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45-Year-Old Modem Used To Surf the Web

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the cool-wooden-case dept.

Communications 622

EdIII writes with this awesome snippet from Hack a Day: "'[phreakmonkey] got his hands on a great piece of old tech. It's a 1964 Livermore Data Systems Model A Acoustic Coupler Modem. He recieved it in 1989 and recently decided to see if it would actually work. It took some digging to find a proper D25 adapter and even then the original serial adapter wasn't working because the oscillator depends on the serial voltage. He dials in and connects at 300baud. Then logs into a remote system and fires up lynx to load Wikipedia. Lucky for [phreakmonkey] they managed to decide on a modulation standard in 1962. It's still amazing to see this machine working 45 years later.' Although impractical for surfing the Internet today, there is something truly cool about getting a 45-year old modem to work with modern technology. The question I have, is what is the oldest working piece of equipment fellow Slashdotters have out there? I'm afraid as far back as I can go is a Number Nine Imagine 128 Series 2 Graphics card on a server still in use at my house which only puts me at about 14 years."

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622 comments

Just Throw It on the Meme Heap (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127321)

<meme>My name is Junis [slashdot.org] , I am posting this from a Commodore64 and my 1964 Livermore Data Systems Model A Acoustic Coupler Modem in Afghanistan after years of oppression underneath the Taliban ...</meme>

And I suppose the instant I show any signs of lag in World of Warcraft I'll have to listen to my guildmates crack jokes about me using a 1964 Livermore Data Systems Model A Acoustic Coupler Modem ruining the raid.

Re:Just Throw It on the Meme Heap (5, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127361)

<LOST CARRIER>

Re:Just Throw It on the Meme Heap (2, Funny)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127463)

+++

Re:Just Throw It on the Meme Heap (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127781)

Afghanistan has no carriers, much less Taliban - they are a land-locked country.

Re:Just Throw It on the Meme Heap (2, Informative)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127881)

Actually, there is a software package for Commodore 8-bit systems called GeckOS [6502.org] that includes a TCP/IP stack with serial SLIP support. You could hook a Commodore 8010 [zimmers.net] acoustic couple modem to your PET and surf at 300 baud.

Not that you'd want to. But you could.

oldest piece of "equipment" (5, Funny)

MoreDruid (584251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127397)

is just as old as I am... I just needed a long time to know how to work it.

Re:oldest piece of "equipment" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127775)

I just needed a long time to know how to work it.

I assume you are referring to that useless "dongle" between your legs?

Re:oldest piece of "equipment" (3, Funny)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127811)

bing!

Oldest Working? (4, Interesting)

mgbastard (612419) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127415)

I don't really use it anymore, but I have a TRS-80 Model IV and it works. I haven't used the modem in a long time. That's only about 26 years old though. The PowerBook 165c also works, and that's from 1993, making it 16 years old. Bonus for the SCSI ethernet adapter.

Re:Oldest Working? (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127721)

TRS-80 Model 1 still in it's box with all documents and packaging.

No I haven't kept it that long, I found it as NOS in a tiny town rat-shack 10 years ago. bought it for $10.00 and a 6 pack of beer.

Re:Oldest Working? (1)

gid (5195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28128049)

Oldest machine I have is an Amiga 600 bought circa 1992? when I was in HS. Still worked when I last fired it up maybe 3-4 years ago.

My hammer. (5, Funny)

Polarina (1389203) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127425)

My hammer was made in 1876.

Re:My hammer. (4, Insightful)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127485)

My hammer was made in 1876.

But your grandfather replaced the handle and your father replaced the head, right?:)

Re:My hammer. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127777)

For those not familiar, the parent is referencing the Ship of Theseus paradox [wikipedia.org] which is an interesting read.

Re:My hammer. (2, Funny)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127965)

Dude, dont post about your incestuous family affairs,
whatever turns your crank, just don't post it here...mmmK! O_O

Re:My hammer. (5, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127607)

Unimpressive, all of you. Most of the atoms in my computer are like, billions of years old.

Re:My hammer. (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127817)

And they still work! Amazing technology. Take that, PCChips!

