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Technologies that Have Exceeded Their Expectations?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the didn't-know-it-could-do-that-didja dept.

Technology 1037

drfunch asks: "With the recent 'passing' of Pioneer 10 after over 30 years of service, I wonder what other technologies have far exceeded expectations. One example from my own experience is my trusty HP calculator, which is still going strong after 21 years. What technologies or devices have gone far beyond your expectations?"

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1037 comments

SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462311)

I DID IT!

Voyager (3, Insightful)

Elvisisdead (450946) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462321)

The Voyager Probe

Homemade marijuana "hitter". (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462395)

I made it out of a Charmin toilet roll and some tinfoil found on the street back in 1977. To this day I use it.

Voyager last forever.... (3, Funny)

twert (472587) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462452)

Hey just you wait until it comes back to destroy earth as VGER.

Re:Voyager (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462529)

light bulb, electricity and ceiling fan

Beating a Dead Horse? (4, Insightful)

superdan2k (135614) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462323)

The paper-ballot voting booth -- worked just fine for over 200 years...and then, one major screw-up in one state and everything goes to shit. Go figure.

Re:Beating a Dead Horse? (3, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462406)

Yeah, well, people were ok with reading and then punching a hole in a piece of paper for 200 years. But that was before MTV, Fox and Hip-hop.

Washer and Dryer (3, Funny)

Andy_w715 (612829) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462324)

My washer and dryer are almost 30 years old....

Re:Washer and Dryer (2, Funny)

Patik (584959) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462454)

Same here, as well as my refridgerator (well, my parents' actually).

And being a poor college kid, I've got a 20 year old car that, by the looks of it, has been through hell and back.

Re:Washer and Dryer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462485)

how about your refridgerator? is it running?

BETTER GO CHECK!

HEE HAW HEE HAW!

Not Just HP! (3, Interesting)

davecl (233127) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462327)

I have a Casio calculator (FX501p) still running happily after more than 22 years!

Magic Eightball (5, Funny)

Ec|ipse (52) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462333)

My Magic Eightball is great for answering questions from our sales department. Saves a lot of time on some of those questions that rely on actual thinking.

what technologies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462334)

dick extension tool.

Speak And Spell (1)

gsharaf (654543) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462336)

What about the Speak and Spell? BEEEE BEEEE BEEEE BEEEE BEEEE BEEEE... hours of enjoyment.

As a tech support person... (1)

Frogking (126462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462338)

Stupid people shall last forever!

Re:As a tech support person... (5, Insightful)

unicron (20286) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462422)

Always remember the immortal rule of tech support: You couldn't do their job, don't expect them to do yours.

I remember when I was working as a summer intern doing desktop support for a rather large construction & engineering company. I was tagging along with a full-timer, and we walked into a rather large office where the guy I was with remarked "Heh-heh, you're gonna love this guy..stupid fool needed help defragging his HD".

Then I noticed on the wall he had a PHD in physics. Kind of humbled me right there and I realized he could probably learn my job in a month, where as I probably couldn't do his in a million years.

women (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462340)

my wife needs to go. i wanted 2 kids, but we had 3. she wanted an imac, but got a g4.

TV/Telephones (3, Insightful)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462341)

Both the tv and telephone are excellent examples of technology that seems to defy the ages. Esp. the good ole telephone. In this high tech age, it hasen't changed much (well at least from the end user perspective).

How about COBOL? x86? (2, Funny)

siskbc (598067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462494)

Does it count if it sucks and we JUST CAN'T get rid of it because of compatibilty issues?

Or how about Intel's shitty (for now) chip design based on a great (for then) 1970's design?

Palm OS Devices (4, Interesting)

IgD (232964) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462345)

I'd have to put Palm OS devices in this category. I have had a Handspring Visor Deluxe for nearly 3 years now. It's black and white. The are no fancy graphics or sounds. However it keeps a mean phone list, address book and calendar. As a Physician, I like the third party software that is a handy quick reference for pharmaceutical dosing information. I have absolutely no reason to upgrade to anything better.

My Apple //e still works. (5, Funny)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462347)

Although all I play on it is Karateka (sp?). That damn bird...

I got it in 1983.

Mac Classic Going Strong (1)

mrphish697 (219802) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462437)

I fish the classic out of the closet and see if I can still play shufflepuck once and a while. As of last month, it still works fine.

Space Shuttles (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462349)

The space shuttles have far exceeded my expectations.

