back to article Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Nokia didn’t once just dominate the world’s handset market, it defined it. In an era where hardware mattered and software came second, Nokia produced not just beautiful but solid handsets, its phones owning roughly half the market. Nokia’s pinnacle: the 8110 – a sleek, high-end banana phone in 1996 employed by the rebels of …

  1. EddieD

    Not the compact cassette.

    It was an good medium in it's time, it was the job of the time, but at only 90minutes capacity* on something that is easily 10x the size of my music player which holds hundreds of hours, no randomise function, and the ability to spill its guts into the machine requiring painstaking retrieval...

    Having said that, I'm fairly sure that the "skip track" function on modern players is the first thing to wear out - back when you had 20 tracks, they all seemed to be just right - there is a benefit to having limited storage, you only store what you really like.

    On that list - the Psion 5 organiser wins, hands down, in my opinion.

    *Okay, 120 minute cassettes were available. If you enjoyed the added bonus of wow and flutter applied to your favourite sounds, at no extra cost.

    1. Thomas Gray

      Re: Not the compact cassette.

      I'd love an updated Psion 5 with Bluetooth and WiFI. I wouldn't even need a colour screen, just the superb Agenda programme and keyboard. It only needs updating for wireless comms to allow emailing and printing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Not the compact cassette.

        "...just the superb Agenda..."

        Agreed. Not found a better calendar application to this day.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Not the compact cassette.

        I'd settle for a MacBookPro with an OS that works as well as Mac OS 8.6 did.

      3. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Not the compact cassette.

        It only needs updating for wireless comms to allow emailing and printing

        Back in the day (1999/2000) I used my 5mx to print to an HP inkjet using the serial to Centronix interface. Worked a treat.

        M.

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Not the compact cassette.

      A Psion organiser with a USB read/writable mini-disc able to play music, video or hold data.

      Plus a laptop with a 4:3 screen (1920 x 1440) able to run at 48, 50, 60, 75 fps (instead of stupid 60fps only and only 1080 lines). CD/DVD/BD bay, parallel & serial ports, firewire port, Analogue TV out (able to do 240, 405, 440, 525, 625 and 819 lines) as well as USB 2/3, HDMI and VGA. Optical audio I/O too. SD card reader, SIM reader. IR sensor and emitter to clone remote controls. 433MHz / 385MHz SDR to sense or operate doorbells, weather stations, IR remote extenders etc.

      OS to be 2017 "Classic Edition XP Pro".

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Psion 5

      Please please can I have one of those with modern tat inside it. The only change other than internal hardware would be rubber so that is bounces when falling out of your top pocket. Must confess I'm tempted to see if I can gut mine and make something of it....

    4. Ralph B

      Re: Not the compact cassette.

      If you take a look at this thing it might make you change your mind on compact cassettes.

    5. Sam Therapy

      Re: Not the compact cassette.

      Not necessarily added wow and flutter, if you used a decent deck. Nakamichi springs to mind, or one of the high end Akai decks before they rolled over and died, to be swallowed up by Sony.

      Having said that, cassettes were never designed for decent sound; all the improvements that happened to 'em still didn't bring them up to even vinyl quality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not the compact cassette.

        The problem with cassettes was when they shredded the tape in the drive rollers.

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Re: Not the compact cassette.

          No system that involves storing information in powder glued to a flexible base is ever going to be reliable. Tape and floppies are two technologies that I have no nostalgia for.

  2. heyrick Silver badge

    Hmmm...

    Apart from the Apple and the Atari, I have all the rest. I ought to dig out some AAs and get it rolling again. Just...'cos.

  3. Ralph B

    tones of battery life

    That'd be the tones A, B, C, D, etc, presumably?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: tones of battery life

      Do Re Mi Fa Sol!

      Looks like he fell between an Imperial and Metric measure! Actually, yesterday I was thinking about a battery in terms of weight - I'd stopped in a layby to make a call, and saw that someone had dumped a large truck battery in the hedgerow... thought of weighing it in at the scrapyard. Whilst it might not weight a ton, or even tonne, it'll weigh at lest an 'Ooffyoubugger'.

    2. Michael Strorm

      Re: tones of battery life

      @Ralph B; The problem with batteries is that they can go out of tune over their life.

      I had a "D" battery, but by the time it was used up, I noticed it had dropped in pitch by around a semitone.

      It was a "D flat".

  4. EmperorFromage

    Snoop-proof

    Perfect for travel, when visiting countries that like to inspect your phone at the border.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Snoop-proof

      Sir, your Snake score is in the same range as those discovered on the handsets of previous national threats. Therefore we are detaining you as a national threat.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back then my computer only had 20gb of storage. Today my tablet has 16 ... Wait a minute!

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      20GB? My first PC had a 20MB drive (or 32MB when I acquired an RLL controller for it).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        First PC I put together had a 40MB HDD which I thought was insanely large. Nowadays I have PCs with HDD capacitity in the TB range and I still find my sons fill the disks with steam games + saved games etc and then complain that things aren't workng.

      2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Likewise. And I can remember back when I was doing my PhD (a couple of decades ago) the first GB drive arriving in the physics dept. And my whole thesis including diagrams happily fitted on two floppy disks (oh the joy of LaTeX).

        Rather an odd feeling to think I've probably got more storage and computing power about my person on any given day now than they had in the whole damn building back then.

        1. GlenP Silver badge

          That's about the size of it. I ran a 100 user system that had 2 456MB drives and a 50 user one that had 6 (both DEC VAX), so 150 users on 3.6GB of disk space. Each phone on my desk has over 4 times that storage.

