July 28, 2005

Electronic junk.

It's a lovely day here in Madison, and I'd like to go out and take a walk and stop into a café for a little while to work on a writing project, but I can't leave the house, because the refrigerator repair guy is coming "in the afternoon." I can work on my project at home, but there are distractions, like the way something in the comments to that last post sent me looking for my Amsterdam sketchbooks. There are so many places to look in this giant house, and I didn't find the notebooks, but I kept running across ridiculous, unbroken but unusable old electronic things, and that made me want to take this photograph:

electronic junk

Do you know what these two things are?

electronic junk

Are they relic-y enough to be collectible?

36 comments:

knoxgirl said...

Keep the "Jukebox 3000" if nothing else

Drethelin said...

I had that exact ebook until I stepped on it.

And I had a similar archos player until it died from being dropped.

My Ipod has so far been MUCH MUCH more sturdy.

Doug said...

Wow. Looks like my house.

Ann Althouse said...

It's a Jukebox 6000 and it cost more than an iPod, but we could never get it to work right. We spent so much time fiddling with it and got so frustrated -- all for nothing! When I look at that thing now, I'm still pissed off.

nypundit said...

Ann you could always use eBay to find a new home for them

Ann Althouse said...

We thought the idea of the Jukebox was great. We were just amazed at the idea of loading all one's music into one player. Not long after the iPod came out. I really regretted being an early adopter. I've bought three iPods since then for myself and others.

Ann Althouse said...

NYPundit: Can you believe I've never used eBay? But who wants outdated electronic crap?

By the way, don't you think it's ridiculous that I have four Texas Instruments graphing calculators? And that wasn't any kind of mistake either. It wasn't like I couldn't find my graphic calculator so I just bought another one. Actually, I've never used a graphing calculator and don't know how to use one or even, really, what it's for.

Dirty Harry said...

This post inspired me to take a photograph of all my remotes but I'd need a landscape camera and can't find it.

Theis said...

I loved my graphing calculators! In high school the TI-85 was the Gameboy you could get away with having in class. I might have been a success but for the hours spent in the back of the classroom playing minesweeper and pac-man. I bought a TI-89 for college and managed to never load a single game on it. It nonetheless prevented me from ever truly learning calculus. I figured, if the calculator can't do it, neither can most of my classmates, so the curve will take care of me!

Jeffrey Boulier said...

Ebay is a browser's delight. It's worth a look even if you aren't planning on buying or selling on it, if only to give you some idea of the value.

Jukebox 6000s in decent condition are running at around $45 on Ebay; ones that have problems are going around $20, depending on their issue.

I see a couple sales for functional Rocket Ebooks @ around $50/each.

Outlier said...

We just had a old cell phone collection at work. I forget the name of the charity, but they give them to elderly or disabled folks to call 911.

Freeman Hunt said...

Seeing the graphing calculators brought back many good memories of playing "Drug Wars" in math class during high school. Anyone else remember that game?

Freeman Hunt said...

How much would you want for one of the TI-83? Mine was stolen five years ago. I miss it.

Jonathan said...

The old HP scientific calculators were a cut above everything else. I am still using my HP-28s which I bought in 1988. Of course it's been long supplanted by newer and better, but it still works great, and I still prefer it for all kinds of mundane calculations because it is so well designed and easy to use.

But it's the exception to the rule that all latest & greatest electronic gadgets become trash within a few years.

Matt said...

Ebay is perhaps the strongest argument in existence for the idea that there is, in fact, a buyer and a seller for pretty much every commodity in the world at pretty much any price.

Jonathan said...

The old HP scientific calculators were a cut above everything else. I am still using my HP-28s which I bought in 1988. Of course it's been long supplanted by newer and better, but it still works great, and I still prefer it for all kinds of mundane calculations because it is so well designed and easy to use.

But it's the exception to the rule that all latest & greatest electronic gadgets become trash within a few years.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Oldupai Gorge has nothin' on the Althouse. What an archaeological dig you have there!

