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Is the Game Boy the Toughest Product Ever Made?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the electronic-cockroaches dept.

Portables (Games) 547

An anonymous reader writes "CNET is running an article about tough technology, which aptly includes the Nintendo Game Boy, a device so tough that mine still works after many years. 'There's no two ways about it: the original Game Boy is one of the hardest gadgets ever conceived. Rumor has it this beige behemoth isn't made of plastic, but from the skulls of fallen Gurkhas. If you ever saw one that was broken, it's because it lost a boxing match with a nuclear bomb — on points.' So do you agree that the Game Boy is the toughest consumer electronics device ever made?"

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Pet Rock... (5, Funny)

rthille (8526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310208)


I still have my pet rock, 30+ years later...

Re:Pet Rock... (5, Funny)

show me altoids (1183399) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310290)

Game Boy covers Pet Rock. You lose!

Re:Pet Rock... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310536)

I read somewhere that the Nintendo Game Boy wasn't made by Nintendo but instead summoned by Chuck Norris..

I read it on a blog so it must be true...

Re:Pet Rock... (1, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310744)

Not true, no one knows where Game Boys come from, however they are in fact tougher than Chuck Norris who once broke both his thumbs playing one.

Not That Tough (4, Informative)

dshaw858 (828072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310724)

I was playing a frustrating game on my original Game Boy back in the day, got frustrated and hit it against my head--I broke the internal screen, and it couldn't display games correctly anymore. So it's not that tough...

Re:Not That Tough (5, Funny)

TyrainDreams (982007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310810)

That or your head is just that dense...i mean clearly you smashed things into your head...its probably pretty tough...

Re:Not That Tough (1)

TheMoonRat (937781) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310852)

I did the exact same thing - though it was because the "Golf" cartridge refused to work. The damn Nintendo sign when loading would be corrupted; cue lots of blowing into the cartridge, and anger with headbutt when it STILL didn't work :'(

Phones (back when the phone company owned them) (5, Interesting)

myawn (562028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310234)

Back in the stone age when you didn't own your phone, but just leased it from the phone company, those things were darn near indestructible.

Re:Phones (back when the phone company owned them) (4, Funny)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310358)

And their armored cousin, the public pay phone, was no slouch either.

Re:Phones (back when the phone company owned them) (5, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310820)

And their armored cousin, the public pay phone, was no slouch either.
Trust me, you don't want to lose one of those in the toilet.

Re:Phones (back when the phone company owned them) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310572)

"Back in the stone age when you didn't own your phone, but just leased it from the phone company"

And guess what, most people still don't 'own' their phone today, they just least it, or rent to own really.

You don't own your software either.

You are just licensed to use it.

Re:Phones (back when the phone company owned them) (1)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310698)

Agreed. I've got an old Nortel display phone that must be well over 15 years. It survived at least seven moves and being dropped on the ground countless times. Nothing has stopped working on it and it's still going strong. Now that I think about it, my SNES must be the oldest technical gadget that is still in fine working order. I got mine before they were even available in retail in Canada. Oh, the memories!

Re:Phones (back when the phone company owned them) (3, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310726)

Nearly, but not quite. I had one damaged by a lightning stike. Interestingly you could still make calls on the phone, but the coil that motivated the ringer was shot so you could not hear incoming calls.

Re:Phones (back when the phone company owned them) (4, Insightful)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310934)

You make that sound like a bad thing...

Re:Phones (back when the phone company owned them) (0, Offtopic)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310884)

per your sig: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl [slashdot.org] ...and everyone can see the articles in the future, much earlier than the subscribers and without editor bias censorship.

Does anyone care (-1, Troll)

$inisterAngel (768361) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310236)

Really? I don't.

Does anyone care that this guy doesn't care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310356)

Didn't think so.

Does anyone wish to suck my cock? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310532)

Really? You do.

I love mine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310238)

It still works like a charm.

Blah (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310246)

http://www.aqualion.com/blog/uploaded_images/football-777893.jpg [aqualion.com]

I've had this for over 25 years. Still works.

