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Top Five Computer Gadgets of the Past

written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 1/3/2010

These gadgets used to be so hot during the early days. They are the iPhone, BlackBerry's and netbooks of the not so distant past. We present five of the hottest computer gadgets of the past. And by past, we mean the 80s and 90s.

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    Commodore 64

    commodore64 Ask any tech geek who is in their mid-30's and above about their first home computer and most of them would say it's the Commodore 64. Selling around 15 million to 22 million units since it was launched in 1992, the Commodore 64 is the best-selling computing machine of all time. Back then, the Commodore 64's 64KB (take note it's KB) of RAM, a 6510 processor, and 20KB of ROM containing Microsoft BASIC were definitely powerful enough to make everyone long to have the C64. Unfortunately, back then it cost too much already, although by today's standard, the C64's price is just slightly higher than that of a standard 10-inch netbook. Aside from its computer power, the C64 also features 16 color graphics and a 40-column screen. I'm assuming of course that those two features were also advanced features back then. The Commodore 64 is definitely our top computer gadget of the past.

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    Motorola DynaTAC 8000X

    motoroladynatac Nicknamed "the Brick", the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X enabled us tech-savvy consumers to walk and talk on the phone at the same time. It was generally regarded as the first mobile phone despite the big size since it was the first phone which had no cord. The DynaTAC 8000x gave mobile phone users in 1983 a memory which could hold up 30 contact numbers and an hour of talk time. It may not be enough by today's standards for a mobile phone, but hey, back then it was pretty cool and powerful.

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    IOMEGA ZIP Drive

    iomegazipdrive Who could forget the blue external storage device which was all so elusive back in 1994 due to its stiff price? The IOMEGA ZIP drive was a must-have back then, not only because of its professional and sleek design but also because it provided easy back-up with 100MB of storage capacity. That capacity, of course, back then was already equivalent to 180GB capacity of today's storage devices. The Zip drive connected to the PC via the parallel port - yes, USB ports were not so common back then. It also featured a yellow LED light which indicated that the Zip drive was functioning well. Alright, does anybody remember the "Click of Death?" It was a distress signal indicating that the Zip drive was starting to conk out.

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    Sharp Wizard OZ-7000

    sharp wizard OZ-7000 Back in 1989, there were no Blackberrys, iPhones, or G1s yet, and the best that mobile consumers could ever have for a PDA phone was the Sharp Wizard OZ-7000. Even if this retro computer gadget can only serve as an electronic address book, telephone pad, scheduling tool and calendar, it was the closest thing to having a personal digital assistant. Measuring only 6.1 x 3.5 x .75, the Sharp Wizard OZ-7000 could be connected to a Windows PC through a connection port. Its other features included an optional thermal printer, casette tape backup, 40 x 16 black and white LCD, expansion slot for accessory cards and 35 kb of memory. Sorry folks but the Wizard OZ-7000 didn't sport a QWERTY keyboard.

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    PalmPilot 1000

    pilot-1000-front-S Of course, if we're talking about old computer gadgets, the PalmPilot should be considered. Back in 1996, the PalmPilot was the ultra-cool gadget must-have. It boasted 128KB RAM which could store up to 500 contacts with their names and addresses. The PalmPilot also featured a sort of touchscreen technology, albeit in its crudest form - handwriting recognition which took some time to use. The PalmPilot ushers in the development of computer gadgets which fall under the "Personal Digital Assistant" category. It also paved the way for more powerful and yet smaller computer gadgets.