KnowTechie Roundtable: What’s the most useless piece of tech you own?
Are we all hoarders? Maybe.
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Topic #2: What’s the Most Useless Piece of Tech You Own?
Kevin: I’m legit stuck on this. I’m going to do what any great boss does – I’m going to pass the buck off to one of you bums. Circle back in a bit, I’ll hit you off with some fire. Who knows, I probably won’t though. In the meantime, I’m sure Curtis has something to complain about.
Great stuff, Kevin. Inspiring. Anyways, I guess I’ll get the ball rolling here with my SUPER SWEET ROBOT BUTLER.
Look, I know it seems somewhat contrarian that the guy who lives in almost constant fear of a robopocalypse (and has warned us of the dangers inherent in this exact type of technology) would have a robot… anything. It’d be like Indiana Jones having a pet snake. But 1) This was a gift, and 2) JUST LOOK AT ITS LITTLE TIE.
His name is Maximilian, he’s from Sharper Image, and he’s a complete piece of garbage. Seriously, all he does is tell lame jokes in a horrible British accent. He barely even responds to his controls and the little tray he uses to carry things to you – ostensibly his sole purpose in life – can’t even fit a beer on it. Maximilian is a useless little asshole and I’m pretty sure I caught him watching me sleep the other night.
The only reason I keep him around is to help negotiate for my life when the real robots come for me, but the more I think about it, he’d probably sell me down the river with a “Bob’s your uncle” in a second. Seriously, go fuuuck yourself, Maximilian.
I had to think about this because pretty much all my tech is useful, but I do have a weird attachment to a box of old AC adapters for things I (probably) don’t own anymore. Seriously, in about a decade you will probably find me posthumously featured on Hoarders. Cause of death? A box of AC adapters fell out of the closet and splattered me on the floor.
I really should throw them away, but they might be useful one day. Might. Plus, have you ever had to buy a replacement one? They’re almost the same price as whatever they came with. Fuck that noise, even if it does bring my eventual demise closer, one badly-wrapped AC wall wart at a time.
Honorable mention for useless tech goes to Jared’s spellchecker, which managed to not only let him misspell stuff in Google Docs, but not give him a heads-up so he could change it, as well. Stick to the music, your day job requires better editing :p
Kevin: Damn, shots fired, huh Joe?
Jared: Oh please, like I’m going to have my grammar insulted by a Brit. Lobsterback havin’, “Give me a tinkle on the blower ya gobsmacked ming” speakin’ ass.
Kevin: Damn, got him.
A pile of LG Terra VN210 flip phones. There are few reasons to still have one flip phone still laying around, much less to have about a dozen of the same exact flip phone. The LG Terra VN210 was one of the later entries into the flip phone market, existing alongside smartphones and in this case, used by a company who was too cheap to upgrade.
So they are mine now. While my intention was to turn them all into burner phones for my exciting life as a spy (think Mr. Bean with better shoes), they have instead become the prize of my ancient tech collection alongside Joe’s box of old AC adapters and what appears to be a graphics card from 1996.
Whenever it comes time to clean house and dispose of old technology and cables, I just can’t seem to let these go. Part of me wants to actually bother to unlock them from Verizon and turn them into just in case of OS apocalypse phones, but part of me knows they’ll never be used again. The other part of me just enjoys flipping things open over and over.
Honorable mention goes to the handful of DDR2 RAM chips that haven’t been used since 2002 but still remain in existence like Jared’s cyber-love with his robot butler.
Jared: I hear Curtis still texts in T9Word.
An iPod Touch. Yes, a fucking iPod fucking Touch, boys. I’ve been dying to get this off my chest for a while now.
Yea, I have an iPhone. And yup, I have an iPad. A MacBook Pro? You can bet your sweet ass I have one those too. Big whoop, wanna fight about it? (why are you like this? – Josiah) But for real, I have one. I don’t know why, but I do. It’s obvious I don’t use it anymore. I mean, why would I?
And like, I’ve tried giving this thing away, but somehow someone tried unlocking the passcode, and the dummy did it a million times, so the next attempt I get at entering the right passcode is in………..9 years. Ok, I’m probably exaggerating here, but either way – it’s a long time. Probably safe to assume I’m not going to be using this for a while.
Joe: I’m not surprised at all Kev, we all know you’re an iDevice fanboi so why not collect the set. BTW, getting that new cheesegrater?
I’ve got brain cooties and a sleep disorder, so I thought I’d tackle two things at the same time by getting a smart outlet and a full spectrum lamp. The idea was that I’d set the smart outlet to turn on by an alarm, which would turn on the full spectrum lamp.
Turns out the lamp only has a software power button, so if you’re turning the outlet off and back on, the lamp turns off but not back on. Yes, a LIGHT that doesn’t function if you plug it into an outlet with a LIGHT SWITCH. The company refunded me and told me to keep it because they don’t have a refurbishing/returns department, so now I have a travel-sized, full-spectrum lamp that doesn’t work with light switches. Cool. It’s cute, at least.
Also, if you ever run into this problem, go with the Verliux. It’s got the hardware switch you’re looking for that actually gets the job done correctly.
Jared: This isn’t about solutions, Jake. We only do tech complaints here!
Yeah, Jake got me thinking and I remembered that I, too, have a high tech lamp in my home. While my Sol Lamp is pretty nifty and we even reviewed it on the site, I can’t say I’ve used it more than four or five times in actual normal usage.
Sure, I’ve played some Skyrim through Alexa, I tried to get Alexa to learn my morning commute so I could get traffic tips and I’ve even tried to use it to enjoy Amazon’s music library. At the end of the day, it works fantastic but everything it does just seems so out of the way.
In a perfect world, I could ask Alexa what my morning commute looks like and receive detailed info with route alternatives. I’d love to try to use Alexa to play music around my home, but Amazon’s free music library is kind of lame. I’d love to use it on a whim, but my kids fuck with it so often that I had to shut it off because my 6-year old has ordered expensive stuff through it.
The Sol Lamp looks cool, sucks as a lamp and really adds more of a bother to things and adds more of a bother to my life than anything else. It’s a good conversation starter at least.
While these guys were all sitting around in a Google Doc chatting up, I was actually working, so mine is last on this list.
As far as useless tech goes, it’s a tie between a handful of Bluetooth speakers that no longer work but you just never know and a deluge of dongles. Both do nothing but take up spaces, but if I can speak my truth, those Bluetooth speakers are never coming back and I need to accept that. The dongles and adapters still have some resemblance of importance, because, well, I don’t know, but c’mon, you understand right?
Seriously, you just never know.
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