Featured on "Home Gadget Geeks" Episode #340 "Paul Braren and Vintage Tech, 70s thru 90s Head Phones, Cell Phones, Camcorders and Video Games – HGG340"
"Paul Braren's nostalgic look back at PC, audio, video, PC, and phone tech from the 1970s to 2000s, including the ThinkPad 701c Butterfly with an expanding keyboard"
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This new podcast episode 340 is now available at the averageguy.tv here, where you can also view, listen, and/or subscribe. Please show Jim your support by visiting, here's an excerpt:
Jim and I looked back at some of the many gadgets my family has held on to, a representative sampling of the tech I've used throughout my life. Most of my useful used stuff was sold on eBay long ago, as I tried valiantly to put a lid on my hoarding tendencies. These items in particular offered some special sentimental value, gladly held on to for posterity.
Best watched on video, as I hold the various gadgets up to my webcam for YouTubers to see, as we recorded this live. Yes, it's uncut and unedited, so please forgive some slip-ups.
- Yurbuds Ironman Inspire Duro Plus Cloth Cords Sport Earbuds
Great for podcast monitoring.
Not sure when these first became available, but got mine for podcast guesting back in May of 2015. In discreet black, they look less conspicuous than Yurbud's signature bright-red Yurbuds Ironman Inspire PRO Performance Fit Sport Earphones with 3-Button Control and Mic, Black/ Red released back in 2013. When on podcasts, I plug my Yurbuds right into my Audio-Technica AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone with my NEEWER Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Stand, it all seems to work great with my 12 core Supermicro SuperServer Workstation/Datacenter Bundle 1, which was used during this podcast, and is used for TinkerTry content creation.
- BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Over Ear Cushioned Headphones with Active Noise Cancelling - B76 (2016)
Great for listening to podcasts while mowing and snow blowing.
Date first available on Amazon was May 2016, I got mine in December 2016. I've used these a few dozen times already for snow blowing and mowing duties, with no obvious signs of wear. They help me reduce hearing damage from those crazy-loud gasoline powered motors, while allowing me to enjoy podcasts at reasonable volume levels. The (limited) playback controls avoid the need to reach for my phone, using my right-ear multi-purpose single-button control instead, but memorizing the number of presses needed can be difficult. I used a Ziploc snack bag to protect my iPhone 7 Plus (with the case removed), and now my iPhone X, kept in my pocket.
These are most definitely less goofy looking than TinkerTry’s DIY solution for listening to podcasts while mowing back in 2013, since affordable Bluetooth headphones weren’t a thing yet, see:
- Enjoy tangle-free listening to music and podcasts instead of your mower, protecting your hearing for just 60 dollars
Alternatively, you can get Bluetooth headphones with active noise reduction in an all-pastic design for as little as $50 see Monoprice Noise Cancelling Headphone with Active Noise Reduction Technology.
- Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series I) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling - Black (2016)
Great for listening to podcasts and music while flying, excellent comfort for long duration use. I notice there is slight less bass when I'm using the Bluetooth connection versus a wired connection, but I believe the difference is probably less than you'll notice with similarly-priced competitors.
First available on Amazon in June of 2016, I got mine in January 2017, knowing my new job would have me on noisy regional jets like the CRJ-900 much more often. I also use them for phone calls from hotel rooms, and nobody seems to complain about the quality of my voice through that ear-cup mic.
Here's a newer version than mine that features the new Google Assistant integration (with button), and was first available on Amazon is October 2017
I told the story of picking up a pair of these in my early teens by haggling the price at one of those Times Square electronics shops. It could explain why I don't like haggling, at all.
Open air-design meant they weren't exactly ideal for shared environments such as dorm rooms.
- Sennheiser HD 424 (1980?)
A close look at the innards of the IBM PS/2 Model 50 (1987), which featured a lot of firsts in the PC marketplace including:
- Intel 286 processor
- PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse
- 20MB hard drive
- 1.44MB 2.5” floppy drive
- IBM Micro Channel architecture (proprietary, making add-in cards pricey)
- Various tape backup devices and hard drives featuring clumsy SCSI connectors
- USRobotics Sportster 56K modem (backstory on my college help desk days here, guiding students to use the right DIP switch settings)
Hand-held 1 and 2 player games of the early 1980s by Nintendo, TOMY, and more.
- Atari 2600 (1977)
Best childhood Christmas!
- Atari BASIC Programming (1979)
I attempted to create a flight simulator, basically a line that represented the horizon, that you controlled with the joystick.
- TOMY Digital Derby Auto Raceway (1978)
- MEGO Mini-Vid Dodge City Gunfight (1979), full article here
- Epoch Invader From Space Electronic Game (1980), with box cover
Probably my favorite hand-held game, ever.
- Nintendo Donkey Kong Game & Watch (1983)
- Rio RioVolt SP100 (1999)
- Apple iPod Classic 40GB (2004)
- Sirius Brix Streamer GTR (2005), see also SIR-GTRC1 manual, and on Amazon as Sirius Streamer Replay GTR SIR-GTRC1. This device allowed me to enjoy the CNET station during my 100 mile weekly commute to IBM Waltham MA, something I did for a decade! Much easier than flipping FM stations or keeping my iPod playlists up to date.
- Neo ProLink (2006) is one of the CD Changer to iPod interfaces featured at TinkerTry back in 2014:
- Nikon FE2 SLR camera (1983)
- My Dad’s analog Super8 and my Hi8 analog camcorder
- My Digital Digital8 + FireWire equipped Sony camcorder, for digital transfer to PC
(each 2 hour tape became a ~24GB AVI file!)
- Kodak DC215 1.00 megapixel Digital Camera, Millennium Edition (2000)
- Motorola StarTAC (1999), Razr (2003) & Krzr (2006)
- IBM WorkPad c3 (1999)
- Palm Trio 650 (2004) with Verizon branding
- We concluded the podcast with the beloved and memorable IBM ThinkPad 701C (1995). Live demo featuring the magical “butterfly” fold-out keyboard, and the much-maligned Windows Millennium Edition!
Thank you again Jim, for you being you, and for inviting me again!
Detailed shownotes, podcast feeds to subscribe to, and an easy way to leave greatly appreciate podcast reviews, all found right over at Jim's source page:
- Paul Braren and Vintage Tech, 70s thru 90s Head Phones, Cell Phones, Camcorders and Video Games – HGG340
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