The Joy of Old Tech

What’s the oldest piece of technology that you own? That’s the question radio host Nora Young asked listeners on the CBC program Spark. Cue the nostalgia: callers waxed poetic about everything from 10-year-old MP3 players to ancient, reliable typewriters.

DIY repair of old technology

The theme of the show was mindful gadget consumerism. It’s no secret that upgrade cycles for nifty electronics have gotten quicker: the allure of newer, faster, and shinier is hard to resist, especially if you love electronics. But, Young asks, if we really love our gadgets, why are we in such a rush to get rid of them?

To that end, Young spoke with a handful of electronic experts who get tech, keep tech, love tech, and fix tech. The roster included Anil Dash, whose website, Last Year’s Model, celebrates keeping old(er) gadgets instead of buying new ones; Gina Trapani, creator of LifeHacker; discerning gadget reviewer Brian Lam of The Wire Cutter; Ian Urbina of The New York Times and author of a recent exposé about the state of CRT recycling; and our very own CEO Kyle Wiens, who talks gadget design and repairability.

Check out the full show in podcast form. And we put the same question to you: What’s the oldest gadget you refuse to get rid of?