Re:Blah (1)

fishybell (516991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310314)

Until a couple years ago I had one of those (purchased it from a thift shop). It worked fine for quite a while, but eventually all the buttons did the same thing; turn the game off. Turns out soda beats football.

Re:Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310826)

dit-dit-dit-dit-duh-daaaah!!

The more important question is... (5, Funny)

lanthar (962279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310250)

Will it blend?

Re:The more important question is... (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310548)

If it won't - then the second question is "can you smoke it?"

(Yeah - this is a really low comment bad for my karma...)

Re:The more important question is... (1)

SterlingSylver (1122973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310564)

A man in Idaho once tried....he doesn't like to talk about what happened, and that may be because he no longer has a mouth

Re:The more important question is... (1)

ohtani (154270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310892)

Game Boy smoke. Don't breathe that in.

HP 1x Calculators (1)

barra.ponto (879488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310264)

HP 1xC calculator series, e.g. 12, 15, 16, etc. My HP15C is 22 years old and runs on the original set of batteries.

Re:HP 1x Calculators (2, Funny)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310492)

You mean those nuclear or perpetuum-volt ones?

Re:HP 1x Calculators (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310634)

Which means that you don't use it or else you wouldn't be using your original set of batteries.

But - yes it is a very nice calculator and reliable. It certainly belongs to the list of GOOD devices. Compared to the TIIII 555577 that some were punished with...

Re:HP 1x Calculators (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310796)

My original set of batteries lasted perhaps 10 years - of daily use.

I know somewho who dropped his in the mud, had a truck run over it, and then hosed it off. The thing still works to this day, but the keypad is a bit flat.

Idestructible.

I also know someone who had a Marantz stereo in a house fire. The demo crews pitched it out of a 3rd story window. He fished it out of the junk pile, cleaned it, and it still worked....

There are some pieces of technology that have achieved perfection, and the only possible improvement is a radical change in design. (That's a Heinlein paraphrase; I belive from Glory Road. Anyone have the quote handy?)

Hmm (3, Informative)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310278)

I dunno. Every single Zippo I've ever owned has been pretty robust. Those Ironman watches popular back in the 80's were fairly hardy, too.

My wife's 2nd gen iPod has seen constant and rugged use since it was bought and it still works great.

While I'm here, I'd like to also give a shoutout to my ancient HP Vectra VE, which until recently was my file/dyndns/hotline server . They don't make PCs like they used to, that's for sure.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310872)

We had Vectras at a major airline I worked at. The were outside in the skycaps podium, every ticket counter position, every gate position, down in depths of the airport basement in the baggage rooms, the maintanance hangers, outside covered areas etc..
Even with the inside 100% completely filled with dust bunnies, black soot, the cover half torn off, being beat on, used as book ends and falling off the stands, coffee sitting areas, they worked great for years. The only problems we ever had with them was a batch that had faulty fujitsu HDs and the few that used the floppy drive had issues because of the dirt.

I give the same props to the 40 pound TI-810 [omnidatasys.net] printer AKA the "tank". Dust and paper fragments filled the entire unit but that thing still would crank out print jobs in triplecate. The Oki320 was decent but just not as durable.

Re:Hmm (1)

thetheorist (1233760) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310910)

Every Zippo I've owned had the hinge snap after 2-3 years of service. I've sent several of them in for repairs. The little solder job they do holds up for about another year before it snaps again. As for the gameboy, gotta agree with other posters that while the case may have been hardy as hell, the LCD inevitably developed lines or other problems.

Mine still works (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310284)

The plastic is all yellow, and there are many blank lines on the screen, but it still works well enough to play my original copies of Tetris and Excitebike. I still suck at Excitebike.

Re:Mine still works (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310588)

Mine still works also. However, I have seen broken LCD screens on them. So its not like they are indestructible. If you take fairly good care of it then you'll have it for years. I have a 4 drawer plastic box filled with different things from when I grew up. If they are not worth anything to pawn shops when I become 50+ then at least they will be worth something to me :-P. Hopefully my future wife does not junk them :-(.

