Trip down memory lane – Tecra 500CDT

Tecra 500CDT 1996 was a good year for business technology. Toshiba brought out the Tecra 500 CDT with 1.26GB hard drive and 48 Mb of memory. I am surprised it goes!! They were using them in primary education in South Australia at the time. I picked this one up second hand in 2001. It is still going 17 years later on Windows 98. The video shows how neatly made it is and how easy it was to replace parts. Laptops then were designed so that a failed part was easily removed and replaced. Not any more . The Tecra is very solid. It hardly rates as portable these days. Pretty heavy and virtually a furniture item rather than a business machine. It was top of the range in 1996. 17 years later it is hard to imagine how cool it was at the time. It seems so clunky and solid. I can still use it. I have things on there which I can do and I guess I do it to remind myself that the world changes and that technology will become something we cannot even imagine and that it is pointless clinging onto “new” technology. The video demonstrates very clearly how well it was made and how it had so many connections. How many devices these days will cater to all your needs connection-wise and when are we going to get to the stage where either we can dispense with connections or have a one size fits all? Ditto laptop cables. One cable for all laptops. One transformer and preferably none at all. My Tecra is also living proof that no matter how old the technology – you can find a use for it. I have plenty of things I can do on that ancient Tecra and for the modest things I do I don’t actually feel limited. It is in a little world of its own, far from the madding crowd where I can use software and type away or set up my diary. It comes from the before USB and social media days where we computed in our own personal world and shared by email. We were still master of our cyber universe. Blogs didn’t really take off until about 5 years later. It is important to get the old gadgets out now and again to remind ourselves we have to keep moving with technology. We have to keep updating and we have to keep passing on our skills. My Tecra isn’t something to cart around. Why we thought that is beyond me. These days I cart around my smart phone and my tablet. Today was a good example. While I was visiting friends I was using my phone to show them things and get a picture of their beautiful show dog and they were showing me things on their iPad. 17 years down the track we’ll look at iPads and wonder what on earth we were thinking, so stay flexible when you are teaching. Enjoy what is there and value the trips back down memory lane but keep those tech skills current.

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