          1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

            Ah, those were the days,.... we had a four node VAX Cluster, I remember helping the engineer when a drive failed and was replaced, ~half a gig, so the same 456Mb (RA81?) drive you mention, and it took both of us to lift and slide it into place. I seem to recall the device ID was selected via a plastic button / insert on the front?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              four node VAXcluster

              "we had a four node VAX Cluster, I remember helping the engineer when a drive failed and was replaced, ~half a gig, so the same 456Mb (RA81?) drive you mention, and it took both of us to lift and slide it into place."

              A four node VAXcluster via VAX emulation can be done on a multicore modern x86 or quite possibly a Raspberry Pi 3 (or a couple of them).

              For hobbyist use the cost of the software (including SIMH for emulation and the genuine VMS OS and 'layered products' such as development tools) is roughly zero.

              RA81s aren't really around much any more but VMS is still around, receiving new focus under new management, with the prospect of a native release on selected x86-64 servers, currently in development and planned for release in 2018:

              https://vmssoftware.com/products_roadmap.html

              Whether the previous owners of the rights to VMS (HPQ, who presumably also own the contact lists) have told the right people in the market about these recent developments is a slightly different question.

              "the [RA series disk] device ID was selected via a plastic button / insert on the front?"

              Sounds about right. And the inrush current on startup of the drive motor in those days was such that if you had more than a few of these drives, the startup had to be staggered using an inter-drive sequencing cable that lots of folks forgot about. Otherwise Bad Things would happen.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Gimp

          (oh the joy of LaTeX)."

          Fixed icon for you :-)

      3. Mage Silver badge
        Windows

        re 20GB

        My first PC had 100K floppies, I added a CP/M card, 80 column card, 1M dual 8" floppy and finally 5M byte HDD.

        I've not bought an Apple since.

      4. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        "My first PC had a 20MB drive"

        My first IBM-compatible PC had two 5.25" (yes, inches, I'm not building a replica of Stonehenge...) floppy drives.

        I borrowed a hard disk for it. 10 MB full-height (as tall as the two floppy drives together) drive removed from a PDP-11. I gave it back when it started dropping sectors, and scoured Computer Shopper for the cheapest 20 MB Seagate I could get my hands on. At the time, I lived in the US, and found the cheapest one from a supplier whose address was just three miles from where I was living.

        1. Graham Dawson
          Pint

          And if you tell kids today that, they wouldn't believe you.

          1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
            Headmaster

            I did, and they didn't.

            And when I told them I could remember a world without either mobile phones or the internet, they looked at me like I was a dinosaur.

            At least until I pointed out whilst I'm of the generation that grew up without them, I'm also of the generation that invented them (more or less anyway)...

      5. John Presland

        In the mid 1980s I - chief user rather than a techie specified, had installed and then looked after a network of four PCs and a printer, three of the PCs had just a floppy drive to allow them to be booted. All of the output of the journalists who used the kit was saved on what was then termed a Winchester drive of a whole 20MB. Concurrent CP/M worked well.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I remember going to a PC exhibition in the early 1980s. One stand was selling a 10MB Winchester disk for the Apple ][. A snip at just under £2k (what's that now - £10k?).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Doing a back up to USB 2.0 disk of my weekly data run recently - I noted that the nearly 600MB took about 10 minutes. In 1970 we did a back up of our mainframe enormous 600MB hard disk to tape - and we were pleased when after much tuning it only took 8 hours.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Windows

      A harddrive? It was hundreds of pounds for a 20MB (Megabytes, not GB) hard disk drive back in the day. We had single density floppies and liked it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      20gb you lucky lucky bastard,

      When I were a lad we had 20mb drives and you had to wind them up for t'power.

      1. a cynic writes...

        20Mb! Luxury!

        The first machine I ever owned had a 16k ram pack...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          At school we had a 6800 micro with 1kB RAM ... then the (hex) code for startrek was pritned in something like Byte or Dr Dobbs and there was a rush to build a 4kB memory *eurocard* so that we could run (after typing in all the hex codes!) such an enormous game! Seem to recall one of the TTL chips was missing so was much searching of datasheets to find who we could cosntruct the same fucntion from another ship we had with pins connected in a differnt order!

          Also remember at the same time wrting a "lunar lander" game for a friend in the 80 available instructions on his programmable calcualtor.

        2. Chris Jasper

          ZX81 with the rampak stuck on with white tack to stop it crashing the beast every time you jogged the table

    4. POKE 649,0

      20gb, 20mb, pah... The law firm I worked at had Amstrad PCW9512 with Daisy Wheel Printers... they had 3" compact floppy disks... bloody awful and tiny... plus they always went wrong in every possible way.

      I think my first home built PC however had a Conner 420mb HDD from a Computer fair down the local Leisure Centre. Clunky and noisy as hell... I eventually upgraded to a Quantum Bigfoot...I think that was about 1GB.

      20-summat years later, I have my 64gb Pi for Openelec and some fruity fondlestuff for everything else.

      Work laptop stays at work!!

      1. Boothy

        First HDD I ever bought for personal use was an 80MB 2.5" drive to fit in an Amiga (an A500 with an adaptor).

        I even partitioned it for specific functions, full Workbench on one, trimmed down version for gaming, another command line only boot etc.

        Happy days!

        1. POKE 649,0

          Aaaah the squirrel interface!!! I think that was it... SCSI for Amiga. Hard drive had to stay outside the case though as I remember.

          Happy days indeed!!!

