What gadgets were you buying 10 years ago...
...and how have they changed?
It's been ten years since Engadget first burst onto the tech news scene, and over that time period a lot of exciting gadgets have come and gone. In that same time we have also seen some pretty crazy leaps made in consumer tech. The very first Engadget post is about a 128MB -- yes, MEGABYTE -- memory card. Chances are that same card cost over $100 then, but now you can buy 64GB memory card on sale for as low as $50.
Looking back through some of the other posts from that first year I'm seeing some news on Treos, TiVos, PDAs, bluetooth headsets, MP3 players and yes, even a Real player article. Certainly an interesting trip back in history.
I was in college when the site launched and I don't think I bought one single piece of technology during my time there, due to the whole "broke college kid" thing. I think one piece of consumer tech I bought around 2004 was an external harddrive that came in around a whopping 120GB. Since then drive space has increased ten fold, you can buy consumer ready NAS devices and we're able to store hundreds of gigs in the "cloud."
The one other piece of tech I recall from around 2004 were tablet computers, because a professor in a department I worked for got one as a grant. IIRC, it was a Toshiba or Gateway and only had a screen size of 8 or 9 inches, the thing was super tiny. I don't think I really need to explain what happened with the tablet market.
We have a pretty wide range of users on the site so I figured it would be fun to hear about some of the consumer tech you were into back in 2004 and how it has evolved, or even if it's still around.
PS - that image up there is of the ATI HDTV Wonder. Back in 2004 ATI was making the best TV tuners (remember those?) and made some very popular models. So popular people continued to rely on them up until Ceton FINALLY released their PCI tuner card.
Image courtesy of Anandtech: www.anandtech.com/show/1359
2004 was the time I got myself my first cell phone. A Motorola T720 that I am sure didn't have any noteworthy specs. Not even a camera
I was using a Sony Minidisc player for music, right before the iPod drowned the market.
I also had a hand-me-down Palm IIIc but I didn't use it all too much.
Man times have changed.
I've used/owned many (too many, perhaps) camera bodies since then, but the OG Digital Rebel will always have a special place in my heart.
I had this for less than a year before my mom decided to send it to Philippines to "convert it to become a tri-band phone"...I never saw it again, it probably went to my cousins. lol
Also, I had a T-Mobile prepaid plan with free incoming texts and outgoing only cost $0.05. Of course, back then no one texted... :(
I played 100s and 100s of hours of FF Tactics Advance while on the bus on my way to school only to later find out that I can never complete the last 5 missions because it has to be played in multiplayer. I didn't know anyone else that had that game nor did I have a link cable. Also, the following school year in high school, I found out my bus driver was my geography teacher and he always made sure to point out my gaming habits on the bus. lol
In 2004, I was probably still playing the first Animal Crossing, Mario Sunshine (so so fun!), and I was probably finishing up Skies of Arcadia. I loved the GameCube!
Was nothing, for it's day, wrong with Windows CE / Mobile - thinking back it did pretty much what we want our smartphones to do now, just in a very early C21 manner.
My iPaq's still sitting on a shelf in the study, right up there with my Toshiba Satellite Pro 420 CDT as an example of dead technology I can't bring myself to dispose of.
Oh and I had an Xbox. I never used PDA's but I still have a handspring visor in the closet.
Since I got into the AP Computer Science class in my high school, I convinced my parents to get a new desktop and we finally upgraded to SBC Yahoo DSL since downloading the 40 MB Java SDK installation file was a pain the the butt on dial up. That sweet new desktop had a 250 GB SATA HDD, cutting edge at the time, a 1280x1024 LCD monitor, and an ATI Radeon x1900 graphics card for those smooth Counter Strike sessions. The cell phone I had was a Samsung flip phone on Verizon. I also remember bringing my Sony portable CD player on the bus to school to listen to music.
Man... good times. Can't wait to look back ten years when it's 2024 to see how much times have changed.
I bought two iPads and an iPhone 4 with my money after graduating. But I still believe this - macs are greatly designed and OSX is the most intutive OS ever, just that they are way too expensive. I can afford a macbook pro now, but I just cant make myself buy one. that is the premium for exceptional design i guess!
So yeah, still love the emac and have fond memories of installing MPlayer dmgs :)
I bought Treo 650
I also had Compaq iPAQ
IBM Thinkpad R51
Sony DVD Camera
and some more.
But my pride and joy… the HanGo Personal Jukebox PJB-100.
I dropped every penny I had in high school for one of these beauties, and never regretted it. Simple design, dependable functionality, and most surprisingly, uncanny stability for the time. Kept in a soft case, that thing bounced around on the road, was dropped, and even survived a wreck that my car didn’t, and the drive just kept on ticking. It lasted me for three and a half years, and why did I stop using it? Because it was stolen. Most devastating. But it was always fun to be one of the few people to look at all iPod owners as late adopters.
Oh, I forgot, lest I forget rocking out some serious Soul Reaver 1 action on my Dreamcast. Holla!
I was also rocking a 2nd gen iPod that we got on clearance at Target and a cell phone with no camera.
That year I got my very first smartphone — the Siemens SX1 running Symbian OS with a 512 MB memory card. I'm still amazed how ahead of its time that device was. There was an app for pretty much anything. And I was able to share internet connection from my PC over bluetooth thanks to which I could IM my friends (when at home, of course) without having to pay for the awful expensive 2G data from my carrier.
In 2004 my parents also bought me my first very own PC with AMD Athlon XP 2800+, 1 GB of RAM, a 120 GB hard drive, and ATI Radeon 9700 if I remember that model correctly. It had this awesome monitor — the Samsung 172x (was the first LCD in our household; my mom still uses it today):
This is the camera I was using — Nikon Coolpix 5700:
Let's not forget this Thomson discman:
The Swivel-Up screen was killer!!!
I think embedding images should be covered in the help section. We are at least 3 people in this discussion who couldn't figure out how to do that. Imagine the whole Engadget :)
2004 was a slow year for me since I spent so much money in 2003. :)