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Geeky relics from the past

I’m a pack rat. I admit it. My wife, coworkers, casual acquaintances, and even strangers on the street tell me to throw stuff out. But I never do.

So, here I am cleaning up in the FatDUX Copenhagen server room. Loads of artifacts from my previous lives.


Basically, what you see here is every mobile phone and every laptop I’ve owned since the early 90’s. We’ll take the laptops first, starting in the back row, moving to the front, left to right:

MacBook 160. The very first MacBook. Good machine. I wrote two books on it. This was one of the very first MacBooks in Denmark, purchased in the fall of 1992 in the U.S. Keyboard converted to Danish about a year later.

Powerbook G3. The so-called “Wall Street” model without a USB port. Very inconvenient, but the machine did serve me well for a couple of years. About 1997.

Acer TravelMate 350. Fantastic machine, fast, lightweight, but a crappy keyboard for touch-typists. This is what happens when hunt-and-peck engineers try and squeeze the three Danish letters (a, ø, å) onto a small piece of keyboard real estate. Note the optional wireless card sticking out the left-hand side. About 2001.

Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook P7010. The best computer I’ve had. Bar none. But the hard-disk died and my supporter cost me EUR600 before concluding that the machine could not be fixed. About 2005. So that led to…

Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook P7230. The upgraded version (2007) of the previous machine. But not without some quirks. In the meantime, I did manage to get the old hard-disk replaced on the P7010, so I’ll probably go back to the older machine.

Apple iPad 64GB 3G. Wonderful for sharing photos, listening to music, and surfing the net. I do like it, but not for serious work that requires typing. Also seriously lousy presentation capability. The FS P7230 is still the workhorse that follows me to conferences. Summer 2010.

And now to the phones:

Motorola “brick” – about 1990. Very clunky, but a real “gee-wow” piece of kit back when everything else in the world was wired. Very Gordon Gekko. Actually, the correct name for this is a “CommNet 2000, ultra Classic by Motorola”. Today, it really IS an ultra classic. I can’t remember, but I think this might have been an NMT telephone rather than for the GSM network.

Motorola Micro Tac 5200. World’s first flip-phone. The antenna is actually a placebo – it does nothing at all! About 1994. This was the first dual-band phone. “TAC” stood for “Total Area Coverage”.

Ericsson GH 174. Really heavy piece of crap. Never liked this much – but it was a company phone so it wasn’t my decision. About 1994. I can’t remember why we got this phone, which was actually an out-of-date model by the time I got it.

Nokia 2110. Absolutely one of the best phones I’ve ever owned. And a true classic in terms of keyboard layout. This phone set the standard for much that followed. About 1994-5. I switched to a Nokia 3210 in 1999, but I forgot to include it when I took the photo.

Motorola Timeport. My first tri-band telephone that enabled me to work in the USA. Very sexy blue screen, but an unfathomable menu structure. Summer 2000.

Sony Ericsson T68i. Notice the natty clip-on camera. This was my first telephone with a color display. Very poor resolution (101×80 with 256 colours), but hey, color was incredibly neat back around 2002. And it had Bluetooth! I also owned the earlier Ericsson T68 (prior to the merger with Sony).

Nokia 6670. Still one of my favorite phones, despite the early S60 operating system, which qualifies it as one of the very first smartphones. Never got caught in your pocket thanks to the rounded corners. And the 1.0 megapixel camera was pretty good, too. Good MS Office integration. About 2004.

Nokia E70. Another great phone. With the advent of SMS, this phone was great as the keyboard unfolds like two wings on either side of the screen for really fast QWERTY input. Summer 2006.

Apple iPhone 1st generation. We bought a bunch of these in the U.S. and jailbroke them. Fantastic bragging rights back when no one else in Europe had them. I gave this one away to one of our art directors because I was constantly looking for somewhere to charge it, which drove me crazy. My friends at Apple told me, “Eric, you know better than to buy the first generation of any of our products…” Even so, three years later, the unit is still in service. Summer 2007

Nokia E71. Although the Symbian 60 operating system is still difficult to work with, this phone basically did all of those great phone things that I needed – like making phone calls. And it almost never needed to be recharged. Spring 2009

HTC Desire. This is an Android 2.1 smartphone. Devours power like I devour marshmallows. I’m constantly looking for a power outlet. But it can do a lot of stuff when it feels like it. (FatDUXling Andrea Resmini tells me to turn off the Wi-Fi to conserve energy). Unfortunately, European data-transfer rates are crazy, so I’m forced to turn off pretty much everything most of the time. For example, if I just leave the phone on for a day, it will download about 93 MB of data. I don’t know where this data comes from or where it goes, but it’s a lot. And when I go to the United States, 1 MB costs about USD 10. So, at a potential cost of USD 930 a day, this thing scares me to death each time it beeps. So much for smartphones. Spring, 2010.

Now, that I’ve showed it to you, I’ve really got to get rid of this crap…
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