  6. David Robinson 1

    Psion 5mx

    I still have and use my 5mx on a regular basis, mainly for the Palmtop Money app to track my finances. I've never found anything yet to replace the app's functionality to my satisfaction. Having a decent proper keyboard doesn't hurt either and runs forever on a pair of AAs.

    Oh, and oblig. Psion = Potter's Scientific Instruments Or Nothing that someone usually trots out regarding the company name.

  7. I Like Heckling

    I went for the floppy drive... because it's ripe for backup devices. No need for a spinning disk when you can have a disk with some flash storage on it. Hot swappable with a USB 3/C connector, some simple software... Looks retro with a modern use.

    Could easily have large capacity retro looking disks of a TB or two.

  8. Martin an gof Silver badge

    Series 5

    If the Series 5 doesn't win a landslide in that list...

    I'd probably buy a new S5, even if it was the original specification (perhaps swap the serial port for USB), but an updated S5 would be brilliant. I'm a bit worried about what you could do with the software as 50% of the brilliance of the original device was the OS and built-in apps (worried an updated model might have to run Android), but the form-factor was nigh-on perfect. I did almost an entire PGCE on a 5mx, so impressive was the keyboard. Colour screen with a few more pixels, modern ARM processor, decent chunk of memory, USB, WiFi, maybe a 4G modem, SD slot, fix the screen cable issues, yes update all of those, but

    • keep the form-factor
    • keep the stylus
    • keep the thing running for a week on a pair of AAs

    M.

    1. G R Goslin

      Re: Series 5

      The Series 5 was a dreadful device. I was a fan of the Psion from day one, but lost my enthusiasm at the Series 5. I introduced the Psion to the company I worked for and ordered for those who wanted one. . it had a number of drawbacks. The hinge was very weak and broke extraordinarily easily. The worst part was the battery drain. particularly the quiescent drain. I had a number of users almost crying. They'd come back from a fortnights holiday to find both main and backup batteries dead, and all their data vanished. Personally, for pocket use the Psion peaked at the 3mx. All was not lost, however, the netBook was and is a dream. I have one, and it's in near daily use

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Series 5

        The Series 5 was a dreadful device.

        The hinge I'll sort of agree with - I had to have my screen cable replaced twice, though the hinge itself was fine (unlike my Series 3, where the hinge did completely break) - but I really don't recall battery drain being a problem, and I don't think I changed the backup battery more than once in the couple of years I made heavy use of my 5mx.

        Then again, I did save files to a CF card rather than the internal RAM disc, so even if the batteries did die, my data didn't.

        M.

    2. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Series 5

      I'm a bit worried about what you could do with the software as 50% of the brilliance of the original device was the OS and built-in apps (worried an updated model might have to run Android)

      Android? No. Just no.

      It has to be EPOC (guess I should call it Symbian now). Can't speak for others, but personally I don't need yet another Android device. EPOC/Symbian is perfect for the Psion 5.

      And of course OPL. I whiled away many boring train journeys/flights by writing stuff in OPL (either on Psion 3 or 5 or Nokia Communicator).

    3. Montreal Sean

      Re: Series 5

      Back in 1999 or 2000 I had a Rex5000.

      I loved that little thing. Data entry on it was crap, but worked well when you used it to sync with the laptop app.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/REX_5000

  9. Allonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Gotta be the Psion

    Great keyboard, excellent software, brilliant runtime off a couple of AAs, OK display for its day.

    I still have one somewhere. If they launched a new model with some hardware updates (Wi-Fi, SD card slot, perhaps a colour e-ink display) I'd be sorely tempted.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Gotta be the Psion

      >If they launched a new model with some hardware updates (Wi-Fi,

      Aaaaaaand there goes your week long battery life! :)

      1. Allonymous Coward

        Re: Gotta be the Psion

        Yeah, you may be right. But I think some sort of simple network connectivity is probably non-negotiable these days. If my 5mx had that, I might still be using it.

        Perhaps something like Bluetooth pairing with a smartphone would be better for battery life. Or ditch the AAs (boo) and put in some sort of higher density bespoke module. Removable, of course.

        This is all theoretical anyway, because there's no sign there'll ever be an updated Series 5. Sniff.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Gotta be the Psion

          >This is all theoretical anyway, because there's no sign there'll ever be an updated Series 5.

          Who owns the IP on their keyboard? How easily could said IP be sidestepped to produce a similarly functioning keyboard? How easily could it be attached to a modern touchscreen phone with microUSB? Would you want to incorporate cylindrical batteries within the hinge so that such an implementation wound't be too top-heavy? What's the state-of-play of external phone keyboards on Kickstarter?

          1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Gotta be the Psion

            The series 5 came out in 1997 so any patents that it used will be well out of licence by now.

        2. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Gotta be the Psion

          Or ditch the AAs (boo) and put in some sort of higher density bespoke module

          Why? A low self-discharge rechargeable AA these days holds 2150mAh and costs around £5 for 4, so a pair of AAs (as in the S5) already almost matches the typical mobile phone Lithium battery for energy stored and is a darned sight cheaper. Yes, it's bulkier but the AA was an integral part of the case design and contributed in no small part to the stability of the thing.

          Oh, and in an emergency every little corner shop sells Alkaline AAs.

          M.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: Gotta be the Psion

            rechargeable AA these days holds 2150mAh

            There are also Li-ion cells (14500) the size of AAs, At 3.7V and 900mAh they hold about 50% more energy than those NiMHs, but you'd want the electronics to be able to deal with 7.4V, as well as running off 3V if you need to fall back on alkalines from the corner shop.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Gotta be the Psion

            "A low self-discharge rechargeable AA these days holds 2150mAh"

            Do you need the low discharge ones? Their impressive 85% after 12 months is not needed for something that is used regularly. The older style do not self-discharge too quickly - and IIRC there are 2600mah ones available now.