Re:My hammer. (3, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127609)

I got iron padlock with key that was made in the 1860s.

Re:My hammer. (1)

eleuthero (812560) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127623)

whoever was in charge of quality control at the various businesses back in the late eighteen hundreds seems to have done a good job--either that or there was just a bubble of really bad work ethic on either side of that part century. I have seen countless museums with period material--very few shortly thereafter or before. I can understand the before part--Civil War left a lot destroyed even where there weren't battles. The after part is a bit harder for me to catch

Model M Keyboard (5, Interesting)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127433)

I still use my old 1984 IBM Model M Keyboard. I will weep when/if that keyboard ever dies.

Re:Model M Keyboard (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127643)

I happen to have 2, yes 2, Model M keyboards if you, or anyone else, wants to purchase them from me. The date on the back of both is 06OCT86.

No, I'm not going to gouge for the price. Something reasonable. You pay actual shipping costs.

Re:Model M Keyboard (2, Funny)

spydabyte (1032538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127827)

I'll pay $5, as that's what Google says [google.com] a keyboard is worth. Hell, I'll throw on an extra $5 just for the loud sound effects it makes, just to annoy my coworkers around me.
Drag it behind a donkey, it'll survive the trip about as well as Indiana Jones surviving a nuclear blast in a refrigerator.

Re:Model M Keyboard (2, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127875)

Ignore my post. Jumped the gun. While I do have 2 keyboards, they are for IBM terminals and not adaptable for PC use.

*mumbles something about Alzheimer's creeping in*

Re:Model M Keyboard (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127983)

I keep several, although I don't know when they were made. I have some from a PC AT (5 pin DIN connector) and some from a PS/2 (6 pin mini-DIN)

Teach a lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127445)

45 years old and still works better than half the crap pawned off on consumers today.

2 modems, 4 cans, 2 strings.... (5, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127451)

I've often wanted to dig up 2 acoustic coupled modems, 4 tin cans, and 2 strings, and see if I could get the modems to work over that.

Re:2 modems, 4 cans, 2 strings.... (5, Funny)

CookieOfFortune (955407) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127565)

This is a... I would like to try this.

Re:2 modems, 4 cans, 2 strings.... (5, Interesting)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127899)

Try PSK31 (31.25 bps binary phase shift keying mode used for ham radio) with a couple of sound cards. It'll work over open air with a speaker and microphone. If you used two different carrier tones, you could probably do full duplex.

For my own implementation of PSK31, I once ran it at a carrier of 62.5 hz. Sounded more like war drums than a digital mode over my subwoofer, but it still decoded OK.

Atari Baby (3, Interesting)

Astroturtle (588703) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127457)

I have an Atari 400 I still drag out from time to time when I get an itch to play the "definitive" (to me at least!) versions of Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Defender. Bought as a Xmas present when I was 9 which puts it at 28 years old. :) I also still have my old Apple ][ bought 4 years later with the "CP/M card" and a 300 baud modem. Hmm... I think I'm going to have to some surfing tonight! ;) astroturtle

Does test equipment count? (3, Interesting)

slaker (53818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127459)

I keep a Hewlitt-Packard oscilloscope out in my car that was manufactured sometime in the mid-50s.
It still works, but I've only had to use it about three times in my professional life.

Commadore Amiga 500 (5, Interesting)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127473)

:D and I still love starting it up.. Nothing like the grinding of a floppy drive in the morning..

TI-99/4A (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127475)

16-bit processor and hardware speech synthesis in 1979. It was a real pioneering home computer, and mine still works, too! It even had add-ons for cassette tape, disk drives, printers, and modems.

Re:TI-99/4A (1)

metalix (259636) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127709)

Yes! I have fond memories of programming simple programs in BASIC and storing my hangman dictionary on cassette. The keyboard was a little difficult -- I believe the colon, brackets, other normal punctuation were a special key + normal alphabet key. a picture [oldcomputers.net]

Oldest kit? (1)

99luftballon (838486) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127481)

Well my Sinclair ZX81 still works, just about, around 25 years after we got it. Sadly the 16Kb RAM pack is toast, so there's not much you can do with it.