Totally unrelated: today a co-worker came to ask me if I had read a post of yours yesterday, but he couldn't remember his question. I attributed it to "Althousezeimer's"!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

When did you change your masthead? Are you cleaning house everywhere?

Slocum said...

Hmmm. I've got one of each of those, and I use them often. My Archos jukebox is actually a 20G version (but still with the blue/silver case). Works great after about 3 years. Definitely bigger than an iPod, but I don't try to jog with it (and it only $120). Has a voice recorder built in and it mounts as a drive without a driver or jukebox software so I can just drag songs onto it.

It even survived an attempt to kill it--I accidentally hooked it up to a 9v instead of 6v adapter. Got hot enough to melt the case a bit, but amazingly didn't damage any of the circuits or the battery.

And my Rocket eBook reader--I must be one of the few people who really likes reading books that way. Actually, when RCA was getting out of the ebook reader business I picked up a second, newer model on closeout and added a memory card. It'll hold a whole bookcase full of pre-1924 public domain works.

Going on vacation next week and both will come along.

DannyNoonan said...

"By the way, don't you think it's ridiculous that I have four Texas Instruments graphing calculators?"

Maybe not. I can't tell for sure but it looks like you have a TI83 and a TI85. These are very different calculators. The 83 is for statistics while the 85 is more of your run of the mill graphing calculator for pre-calc/calc/geometry/trig kind of stuff. It's good to have both. You never know when your going to be in a stats mood or a trig mood. I guess you don't really need two 83s or whatever that other oe is though.

Drethelin said...

It's funny thinking that even a piece of junk that's been obselete 5 years would be a technological marvel 10 years ago, not to mention 30 or 50.

Evan said...

I own both of those two things. The Archos has outlived its usefulness (for me), but I still use the Rocket eBook all the time. Yours looks like one of the earlier versions that I have, which will display any text file downloaded to it, including text that has been copy-and-pasted from the web. Long articles, cases, weblog archives--all our much easier to read on that thing.

And you call it "junk"! That I'm still so enamored of an outdated gadget must mean there is something seriously wrong with me.

Ann Althouse said...

Ruth Anne: Great -- both the word and the fact that the Althouse blog is now water cooler conversation. And you're the first person to mention the masthead change, other than my son. I was just looking at it at midnight a couple nights ago and decided the description was a combination of unnecessary, inaccurate, and dorky.

Slocum: I think we paid over $400 for that Jukebox! And never got it to work properly! As to the Rocketbook, one day I realized I was losing out on the aspect of my memory that's very good about visualizing the placement of the words on the page. After that I never used it again. Also, it's too heavy. So's the Jukebox.

Evan: I thought the Rocketbook would be great for reading cases and articles from LEXIS, but now I'd use my laptop for that.

Danny: The calculators were all bought for my sons when they were required to have a particular model for school. One year, both were required to have the TI-85.

nypundit said...

Ann if you don't want to sell it, you could always use it as a external drive for backing up your data. I still have a Rio 500 that I would love for my daughter to use, but it's not working with her iMac (running MAacOS 9.2) and I can't find CD for it anywhere.

knoxgirl said...

Anything named "Jukebox 6000" you have to keep for kitsch value.

DirtCrashr said...

A Rocket eBook! I've got the REB1100 on which I worked developing the gray-scale interface - it's dead too. I went to work for them (transferred over actually from the on-screen Guide design which had degenerated to on-screen Ad design) after Henry bought NuvoMedia and the other eBook company and made them merge. Most of the hardware engineering staff on both sides left when 900-lb. elephant Thompson stepped in and said they were going to build the units their way with X-feature set. It was a great but small group of people and we were *this* close (pinching fingers) to profitability before the TV Guide Haircut's waffled and pulled the plug. That was a good run, from StarSight to Gemstar to TVG Intl. an the inside-out takeover - a whole 'nother story.

Robert Talbert said...

Geez Ann, you have not one but TWO TI-86 calculators? That's serious geekhood.

I teach college calculus and I'm forever having students lose their graphing calculators. Maybe they just migrate their way to the junk drawers of law professors, kind of like how socks get lost in the drier.