            1. Martin an gof Silver badge

              Re: Gotta be the Psion

              Do you need the low discharge ones?

              Possibly not, but I have standardised on them where possible. With the cameras, for example, it's possible to carry a spare set in the camera case and know that they will be ready for use when required, which wasn't something I could say about the 2900mAh AAs I used to use.

              M.

        3. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Gotta be the Psion

          Yeah, you may be right. But I think some sort of simple network connectivity is probably non-negotiable these days. If my 5mx had that, I might still be using it.

          @Allonymous Coward - tell that to the Navy beancounters?

          1. Allonymous Coward

            Re: Gotta be the Psion

            > tell that to the Navy beancounters

            Perhaps my original post should say "non-negotiable for anyone with a sane, non-multi-year, procurement process".

            For all we know, they decided network connectivity was actually really important. But their supplier said, "You do realise that'll be a £10M change..."

        4. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Gotta be the Psion

          >Perhaps something like Bluetooth pairing with a smartphone would be better for battery life.

          Even better would be an industry-wide (or at least Android-wide) standard for a magneticmodule connector on the rear of the phone for bi-directional power and data, akin to the Moto Mod system. Such a connector, which could 'snap' components in place, would be ideal for keyboards, gamepads, batteries, special sensors (i.e Infrared camera, lens/sensor module etc), microphones, car docks, port extenders etc. I'm not talking about a full-on Project Ara system.

          Bluetooth is more power efficient than it used to be, and more reliable (though I still sometimes meet a device that just won't connect) - but sometimes a physical connector is still better.

        5. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Gotta be the Psion

      "If they launched a new model with some hardware updates (Wi-Fi, SD card slot, perhaps a colour e-ink display) I'd be sorely tempted."

      You mean something like this?: https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/pages/pyra/

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Re: Gotta be the Psion

        That Pyra - little computer in the world's ugliest box - thing must qualify some sort of anti-Psion surely?

  10. gryphon

    Psion netBook

    Did anyone ever have a Psion netBook? The EPOC one not the WinCE one.

    Looked quite interesting at the time.

    1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

      Re: Psion netBook

      I still have a couple lying around the office (we were Psion's Irish disto)

    2. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Psion netBook

      I've still got one (well, a 7Book - the Series 7 with the netBook ROM) and I love it although it no longer sees even monthly use.

      I would love a Series 3 / Series 5 / Series 7 revival - they were so well designed for their respective sizes.

  11. Buzzword

    Yes for the Sony Walkman

    It's ripe for a hipster comeback. Remember how clunky they were, and you could clip them to your belt? Nothing says "I'm a trend-setting hipster" more than having an impractical ugly box weighing down your trousers.

    Seriously though, I do miss the screeching sound of fast-forward and rewind.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Yes for the Sony Walkman

      It was a helluva better form factor than the CD DiscMan.

      Some of the pricier Walkmans were barely large than the cassette itself, and indeed were smaller than some phones in their cases are today.

      The early nineties saw the Wireless Walkman - never released in the UK - which paired a Walkman with a matchbox-sized wireless audio receiver and transport control transmitter.

      There were hundreds of Walkman variations, so I was mildly surprised to just see a generic 'Walkman' in this poll! :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes for the Sony Walkman

      Was chatting to a Hipster beardy type at a certain government building down Marsham St in London the other day. He was a Java developer and used an Ubuntu laptop.

      When he got up to leave, he popped some retro looking headsets over his ears, pulled an original Walkman out of his pocket, and then from an inside jacket pocket, pulled out a couple of mix tapes while deciding what to play.

      So wish I'd kept mine back in the day, I sold it to help fund a CD (none Sony) walkman. That was short a lived tech, soon being replaced by MP3 players instead!

      1. Montreal Sean

        Re: Yes for the Sony Walkman

        I owned a couple of Sony minidisc players.

        They were pretty good, once you figured out the crap pc software.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes for the Sony Walkman

      "Seriously though, I do miss the screeching sound of fast-forward and rewind."

      What was the sound that meant the tape was crunched up into a concertina - or extruded to a thin thread?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Yes for the Sony Walkman

        "What was the sound that meant the tape was crunched up into a concertina - or extruded to a thin thread?"

        That was mostly known as the "Aaaaaarrrrgggg!!!" sound or, less commonly as the "Oh shit, not again!" sound.

  12. 1Rafayal

    proud owner of a Series 5 and a Series 5 MX here

  13. Matthew Smith

    Power leads

    Its not just which device you want bringing back, but which power lead to go with it. I remember the days of having Nokia, Philips and Motorola charges under my desk, all incompatible. Now its just a minor annoyance when I find a mini USB device rather than a micro.

    See, those EU dictats were good for some things. I bet Farage still covets his Nokia charger.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Power leads

      Back in the day, everyone who had a mobile had a Nokia anyway.

      Now it's not as great as you say, you have to make sure you've got the right charger and cable. If not, the phone will be charging at 500mA...

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Power leads

        The 500mA limit was implemented by the receiving device if it was connected to a power source by a cable that didn't have its data pins shorted - the idea was to not to upset a computer's power system. These days most phones are happy to suck down as much current as they want, if the cable is of sufficient thickness and the power source can deliver it.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Power leads

          Use an Apple charger with a Samsung or the other way round and it'll be a slooow charge...