Back then (3, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127483)

Most electronic equipment was built to last, hence this guy got his modem to work.

I doubt anyone will be able to run a GTX 280 in 45 years.

Re:Back then (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127977)

What about a first generation XBox 360?

PowerMac 5400 (3, Interesting)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127487)

My stepson currently has a PowerMac 5400 in his room, with a video in card. That came out in 1996, so it's about 13 years old. Until recently, he'd use it for watching VHS movies & playing his XBox.

"Would you like to play a game?" (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127489)

Maybe there are some ancient government computer backdoors out there that work with ancient modems. - Ferris Bueller

Re:"Would you like to play a game?" (2, Informative)

MagicM (85041) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127821)

I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Wargames. Ferris Bueller never hacked into any goverment computers.

Re:"Would you like to play a game?" (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28128009)

Maybe there are some ancient government computer backdoors out there that work with ancient modems. - Ferris Bueller

I remember accidentally breaking into a military computer when I was a teenager with my 1200 Baud modem. I dialed a number from a list that I got from another BBS, starred at the black screen for a bit and then decided to enter in five stars and then Enter. I was presented with a menu that I immediately recognized as being from the local armed forces base. Suffice to say, I chickened out and disconnected right away.

Token Ring out in the field... (0, Offtopic)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127497)

I had a one-night tech job a few years ago where a major financial institution was switching the network from Token Ring to Ethernet, even though all the workstations came equipped with built-in Ethernet and the building was wired for Ethernet. I made extra money that night because the younger, non-certified techs couldn't read the directions on the worksheet. They plugged the Ethernet cable into the Token Ring NIC card (which supported two cable types) and didn't run the network utility to see if the connection worked. The hardest part of that job was finding a taxi cab to take home at 3:00AM.

house (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127503)

I live in a house that's over 200 years old. I have some 78s from the first part of last century in a cupboard - they're fairly $$$. Don't have an old working gramophone player, but do have some old functional reel-to-reel audio tape equipment. I have a PDP in the corner. Erm, lots of computing stuff from the '80s, but who doesn't? My oldest modem's a 1200 baud from the late '80s. I still prefer serial (and parallel) ports to USB. USB is a horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible standard, and anything not suitable for a serial/parallel port has other better standards appropriate for it (Firewire, SCSI, etc).

Re:house (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127677)

I had some friends in college who rented out an old Victorian house in downtown San Jose that was originally wired for 12V DC.

Re:house (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28128037)

My house is so old that the plaster/lath walls were repaired by plastering on newspapers from World War II. When I bought the house and repaired the walls last fall, we knocked off the large portions of loose plaster and discovered the newspapers underneath.

I'm not sure how old the house itself is, but I'm pretty sure it had no indoor bathroom when it was built. This is partly because there is no bathroom on the first floor, and partly because there's a window right next to the toilet (!) in the 2nd floor bathroom.

About 30 years here... (1)

Onyma (1018104) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127507)

I have a three-some of working Commodore PETs (2001, 4032, SuperPET) with associated disk & tape drives. All still work though some of the floppies get read errors now. I had a term package and modem for the SuperPET... I should set it all up again sometime and try the same feat for fun. The 2001 puts me back bordering 30 years... sigh. Thanks, now I feel old. :)

oldest pieces? (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127509)

The question I have, is what is the oldest working piece of equipment fellow Slashdotters have out there?

Well as far as modem technology goes I've still got a classic 1200 baud Hayes modem; must be from the early 80s I would guess (perhaps older?); it was working fine when I stopped using it around 1993 or so (upgraded to 2400 baud FTW!!)* ... I'm sure it would still work if I plugged it in today but I'm not hunting down an RS-232 adapter to find out. If we want to talk audio gear I've got some much older items, including a pair of AR speakers from the 60s that still sound pretty damn good... Now get the hell off my lawn!

* (and back then FTW still meant Fuck the World!!)

Meh, I use a 1977 PDP-11 to occasionally surf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127511)

Not quite as old, but I occasionally power up the old PDP-11/34a in my basement (running REAL BSD Unix, of course) and surf the web with lynx.