What if, when final exams roll around next semester, you set up a table in front of the exam room and sell these to desperate students who lost their calculators or whose calculator batteries died? You'd certainly make more money there than off of eBay.

Robert Talbert said...

My bad, those are TI-83's, not TI-86's.

Bruce Hayden said...

Ann,

If you are trying to get rid of any of those calculator, we are facing buying a graphing (trig) calculator for my daughter as she starts high school.

But then, they don't take up a lot of room, and you apparently have a lot of it anyway in your house. And, they bring back memories, which is often good.

Indeed, I find I have 4 HP calculators lying around. A 12C for either B. School 25 years ago, or when I got my RE broker's license 20 years ago, and almost identical to what is still being sold. Two scientific calculators, and one that is highly programable, and does almost everything, including graphing, but not easily. Couldn't convince my daughter to take the time to learn how to use it, given its complexity. It was useful though in all those engineering classes I needed for the patent bar.

Of the four, I found documentation on the HP website for 2, ordered a CD that includes such from the HP library for a third, and can't find anything for the 4th.

As you may or may not know, the big difference between HP and TI calculators was the use of RPL (reverse Polish) notation on the classic HPs. More efficient, but not as intuitive and harder to learn. Which is why in engineering school, HP users looked down on TI users.

My favorites though are my old computers. I think I have ten right now. I have, at some time, networked seven of them, since I recently added #F and #G. This laptop is #E. Even have a pre-Mac Apple II. ##A-C are in their original boxes, ##D-G are networked and shared via a 4-way KVM, and the other three are just sitting there. I know I need to get rid of some of them, but just don't, for some reason.

Slocum said...

As to the Rocketbook, one day I realized I was losing out on the aspect of my memory that's very good about visualizing the placement of the words on the page. After that I never used it again. Also, it's too heavy.

I find that memory of the position of words on a page is a poor alternative to a 2-second text search. If I never have to flip through a book again trying to find a passage by where I remembered it was on the page, I'll be perfectly happy. Heavy? Well, the older version you have is heavier than the newer one. But both are considerably lighter and less bulky than hardcover books. And you can read in the dark, which I find incredibly cool. And it never closes when you lay it down. And it remembers your page...

So's the Jukebox.

Well, I guess, but generally, we use it in the car or on the boat or hooked to some battery-powered speakers. Even when I'm using headphones, it's usually sitting on something (I don't use it while exercizing). That said, Archos does make a much smaller version now:

http://www.archos.com/products/overview/gmini_xs200.html

The reason I like the Archos players much better than the iPod is not only do they do more (voice recorder and newer ones will download images off digital camera memory cards), but they don't try to restrict what you can do with the music. There's nothing to prevent you from copying music off the player as easily as onto it. There's no associating the player with one only computer that it has to be used to sync. I hate that kind of thing.

jeff said...

I wish they'd made a Rocket E-Book that ran PalmOS... not only would it be a nice format to read from (I use my M125 for that now) but it would have been a convienient size to take notes on in college.

DirtCrashr said...

IIRC The eBook was originally designed to do Mp3's - and had a test-version of a Chinese/English dictionary where you could tap the English word you wanted to translate and it would sound out the Chinese. Later versions allowed annotation and note-taking like with a sticky-note. There were a number of other things that didn't make it into the device because of corporate politics.

DNR Mom said...

Ann: Come to my estate sale off Midvale this weekend. For $10 you can add a genuine joystick to your collection of outdates.

Steve said...

To the author who keeps on finding outdated junk electronics. I would be interested in taking them off of your hands. the older the better! Old phones, calculators, and computers. You see, I recycle them and keep them out of the land fill. It does cost money to recycle them but I am willing to pay for the cost to recycle them if I may ask that they are donated to me. I take them apart in my spare time and make sure that all of the plastics, glass, metals, etc, go to their respective scrap dealer. It is my way of "Paying it forward",and it gives me something to do when there is nothing else to do, while helping the planet in a green way. Please send me an email and let me know how I can be of assistance! sciarico@gmail.com

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