Least obsoletable bit of 21st century equipment

Which model of which kind of modern equipment that we’ve seen within the 21st century do you think has the longest sustainable period of useful life? (Or perhaps ‘had’, if it is now obsolete but had a long duration of being ‘current’ enough to use when it had its day).

It occurs to me that almost anything you could buy that has a cpu and display and a few buttons is guaranteed such a short life of usefulness that it’s embarassing. We all know that. However, there must be some hidden gems in there, some sleepers, some surprisingly long durations of obsolescence-dodging.

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  • 56 Comments sorted by Date Votes
  • Flip phone? My dad still uses one

  • @u0421793 said:
    Which model of which kind of modern equipment that we’ve seen within the 21st century do you think has the longest sustainable period of useful life? (Or perhaps ‘had’, if it is now obsolete but had a long duration of being ‘current’ enough to use when it had its day).

    It occurs to me that almost anything you could buy that has a cpu and display and a few buttons is guaranteed such a short life of usefulness that it’s embarassing. We all know that. However, there must be some hidden gems in there, some sleepers, some surprisingly long durations of obsolescence-dodging.

    I think in the world of consumer electronics it would be flatscreen TVs...from my business point of view it might have been ISDN telecommunication systems which had a good run

  • I’ve never had one, but the old Nikon D90 seems to have had more endurance than most other DSLRs. The Mac Mini 6.1 (ie, the one previous to the “current” one) also seems to refuse to be buried.

  • I’ve never had an iPhone, but is there any particular model of those that people hung on to, or still hang on to, beyond expectations?

  • flip phone, so long as sim cards still exist
    Chromebook, so long as the hardware can handle the software updates. Mine is six years old and still running fine.

  • I would say iPad 2, going strong 7 years for me! Can only run one app, but doesn't matter for me.

  • @u0421793 said:
    I’ve never had an iPhone, but is there any particular model of those that people hung on to, or still hang on to, beyond expectations?

    I know someone still using an iphone 3g

  • I have an electric razor that is very modern and still working perfectly but is old.

  • My freezer is 20 years old and still running.

  • Well, that’s a lot of help without the model number! Which freezer, electric razor, flip phone, chromebook, flat screen tv and iPad 2. Oh wait, you said - iPad 2. Yep, that makes sense, mine’s still kicking, and was the subject of some iMS-20ing the other day on the train.

  • @u0421793 said:
    Well, that’s a lot of help without the model number! Which freezer, electric razor, flip phone, chromebook, flat screen tv and iPad 2. Oh wait, you said - iPad 2. Yep, that makes sense, mine’s still kicking, and was the subject of some iMS-20ing the other day on the train.

    I think software should be considered as well, and as an IT-guy i still encounter Windows XP machines. Longest running OS, will never be surpassed!

  • @iOSounddesign said:

    @u0421793 said:
    Well, that’s a lot of help without the model number! Which freezer, electric razor, flip phone, chromebook, flat screen tv and iPad 2. Oh wait, you said - iPad 2. Yep, that makes sense, mine’s still kicking, and was the subject of some iMS-20ing the other day on the train.

    I think software should be considered as well, and as an IT-guy i still encounter Windows XP machines. Longest running OS, will never be surpassed!

    Ah well, I use Vim, which isn’t even 21st century.

  • Basically any synth, sampler or drum machine ever made... and they retain a good resale value as well. I can't say the same for computers, tablets, phones, or software.

  • Yeah, well, I could say “some stuff - it lasts a long time, compared to other stuff”. Let’s get specific - model numbers, quantified durations, logged events, oh fuckit, here’s a video:

    https://youtu.be/6A3cHzFQsqI

  • Got a lot of questions there fella... :)

  • @u0421793 said:

    @iOSounddesign said:

    @u0421793 said:
    Well, that’s a lot of help without the model number! Which freezer, electric razor, flip phone, chromebook, flat screen tv and iPad 2. Oh wait, you said - iPad 2. Yep, that makes sense, mine’s still kicking, and was the subject of some iMS-20ing the other day on the train.

    I think software should be considered as well, and as an IT-guy i still encounter Windows XP machines. Longest running OS, will never be surpassed!

    Ah well, I use Vim, which isn’t even 21st century.

    It's nano for me ;-)

  • The vaping device in all its forms.