PLEASE! Establish an "R2D2 Standard" (2, Funny)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127517)

A young Obi Wan Kenobi flies with an Astrodroid, which is then used by his apprentice when he has grown old. The driod can still connect.

Pick a small set of standards that will work "well enough" and let them become the Legacy Standard. I'm so sick of going to garage sales and seeing good equipment, such as printers and scanners, that won't connect to any computer that I own. I have a drawer full of PS/2 keyboards.

I hope that someday, someone posts a /. article entitled "100 year old hardware used to connect to DNFNet"

The grandson of Hemos connected to the DukeNukemForeverNet* using a computer with USB, DVI, a drive that SPINS, and only 64GB of RAM, after all, 64GB should be enough RAM for anybody.

*DNFNEt is a networking protocol that uses baling wire and bubble gum... and I'm all out of bubble gum.

Where'd you get a compatible handset? (3, Interesting)

bzzfzz (1542813) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127519)

Most of the acoustic couplers back in the day were fairly picky about the telephone handset used.

I make it a point to get rid of old digital gear, but I do have a telephone from the 1920s. It's still hooked up, and is one of the few reasons I still have a landline. It has the rayon-covered cord and everything.

My Oldest Piece of Equipment (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127521)

The question I have, is what is the oldest working piece of equipment fellow Slashdotters have out there?

I have an Atari 400 or 800 (I can't remember which one but it looks just like the 800 picture on Wikipedia but my buttons are different) from about 1979 in my parent's house in my old closet. And the only cartridge I had for it was something called "Left Hand BASIC" or maybe it was just "Left BASIC" which--unless I'm mistaken--was Atari's BASIC [wikipedia.org] . Considering I was born in the early 80s, I bought it for $5 at a garage sale in 1996 and did a few procedures of Michael Crichton's Electronic Life (I used to be a big fan) on it and used a black and white TV as the monitor (I remember connecting it to the UHF posts on the back of the TV?). I did some of my first home computing on that thing. The really sad thing was that the large disc reader that came with it through a serial port didn't work so I had to punch everything in by hand over many hours to get back to where I was. Last time I was home, it still worked!

If you're talking about things I purchased new and underwent serious use, I have a Dell Pentium III Optiplex from 2000 that still works great as a router to my network. It's hard drive (a deathstar no less) has been replaced once but aside from that, the huge PCI expansion bay make it great for that particular need.

Anyone still paying for a phone? (4, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127525)

I mean the phone instrument itself, perhaps with a dial? You know, the heavy duty ones that say property of Bell on the bottom?

Heh, you might check your parents or grandma... they have probably paid thousands of dollars for that phone over the years.

Still working with Paper Tape (4, Informative)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127531)

The CNC industry is still using NC machines built to work with paper tape. 30 years old and still going strong ...

Impeach Obama: +1, PatRIOTic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127541)

by Ted Rall [uexpress.com] .

I hope this helps to prevent preventive detention.

Yours In Socialism,
Kilgore Trout

Me (1)

Matheus (586080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127549)

Technically that would be me. At some point in Elementary school I was able to successfully connect with a friend of mine's 1200 baud modem with my voice. Can't say I was able to do much after that but it did say that the handshake was successful :)

Beyond that, although my Amiga 1000 went to a garage sale back in high school I still have and occasionally use my 2000 which has the MIDI adapter I used with my 1000 from 85 so that would be roughly a 24 year old MIDI box that still gets used. The keyboard I hook it up to is a couple years older than that and the TV at our cabin was bought with insurance money from me being sick as a baby which is just under 32 years old.

Define equipment?

Well, it's no spring chicken (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127563)

I've still got a working Apple 2c and a custom-modified dot matrix printer to use with it.

And a rock. I've got a rock. I bet it would still do the same job some caveman would have used it for if he found out the chief was shagging his cave-mate, though I just use it as a doorstop.

Re:Well, it's no spring chicken (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127843)

But everybody wants a rock to wind a piece of string around!