Spent a week in the lake (5, Interesting)

NickisGod.com (453769) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310298)

I remember my brother dropped his Gameboy in a lake accidentally when he was younger. It was under water for a week until friends of ours with scuba gear found it.

That damn thing worked after we dried it out for a couple days and popped fresh batteries in it. It was missing a couple lines on the display, but it worked.

Granted, it was fresh water, but still.

Re:Spent a week in the lake (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310516)

I put my el cheapo MP3 player through the washer and dryer, and it still works like a charm.

Um, what? (4, Informative)

molo (94384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310310)

My gameboy was next to useless after a year or so of use. There were many verical columns on the LCD that stopped displaying. Cleaning the cartridge connection didn't seem to help either. Yeah, you could drop it and it would still function, but that display would give out eventually.

-molo

Re:Um, what? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310366)

Same here. Both Game Boys I've owned in the past failed within 2-3 years in this manner (vertical columns of the display failing). Attempts to clean and reseat the connector never helped and usually made the problem worse.

Re:Um, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310662)

I had the same problem. There was a Nintendo recall on that defect. Call Nintendo up and get your Gameboy screen fixed for free.

Atari 2600 controller (2, Informative)

robvs68 (560549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310320)

I've always been amazed by the controller that came with the Atari 2600. My friends and I beat the crap out of it for years and not only did it survive, it barely showed any wear.

Re:Atari 2600 controller (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310762)

That controller was tougher than the humans. "Atari Thumb" was the RSI of the early 80's. Anyone but me do the trick of taping a dime to the top of the button contact to reduce the travel time? I had a couple controllers that actually required the dime trick because the button wore a hole through the contact. Worked all right for the stick contacts too, though it made it a bit fiddly.

(yeah, posted just after me carping about slow news days. it's just the "ask slashdot" part of it that bugged me)

Re:Atari 2600 controller (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310880)

I've always been amazed by the controller that came with the Atari 2600.

You must have had a different type of controller than I did because the plastic "seat" which pressed on the four direction switches inside at the end of the stick was a ring connected by four little diagonal supports to the control stick and as soon as one of those supports broke [robotroom.com] , the two directions controlled by that diagonal would be kinda lame.

required subject is stupid (1)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310328)

everything nintendo makes is tough. I never had a nintendo product break. and I've dropped all of my systems at least twice.

No, and here is why... (1)

Fat Wang (1230914) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310330)

The Gameboy has never held the Diablo, Diablo: Hellfire, Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction games. And it will never hold the Diablo III releases. The lack of real games and abundance of Mario this and Mario that will always be the stone wall holding this paper weight back.

!DIAF (4, Interesting)

Oxy the moron (770724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310344)

I remember reading a blurb in an issue of Nintendo Power (I want to say sometime in the early 90's) that featured a picture of a Game Boy that had supposedly been in a house fire. They were able to fit the Tetris cartridge back into the slot, turn the game on, and actually play it (albeit, with some loss in the pixels) even though the shell of the system was almost completely charred.

I think that's pretty hardcore.

Re:!DIAF (4, Informative)

k_187 (61692) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310426)

If that's what I'm thinking of it was actually a tent fire during the first Iraq war. THe front was charred, but you could pop games in and barely see/play them. Not bad. Nintendo even sent them a new one to replace it.

Re:!DIAF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310818)

I think that's pretty hardcore.
No dude... that's f**king metal!!!

NO! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310348)

The SEGA GENESIS NIGGER EDITION WITH SPECIAL RON PAUL AND HEATH LEDGER DECALS is the toughest product ever made. You could shoot a fried chicken leg at nearly c, which would destroy any other thing on the planet, and still the thing would fucking devour the little morsel of poultry, while at the same time being a gay, constitution protecting cowboy!!

Gameboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310354)

No, it's not. Try punching the screen because you've scored 500,000+ on Tetris and then made a stupid mistake.
Never did get to see what the full shuttle looks like.

No rocket scientist (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310380)

...but I do think a "blackbox" comes instantly to mind.

That's *some* evidence you've got there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310390)

a device so tough that mine still works after many years
Wow. A single anecdotal instance of a not particularly impressive feat. Crown it now!

Bad LCDs (4, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310398)

I went through three original Game Boys back in the day because the LCD screens kept on losing vertical lines. These were generally near the edges of the screen, but one got so bad that nearly half the screen didn't work. I'm sure they probably still power up just fine, but if you can't see what's on the screen it doesn't really matter.

OLPC XO Laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310412)

Sadly, I haven't yet been able to put one to the test, myself, but I hear that the XO Laptop from the One Laptop Per Child project is extremely rugged. It might be a good contender.

You never owned a Game Boy (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310422)

Anyone who did knows that they're not beige ;)

Re:You never owned a Game Boy (5, Funny)

GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310800)

Anyone who did knows that they're not beige ;)
Anyone who played one for a while knows the color of the case changed over time from white to beige to yellow to brown to ewwimnottouchingthatanymore.

Re:You never owned a Game Boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310864)

Anyone who did knows that they're not beige ;)

They are now. Kind of a yellowish shade of beige.

This one survived the first Gulf War (5, Interesting)

simdan (207210) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310424)

A bit lightly toasted [wikipedia.org] . The page has a link to a YouTube video on it as well.

Nope, look at the iPhone...get flattened by a semi (3, Interesting)

strredwolf (532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310428)

Engadget report here: http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/02/iphone-takes-on-semi-lives-to-tell-the-tale/ [engadget.com]

One iPhone, gets left out... and flattened by a Semi tractor trailer. Took a lickin', kept on tickin'.

Man, I wish my iPod was half that tough. :( (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310592)

Hard drive crapped out just past the six month warranty period and Apple's not interested in doing anything with it for less than $180 + shipping + labor. I hate to say it but I'd rather spend that money on a Zune.

Motorola DynaTAC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310430)

These guys were as tough as they come.
http://www.retrobrick.com/moto8000.html [retrobrick.com]

The only piece of tech I broke within two weeks (1)

wiggles (30088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310436)

I got mine for Christmas the year the original came out. I also got a copy of Tennis for it. I got so mad at that game, I slammed the GB against my head and destroyed the screen. I had to pay $30 of my own money to replace it, too, which for a 13 year old in 1990 with no allowance, was rough.

Re:The only piece of tech I broke within two weeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310838)

I did that too -- I was an aggressive kid and smashed the gameboy against my head more than once before the screen caved in...

I broke mine (1)

UserGoogol (623581) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310440)

When I was a kid I broke my Gameboy after a few years of having it by dropping a book on it and cracking the screen.

Melty (2, Interesting)

Middle - Adopter (906754) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310446)

It may not be a nuke, but there's a gameboy in Nintendo's NYC store that survived a barracks bombing (no clue as to which side's barracks it was, though.) It's on display there, still playing Tetris to this day.

here's a pic and a flash video of it:
http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/video-fully-functional-gulf-war-gameboy#more-6645 [techeblog.com]

Pretty badass...

Creative Media (5, Interesting)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310458)

Zen Jukebox:

  1. Dropped in bucket of paint from hip height: still worked
  2. Dropped in bucket of paint thinner from chest height: Removed paint from earlier drop, still worked
  3. No vista support... Coaxed drivers on vista anyway... STILL WORKS BABY!

Re:Creative Media (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310646)

techpawn wins the thread!

Especially for point #3 ;)

Re:Creative Media (1)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310922)

I had a nomad 3 that survived water damage, and about 10 drops on concrete and a few accidental kicks. it finally died when i dropped it, and it happened to hit the concrete right on the headphone jack, breaking the female end of the jack into several pieces.
I could have fixed it, but it was time to let go.