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Power leads

            I believe the microUSB connector is so designed that failure is more likely to occur on the (cheaply replaceable) Male cable side, and not on the expensive Female device side.

            In the post-Nokia, pre-Android feature phone era, the likes of Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericcson were absolute buggers for seemingly never twice using the same power connector across their ranges. They really did deserve to have the EU knock some sense into their heads.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Power leads

        "Back in the day, everyone who had a mobile had a Nokia anyway."

        Over a period of some years, our company changed the standard issue Nokia phones for newer models. Each time, the charger used a different plug and the car kit needed to be replaced. If even one company couldn't standardise on a fecking charger plug across a range, then I really do thank the EU for mandating a standard, whatever the merits (or not) of the chosen one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Power leads

      See, those EU dictats were good for some things.

      What, like ensuring that one of the crappest, fiddliest, flimsiest connectors ever designed should become the standard?

      1. PTW
        Pint

        Re: Power leads

        Ledswinger, I agree, micro-USB is a PITA but IIRC the MTBF is spec'd at 100 times that of mini-USB.

        I can't believe it's taken until now [USB-C] to have a connector you don't need to look at during insertion. Micro-USB is about as convenient as PS/2, although at least it doesn't blow the surface mount fuses if you plug it in with the PC switched on.

        Edit - good god, that first sentence is acronym hell, I'm off for a beer

        1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Power leads

          And yet USB-C still has the stupid microscopic fragile tang in the non-replaceable socket.

          As well as "smart" cables, that can get in the wrong state and blow up your stuff.

  14. gv

    Still got these...

    I still have a floppy drive (although it is an external USB affair) and a cassette player.

    Used the floppy drive last week on a box of disks and found both it and the disks were still usable. Kids played a Michael Jackson cassette yesterday.

  15. Paul Woodhouse

    but...but...but... Where's the Amiga 500 in that list????

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Holmes

      If they brought back the Amiga the entire PC industry, including Apple, would collapse, and that would just be rude in these financially unstable times.

      Simply put, they have to leave the Amiga off the list just to give everyone else a chance.

    2. James 51 Silver badge

      Na, the 1200 (for AGA).

  16. applebyJedi

    Better than the Nokia 3310

    Firefly.

    Firefly NEEDS to be be revived. Not rebooted, not reimagined... revived, revived with the same cast (except Wash and Book obviously) and Jos Whedon

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Better than the Nokia 3310

      Sadly the captain from Firefly fell into the Han Solo uncanny valley. If he was Han Solo, that would have been fine, had he been less like Han Solo that would have been fine... as it was, he was just too close for comfort.

      Still, the Expanse is good, and both Killjoys and Dark Matter really find their own stride after their respective first seasons.

  17. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Trollface

    Mr Fixit

    Can I be a bit left-field and just suggest any item that actually lasts and doesn't have built-in obsolescence? And for that matter that if it does break or go wonky it can be simply repaired rather than having to be landfilled and replaced, and without needing all sorts of arcane tools and a lesson in glue removal?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Mr Fixit

      The point of the glue is to reduce landfill - it is quicker to pass a batch of end-of-life products through an oven to separate components for recycling than it is to employ a person with a screwdriver.

      Generally, I find modern kit more reliable than older kit, especially the older stuff with moving parts.

      If you want some very good YouTube videos of old gadgets being repaired (usually strange audio kit) the you really should check out TechMoan:

      https://www.youtube.com/user/Techmoan/videos

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Mr Fixit

      I've got a pi-top which is probably not the best example but it does work and if they keep bringing out new Pis then I can keep upgrading it - and still have the old pi to play with of pass on!

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Mr Fixit

        Okay... you might have spent £25 on your Pi, or you might have spent £5, depending on model. You might conceivably find it cost effective to resolder the USB port if it became damaged... I'm hard pressed to think of another fault that would be.

        When it comes to ecological concerns, it's generally better to make a very small reliable device than a big item that uses lots of materials. Just because something can be repaired doesn't mean that it will be, so lots of resources will have been wasted in making the components and component packaging bigger.

      2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: Mr Fixit

        But a pi-Top is stupidly pricey, for a laptop-with-no-guts.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Mr Fixit

          "But a pi-Top is stupidly pricey, for a laptop-with-no-guts."

          And an ideal educational device for a 9-year-old grandson.

    3. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Mr Fixit

      any item that actually lasts and doesn't have built-in obsolescence

      In terms of a mobile phone, might I suggest a Fairphone?

      M.

    4. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Mr Fixit

      Devices that go wonky need to be able to withstand being bashed on your desk as an initial fault determination method. Ones that invariably go from "wonky" to "dead" that way might as well not be manufactured in the first place.

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Mr Fixit

      "Can I be a bit left-field and just suggest any item that actually lasts and doesn't have built-in obsolescence?"

      The cheapest and simplest method for electronics longevity is to bring back solder with lead in it!

      Fortunately, I don't do much soldering these days other than repairs and have 10 rolls of the stuff :-)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3 1/2 inch floppy drive?

    If we're bring floppies back lets do it properly and at least go back to 5 1/4 inch if not the full 8 inches.

    1. POKE 649,0

      Re: 3 1/2 inch floppy drive?

      They actually were pretty floppy those too... While we're at it though... how about going back to reel to reel tape storage? I remember loading those at the beginning and end of each day when I did my work experience in a computer room. I'm sure there are many on here who remember those ancient storage mediums and capacities.

      Unfortunately I never was into Atari or Apple gear when I was younger and didn't have a Psion. I don't think cassette tapes will ever have a place in modern society again. 3.5" Floppy disks... still use them from time to time on old servers.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: 3 1/2 inch floppy drive?

