The Trailing Edge of Tech?

Stealing – ahem, Borrowing a question from Clockwise 557, what’s the oldest technology product you have in regular use?

I’ve added bold to the word “product”: An update for those taking the question literally without actually reading it. We’re not thinking of sunlight from nuclear fusion, rather a computer or computing accessory still in use.


Wheels. xxxxxxxxxxxx


Do guitar amps count? My Peavey Bandit 112 from the mid-nineties is still going strong (image from random web site, but that’s it).

Computer-wise, my Fujitsu Scansnap S1300 is still going strong, and until about a year ago my Altec Lansing computer speakers were still in regular use.

Wheels. It is probably wheels.

Don’t know if fire would count as technology.

Although reflecting a bit more needles, axes, hammers, would also be in the running. Don’t know the invention timelines.


Probably either a Blu-Ray drive I still have and use occasionally, or a Scansnap 1500. Probably the Scansnap

Easy for me, I’ve mentioned it here before, my 1989 Northgate OmniKey/102 keyboard. I’ve been using it for 35 years. And I use it every day.


Definitely my HP12C, which I’ve had since 1986 or thereabouts and use to this day.


I smashed something open with a rock on a recent walk—does that count?

Also, re wheels as tools: Japanese crows apparently use them to crack nuts

A wired Apple Compact Keyboard. They were the default iMac keyboard in 2009. The 101 keyboards with a number pad were a free option.

After a 2023 of updates, currently my trailing computing device would be my aging 2012 Mac mini, sitting connected to my TV for watching Youtube and playing music.

Additionally, I have another oldish device that happens to run Linux: a Korg Kronos from 2017 but the tech inside it is from 2011: an Intel Atom CPU. Sounds are somewhat long in the tooth but the thing is still daunting me with its deep complexity. Musical instruments have different lifecycles.

Thinkpad X230 running FreeBSD (prevuously it ran OpenBSD). Purchased it new in 2013 and it’s still going strong with a newish gray market battery and I installed an SSD upgrade in 2020.


Mac mini 2014 (4GB of RAM) is what my mother uses regularly (and it’s working fine).

A couple of Synology boxes from 2013-2015, with the main 4-bay one being from 2016. This one is sort of working fine but becoming slow and in need of an upgrade. Some of the drives (WD Reds) are from ca. 2012-2014. All powered on 24/7 for years now.

iPad mini from 2021 – yes, I know how that sounds in terms of being on the trailing edge of tech :roll_eyes: but I’ve had a bit of an upgrade cycle last year and this year. I guess Luca Maestri is happy.

My mum also won’t let go of an old Panasonic CRT TV (simply because ‘it works’) that I remember watching the 9/11 attacks on, so it’s at least from 2001, possibly a few years older. She also regularly used the Nokia Lumia 532 (from 2015!) up until this January when I finally persuaded her and upgraded her to my ‘old’ iPhone 13.


This is such a fun question! I had a roam round my house to see if I was forgetting anything!

General electronic: I’ve got a Maglite torch that must be reaching its 5th decade and is still doing fine. It’s older than me! It’s very easy to replace bulbs in a Maglite (in the older ones anyway, I can’t comment on any new models). It’s been out in the rain many times but it’s fine, I see no reason to change it until it actually dies.

Computing adjacent: I have a Brother labelmaker that is over 20 years old and still gets used every few months. It was a model that had a screen, keyboard and dial for inputting your label requirements. It was a rechargeable model and the batteries have leaked, but it continued to work if plugged in so I never bothered to replace it. Brother have been really good about this - they still make the tape packs to the same design, so I can keep going as long as they make the tapes I guess!

My Casio scientific calculator, similar to @krocnyc’s answer. It’s over 20 years old. It actually permanently has an error message on screen when not in use, but it still works! I think the error message is because the battery is completely dead, but it was one of the “then new” solar powered ones and as long as I don’t use it in a dark room it works fine so I’ve never looked at how to change the battery. [Fun aside: this was actually the second scientific calculator I ever bought. My first Casio was before solar was an option on calculators - I remember the solar strip starting to appear on products, and bought a new one then so I could have that because it was “cool”! It seems like it was a wise choice!]

Interestingly I read an article recently (I didn’t save it so can’t link) about how Casio sales are still strong. People still need dedicated scientific calculators, and phones/computers aren’t necessarily eating into that market (students for example can’t have phones on them because of school rules, people working in places without reliable access to electricity need a standalone device, people like me just want a separate device on their desk when they’re doing sums, etc.). I was pleased to learn this.


For me, it’s probably my Tissot Navigator Automatic chronograph from 1972. I had it serviced a while back and boy, it’s still SUPER accurate while being fully analog.

I think my dad got a great deal on it from the shop. It had just been sitting there for years when I got it in 1978 or so. Seiko had just crushed the marked with the innovative quartz mechanism which was much less expensive, so automatics and manual winding watches went quickly out of style.

(You said “technology”, not “electronics”, but sure, I also use wheels :grin:)


My FRG-7 shortwave radio

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Given that we moved back to Mexico in early 2022 (and brought only 2 suitcases each) I think almost all my tech dates back no further than that. With one exception: my M1 Macbook Air purchased Nov. 2021. That’s pretty much it, not counting a few fountain pens. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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Like @krocnyc my HP12C and my HP15C. In kitchen tech a cast iron skillet that belonged to my grandmother and it works great on my induction cooktop.

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In terms of computing, I sadly don’t currently own anything in regular use from before 2017. The sad nature of living in shared houses and moving every 2 years or so.

We do have a reel to reel (from the 1960’s) that we still use, though less often than we’d like as parts are hard to get and expensive. We also have some valve radios from the early twentieth century that are still in use.