Palm Vx (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310476)

Mine still works. Whereas my E2 essentially crapped out after a year.

Digitizer (1)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310686)

My Vx is still ticking, but the digitizer is hosed. Almost every time I turn it on I need to realign the digitizer.

Re:Palm Vx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310912)

Ahh, the good old Vx. I had mine as a hand-me-down after hard use, and it lasted from 2002 to Christmas this year. In the end, the digitizer had to be reset every couple weeks, and it had to be fiddled with to get it in the cradle to charge, and the power button on the top didn't work (but of course you could reprogram the front buttons to work just fine). It was still working great though, battery still lasted forever, and it was perfectly usable. Best device I ever had. Eventually, though, it just stopped turning on one day. I could get it to reset for a few seconds, but it wouldn't stay on after that. I might have been able to fix it, but I decided that it would only be downhill from there, and it was time for a new one. If only they still made them that good.

How Fortuitous... (1)

Orphaze (243436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310480)

A few days ago I attempted to turn my original game boy on for the first time in about five years, and to my extreme disappointment it appears to be dead.

Can anyone advise me on any possible avenues of repair? I've already cleaned the battery contacts and put a fresh set of batteries in to no avail. I've got a tri-wing driver coming to me in the mail shortly, so I'll be able to open it up for a proper look, but I thought it would be wise to ask around here if anyone knows any common problems these old systems can have.

Sill works here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310506)

I still have mine and the only real problems with it is that there are a few marks and scratches over the A and B buttons. Other then that, it's in prime condition. Might be worth something so day.

Anyway, the original Game Boy had a small cap over the link cable connector (something that the later ones didn't), I ended up loosing that, but does anyone still have theirs? That was a pain to hang on too.

Nintendo Wii Controller (5, Funny)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310508)

Apparently, more weapon than controller it is capable of withstanding high speed impact with stationary objects, LCD/plasma TVs, dry wall, idiots, etc.

Not as tough as my skull!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310510)

I was a hardcore gamer back in the '90s and I would easily get upset. Point is, I broke my Game Boy from smashing the screen against my forehead repeatedly. So, as tough as this device is, I can say it's not as tough as a child's skull!

Durability stopped with the origional GB. (2, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310570)

The DS screens break (top one specifically) if you fart too close to it. I still haven't broken my DSlite... yet..., but I went through 4 DS's with them in my laptop bag when they were damaged.

I also broke several GB advances, I think it's the flip open design, it stresses the screens somehow.

Re:Durability stopped with the origional GB. (1)

rekenner (849871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310914)

I've had every gameboy since the original (Sans pocket and DSlite), and they've all been through heavy use. All of them still work if I pop batteries into them. My DS has been through a lot, as it's been the one I've carried around the most - The outside doesn't look too spiffy, but there's been no functional damage. Same goes with all the Nintendo portables owned by friends of mine - I've never seen one break.

No. That would be the Rancilio Sylvia (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310574)


http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/rancilio_silvia [coffeegeek.com]

That thing is freak'n indestructible. I've had one for almost seven years, use it daily - sometimes left on all day - and the damn thing just won't break. I wonder if I'll have it for the rest of my life because it shows no signs of impending failure.

I dunno about that (4, Interesting)

MyDixieWrecked (548719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310580)

I got my first gameboy when I was about 8 years old when I was going on a flight by myself to see my mom in FL. That one lasted me probably about 8 months. I remember the first time I broke it, I dropped it down the front steps at my gramma's house. The device stayed intact, but the screen wouldn't display anything except for a couple of horizontal black lines.

I got a new unit a couple months later from my dad which lasted me close to a year before it finally wouldn't turn on one day. We tried replacing the batteries, but nothing would fix it. I remember seeing my dad with it open on his desk doing some kind of surgery to it. He wound up taking the screen out of that one and transplanting it into my first one, thereby fixing it (I had to do a similar thing with my PSP, but that's another story). That gameboy still works to this day, although I made the mistake of putting the majority of my gameboy and gamegear games into the same drawer as this 8" speaker magnet that I had and none of them work anymore.