        My understanding, from The Italian Job, is that only the country's topmost computer expert is sufficiently qualified to replace the reel-to-reel tape on a computer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 3 1/2 inch floppy drive?

          "[...] is that only the country's topmost computer expert is sufficiently qualified to replace the reel-to-reel tape on a computer."

          Are the ladies a perk of the job?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 3 1/2 inch floppy drive?

        "I'm sure there are many on here who remember those ancient storage mediums and capacities."

        Not so ancient. They were still being used on mainframes when I retired a few years ago.

        When I started as a computer operator in the 1960s the first thing you learned was how to prepare a new tape for use. That involved a very large bottle of acetone in order to remove a small section of the tape coating - to leave a clear window for the optical sensor's start-of-tape positioning. The tape was attached to the take-up spool's leader by splicing it every time with sticky tape.

        To keep the two reels rotating at the changing different speeds - a loop of tape was weighed on each side of the read/write head.

        The data density was so low that you could read the bits with the window on a little 3M device - shaped like a large thick coin. You held it against the tape surface and tapped it until the contents aligned themselves to show the bits - like iron filings do in the presence of a magnetic field.

  19. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Nothing would say...

    Nothing would say "I'm a hipster twat and I have absoutely no interest in the actual fidelity of music" more than a Sony walkman cassette paired with a pair of Beats headphones.

    Whilst wearing a pair of roller skates.

    1. Alastair Dodd 1
      Pint

      Re: Nothing would say...

      not been into a 'urban outfitters' recently? That shop is almost the mecca of hipster twattery and they already sell portable cassette players (walkmans in all but name, and quality)..

      The Psion series 5 is the only valid choice. I'd murder Farage for an updated one... heck I'd probably do that for a good condition original.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Nothing would say...

        why do you need an inducement?

  20. magickmark

    Psion Series 5

    For me it would be the Psion Series 5 would love me a working one of those again.

    Just found this place http://www.psionex.co.uk not sure how current it is but its temping!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    3310?

    Screw that. 6310i any day.

    About a months talktime and a year on standby....well it seemed that way. Certainly had 12 hour phone calls on that little baby.

    They still for more than most of last years Samsung Android landfill.

    1. Boothy

      Re: 3310?

      We had the 6310 as company phones back in the day. We only needed to charge them about once a month!

      I think I was still using my 7110 at the time as a personal device, although by then (2001/2002?) you had to manually slide down the bottom plate, as using the spring-loaded release would propel the plate, which held the mic, at great speed onto the floor.

      This then mean having someone on the line (as it answered the phone at the same time), going "Hello? Are you there?", whilst you tried to refit the front plate, (with the mic in it), before the person hung up!

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: 3310?

        Possibly shouldn't reveal this, but when working on-site at a certain major chip maker our company phones are Nokia's of the 3310 ilk (not actual 3310's unfortunately) but ones of similar size and spec and almost similar battery life.

        Basically they're about the only phones available these days which do not have cameras built-in, and aforesaid customer has a blanket ban on cameras being taken on-site (ditto our laptops have special screen bezels which completely cover the camera, as temporary things like stickers and tape are not enough for them).

        That said I had a 3310 for many years back in the day, and it was a sterling little trooper.

  22. The Eee 701 Paddock

    Yes, definitely the Psion Series 5...

    Take the bits that were great (the keyboard, obvs), fix the bits that weren't (that &@#! screen cable that kept failing after a while of, er, opening and closing the lid)...

    ...and give it the benefits of two decades of tech advances (WiFi, Bluetooth, SD or MicroSD card slot(s?), capacitive colour touchscreen). Not sure what OS to put on it, though - a customised Linux, or would Android be the inevitable victor?

    If it "hit the right buttons": I'd be interested...

    (And while the air is getting soggy with nostalgia ((C) Tom Lehrer), and someone mentioned printing from a Psion: around the turn of the Noughties, my workplace had a particular HP laser printer with a built-in IrDA (infrared) port on the front. I could line it up with the IR window on my S5, hit "Print" in Psion Word, and run off a document with no faffing around with cloud or networks. Nearly twenty years later, I miss that simplicity...)

    1. Allonymous Coward

      Re: Yes, definitely the Psion Series 5...

      > Not sure what OS to put on it, though - a customised Linux, or would Android be the inevitable victor?

      I like to think of the Psions as devices that valued function over form. So in this someone-makes-a-new-S5 fantasy realm, I'd like to see a proper Linux on there. Perhaps MeeGo or one of its successors. I may be a bit biased because I think the Series 5 form factor would be brilliant for a little carry-it-around SSH client.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yes, definitely the Psion Series 5...

        "[...] devices that valued function over form."

        “form follows function”

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Yes, definitely the Psion Series 5...

        I'd like to see a proper Linux on there. Perhaps MeeGo or one of its successors.

        I am quite partial to EPOC, not least because it undoubtedly contributed to the frugal power consumption of the device. If the OS had to be anything else then perhaps MeeGo or something similar would work fairly well too.

  23. mrdalliard
    Thumb Up

    Can we have a revival of the Nokia 8210, please?

    If the Psion 5 wins by a landslide (and it should), then the Nokia 8210 needs to come back at the same time.

    I've still got my Psion and used to use it as an e-mail device back in the day. It connected via infrared to my Nokia, which was the modem. Good times. Saved taking a laptop anywhere - and far smaller.

  24. Dabooka Silver badge

    Wrong model

    6150 please, that was the pinnacle of my Nokia ownership (bar a reasonable loan of an N95, but that's far too modern)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Texas Instruments TI-57 calculator

    50 programming steps and 8 memories.

