Modern phones are some of the most sophisticated pieces of equipment ever built, but the iPhone wasn’t developed in a day. From backlit screens to weird keyboards, the development of the smartphone got us more than a few strange devices. Their oddities are what makes Dave Shevett likes the early personal handheld computers so much. As he told Gizmodo, by comparison, modern cell phones are “actually pretty boring.”
Shevett is attracted to more than just the aesthetic design of classic handheld computers. He creds his connection to PCs to his father, a fellow early computer nerd. At computer conventions, people enjoy his collection from a time when handheld computers were an exciting new phenomenon and nobody knew what the next flagship product was going to be.
Shevett, who is a systems engineer by day, has started moonlighting as a curator—setting up similar computer displays for others who want a little nostalgia every time they go into their office or home. The rarest handheld computers, like his prized Atari Portfolio, are saved in his Massachusetts office for safekeeping.