My 1979 Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127569)

My Apple ][+ with Micromodem II took over an hour to download a 120K photo at 300baud and then I found out that it fill up the entire floppy disk

Kaypro II (1)

xymog (59935) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127573)

Had an old Kaypro II, circa 1983. Single-side floppies, 9" green monochrome screen, weighed a ton. Load the OS from a floppy, then load an app from a floppy. Great stuff for its time!

Re:Kaypro II (1)

Ardx (954221) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127695)

Funny, I have a Kaypro II as well... rock on! Our Kaypros will rule this day!

How Old Is My Crap: Mac ][ci (2, Interesting)

cmholm (69081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127593)

If we're gonna get into a how-old-is-my-crap thread: my oldest working gear is a 1989 Mac ][ci running NetBSD that I periodically haul out of the closet to use as a testbed within my private network. Used to be my dad's photoshop box, then handed down to my wife, and finally into my grubby paws. Its small, easy to store, boxy shape has saved it from her annual pogroms against old gear.

Old stuff (1)

Anonymous Codger (96717) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127595)

Not that old, really, but...

Mac Plus (1986)
Atari 400 plus peripherals, including an ATR8000, which is a Z80 box that doubled as a CPM machine and an Atari peripherals controller (1983)
Sinclair ZX80 computer (1981) (I can't swear that this still works)

2 Button Mouse (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127599)

Not sure if it's one of the first two button mice, but it was purchased roughly a year before windows 3.1 came out. Good old Logitech 9pin serial. Still works, but almost hurts to use it compared to the logitech g5. Thing must be about 20 years old now...

I retrieve all my webpages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127611)

using CowboyNeal. I imagine I can keep it going until 2073 or so. It is low maintenance and runs fast.

Ancient Laptop! (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127627)

I have a Tandy Model 100 laptop. It has a 4 line LCD screen, 3k of memory, and it runs 20 hours on 4 AA batteries. I also have an old Macintosh with a DOS compatibility card. It has both Mac OS7 and Windows 3.1

Re:Ancient Laptop! (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 5 years ago | (#28128057)

I'll bet that Model 100 boots much faster than any laptop today.

Primary Keyboard: 1991 IBM Model M (2, Informative)

Liket (63131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127635)

How about oldest piece of equipment in regular use?

I use a 1991 IBM Model M at my main workstation, which puts me at 18 years. They just don't make them like this anymore (well actually Unicomp [pckeyboard.com] does)

First exposure (1)

delta98 (619010) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127675)

to the digital world was in 1977 or so . An acoustic coupler where we had to listen for the tom\e and quickly set the phone in the cradle. I learned to plat tic-tac-toe with a western electric telex machine. It took for ever by todays standards but this kid was amazed. 300 baud? Yeah. Thats about right. Upper Perkiomen Jr. High. lol that brings back memories.

50 year old loudspeakers (1)

Turzyx (1462339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127683)

My grandfather still swears by his Quad ESL-57 electrostatics, from the late 50s.

About 5 or 6 years ago the power supply units were rebuilt and the panels were cleared of crap that had settled on them over the years, and they sound better than ever.

More cool stuff today...a hand-wired computer also (1)

thomasdz (178114) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127687)

Back before the days of the 4004, 8008, and 8080, when we built computers, we REALLY built computers.
None of this take a pre-built-motherboard, add a pre-built-power-supply, add a pre-built graphics card...

A great example: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/05/homebrewed-cpu/ [wired.com]

oblig: get off my lawn

Apple II (1)

SchizoStatic (1413201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127689)

I still rock an Apple II to play Oregon Trail and Number Munchers

Apple IIe, Compaq (1)

sean_nestor (781844) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127691)

I own two Apple IIes that work perfectly (one complete with the boxes it came in!). Nothing like playing Oregon Trail the way God intended it...

I also have the original Compaq portable [wikipedia.org] , which was arguably the first laptop computer. Sadly, one of my students smoked the power supply a couple years back, so it no longer works. I know that eliminates it from the category of "still working", but it did work for 26 years, which is fairly impressive. And its still fun to show people the design.

ISA slots (1)

xkenny13 (309849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127697)

The oldest I have in service is a Cyrix 6x86 system running Windows 98 SE. I need it for the ISA slots so that I can run my *Needhams PB-10 EPROM burner.