    What more does a man want?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Texas Instruments TI-57 calculator

      What more does a man want?

      RPN.

      (although Real Engineers just use slide rules)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Texas Instruments TI-57 calculator

      I think I've still got one, but having recently moved house, no idea where it is.

      Working when last tested, three years or so ago. Might even have a box and a destruction book,

      Is it worth owt?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Texas Instruments TI-57 calculator

      "What more does a man want?"

      The TI Programmer. IIRC the first with binary, octal, hex - and logical functions like shift, and, or, xor. Rechargeable - or in an emergency you could buy a standard PP3 9volt battery from most shops.

      They did have to do a recall and replace for a jittery keyboard problem that developed quite quickly. Cost an affordable £50 in 1978. Still have mine on a shelf somewhere. Worked on mains power last time it was tested.

  26. BigBadAl

    4k RAM - more than enough for games

    Psion 5 definately - wonderful bit of kit. Well designed and an efficient and elegant OS. My first personal computer - 1979 Tandy model 1 4K RAM and 4K ROM - with cassette storage. Then we bought the massive 5.25" floppy drive - full height!! with 84K of storage. <sigh> those were the days. The Tandy still works and my kids love playing Sea Dragon and typing in the programs from the manuals.

  27. Filippo

    "Laughable by today’s touchscreen, full-colour, apps-driven, high-density standards"

    Right, but today's smartphones are laughable by yesterday's battery life and toughness standard. I wouldn't mind a smartphone that won't die in less than a day (even after I've had it for a year or so), and won't break if it falls from pocket height.

  28. Dapprman
    Pint

    As a heavy PDA user

    Psion 5 every time for me. In fact if there were to an up to date one I'd be very tempted to go for it and just use a choclolate/flip type phone with bluetooth and 3G/4G for a data source for teh PDA. FOr years I've been complaing the newer and more powerful the smartphones become, the more dumbed down they seem to be.

  29. Teddy the Bear

    Psion definitely...

    I had a Psion Revo (cut down and slightly smarter looking version of the 3) and a Noki 6310. I remember checking my email and reading news on Annanova on the train from London Victoria. Lined up the IR ports, and away I went. People were astounded at what I was doing!

  30. Big_Boomer

    Happy Weekend ye Olde Fartes

    Listen to yourselves! Yer all hankering after "the good old days" when they were in fact no better and usually much worse than today. Jeez, next thing you'll be spouting racist crap and voting for the fuddyduddy party. <LOL>

    I did love my Sony Walkman but cassettes got tangled and mangled and the damned thing ATE batteries. Apple Mac's were hugely overpriced, the games on the Atari were mostly crap (Frogger, need I say more?), the 3½" floppy whilst good just doesn't have the capacity these days, and I never owned a Psion5 or any other "organiser" until I bought my first "smartphone" (a Nokia N95).

    My current MotoG plays music (Walkman), organises me (Psion) has more computing power than the Mac (and a higher res screen), plays better games than the Atari, and can store more than 20000 floppies. Nuff said?

    1. naive

      Re: Happy Weekend ye Olde Fartes

      So true. What I remember from the 80's is that everything was enormously expensive, compared to the money I made then. Today everything is much cheaper, and hundred times better.

      Personal computers became kind of affordable for private persons in the early 90's, after IBM started making Cyrix CPU's, that was 10 years (!) after the first PC was introduced by IBM.

      Same for mobile phones, it was not until after 2000 mobile phones became affordable for a wider audience, before the phones and the subscription required quite generous income levels.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Happy Weekend ye Olde Fartes

        "Personal computers became kind of affordable for private persons in the early 90's,"

        The home microcomputer industry was flourishing by the late 1970s. Either in kit form like the Tangerine - or ready-to-go like PET or Apple ][. The latter were relatively expensive - but affordable. The general public were not yet aware of the possibilities until the BBC micro came along with the TV series in 1982.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Happy Weekend ye Olde Fartes

      "Yer all hankering after "the good old days" when they were in fact no better and usually much worse than today."

      Yes indeed they were bad times. A mortgage was limited to 3 times your annual salary - and you had to put down a 5% deposit. If you didn't like your employer - in any industry - you could quit on Friday and start with a new one on the following Monday.

      Going to university involved getting a grant from your local authority. That only paid for your tuition fees and your living expenses. Beer money had to be found by economising on the baked beans.

      Flying on a long haul 747 - everyone could have a window seat. Airline check in times were minimal.

      Most electonic kit and home appliances could be repaired. Cars could be home maintained safely.

      The internet was a jungle with religious zealots posting pr0n to usenet to try to get liberal groups banned - usually the ISPs ignored them. Spam was reported to the sender's ISP - and they took action to stop it.

      Censorship of the internet otherwise was unknown - and no one had any apparent reason to worry about their email or web site's security. If you didn't like what someone was posting - you didn't go there again. Video tapes weren't under the censors' certification control - and there was always a hire shop just round the corner.

      In IT the priority was to get the technical job done and make the customer happy - not to appease layers of middle management looking to enhance their career CVs. Management were often ex-techies who could do your job as well as you - if not better.

      Many politicians were honourable people who resigned if there was the slightest possibility of a taint from a scandal. Home Secretaries introduced liberal reforms.

      Sex was finally in the open with books like "The Joy of Sex". HIV hadn't arrived - STIs could be easily treated.

      In general health antibiotics were still largely effective for many illnesses - resistant strains did not yet have any traction.

