Today, we wirelessly sync our powerful, dual-core smartphones to our pencil-thin laptops, then go home and stream just about any album or movie conceivable to our TV in HD. So why are people still selling dead tech from the past?
What follows is only part of the menu — there are floppy disks, rear-projection TVs, shrink-wrapped cables for just about every vanished port, as if years of advancement hadn’t happened. Is there really a market for these things? Are there just warehouses full of them? Is it easier to wait for someone to buy a crate of laser discs than to throw them into a landfill? Any possible answer is frightening, and yet here we are:
1. Dial-up modems
Do you need a 56k modem? No? You’ve had broadband for a decade? But what about a US Robotics USR5686G V.92 Serial Controller Faxmodem 56Kbps RS-232 (Serial Port) V.92, V.90, V.34+, V.34, V.32bis, V.32, V.22bis, V.22, V.23, V.21, Bell 103, and Bell 212A V.42/MNP 2-4 error correction, V.44 & V.42 bis/MNP 5 compression? Do you remember what any of those things mean, or did you ever know in the first place? Of course the answer to all of these things is no, and yet NewEgg will still sell you this hot piece of the 1990s for $US82. On the other hand, it has a five-star rating (based on one review) and looks so stupidly out of date that’s actually kind of cool.
2. Six-year-old Celeron processors
If you’re looking for an affordable way to play Half-Life 2, you could pick up this Intel Pentium 4 Celeron D347. It runs at over 3GHz! Or you could buy a profoundly more powerful Sandy Bridge chip for $US20 less. Your call.
3. $200 VCRs
If you can figure out why Amazon is still selling VCRs in 2012, you get a prize. Unfortunately, the prize is this Daewoo VCR, which was probably crap even when it was first released sometime between the first Gulf War and the advent of the Pog.
4. Zip disks
Zip disks are actually a great way to hide evidence of some sort of criminal conspiracy; if the police ever raid your house, it’ll take months for them to find anyone else who has a zip drive to read the evidence, giving you plenty of time to flee the country. Paying $US97 for what amounts to about a gigabyte of storage spread over 10 large, bulky, heavy disks isn’t convenient, but Amazon is selling the pack at a discount.
5. Serial cables
If your existence still requires the use of serial cables and you’re not a museum curator, you deserve the collective pity of the world. This one is $US12.
6. Typewriters that cost more than cheap laptops
The perfect housewarming gift for someone you don’t like, this $US465 brother EM-630 Daisy Wheel Typewriter will grant you all the annoyances of a gigantic, bloated old laptop, with none of the benefits. And it’s electric, which means in the event of a disaster you won’t even be able to use it.
7. Gigantic fax machines
Some dinosaur institutions still ask you to fax in paper forms. And for those hell bureaucracies, there are services like HelloFax.com. There are also fax machines that don’t cost eight hundred freakin’ dollars, like this one that also prints and copies.
8. VCR casette rewinders
Remember these? After shelling out $200 on your VCR, you could at least cash out another $30 on this slick little number that’ll rewind your tapes for you. Automatically. You just press a button, go for a walk around the block, have a cup of coffee, whatever, and after some time, it’ll be rewound. Technology is pretty crazy, right?
9. CD players
This Coby POS wasn’t even a good CD player when it made sense to own a CD player. Also, consider the fact that it costs less to buy this thing than it costs to buy a CD to play inside of it.