* Since www.needhams.com doesn't come up anymore, I wonder if they are even still in business. :-(

Re:ISA slots (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127889)

Have you tried a USB-to-ISA adapter?

Who else had one? (1)

reidiq (1434945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127705)

I had a Tandy 1000 that I got from my dad when he bought it decades ago. I remember thinking how freaking cool it was when I was a kid playing games on it and printing reports for school on the dot matrix printer lol.

Just decommisioned... (1)

NotNormallyNormal (1311339) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127707)

... an old VAX machine from the mid-80's. We have several large spool tape drives around too, but I'm not sure they still work. Personally my wife made me throw out most of my old stuff, though I have several old floppies from my Apple II from the early 80's.

Re:Just decommisioned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127975)

I am trying to decommission some VAX machines as well. They control some traffic in a city - they are 20+ years old.

TRS-80 25 years+ (1)

SpeedyG5 (762403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127723)

My friend still does all his accounting on TRS-80's, he runs a printing business and bought 3 units as spare parts supplies so he can have 5 9's uptime ;) Not the oldest but for still being used as a critical app that is pretty darned old.

Mine is my dick at 54 years! (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127731)

And it still works most of the time!

Re:Mine is my dick at 54 years! (1)

microbee (682094) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127847)

And what's the baud rate of that?

Myself... (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127759)

The matter inside of me is just reconstituted material dating back ~20 Billion years. Beat that!

Sega Master System (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127769)

My older brother got a Sega Master system for his fifth Christmas, which puts me at three years old. So, the system is twenty years old.

We still have Afterburner, Hang On!/Safari Hunt, and Wonder Boy, and a light gun controller. All of these still function when I last checked about a year ago, although to use it now it and all of its cables must be recovered from the electronics graveyard (my dad's garage).

IBM PCjr circa 1984 (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127783)

It has a whopping 128k of expanded memory (I think it originally came with 64k), a 5.25" floppy drive, and 2 ROM expansion ports. It was my first computer with a wireless keyboard that uses IR and runs on AA batteries. Still boots, though the floppy drive is a bit loud by today's standards heh. The monitor is a tad blurry as well but still very legible.

AM Multiplex radio transmitter/rcvr built 1957 ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127787)

It was my own design, done for a science fair, used 10KC (KHz) beat oscillator to move one audio channel up in frequency.
So it's equipment, and even electronic (tube type). Normally needs the tuning capacitor cleaned to get it to work though;
dust shorting it out keeps oscillators from running.

should be tagged ibeforeeexceptafterc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127793)

that is all

OS/2 box (1)

jroesner (200756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127801)

I still have my 1995 era OS/2 box I built. Some of the components go back to 93 or so. I paid an obscene amount in 1996 for the 2.1GB Micropolis SCSI drive in there. Hands down the best component in the thing is the STB 4Com 4 port serial card. With it's myriad of jumpers to set I was amazed it worked right the first time...

1900's Mechanical Cash Register (1)

Radtastic (671622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127869)

I'm not sure if this is what the OP had in mind, but I have a National Cash Register model that I believe is from either 1894 or 1904. (It's been in my garage for about 10 years, with the intentional plan of restoring it.)

All the keys and counter still work. Honestly, I'm amazed by the engineering every time I look inside.

I'm at work, so I can't verify 100%, but this listing from ebay [ebay.co.uk] is pretty close. (I do know it's a "dolphin" design.)

The drawer numbers don't match the register (a detriment for collectors' purposes), but it's still a cool piece of machinery. Weighs a ton.

Also have a C-64 (1)

Radtastic (671622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28128027)

...with a 1541 5.25" floppy drive. It's been about 5 years since I turned the computer itself on, even longer since I tested the drive, not to mention any of the floppies. (Which I still have a few, but haven't been tested in probably 15-20 years.)

It goes without saying, my wife doesn't like my pack-rat habits :)

Commodore 64 (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127883)

Still works, but I haven't tried out the floppy drive (which is ENORMOUS BTW). I still have fond memories of programming in Basic on it. This was way before I even knew there was a such thing as a job for programmers!

