Saturday, March 12, 2011

Phone Tech Nostalgia

Anyone else remember when these were the coolest things ever?

We got one in at Free Geek a little while ago; Jax powered it up to try to clear out the memory (as we do with all phones) and found that it still works. (Predictably -- almost everything that comes in that's tremendously, unusably old still works just fine. This phone has probably been sitting in the back of a closet for more than a decade.)

This is the famous Motorola DynaTAC, the world's first commercial hand-held cellular phone according to Retrobrick. This thing cost about $4,000 at the time -- that would be over $8,500 today, adjusting for inflation.

Check out this futuristic video. My favourite part: "Eventually, seeing people using cellular phones may seem as commonplace as someone checking time on an electronic watch, figuring on an electronic calculator, or programming an electronic computer." I wonder if Motorola had any idea that cell phones would make electronic calculators and watches practically obsolete... or that they'd compete with computers directly. (In fact, they're exploring this right now.)

Weighing most of a kilogram, and boasting a talk time of around half an hour and a 30-number built-in phone book, the old DynaTAC brick was king for a few years.

There are a few good obsolete phone hacks at Hack A Day and TechEBlog.

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