My First Computer (1)

thunderbird tim (323602) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462350)

Other than the monitor, my original 8088 is still kicking after all these years, although it's not used for anything other than some text based DOS games.

80x286 vs p-200 (1)

f13nd (555737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462354)

well, my trusty 286 computer still works fine chugging along at 12MHz after 14 years, but my pentium 200 didn't even last 5..... which is why i've gone though so many computers lately

What else as gone beyond the norm? (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462358)


..my liver.

Re:What else as gone beyond the norm? (2, Funny)

DaytonCIM (100144) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462550)

LOL. Yeah... I figured after my Freshman year at college I'd need a new one, but... it's still going strong.

them new fangled horseless carriages (2, Funny)

AssFace (118098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462360)

I never thought they's last.

Re:them new fangled horseless carriages (1)

roachmotel3 (543872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462424)

You know, this is very true -- I laugh whenever I think of this, but someone famous, somewhere, had this quote attributed to him. Somehow, it reeks of urban legend, but is still funny.

once said that if cars followed the same development cycle and rate of improvement that computers do, cars today would run at a billion miles an hour, and use one gallon of gas in the process. Every 18 months, your car would be made obsolete, and once a year it would spontaneously explode for no reason, killing everyone inside ;)

Almost as funny as OS airlines!

Re:them new fangled horseless carriages (1)

roachmotel3 (543872) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462503)

Silly me, I should have previewed -- didn't think Plain old text would interpret HTML. Anyway, the first line of the second paragraph should read [Insert Famous Technologist's Name Here] instead of that blank character. :) Ooops.

My electronic alarm clock? (1)

frinkster (149158) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462362)

I've had it since third grade. That puts it at about 15 years old. Is this what you are looking for? Based on the construction, I highly doubt GE planned on a 15+ year lifecycle for this thing.

NEWTON! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462365)

actually, I would think that anyone still driving a 1979 volvo wagon knows the answer to this.

WINDOWS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462367)

Or should I say - MSDOS :)

FAA System (3, Insightful)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462369)

The FAA had a top flight (my pun) system 30 years ago. It's still running and they want to spend billions to upgrade it. The programmers have all retired (or jumped off of buildings in the dot.com bust).

Old pre PC Home Computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462370)

Insert your favorite discontinued 8bit machine here ____________ (i.e. Tandy Color Computer, or TI99)

Linux (5, Insightful)

Rob.Mathers (527086) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462371)

This is a pretty obvious one, but I think Linux has surpassed everyone's expectations, esp. those who knew about it in it's earlier stages. I'm sure Linus never expected it to become so huge, as well as a posterboy for the OSS movement.

Three Words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462374)

Open Source Software.

This is Easy... (3, Funny)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462375)

The Real Doll. That thing goes WAY beyond expectations!

Oh, wait, I dont think thats what you mean, was it...

hmm...

Re:This is Easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462543)

i concur.

good thing my wife doesn't make me clean her out after i'm done.

Texas Instruments Solar Calculator (1)

daeley (126313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462376)

Boomin' Texas Instruments solar calc I got in high school in 1985. Still works perfectly -- so well in fact that my stepson, who's now in high school, is using it. :)

My trusty Sparc 2... (1)

jvanick (537800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462388)

It's been running every day since September of 1993... that's right 10 years... it's gone through 2 hard drives, but is still on the original memory, cpu, power supply, everything. It's amazing that it still runs. -J

I know one.. (3, Insightful)

WndrBr3d (219963) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462390)

The x86 Processor. Created in 1982 with the unveiling of the all mighty 286 (both 8, 10 and 12Mhz speed demons).

Granted the main core has gone through some overhauls (Major ones include 486DX2, Pentium, P6 Core, K6, Athlon).

Seriously though, who would have thought it would hang in there for this long ?! :-)

The Internal Combustion Engine (4, Insightful)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462392)

The design is very much the same as it was 100 years ago and, with the exception of fuel injection and emissions "add-ons", has changed very little in the last 50 years. With some of the V8 engines, manufacturers have been using the same block design for decades.

-S

Re:The Internal Combustion Engine (1)

michaelggreer (612022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462523)

It could be argued, however, that this lack of change is in fact due to inherent design constraints in the combustion engine. Some believe that its end is near, as little more efficiency can be squeezed out of it. It is a 19th century technology (its main compitition was the steam engine), which electric cars might soon surpass in performance, efficiency, and environmental impact.

fan goes woosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462393)


I have a fan from the early-mid 80s (translucent blue blades, white case, can't remember the name). It has been running consistently now for about 8 years (I only turn it off to clean it). It makes absolutely no noise, never needs any maintenance, and works as flawlessly as the day it came out of the box.