The SD2 or the 1702;that's model number, not year. (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127897)

I have a few older pieces in storage elsewhere, but the oldest I can get my hands on without having to leave the apartment is either an MSD SD2 drive [wikipedia.org] or a 1702 [wikipedia.org] monitor.

When I moved I put my C64s into storage, but I brought these two with me. The SD2 was the first piece of hardware I ever fixed. (Sure, it was just a blown fuse, but there's nothing like being given something that was about to be thrown out and making it work just like new.) The monitor was stol^H^H^H^Hsalvaged though wasn't even broken (no one knew how to plug anything into it, so it was left to languish).

Of course, while I'm reasonably sure the SD2 is working (the move wasn't THAT brutal), since I didn't have room for the C64s I have nothing to plug it in to. Though my 1702 monitor works just peachy when fed a composite TV signal. In a pinch, I even used it for a - very blurry - PC monitor on a computer with TV out.

Old (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127911)

what is the oldest working piece of equipment fellow Slashdotters have out there?

There's this rock I use as a paperweight next to my computer. I figure it's anywhere between 100 million and 2 billion years old.

oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127913)

300 baud ought to be enough for anyone. Just bring some time.

Heathkit H11 (1)

Temkin (112574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127921)

Somewhere at my parent's house I have a PDP-11/03 in Heathkit trim (Heathkit H11). It worked last time I tried it. RT-11... Mmmmm.... Ok. No, it was nasty, but back in 1977 it was a 16 bit TRS-80 killer. I think I still have a 300 baud acoustic modem somewhere in a box. It wouldn't be '60's vintage, but mid-70's, not that they evolved much before the Ma Bell lawsuit. I do have a working TRS-80 model 100 laptop.

Now get off my lawn...

I've got a Babbage engine that says--- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28127957)

you're all a bunch of wannabes

My oldest peice. (1)

cat6 (1564551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127963)

Is a Sega master system that was made in 1987. Yes it still works and I play it about twice a year. This was the Nintendo rival for 8 bit systems.

What counts as 'tech'? (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127991)

My 1989 Amiga is plugged in and runs fine (booted it up about a month ago.)
My 1968 HP 182C oscilloscope still works pretty well.
My (grandfather's, which I inherited) Simpson 1932 voltmeter works okay, as does a roughly 1940 Starrett 0.0001" (yes, ten thousandths of an inch) dial indicator.
My (great grandfather's) post vise for blacksmithing, from circa 1880, also works pretty well.
A set of andirons for a fireplace is also ... functional? and I have no idea how old they are, but I know they've been in the family since the 1840's. The threaded fasteners that attach the top bit (knewel?) to the body appear to be hand-filed, although the nut-like objects are tap-threaded.

Commodore Vic20 + tape storage (1)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | more than 5 years ago | (#28127997)

My parents bought me a my first computer, a Commodore Vic-20 in 1982.

Sadly it doesn't work anymore. A freak lightning strike 5 years ago blew the tops off several capacitors and left noticible markings on several chips. :-(

Old Mac (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28128003)

I have a Quadra 700 with a PowerPC upgrade NuBus card installed. It has 12MB of memory and an external 9GB full hight (12 pound) hard drive. I have it connected to my network with a 10Mb/sec AAUI dongle and host a website from it.

No, I won't let you slashdot it - because my crappy DSL would be out before the web server would go down. :)

a dell dimension xps p166c (1)

fl!ptop (902193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28128041)

according to dell's website, it shipped in march 1996. this thing is a rock, all original configuration hardware-wise. installed redhat 6.2 (damn, that was a good o/s) and it's never turned off, unless there's a power outage, or i open it to vacuum out the dust. currently used as my cvs server and local dns. i can't believe the hard drive is still spinning.....

s n d (1)

fche (36607) | more than 5 years ago | (#28128051)

Token slashdot "involve your audience" question: isn't there some news worth writing about today? This isn't it.

Hmm... (1)

downix (84795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28128053)

Oldest equipment I have on the internet would have to be my 1983 Commodore 64, which is a terminal off of my Linux box. Basic RS232 connection.

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