Owning a piece of history

I never really thought of it until I read this post last night.

16 Years Ago Today, Apple Unveiled the Original iPod

Now, I’m not an Apple fanboy so I’ll confess that I didn’t buy it myself.  I got it as a gift.  The only requirement was that I had to do the big Apple fanboy unwrapping.  I actually kept the box that it came in until this fall when we cleaned/purged stuff from the garage.  Apparently, the rule that if I haven’t used something for years it goes, was in play.

Fortunately, my computer desk was not subject to these rules.  As I read the article, my first thought was “Hey, I have that and I still use it today”.  16 years is pretty impressive in these days of technology.

So, as proof, I took out my phone and took a few pictures.



And, mine is better than the one in the article.  You’ll see that mine has 10GB of storage.  So, 2000 songs?  Note that my Samsung phone poised to take the picture gives the dark background so that we can read it!  It’s pretty scratched up as an indication of good use.  Patina?

I did use it while walking but more often, it was something I used at work.

I could connect the iPod to a set of speakers and get great music from my collection kept at home.  But further than that, I could use it as a portable hard drive to carry files back and forth to work.  After all, it had an internal hard drive with working parts – none of that fancy flash memory that we see today.

For music, it actually had hard buttons that moved and clicked when you asked it to do something.  This was such a cool feature as well as the moving wheel that let you navigate through songs with a real feedback.  Today’s versions don’t feature this wonderful feature.  Touch, smuch.


The top allowed for a hold feature to prevent accidental actions, a headphone jack, and a connector for charging and file transfer.  Of course, you’d be hard pressed to find that firewire connector these days so I guard the original jealously.  That, and the connector that fits the later computer models.

For old times’ sake and for this post, I connected the iPod to a computer and there were still files there from the last transfer.  I opened a couple for memory’s sake.  And, finally, how about the music?  I hit the Shuffle Song option for a random tune and got George Canyon’s “One Good Friend”.

The Extras button dug into my calendar and features a clock.  But, there was also a game of Breakout that I guess taught the basics of using the controls of the machine!

By today’s standards, it’s a pretty bulky device but I’m impressed with the design.  While the battery isn’t what it once was, it still does the trick and it serves as the backup to my backup for portable music.

In a day and age where technology is largely built to be disposed of, it’s pretty impressive that it’s still as functional today as it was sixteen years ago.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

One thought on “Owning a piece of history”

  1. Doug!

    Thanks for posting the pictures with this.

    I was intrigued by the short/thick charging cable (it had a large connector at both ends), and then recognized the FireWire 400 port on the iPod. While I have a vague memory of early iPods connecting to computers by FireWire, I’ve never encountered a FireWire charging block! Cool. Makes sense now that I think about it!



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