I also have 6 fans in the attic that I bought in the 90s. Each one makes horrible noises, requires constant attention, and drives me nuts.

-rt

The 3.5" Floppy (1)

theophilus00 (469290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462397)

...has outlived just about every other piece of the PC. I don't know that it's 'exceeded expectations', but it's certainly hung on.

Re:The 3.5" Floppy (5, Informative)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462497)

I'd say it exceeded its expectations. The floppy disk was originally invented by IBM as a way to insert code updates into mainframes (think flash rom but bigger). Computer scientists/engineers found it could make a handy portable storage media and the 3.5" disk that we use today is just an evolved, smaller version.

Cell phones (1)

Subnirvana337 (572385) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462399)

When they first started out in bags, I had no way of knowing they'd end up the size of a deck of playing cards and smaller with pictures and games. Now EVERYONE has one...

SR-71 Blackbird (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462405)

The SR-71 Blackbird aircraft was in many ways 20-30 years ahead of time when it was first created and put into service. An amazing piece of engineering and materials technology.

Re:SR-71 Blackbird (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462493)

The SR-71 Blackbird aircraft was in many ways 20-30 years ahead of time when it was first created and put into service. An amazing piece of engineering and materials technology.

Is it still in use? I hear mixed things about that.

Not anymore (1, Flamebait)

Patik (584959) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462410)

I think it's all going fade away since manufacturers love to make things of cheap plastic parts. Simple devices like portable CD players barely last 2 years anymore.

Paper Products (2, Insightful)

BSDevil (301159) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462412)

As self-evident as it seems, note paper has stayed around way longer than I expected it to. It's a simple, cheap setup with the ultimate handwriting recognition system. If I want to write someting significant I'll open my word processor, but for quick little notes and calculations nothing will beat my pad of McGill notepaper.

And for planning things out and high-level organizational diagramming, I have yet to find a system that works better than a pad of Post-It notes and a roll of paper. We were promised papreless offices and homes years ago, and people were fortelling the end of Dead Tree books since the emergence of eBooks - but look around. I still see lots of paper on my desk.

We may have been told years ago that it was obsolete, but it's still the number one tool for many jobs.

PCs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462413)

Definately personal computers.

I figured we'd all be wired into some massive virtual reality world by now and could do all computations by waving our hands around all cool like Tom Cruise.

One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462414)

SNMP !

pants (5, Funny)

Hnice (60994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462421)

for what seems like decades now we've been hearing wild, utopian speculation regarding an endless stream of leg-covering technologies, each hailed as a 'pants-killer'. on seemingly a yearly basis, it seems, sony or microsoft or archer daniels midland trots out some promising technology to replace pants -- some intended to render not just the item but the entire pants PARADIGM obselete forever. but for all this new-fangledness, what's that on your ass, i ask you? huh!?!?

man, am i hung over.

Internet (1)

countzer0interrupt (628930) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462431)

The Internet. Originally set up as a way of maintaining communication after a widespread nuclear attack, it has become the fastest source of information on practically everything, a worldwide centre for commerce and a great way to meet people. (Just ask my girlfriend. :-D)

rectotechnology (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462434)

a good example [goatse.cx] that has exceeded my expectations.

Electroic dictionary (1)

SuperMallen (156287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462435)

Beyond the obvious stuff like refrigerators, cars, clocks, and so on, the little Franklin dictionary my dad got me as a present in 1994 or so still treats me very well when a mysterious word pops up in my dictionary.

HTML (4, Insightful)

seldolivaw (179178) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462438)

It started off just being a simple language for describing academic documents. Now you can plug so much junk into HTML that you can create whole applications. HTML is bursting at the seams because of all these hacks and extra languages tacked on to the end, but it still works. I think that's amazing.

my penis (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462440)

this device has greatly exceeded my expectations

My old windows install floppy. (4, Insightful)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462441)

I don't use floppies for much more than install disks for linux anymore, so pretty much any disk I have rotting in the closet is fair game for a reformatting to serve as a boot disk. I've gone through stacks of disks, one goes bad, I toss it out and pick the next one on the stack.. except for this one ancient maxell floppy I have.