      Yes indeed - who would wish for those things today?

      1. kmac499
        Pint

        Re: Happy Weekend ye Olde Fartes

        You forgot to add

        The music was better, live and recorded.

        Hopping on a Train or long distance Bus for a weekend away didn't involve a second mortgage.

        Policemen would bollock you for being pissed and unruly not tazer\CS you by default.

        and once you grew up and settled down money paid into a pension actually stayed there and increased in value..

        Truly Terrible times...

  31. James 51 Silver badge

    Psion 5mx with a modern wifi module and DOCX or ODT compatibility. I'd snap one up. Anything else would be a bonus.

  32. Dr. G. Freeman

    Bring them back ?

    I'm sure if I had a look in The Shed, would be able to find all of these, and a few other bits of old tech.

    (I'm not a hoarder... honest)

  33. Felix Oxley

    The Coalition government

  34. 0laf Silver badge

    Psion FTW

    Maker of the greatest micro keyboard evvah.

    Teeny tiny yet you really could do proper work on it for an appreciable period of time. I can only assume there are some patent issues that have stopped anyone from doing a proper update to what was a genius small format computer.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Psion FTW

      Touchscreens have killed them.

      A touchscreen is far cheaper to manufacture, and "5 inch screen" is easier to market than "3 inch screen and keyboard"

      Especially as most people spend most of their smartphone time consuming content, not typing.

  35. RonWheeler

    None

    Nostalgia sucks. Learn from the past, don't recreate it.

  36. Swiss Anton

    Walkman

    I have boxes, and boxes, of old cassettes and nothing to play them on. Ok I do have an old car stereo that can play tapes and old car battery to power it*. I also have some speakers lying around that aren't doing a lot, but I can't go jogging with this lot. Not cool.

    (*Hours of fun to be had with an old car battery and some wire coat hangers. Just don't hold the coat hangers in your hand while using it to short-out the battery terminals)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Walkman

      "I have boxes, and boxes, of old cassettes and nothing to play them on"

      There are lots of second-hand mini hifi systems with AM/FM, CD, and tape cassette facilities. I even have one with DAB as well. The non-DAB ones appear in charity shops and ebay for under £20.

      I made the mistake of giving all my cassettes to the charity shop - and then discovered some albums had not been re-released on CD. Still have my reasonable quality cassette player unit - although the capacitors may be suspect from having no use for years.

    2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Walkman

      I have boxes, and boxes, of old cassettes and nothing to play them on.

      http://www.ionaudio.com/products/details/tape-express-with-headphones

      You can even use it to transfer them to digital audio over USB.

  37. Bad Beaver

    MiniDisc

    It's so much more fun than all those faceless files stashed away on some featureless touch-slab. All the high-res in the world cannot replace the tactile joy of making your own disc, choosing it from a stack and spinning it up in one of those little portable hifi-gems.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: MiniDisc

      MiniDisc was wonderful. Reliable players that also recorded, edited and set in and out points.

      They've been replaced by PC and smartphone based players that are far more complex, much harder to use and far less reliable.

      Much cheaper than MiniDisc though, so there is that.

  38. Bad Beaver

    … and the 8110

    That phone had proper drama, I really liked it. Maybe one could actually revamp it with a touchscreen that is mostly covered by the slider, make it a bit slimmer, the works. Ad the spring-loaded action from the Matrix – sold!

  39. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    I want my Palm back!

    Just this week we were talking about how poorly smartphones seem to handle the basics - calendar and contacts. They're just too clever by far for what should be simple functions.

    I was reminded how my old Palm used to do these things very well, without a cel connection, and without constantly beeping, vibrating, and flashing at me.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I want my Palm back!

      "and without constantly beeping, vibrating, and flashing at me."

      uninstall Facebook and Twitter. Problem solved :-)

      1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

        Re: I want my Palm back!

        Oh, those are easy. I'm now trying to kill off the "Your battery is charged" notification, the "You took seven pictures today, would you like to review them?" pop-up, and the bizarre "You're at location X, {something something} pictures?" request. (I've never actually bothered to explore the last one, so I'm kind of guessing what it said.)

  40. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    SWMBO uses a 3410. But the one to bring back would be the 9110: phone, remote terminal and battering ram, all in one. What's not to like?

  41. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Would love to have an energy efficient and light to carry psion 5 equivalent above a heavy laptop whose operating system (windoze) just churns and forces you to wait for windowsupdates to be applied before you can start to work....

  42. HEB
    Go

    Mac Classic Forever

    I've been working on a Mac Classic revival for some time now. Going sub zero with this one. Check it out for a laugh:

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1601519/build-log-mac-classic-forever

  43. HKmk23

    How about

    An abacus with a nixie tube display?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How about

      "[...] with a nixie tube display?"

      .... or a Decatron display.

  44. greenawayr
    FAIL

    Wrong Media...not a cassette

    But the best media to come along at the wrong time...the MINI-DISC.

    This was a rugged high quality media, more rugged than a CD and you could record in analog.

    Unfortunately, some dope came along with MP3 and killed it off before it even stood a chance. This was the media that CD's should have been.

    Now we're all burdened with old scratched cds.

  45. Conrad Longmore

    Cambridge Z88

    Just bought myself a Z88 on eBay. Lovely big keyboard, it really could do with a bigger screen, Flash storage and USB though.. but not bad for 30 year old tech.

  46. PT2007

    The Psion PDA Apps

    To me it needs to still run the original Psion apps, Data etc.

    I've created over 3000 database files having used 3a, 3mx, S7 and many netbook machines (brilliant with rechargable LiIon battery)

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