Dead Technology You Can Buy Dirt Cheap

  • Do People Still Use That?

    Everyone is talking this week about the iPad, which has finally gone on sale, but why spend hundreds of dollars on the new “It” gadget (especially one that clearly has a lot of flaws) when you can go after a tried and true product instead? There are plenty of cool older technologies out there that are still incredibly useful, will satisfy your nostalgia and, best of all, are cheap because they’re seen as outdated. We’ve rounded up some of our old favorites and the best deals we could find for you. Photo Credit: boboroshi
    Portable CD Player
  • Portable CD Player

    Ten years ago, it would have been insane to suggest that CDs and CD players were a dead technology, but the truth is that they are gradually being ignored in favor of downloading digital tracks (both legally and illegally.)  The upside is that CD players have dropped significantly in price. I remember spending $100 a few years ago to replace my portable player. Now you can find some sweet models in the $20-30 range. Actually you can find one for $8, but that’s a violet Barbie player with swan headphones and, quite honestly, I think it’s not worth the money or shame of carrying it around. Photo Credit: Dan Diemer
  • MiniDiscs

    I remember thinking minidiscs would be the next big thing. Granted, I was about 14 at the time and I didn’t really know squat about technology. I just enjoyed rifling through my dad’s collection of audio tapes that he’d made over the years and thought I could improve on that with minidiscs. Unfortunately, about a year after I bought a minidisc player, CD-Rs came out and pretty much took over the market, pushing out minidiscs and tapes. Still, there is a certain charm to this gadget. Portable minidisc players aren’t much bigger than an iPod and, unlike that device, you can actually build a collection of personal compilations. Some might argue that these are the same as playlists, but anyone who has ever created a mixed tape, burned a CD or made a minidisc knows there is a difference. We found minidisc players for as little as $10 online, or you can buy one used on Amazon for $25. Photo Credit: ZapTheDingbat
    Rabbit Ear Antennas
  • Rabbit Ear Antennas

    Want to watch TV for free? All you have to do is buy a cheap pair of rabbit ear antennas for your television and you can watch all the free channels that come in over the airwaves, even without cable. More Americans have been relying on this during the recession to get their entertainment fix. Now, you could splurge a bit and spend $25 on a fancy antenna, or you could just get the bare bones variety for about $2. The choice is yours. Photo Credit:
    Kodak 110 Cameras
  • Kodak 110 Cameras

    You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a digital camera to take great pictures. Nearly 40 years ago, Kodak introduced its 110 film camera, which other companies later imitated. The camera was small and took excellent photos, but it was eventually beat out by the 35mm breed. So, now you can find this gadget for less than $10. Photo Credit: Nesster
  • Atari

    You can buy the original Atari video game system for just $33 on That includes everything – the joystick, TV plug and 10 “classic games.” As the product’s description aptly states, this system is “the one that started it all.” I’d be lying if I said the graphics compete with Xbox images, but the games themselves are classic and can never really go out of date. Photo Credit: mrbill
    The Original Playstation
  • The Original Playstation

    If Atari seems too old for you to spend money on now, why not pick up an original Playstation? Not only is it a good gaming system, but audiophiles argue the first Playstation model actually functions as a high-fidelity CD player that rivals pricey stereo systems currently on the market. We found one person selling it for $50 and another selling it for half of that. Not too shabby. Photo Credit: MNgilen
    First-Generation iPods
  • First-Generation iPods

    Forget the fancy new iPod Touches and Nanos, I still have a second-generation model and it works perfectly. It may not be quite as sleek, but it holds plenty of music and, let’s be honest, the extra centimeter in width really doesn’t affect its portability. You can find a first-generation 32GB iPod touch for about $200 and a first-generation 4GB iPod Nano for a little more than $60. Photo Credit: redjar
    Old Apple Computer
  • Old Apple Computer

    Long before Apple produced sleek laptops, they came out with the Mac Plus, a boxy-looking desktop computer. Now, there’s no doubt that this computer is light-years behind the ones available now, so I won’t argue that you can make do with it. But it does make an excellent design piece. One geek actually took apart his Mac G4 Cube and put the parts inside the frame of the Mac Plus to create a beautiful and unique hybrid machine with a wonderful vintage look. We found one old Mac desktop for $85 in case you want to give it a shot and impress your techie friends. Photo Credit: eurleif
    Rotary Dial Phone
  • Rotary Dial Phone

    Not only is this a good coffee table piece, but rotary phones prove very useful when you have a blackout since they don’t run on electricity. You can buy these phones new at Target and Wal-Mart for $60. It might be a little pricey, but a rotary phone makes up for cost with coolness. Photo Credit: Clemson
  • Typewriter

    I am not ashamed to admit that I use a Smith Corona typewriter that I bought on the street for $40. No, it’s obviously not quicker or more efficient than a computer (although at least it doesn’t require the additional cost and hassle of a printer.) Still, when you type something on one of these, it makes your words much more significant, both for yourself and the person you’re giving it to. You can buy a brand new typewriter for less than $100, or a nice looking used Remington for $70. Photo Credit: psyberartist
    Record Player
  • Record Player

    Ironically, the future of records seems brighter recently, while the future of CDs is increasingly bleak. So, though this is an old technology, it’s far from irrelevant. You can buy a brand new record player for just $80. Unfortunately, the records themselves are still pretty expensive. For example, if you want to buy the Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys new on vinyl, it will cost you about $20 while the CD would cost about half of that. Photo Credit: Trevor Manternach
    Portable Television
  • Portable Television

    These used to be a pretty big deal back in the day, but now with laptops and portable DVD players, these devices seem less interesting. Yet, the technology has only become more compact and affordable. You can now buy a 7-inch portable LCD television for $80, which comes with a built-in tuner and detachable antennae so you can pull in channels over the air waves. Photo Credit: crazytales562
  • 4-Track

    With this device, you can record multiple instruments onto a tape, creating a more intimate sound that is much simpler to use than many of the complicated digital recording tools out there. It’s a great tool for aspiring musicians, and some fantastic albums have been recorded this way, rather than digitally. Just ask Sam Beam from Iron and Wine. We found one for $200. It’s a bit pricier than the other items on this list, but consider this the expense of having your own personal recording studio. Photo Credit: justinwdavis
  • Walkman

    When I was a kid, I used to buy (and break) a walkman pretty much every other week. They are a little bulky, and sure, they really are only good for listening to the radio (which you can do with the portable CD player mentioned above), but they are great for one thing. Walkmans are the perfect music devices for road trips since you can pick up random radio stations along the way and you don’t have to worry if you break the gadget because 1) You definitely will and 2) It’s ridiculously cheap. Plus, you can rock out to some of those old-school tapes you have sitting around. We found some online for $10. Photo Credit:
    Easy Bake Oven
  • Easy Bake Oven

    Hey, it’s cute and a lot cheaper than a real oven. And I hear the food it makes is delicious. You can buy one new at Join us on Facebook
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