I've got really bad luck with electronics... Not including the normal upgrade process, only replacements for faulty units, I've had about 6 ipods, more than 10 cell phones, 3 palm pilots, 2 PSPs, 3 xbox360s, 2 Wiis, about 6 Laptops, a dozen monitors (CRT), countless harddrives (well over 20), and several new headphones, keyboards, mice, digital cameras, drive enclosures and powerbricks. Many were replaced under warranty, but still.

Re:I dunno about that (5, Insightful)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310612)

I've got really bad luck with electronics... Not including the normal upgrade process, only replacements for faulty units, I've had about 6 ipods, more than 10 cell phones, 3 palm pilots, 2 PSPs, 3 xbox360s, 2 Wiis, about 6 Laptops, a dozen monitors (CRT), countless harddrives (well over 20), and several new headphones, keyboards, mice, digital cameras, drive enclosures and powerbricks. Many were replaced under warranty, but still.
Hmm. Sounds like a user issue to me.

Re:I dunno about that (1)

QMO (836285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310768)

Your electronics budget is too big.

Re:I dunno about that (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310780)

Only 2 360s? Wow. Doesn't sound like bad luck to me.

slow news day (0, Offtopic)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310596)

Posting idle brainfarts is just a product of boredom, but this making it onto the front page? I mean come on, seriously. I have to go invent a Remote Dumbass-Thwack Protocol for the originators of this one.

Some old radios (1)

GroundBounce (20126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310608)

I have a 45 year old GE portable AM radio, and a 40+ year old Marantz [marantz.com] stereo receiver that still works fine. Gameboys are very robust and can possibly take more physical abuse (my son's still works fine), but they have many years to go to catch up with some of these other things.

Other products (2, Insightful)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310648)

I never owned a Game Boy, but I did own a lot of other things that held up well over the years.

My first camera was a Canon Snappy 35mm. It held its own for many years. By comparison, the non-digital Elph2 I got afterwards made it through a single summer (of near daily travel and use).

The only phones that ever survived abuse were my old Nokias. I dropped them countless times and they always worked.

As much as I dislike a lot of Sony's corporate policies, their consumer products I've bought have been sturdy as hell. My Sports Walkman worked flawlessly for a decade, and the CD-Walkman I got afterwards made it through a summer of constant traveling unscathed.

It is too early to tell, but I think the 2nd-gen iPod shuffles will hold up well. There's not much to them, after all.

Something has to be said for hardware designed in the 80s. I think the new small, sleek, shiny designs lend themselves to not be as reliable over the long run; any cosmetic defects would be more apparent.

My parents have an old IBM XT. Ten years after they got it, I was using it for word processing, programming, and who knows what else. I booted it up a few weeks ago and it was running like I remembered it, over 20 years later. An old wood-paneled Kenmore TV also lasted about twenty years.

What I've heard is that in certain types of consumer electronics (especially ones where form factor, not software is likely to change), the first-generation products usually hold up extremely well. These are things like the $1000 CD players and $500 DVD players. They become cheaper as they reach a mass market due to economies of scale, but the components usually get cheaper too.

Nintendo... (3, Interesting)

Brad_Silva (54385) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310696)


My Son has a GBA, GBA SP and GBA DS. They all still work despite being dropped, crushed in backpacks, and having been loaned to a two year old nephew. Pretty hard to beat that sort of treatment.

With the exception of the absolutely completely f9(^*(%'n useless screen on the GBA, I've been very impressed with Nintendo game machines.

Seriously, what idiot released the original GBA?

Brad

Toughest device? (5, Funny)

Punk CPA (1075871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310730)

I would have to nominate my flash drive. I left it in my pants one time, and it survived a trip through the washer and dryer. I should really have hand-washed it, though: it shrank from 1 gb to 512 mb.

