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Meet the “almost vintage” gadgets among my junk (Part 1)

I started out the year by cleaning the junk in my cluttered home office. I can’t believe I accumulated so much junk especially in the tech department. Cables, wires, disks, cardboards and manuals littered a whole cabinet. Among the junk was this pager that I used in 1991. This was one of the coolest gadgets that anyone could own in the nineties. Paging or radio paging in the 1990s was our instant messaging system but it was already popular in the eighties. Back then, I was involved in real estate and quite mobile so I needed the pager for calls from home or the kids.

cleaning out my junk

My pager provider was Pocketbell and I recall I had to purchase this for 5,000 pesos. This Motorola Bravo pager is a ” two-line alphanumeric LCD display and scrolls messages from right to left or up and down, as you prefer. It can either receive pages silently and discreetly, or it can signal a new message by vibrating or beeping. It runs off a small battery that goes in the slot at the bottom.” You can read more on how a pager works.

pager vs cellphone

Sometimes if the operator did not get my message correctly, it would lead to confusion but I could call back to verify the message. The clunky mobile phones eventually made these pagers less popular in the mid nineties. Well, that’s my iPhone but there have been phones as small as this pager.

seagate barracuda hardrives

The next junk I unearthed were my Seagate internal hard disk drives. I probably kept these hard drives because they contained data when I upgraded to a larger storage. The 4.3 GB hard drive is model ST34311A. Imagine in ten years or so, my two-inch red USB drives is 8 GB which is double the space of my “vintage” hard drive. I can’t recall what year I had this hard drive. Maybe 2000? I forgot how much hard drive space I owned in the early nineties.

4 GB seagate hard drive

Two more internal hard drives nestled among the junk . This time these drives had a larger storage of 20.4 Gbytes and 40 Gbytes. No wonder I retired the 4.3 GB. These were the Seagate Barracuda ATA ST 320420 A and the Seagate U 6 Model ST 340810 A. While pouring over old receipts, I found the original quotation of a PC I ordered. The 20.3 GB internal hard drive cost 6.800 pesos in 2000. Now that’s just slightly higher than the cost of an external1 terabyte hard drive .

seagate hard drive

That two-inch white USB drive contains 40 GB. In 2009, this cost a lot. Good thing it is still functioning as I use it to store large raw image files. Aside from USB thumb drives, I own an external drive with 1 terabyte storage space. Files are just getting larger as people now have the ability to create movies easily.

US Robotics modem

Another “vintage” find is the US Robotics Sportster Voice 56 K Modem with Personal Voice mail. This was the last modem I owned. Although I subscribed to Destiny cable internet in 1999, I used this modem for prepaid internet. It was quite useful when I got hospitalized in 2005 when I wanted to use the internet using the hospital landline.

US Robotics vs Huwaei modem

How I miss the dialup sound. Click this link to relive the excitement of connecting to the internet with the noise of a 56k modem. I love it. Such a nostalgic trip this is. These days, I have a wireless modem and a DSL cable internet which is way faster and more mobile than this US Robotics.

Next in my treasure of junk is the Sony Walkman. I bought this as a Christmas present for my daughter . That is her iPod beside the photo below. She has not upgraded to the latest iPod because she prefers the old model.

sony walkman

The evolution of the audio devices took awhile. I remember seeing the record player as a five year old kid in the early sixties and still seeing it till the late seventies. Though I had the tape deck by then, the vinyl record albums were still a must-own for any teen. The evolution from the audio cassette Walkman in the late seventies to the Discman evolved in a much shorter period of time. My girls who were teens in the late nineties were extremely lucky to have cable internet because it meant they could download music from Napster.

These are just four “vintage-like” junk I discovered so far. I expect to see more treasured junks in the next few days as I continue my Spring Cleaning.

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