I was quite inspired by fellow ZDNet blogger Matthew Miller's post listing every mobile device he's had over the years (86 and counting, my friend!). Though my memory isn't as robust as Matt's, I thought I'd compile a list of my own ghost gadgets of the past, comparing them with what I have now.
My gadgets, THEN:
IBM PC 5150August 12, 1981
Yes, the original Personal Computer, I had the 'ol green screen IBM with floppy disk drive and sexy not-quite-yellow beige trim. This is the machine that taught me all about C:\ and the magic that could be provoked from it.
I finally gave in to the cell phone craze and got myself a shiny gold Nokia 3310 on VoiceStream Wireless."Candybar" phones were all the rage then (and now? I'm looking at you, LG Chocolate), and I'll never forget getting chastised for using the cell phone in the house (after all, it's a luxury -- that's what the land line is for!). Oh, how times have changed.
Canon Powershot A510March 2005
This camera marked the moment when photography became less of a documenting method (birthdays, vacations) and far more of an artistic hobby. Sure, this budget compact camera only had 3.2 megapixels, but it was a lot better than the disposables I had grown accustomed to (see, I told you I've come a long way).
Logitech TrackManEarly '90s
Still a favorite by many, Logitech's TrackMan was the first time I ventured away from the OEM mouse. At the time, mice still used rubber balls (how quaint!), catching all sorts of unsavory gunk in them. The trackball struck me as far cleaner and accurate (good for Doom), which was a relief.
Pentium MMX 233 MHz (P55C, 80503)1997
My first "Frankenstein" computer was built around this processor. I remember the marketing effort behind the Pentium line as so effective that average people began to consider processors during their computer shopping. I kept my old Frankenstein computer around a lot longer than I should have -- I think I got it up to a Windows ME install, which is another story altogether -- and was surprised at how well the P1 held up under the load of Napster, Winamp, and other programs.
My gadgets, NOW:
Dell Inspiron 700m2005
It was the smallest laptop on the market at the time, which was a big deal for me, since I bought it before taking up residency abroad. Besides a new battery and a memory upgrade - 512MB to 2GB -- the ol' Dell is still plugging along, running Windows XP and handling Adobe CS3 with no problem. (read about the current incarnation of this laptop, the Dell XPS M1330)
Motorola Razr V32005
Remember when the Razr came out? It was the top of the pops, one of the most expensive standard phones on the market. It came out, prices dropped, Motorola made a ton of money. The Razr was to phone as Band-aid is to adhesive bandages. (Read about the current incarnation of this phone, the Motorola Razr VE20)
Nikon D40XMarch 6, 2007
My first "real" camera, or digital SLR. Purchased just in time to shoot photos for an enterprise story on inner-city violence, it's become my favorite digital companion on the road. (Read about the current incarnation of this camera, the Nikon D60)
Logitech VX NanoJune 2007
Now that I'm on the laptop all the time, bringing gadgety goodness to you readers, I need something a bit more precise than the dreaded touchpad. The perks of the Nano? Try a miniscule USB receiver, a freewheeling metal scroll wheel and cosmetic touches taken from the bigger VX Revolution. Yes, sir.
Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 (2.53GHz)2008
I don't use a desktop anymore, but the processor housed in my Lenovo ThinkPad gets the job done, no matter how many tabs I have open. (Read about a related desktop processor, the Intel Core 2 Duo E6700)
...and there you have it, folks. What are some of your notable gadgets over the years? Tell us in TalkBack.