Cartridge Systems (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310740)

I've noticed this is true of most cartridge systems. I remember back in college we obliterated a Nintendo 64 with a bat and a BB gun. No doubt alcohol was involved. Regardless, it still worked - despite the rather large hole in the middle of the console.

Xbox 360 (4, Funny)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310784)

Man, I wish 360's were that durable. Mine just about red rings every time I use my microwave, and dammit, i love my ramen noodles!

Beige ? (1)

Phiu-x (513322) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310844)

The original Gameboy was light grey. It may appear beige becausebecause the case is old and faded but it was light gray to match it Nes cousin.

My squier electric guitar (1)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310846)

It's cheap, sounds cheap, but it won't die. it's been dropped (hard) numerous times, exposed to harsh conditions, nothing seems to stop it. Worst it gets is needing a little bit of pot cleaning every few years. Also, my Kenwood KR-4130 Stereo Reciever - I don't know how old it is, I just know I got it second hand 12 years ago, and I've dropped it, left it outside for months, and then left it powered on for years to drive speakers, headphones, whatever. It's heavier than air, but it still works and sounds heavenly!

Not so much (5, Funny)

boowax (229348) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310868)

My brother's forehead Christmas Day 1990 1
Gameboy 0

Model M is the toughest product ever made (2, Insightful)

X-Dopple (213116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310878)

You just can't argue with a keyboard that has a 2mm steel plate.

Weak Points (1)

HunterZ (20035) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310882)

The original Gameboy has some weak points:

- Buttons and d-pad use rubber pads with carbon contacts. The rubber is prone to tearing from normal wear, and the carbon contacts are susceptible to dirt buildup. I ordered aftermarket replacement pads when mine wore out.

- The LCD screen would often develop vertical lines of non-working pixels. Not sure what causes this - probably connector related.

- Dust can get in between the screen and cover plate. At least it can be opened and cleaned, unlike my GBA SP (although my SP seems to be better sealed against dust infiltration, making it a non-issue).

- Crude cartridge lock on the power switch is prone to breakage caused by rough handling. Nintendo used to be paranoid (in the original NES/GB eras) about people removing cartridges during save operations I think.

Other design issues:

- Speaker had a powerful magnetic driver. You could stick paper clips to the back of the GB or mess up CRT displays with it!

- Nonstandard AC adapter connector was a pain, but foreshadowed an era of proprietary connectors in handheld devices.

- Power LED was always on, and dimmed as battery died. This drained a bit of extra power. I guess modern systems are at least as bad, but at least they have rechargeable batteries built in now.

- Screen cover plate got scratched up, but then I couldn't seem to polish the scratches out.

The things I really liked about it:

- Even though it used 4 AA batteries, it squeezed every last drop of charge from them before they died.

- Stereo sound when headphones are used.

- Adjustable contrast.

- Standard headphone connector.

- Mine still works after almost 20 years.

Couldn't survive my uppercut... (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310888)

I took a trip to florida when I was a kid, and my parents bought me a baseball game for my GameBoy for the trip. I can't remember which one it was, but it was infuriating. I think I'd lost 15 games in a row in the last inning, and I just snapped in the hotel room near the state line, and punched the screen. Immediately I saw the crack and the impending Dark Water seep from within. I had to stash it for the rest of the trip because I was so embarrassed. And nothing says punishment like staring at an unusable Motocross Maniacs cartridge on a ten hour car trip...

Charred Tanks and Toilets (1)

Acebob (1233768) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310898)

If I remember correctly, a game boy was once pulled out of a tank during Desert Storm that had been hit by some anti-tank weaponry, caught on fire, and evacuated. It still worked despite being a bit disfigured from the extreme heat. You can also flush a game cube down the toilet without serious damage.

Nintendo Gamecube it's pretty tough too (3, Interesting)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22310926)

Remember the Gamecube car test we posted a few years ago?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEvlWQ5ULCg [youtube.com]

Same with original Nintendo DS, when closed mode it will withstand most drops.

Not indestructable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22310946)

A lobster tank killed one of mine, back in the day...
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