I used it back when my parents got their 486 (in the early 90's) for holding windows 3.11, it was an OEM release and the first time you loaded the machine it prompted you through swapping disks to copy out recovery disks.

This disk has followed me in moving about the country four times now, it's gone from alaska to oregon to new jersey to california to illinois. Currently it's a boot disk for redhat 7.1, and I use it at work several times a week.

No it's not a 20 year old calculator, but considering most claim floppy disks have two year lifespans, the fact this is STILL my most reliable floppy makes it interesting. It even has the original "Windows 3.11 disk 8" label I wrote up for it on it, scribbled out. Underneath it is written "slackware #1" and "redhat boot".

They really don't make 'em like they used to. ;)

The Thermos (0)

Anixamander (448308) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462443)

I bought one years ago in order to keep hot stuff hot, but much to my surprise...

...wait for it...

yeah, you know how this one ends. Never mind.

CmdrTaco's condoms (-1)

Horny Smurf (590916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462444)

they've last since he bought them his freshman year in high school. Of course, they've never been used.

Stuff that lasts (2, Interesting)

PokeBlor (415571) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462445)

I would have to say that my orginal Nintendo controllers has out lasted my expectations. 16 years old and I still have my orginal ones. Not like those horrible N64 controllers. I have to buy a new one of those every few months.

Cheap stuff that lasts longer than it "should" (1)

pr0ntab (632466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462446)

  • Koss open-ear headphones (just replace the pads a few times...)
  • My NES and SNES, some carts with battery-backed save still work
  • Ethernet (lol!)
  • My SparcStation 10 (12+ years old and running a 32-bit OS, nice)
  • etc.


Internet (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462447)

by far, I think the is one of the technologies that goes more far from their expectations. Or if you want, the World Wide Web itself is pretty impressive alone.

Re:Internet (1)

michaelggreer (612022) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462553)

The Internet is not a technology, but a vast array of seperate technologies. However, any of these (HTML, HTTP, TCP-IP) is an excellent candidate.

Oldies but goodies! (2, Interesting)

PiratePTG (608376) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462453)

I still use my Kaypro10 for Amateur Radio packet, and a RatShack Model 100 for testing serial comms....

And just to tweak the youngsters at work, I still keep my trusty Pickett sliderule in my desk....

Another interesting one.. (2, Interesting)

WndrBr3d (219963) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462458)

How about VHS technology ? I know that DVD is soon going to phase it out, but I mean seriously. The first VHS recorder was released in 1976! And I mean, if you exclude the ESP, EP, SP recording options, there wasn't really any major changes to the format since then!

I exclude SVHS because it's more or less a completely different format on the same media.

Kinda crazy if you think about it.

My AM/FM Radio... (1)

printman (54032) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462462)

I got a "pocket" AM/FM radio for my 8th birthday that is still going strong; I keep it for emergencies since it only needs a 9V battery and takes a beating...

Casio Scientific Calculator (3, Interesting)

nanojath (265940) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462464)

When I was a Junior in high school - 1989 - I bought a Casio scientific calculator, solar powered with a lithium cell back-up, for about 30 dollars. Through high school Trig and Pre-calculus, three college calculus classes, and a chemistry undergraduate degree, I used the thing a ton and it took a beating in the process. 14 years later I'm still using it... and the battery is still good (I guess that solar cell is doing its job.


Oh and another thing - when I first started college, I bought a single Sony double-density 3.5 floppy disk. That's 12 years ago and it still works. Yes, yes, I know, floppies are obsolete... but really, I bought a box of 3.5s (figuring they'd be a lifetime supply) and I'm lucky if I get a dozen rewrites out of them. That original floppy has been overwritten literally thousands of times. What gives with that?

Trusty Old Computers... (3, Informative)

ethzer0 (603146) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462465)

I love my old Amiga 2000. It still does some things better than a damned PC. *sigh*

Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462475)

Windows, from 3.1 until XP is the greatest and most advanced computer operating system ever concieved.

Packard Bell desktop machine (1)

Aerin (593007) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462476)

A Packard Bell desktop machine, currently in use by the third member of my family to own it, was purchased in 1996 and carried in a suitcase to become a Christmas present. That machine has a 500 MB hard drive and is insanely slow, compared to machines produced today. When I was using it (4 years ago), it was already slow but performed all the functions I needed it to (Word, chat, e-mail...). It is still running -- I think it has Windows 95 and can manage an AOL connection. Not the oldest machine in the world, but still fairly impressive. Especially since the machine I had after that one died after two years...

