My One Trusty Piece of Hardware

Not sure how we got on to the conversation but a carpet layer friend was telling me how he'd had the same "bolster" for 15 years.

IMG_5399Trying to out-do him my retort was that I'd had the same mouse for 10 years, which, to me, is much more impressive, given that IT kit generally has a life expectancy of about 5 years.

It's a Microsoft IntelliMouse (I think) that my then girlfriend bought me for my birthday (because I asked her to) in 1999/2000 (can't remember exactly when).

Since then I've thought about buying new ones, but following the principle of "If it ain't broke..." I never have.

You can see how the amount of wear it's had from the patch on the left button!

It's the oldest bit of IT equipment I have, has seen many computers come and go yet it's still going strong despite being in heavy user almost every day.

What's the oldest bit of kit you've got?


  1. Logitech Mouseman Wheel, same era (maybe a tad newer than yours):


  2. Well, sans qualifier that it's still in use, I have a working Amiga 500, purchased with my own hard earned chore money in the summer of 1986. I fire it up on occasion so my kids can see a "keyboard" that runs silently yet has a 4096 color pallet, 16-bit digital Stereo sound and a very nice and simple GUI. :-)

    After that, it's my ALLSOP mouse pad that is I think 12 or 13 years old... which might not count... the rules weren't very clearly stated. ;-)

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 26 Aug 2010 09:02 AM

      Sorry, I should have been more specific - it's need to be electronic in nature and in (something like) regular practical use.

  3. Me too, the same mouse for zillion years I think.

    It has a 3-page user's manual and 20-page safety and comfort guide :)

    I also have a keyboard 21 years old, still working with a ps/2 adapter. I am resisting to my wife not to put it into garbage :)

    1. I happen to love my IBM "clicky key" keyboard myself -- still going strong after who-knows how many years.

    • avatar
    • Yogi
    • Thu 26 Aug 2010 11:02 AM

    Mines are mouse (logitech MX 500 - 2003) and PCI Yamaha soundcard (1999).

  4. AS/400 model 170. Used 24x7x365 (not including maintenance once every few years) since 1998.

    • avatar
    • Philip King
    • Thu 26 Aug 2010 01:41 PM

    I also love using the old IBM clicky keyboards. I have one but alas no docking station currently.

    I'm trying to work out the former GF, 1999/2000, so you were down south then?

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 26 Aug 2010 01:49 PM

      Yep. Friend of your wife's! Think your wife introduced us in fact.

      Show the rest of this thread

  5. A Gateway 486 computer that we used to develop an exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Still in use, but technically it is not ours anymore since we donated the last one to the museum to run the exhibit. Still running after 16 years.

    1. Well oldest would be Commodore 64 from 1985. However, the oldest thing still in use (albeight as a home made NAS) is a Pentium 200MMX from 1998. The only modifications being a new PSU and two disks to store data on. System disk is still the original one.

      Hide the rest of this thread

      1. Ah... the C64. I foolishly sold mine in 1989 for $100. Should have kept it and the C128 I let go for $400.

    • avatar
    • Dragon Cotterill
    • Fri 27 Aug 2010 02:36 AM

    My oldest bit of (working) kit is my keyboard.

    It is from a Fujitsu machine circa 1991. AT connector. None of this fancy Windows key, stuff. Heavy as hell (metal case) long coiled lead (about 3m) and as tough as they come (bounced it off the floor more than once). I usually prise the keys off and clean it out every couple of years.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 27 Aug 2010 03:02 AM

      "bounced it off the floor"

      In anger, I'm guessing?

  6. Not exactly the answers you were looking for but ... I can't resist a bit of nostalgia.

    My Altair 8800 is out in the garage. Don't know if it works any more. I haven't used it in for about thirty years.


    This is my proof that Apple did not invent the personal computer.

    I bought this my senior year in college. A little later I bought a Kim 1 from MOS Technology.


    Back then you wrote your program in assembly language and then hand coded the program in hexadecimal. It was a simpler time.

    (Yes, I'm old ... but still "with it", I hope.)



    • avatar
    • Joel
    • Sat 28 Aug 2010 10:43 PM

    I remember the last week of my 8 week COBOL course in the Marines in 1993. We'd written a COBOL program each week, then in week 8, we re-wrote every one in JCL. Just for the nostalgia, my second computer was a Commodore 64. I don't remember what the first one was, but it was a keyboard, a coaxial cable that plugged into the tv, and cartridges with some games on it. Came with a BASIC interpreter, but if you wanted to save the program you were writing, you had to buy an external tape drive (as in cassette tapes).

    1. Why did you have to learn cobol in the Marines?

      I had to learn basic in the RAF (early eighties) never figured out why.

      My oldest bit of gear is an Advent 3518 dual processor p.c. about 10 yrs old now I think...bought it for the 2 processors in London.

      The 2 hard drives seized up in Darwin (like most stuff) and now it's rebuilt in Perth with Windows Homes Server & 2 new drives.

      Old friend, reminds me of Blighty when I look at it, and top bit of gear.

      Show the rest of this thread

    2. Joel, it sounds like a Texas Instruments TI 99-4 or TI 99-4A. We had the later and did have the tap deck. I wrote two or three very basic programs, saved them to tape, played the tape back on the stereo... good fun. Some of the games we had for that: Tomb Stone Raiders, Math Blaster and Parsec.

    • avatar
    • Satourne
    • Mon 30 Aug 2010 06:44 PM

    I've used that iFeel Mouse (2000) :


    It was a joke ... I think you can buy a new one on some Sex Shop !

    1. @Satorune

      Obviously your mind works like mine. I was impressed with the durability of Jake's mouse, but since he said it was a present from "his then girlfriend" it is obvious that girlfriends are not as long lasting as mice!


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Written by Jake Howlett on Thu 26 Aug 2010

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