Since I pack and reorganise my stuff more than every once in a while, I don’t normally have to wait till the proverbial spring to do a cleaning. Just so happens that (1) it is also spring this time of the year in places that have the seasons, (2) the Chinese take this time before the new lunar new year to flex their consumerist muscles to replace not so new things with newer things, (3) I’m preparing for a move.
And because I’ve quite recently moved into my current premises just over a year ago, my sorting and packing now mostly consist of reviewing my stuff and evaluating if they pass the new litmus test to warrant the logistical effort for another move.
Some defunct technology that made it from the old place did not pass this litmus test. Before I chuck them out however, I preserved them digitally to mark their once existence and the passing of time.
TDK DVD Burner
Laptops and desktops that had DVD drives could not always have the capability to burn DVDs. These days, slimmer laptops have gotten rid of DVD drives altogether in favour of light-weightness and mobility. Back then however, when storage in thumb-drives and external hard disks were not the common practice, organising and burning data in DVD was the more convenient alternative to floppy disks. Like most devices of its day, the TDK DVD Burner is bulky and heavy.
Digital photography was not as trigger happy as it is now when storage in memory cards were expensive and limited in capacity. When traveling, it is easy to max out the memory space which created the need to review the images, prioritise what you want and delete the rest. On my 11 day road trip to Central Australia, the CompactDrive was the common storage platform for the memory cards of me and my friends. Being battery operated, the CompactDrive was independent of needing a power source; this was a very important feature on a road trip. If memory serves me well, this CompactDrive costs $300 in the mid 2000s. Someone did a very thorough review of this device which you can look up if you are so inclined.
Nintendo GAME BOY
The Nintendo GAME BOY was the game-changer in the time of handheld games. I got my first one in upper Primary and added a secondhand GAME BOY in lower secondary so that I could make use of the two-player functions in some games like Tetris. There were original game cartridges and pirated ones that had 16-in-1 or even 50-in-1. The most advance end-user interface of the mid 1990s was monochrome Dot Matrix. In storage, my GAME BOY units rusted to the core and the batteries leaked, then rusted. Trivia: Watch out for the GAME BOY’s appearance in 1998 Will Smith film – Enemy of the State.
Game Arcade Tokens
With the use of metal tokens, Game Arcades felt like a casino for kids. There were many different Game Arcades in the 1990s and each fashioned their own tokens. I was never really good at any game. I most enjoyed the multi-player Daytona, that as a group of 6 to 10 friends, was played out more as a virtual bumper car. Wreak-it-Ralph did an excellent job in translating the old school vibe of these places. The last time I played at an arcade, which is more than a decade ago, I found to my bewilderment that the metal tokens have been replaced by stored value cash cards. This signaled the end of an era.
Having a collector’s streak, I was very conscious of not using my last token and collected it instead for keepsake. Into a pouch the tokens went and over the years my collection amassed. It is not exactly a treasure chest now but it can count towards making up part of my Happy Thoughts. The bulkier defunct technology I’ve tossed, this pouch I’m keeping and bringing into our current millennium. Because WyWy Wonderspace had the most extensive network of arcades, I also have with me a number of WyWy tokens as witness to the last vestiges of growing up in the 1990s.