Old is gold for eight


By TAN KIT HOONG intech@thestar.com.my

As part of the Techniversary celebration, we asked readers to send in short YouTube videos of a number of classic gadgets that shaped the tech world as we know it today.

Some of the stuff we were looking for were such classics as the 5 1/4in floppy disk, Sinclair ZX81 computer, Apple Newton handheld device and even a Nintendo Game & Watch Octopus portable electronic game.

To be honest, we kind of had doubts that some of these devices could be still floating around in your house, but boy, were we wrong. We received a good number of entries for almost all the stuff we were asking to see, save for just two, i.e. the acoustic coupler and Canon T90 SLR.

At least one of you needs glasses — even though we asked for the Game & Watch Octopus, one of you sent a blurry video of a Game & Watch which we could make out was the Parachute game.

The largest number of entries was for the 5 1/4in floppy. We had tons of entries showing off a 5 1/4in floppy and even a dude who showed an 8in floppy — great but that’s not what we asked for.

Only two prizes remain unclaimed — the Microsoft Xbox 360 console with an extra controller and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 digital camera because there were no entries in these categories. Rest assured that we will save these prizes for a later contest.

In choosing the winners for multiple entries, the deciding factor was the tie breaker and how creative the videos were. Anyway, without much further ado, here are the winners.

PlayStation3 slim 320GB console The prize goes to Harjeet Singh (xxxxxx-xx-5015) from Perak, who showed us his nearly mint Sinclair ZX81 computer.

While there were two other entries for the ZX81, we liked Harjeet’s ZX81 and his reasons for keeping the computer around for some 20 years since it was launched.

Congratulations, Harjeet, we salute you for still owning the ZX81, which incidentally, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Nintendo Wii black console

When it comes to classic consoles, probably one of the most influential gaming consoles of all time was the Atari VCS 2600.

This gaming machine, with its cartridge system and iconic controller, probably heralded the arrival of the gaming console as we know it today, along with the classic Nintendo SNES.

We asked for videos showing the Atari VCS controller itself, but Eric Tye (xxxxxx-xx-5297) went one further and showed us the controller, the paddle controller and a fully working console.

Congratulations, Tye, and your prize is a console that has already sold in the millions worldwide, the Wii.

Nokia N8 smartphone

Palm handheld electronic organisers may have been popular handheld computers at one time and while many of you own one, it turns out that not that many people own one of the few original PalmPilot models.

Most entries in this category showed various models of the Palm, such as the popular Palm III, but it turns out only a couple of you actually had an original PalmPilot in hand.

So who’s the winner? We chose Foo Chuan Wei (xxxxxx-xx-5087) because not only did he own a PalmPilot which he inherited from his father, but because his father told him not to waste too much money on a PDA, which he ignored.

Anyway, congratulations Foo and we hope you’ll like the N8, which is one of the spiritual successors to those original handheld computers.

Hewlett-Packard Mini 210 netbook

To win the Hewlett-Packard Mini 210 netbook, we asked readers to submit a video of another classic computer which was one of the most affordable and powerful computers of its time, the Commodore 64.

We got a number of entries in this category, but the setup that impressed us the most was from Mohd Badri Mohd Mokhtar (xxxxxx-xx-6111) who showed us not only his C64, but a number of the optional accessories for the computer.

We don’t know whether Mohd Badri’s C64 is still working, but it sure looks like it. Don’t worry, we don’t insist that the product still be working, even though that would be a plus.

Toshiba NB305 netbook

We got quite a number of entries for the Apple Newton category — which was surprising, since the mother of all handheld computers was quite a large and expensive beast for its time.

Nevertheless, the best entry we got was from Cheong Ian Tuck (xxxxxx-xx-5763), who showed us the Apple Newton and introduced it to us with a voice synthesizer!

Hope you enjoy the Toshiba netbook, which is not much bigger than the Apple Newton and is way more powerful.

Western Digital Essential 1TB external hard drive

As we said, we got quite a number of entries in this category, where we asked readers to show us their 5 1/4in floppy disks.

Hoe Swee Ha’s (xxxxxx-xx-5086) entry was one of the first in this category and as it turned out, the little mother-and-daughter skit that was submitted was one of the most entertaining ones we got, making this the clear winner.

The tie breaker was also quite funny, “I kept this old thing because I like antiques and I like money. With time, this antique is increasingly more valuable.”

Well it turns out you were right, Hoe, and we hope you like the Western Digital 1TB external hard disk which you can use to store so much more than the floppy ever could.

Perhaps if you keep this hard disk long enough, it’ll also become valuable in the future :-)

Crumpler “Salary Sacrifice” backpack

For a phone that was probably one of the most popular Nokia models ever made, we were surprised that we didn’t get as many entries as we expected.

Nevertheless, Leng Hui Ping (xxxxxx-xx-5296) sent us a video of the Nokia 3210 and wins a nice Crumpler backpack.

The tie-breaker was also entertaining, as it refers to never forgetting one’s first love — as true in tech as it is in relationships.

Garmin Nuvi 1460 GPS

A brand new Garmin Nuvi 1460 GPS unit was up for grabs for the contestant who sends a video of the classic Nintendo Game & Watch Octopus handheld gaming device.

As we mentioned before, we didn’t want just any Game & Watch, but specifically the Octopus game, and this we got, from Leong Lee Kuen (xxxxxx-xx-6003) who held on to this classic game because he not only used it as an alarm clock, but was forever trying to beat his sister’s 900-plus score on the device.

While you won’t be using this Garmin Nuvi as an alarm clock, we trust you will never get lost again in Singapore or Malaysia when you make use of your prize.

The final word

Congratulations once again to all the winners. We will be contacting you shortly via e-mail with more information on the prize giving ceremony which you will be required to attend.

The prize giving ceremony will be held in Petaling Jaya and you will have to produce the device that was shown in the video.

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