing, from an old dial-up telephone. The upper right is a flint arrowhead, topped by a digital clock.

  4. In my house there’s this light switch that doesn’t do anything. Every so often I would flick it on and off just to check. Yesterday, I got a call from a woman in Madagascar. She said, “Cut it out.”
    -Steven Wright

  5. The upper left is the first US commercial MP3 player, a diamond multimedia rio pmp 300. I had one as well. It took SD cards back then, ran on AA batteries. There was a korean variant that came out about 6 months earlier, but it wasn’t as good as the Rio.

    I went from that to the rio 500 (silver), then off to some really lousy Archos players, until I got my first iPod (the first that supported windows).

  6. Cool stuff. Hey, let’s hook up that Quickcam and log on to AOL. We can have cybersex in a chatroom! Sing it with me: “The dream of the ’90s is alive in Montclair…”

  7. Thanks for playing, everyone!

    Kudos to bobmellman, dextius and jwalexander, who answered correctly. And a big thanks to my handsome mac-genius-in-residence husband for providing the right answers. (Clockwise from top left):

    1) Diamond Rio, the world’s 1st portable mp3 player, 1998. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_PMP300

    2) Connectix Quickcam, “the 1st widely marketed webcam-like device”, 1994. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuickCam

    3) Sony CD Walkman (Discman), 2000. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discman

    4) Palm V, personal digital assistant (PDA), 1999. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_V

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