  • Dell Ultrasharp 2007fp. I've had them for 10? years and don't see me replacing them any time soon. Recently used one with an old VHS player and the other two are currently plugged into a pair of display ports via DVI adapter. As long as I have something to use them with, they will be relevant.

  • On the software front, I can't imagine Google (search) being obsolete any time soon.

  • ATC loudspeakers. They will outlive me.

  • @u0421793 It depends for a rather great extent to the reliability of the components. Look at the old analog synths. Lots of them still function although most of them didn't see an upgrade of their components or OS for a long time.

  • A good pair of headphones like my Sennheiser Hd600 or Beyer DT990 .. I still see myself using the same set 20 years from now, or potentially the rest of my life, w/ no need to upgrade.

    Not exactly 21st century technology, but still the tech with least chance of obsolecense that I have.

    Some of the late model iPads are so fast, I could see myself still using my 2017 pro over a decade from now...might not be running latest software/OS but the things it can do now, never get old to me. I have a feeling the LCD screen tech will last a bit longer than these early generations of OLED that’ll likely show up in next years iPads. I could be wrong..
    The only thing I’ll have to replace is the battery .. My father’s iPad Air 1 won’t even hold a charge now, but that’s partly due to his mistake of using cheap ION brand charger and cable that he picked up at Walmart. Avoid those at all cost.

  • I'll refrain from doing a 'Hitachi Magic Wand' image search...

    :wink: :blush:

  • @JRSIV said:
    I'll refrain from doing a 'Hitachi Magic Wand' image search...

    :wink: :blush:

  • Im gonna come from left field here and say Hash Oil Extraction Machines (Rosin Presses etc etc)

  • I was initially going to say that I don’t think Apple have ever made anything that could be included in this category, but actually, people use their iPods for a lot longer than they were imagined to be useful for – they seem to sit outside the rapid uselessness cycle that applies to phones, tablets and to a lesser extent laptops. Then I started remembering all the Apple accessories I might have around. I still use as a secondary wifi network an Apple AirPort Extreme (gigabit, but not dual band) (and also an Express, but not currently plugged in, which handled the other band) that dates from about 2009ish.

    How long do we think the Novation Circuit will still attract attention – I suspect a very long time, as long as any internal backup batteries hold up without leaking. A lot of the late 90s grooveboxes such as the MC-303 are still up and running today, so I don’t see why not.

    I wonder if there’s a specific profile or set of clues that can trigger recognition of a product or type of offering that, although seductive and appealing today, will be an expensive paperweight in a very short time unless sold on beforehand. All the things that have only lasted a few years before having to be replaced, might give off a kind of ‘aura’ of clues, versus all the things that simply resisted this, and their converse ‘aura’ of obverse clues.

  • z> @jn2002dk said:

    @u0421793 said:
    I’ve never had an iPhone, but is there any particular model of those that people hung on to, or still hang on to, beyond expectations?

    I know someone still using an iphone 3g

    The iphone 3/3GS is somehow still the most comfortable to hold of the iPhones in my opinion.

  • edited November 12 Vote Up0

    Is there a recognised ‘in use for the longest time among the most people’ phone? iOS or android or other? I know the Nokia 6310 was one of those, from the pre-smartphone era.

  • @u0421793 said:
    I was initially going to say that I don’t think Apple have ever made anything that could be included in this category, but actually, people use their iPods for a lot longer than they were imagined to be useful for – they seem to sit outside the rapid uselessness cycle that applies to phones, tablets and to a lesser extent laptops. Then I started remembering all the Apple accessories I might have around. I still use as a secondary wifi network an Apple AirPort Extreme (gigabit, but not dual band) (and also an Express, but not currently plugged in, which handled the other band) that dates from about 2009ish.

    How long do we think the Novation Circuit will still attract attention – I suspect a very long time, as long as any internal backup batteries hold up without leaking. A lot of the late 90s grooveboxes such as the MC-303 are still up and running today, so I don’t see why not.

    I wonder if there’s a specific profile or set of clues that can trigger recognition of a product or type of offering that, although seductive and appealing today, will be an expensive paperweight in a very short time unless sold on beforehand. All the things that have only lasted a few years before having to be replaced, might give off a kind of ‘aura’ of clues, versus all the things that simply resisted this, and their converse ‘aura’ of obverse clues.

    Well the most obvious red flag are proprietary, non class compliant drivers like on some Roland plug-out stuff. Thanks to virtual machines it might not be the biggest problem but a nuisance non the less...2

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