Vintage Buffalo is a new weekly feature here at TechnoBuffalo where we take a look at our old gadgets, why we bought them, and what made us replace them. Are you like us and hanging on to some gadget relics of the past? Submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org be featured in a future Vintage Buffalo!
Gadget: PalmOne LifeDrive. (Anyone remember when pre-HP Palm was PalmOne?)
Owner: Adriana Lee, TechnoBuffalo Lifestyle Editor
Purchase Date: 2006
Price: $200 on sale
Why I bought it: Ahem, my name is Adriana, and I’m a gadget addict. Seriously though, I loved my first Palm m100, but it was like a baby PDA (Personal Digital Assistant). As my first handheld, it was fine, but I very shortly realized how limited my new toy was, so I started longing for something more robust. (Plus, the bitmappy two-tone screen was giving me a headache.) Enter the LifeDrive. I imagined how organized it would make my life, and the concept of reading email on the go or showing off digital pics was new and exciting back then. Ultimately, I wound up playing Bejeweled on it more than I did anything else, but it was the perfect transition device to take me from feature phoner to smartphone user not long after.
Best Feature: There were many: Ability to use it as a USB drive or MP3 player, and having messages, contacts and calendars with me at all times. These are taken for granted in today’s smartphone scene, but back then, it was like a revelation for a lot of mainstream consumers. I also remember having fun “beaming” data via infra-red to other Palm users, and to this day, I still kind of miss Graffitti. (And no, the WritePad app is not the same.) In the end, what I think cemented my gadget habit was seeing co-workers’ eyes bug out when I pulled out my foldable infra-red keyboard and started typing. Most of my colleagues had enormous laptops that weighed 7 lbs, and here I was with this handheld, doing mostly the same things. They were jealous.
Still working?: No. It pretty much cries when I try to power it on. (Actually, there’s a whirring and some sad crunchy sounds that emanate from the little guy.) So the hard drive is toast. I’m looking for a good way to DIY hack it and turn it into something else. Any suggestions?
What made me replace it: I got an iPhone, which did pretty much everything I was using the LifeDrive for, plus make calls. Even so, for a while, I continued to carry it, but the long boot time and processing speed (especially by comparison) ultimately made me stick it in a drawer and forget about it.
Why I’m hanging on: It was my first real mobile computing device, so it’s got some sentimental value to me. Plus, I still think it’s a pretty gadget, if not a little fat. So like I said, I want to hack it and turn it into a bookend, smartphone case or something.
Have a gadget story of your own to tell? Send us answers to the following questions and a picture or video of your gadget (even an old one) to vintagebuffalo [at] technobuffalo.com. We’ll pick one person each week to have his or her story featured on the site!
Why I bought it:
What made me replace it:
Why I’m still hanging on/why you gave it up
Do any of you remember Palm PDAs? Or even still have one? Or were you a Windows CE user? Tell us your story below.