Technology has come such a long way that we forget where we were just 10 or 20 years ago. People take for granted how portable and easy-to-use computers and other devices have become. It’s fun to look back on what was — at the time — super innovative and hip in the world of technology. Some of these items are still being sold on eBay today for collectors and tech enthusiasts alike. Here are some of the funniest.
Vintage Apple Macintosh Computer 512K M0001W Imagewriter Printer Mouse Keyboard
eBay Price Listing: $999.99
Its Modern Equivalent: iMac
This prehistoric piece of machinery was nicknamed “Fat Mac” and was one of the first Mac computers on the market. This offering on eBay includes the computer and the keyboard, mouse, and printer, as shown in the picture. Despite their yellowing coloring, these devices are actually still in working condition, according to the seller.
The Fat Mac came out after the original Mac and offered four times the RAM. These computer models were made in the mid-1980s and at the time it still wasn’t possible to open more than one application simultaneously. Think about that for a second. If you’re playing Spider Solitaire, imagine, all you could do at that one moment was play Spider Solitaire. Yeah — it sounds terrible.
Vintage Gemini Zorba Portable Z-80 CP/M Computer
eBay Price Listing: $399.99
Its Modern Equivalent: any laptop
Yes, friends, this is what a laptop used to look like. It was basically a giant block you carted around with a tiny screen-to-surface-area ratio. It doesn’t look like something that would be too convenient to lug to class. The one offered in the eBay listing powers up, but the monitor doesn’t energize.
Zorba Portable Computers came out in the early 1980s and served to help businesspeople take their work on the go (if you can call it on-the-go). The seller says this item is an uncommon version of the Zorba product. It’s hard to imagine anything like it being common!
WordPerfect for Windows 5.2 Floppy Disk Set Vintage Software
eBay Price Listing: $0.99
Its Modern Equivalent: Microsoft Word
What better way of showing that WordPerfect is an obsolete program than by displaying five of its floppy discs? You know something isn’t worth much when its price listing isn’t even a dollar and the shipping is $5.79.
Back in the day, though, WordPerfect used to be the head honcho of word processors. This version of WordPerfect was made for Windows 5.2 and includes a set of five 3.5” floppy discs. While the program seems ancient, it included footnotes, columns, and other features current word processors find so important.
Rare 1972 RPN Garrett ITM2 Vintage Retro Calculator
eBay Price Listing: $137.00
Its Modern Equivalent: pocket calculators
At first glance, this resembles a cash register more than a calculator. You could probably fit half a dozen modern calculators in this thing and use it as a calculator carrier. Despite its outward appearance, the calculator in the listing actually still works.
The seller says this item is rare and a “must have for the serious collector.” Think about calculators this big being must-haves for students and professionals. Wouldn’t a calculator this big take up and entire desk?
Vintage 1980s Computer Carry Transport Case
eBay Price Listing: $9.99
Its Modern Equivalent: laptop bags
Judging by the old-school laptop previously shown, it’s not a surprise that the cases used to carry these laptops were also huge compared to today’s standards. This case on its own weights about 11 pounds! This isn’t the type of thing you can sling over your shoulder and easily take to Starbucks.
When you hear “laptop case” nowadays, you think of a protective covering that goes over a sleek laptop to guard it from scratches and various kinds of damage. That definitely wasn’t what it was like back in the early ‘80s. Fortunately we have thin, durable laptop bags now that do the trick.
Looking at devices and products from just as far back as the 1980s can really open your eyes to the amazing technology we have today. Remember thinking how amazing floppy disks were and how incredible those gigantic, clunky desktop computers were? It’s crazy how a decade of technology can mean a complete revolution in products and capabilities. Thankfully, we’re far from the days of lugging around “laptops” that are practically the size of mini fridges.