Best device ever (2, Funny)

stubblehead (565808) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462479)

I've got this electric-synapse device in my skull that's been working terrific for over 23 years. And the original batteries that came with it still work! The only downside is the warrenty/insurance - it's a large monthly fee, but, hey, it's an expensive, fragile piece of equipment.

Radio Shack (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462486)

I have P.A. Loud Speakers that over 25yrs old from them. They are part of my home theater now.

My TRS-80 (0)

tlahoda (517335) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462487)

still works just fine. I fire it up every once in a while just to remember what it was like.

The plain old wood pencil and ball point pen (2, Insightful)

PotatoHead (12771) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462491)

With all the ways to capture information we have today, these two still are quite effective.

Other methods have more fidelity, but none have the simple human factors.

Guess I have to add paper to this list as well...

Fast Food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462501)

The hamburger and other fast food and subsequent speedy food preparation and delivery innovations that free us from having to spend hours each day just to eat. No one could have predicted the societal changes (both good and some negative) such freedom has enabled.

My watch's battery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5462502)

I bought a watch in Brazil 5 years ago for less than 3 dollars and it still works! (I haven't changed the battery)

LONG LIVED TECHNOLOGY? (2, Interesting)

TREETOP (614689) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462504)

I bought that original Seiko LCD watch (the one profiled in Playboy and the Bond movies back in the early '70s, and believe it or not, the thing still works well after 25+ years. The only drawback is that it weighs more than small car and continues to make me lean to the left. Not a political position I enjoy. --AND-- that boombox that I bought in Japan (National Panasonic!)(1975) still pumps loud rock to this day. (it's also a heavyweight)

Yamaha remote control batteries (1)

mmuskratt (232684) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462512)

I have a Yamaha remote control that came with the 10 disk CD Changer and endured almost daily use from 1990 to 2000...never once changed the batteries for 10 years!

TCP/IP (3, Insightful)

clevelandguru (612010) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462513)

The people who developed TCP/IP would have never thought it would be used as widely as it is now. ISO OSI stack was supposed to be the standard network protocol. But It failed miserably.

The Internal Combustion Engine. (2, Interesting)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462518)

Think about it.

Invented more than 100 years ago, it's been refined to a point where it is very reliable and reasonabally effecient (from a chemical energy perspective).

Even a modern engine is still basically the same as the Ford Model T. We've just made it more effecient.

My first car, a 1975 Buick LeSaber had an Olds 455 that sucked so much gas I needed to take out a loan to fill the tank (and gas was $.34/l). My latest car, a 2003 Mercury Marauder has a 4.6l Cobra Engine that would kick that old 455 easily. It uses 1/6 the fuel with 3/4 the displacement developing 40% more ponies, and won't need to be rebuilt as often.

Aviation (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462537)

I'm partial to this one, as a pilot, but the leaps in aviation are amazing. We went from being able to fly a couple hundred feet to thousands of miles in a matter of decades. it has urged us towards the space program, and has become an integral part of our society.

My (completely biased) $0.02.

Lessee... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462541)

Mac SE's (especially SE/30's) have mostly passed out of service now but a lot of them were still in use well into the Windows95 era. SE/30's run Linux or NetBSD and are still in demand for mailservers and similar functions.

Hexcel skis [ebay.com] are still popular among backcountry skiiers for their extremely light weight.

Original Playstations still seem relatively popular, given the usual console lifespan. (/me regrets buying a $50 Dreamcast instead, and finding no cheap games available any more.

You know, despite all the whining about "they don't make 'em like they used to", most new major purchases last a long time. You expect 150,000 miles out of a car or 20 years from a refrigerator, which didn't used to be the case.

My Good ole IBM PC jr (1)

doublesix (590400) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462544)

... going on 20 yrs and it still runs Turbo Pascal and Kings Quest like a mfkn charm.

My personal favorite, my USRobotics Courier (1)

xTK-421x (531992) | more than 11 years ago | (#5462548)

I bought this external modem (for cheap at the time, $170 which was half price I believe) from USRobotics as a field tester in 1993, and I helped them test the new V.FC 28.8 standard.

After the field test was over, USR gave me a free upgrade to every future standard. So I got V.FC+, V34, X2, and V90 all free. They finally gave up on upgrades with V.92, but the modem died a few weeks ago anyway.

10 years of service, with all those free upgrades. I have to say that lasted a lot long than I thought it would.
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