Can You Identify the Vintage Hardware?

By: Amanda Monell

Can You Identify the Vintage Hardware?
Image: Wiki Commons by Plasticboob

About This Quiz

For those of us who are techies, there is one sentence in the English language that elicits fear and excitement at the same time, “You need to get a new computer.” The minute that those words process through our mental CPUs, we grab our closest laptop or tablet, head to our favorite computer brand's website and start to build our dream rigs. Light up displays, extra fans and additional USB ports are a must, however, it comes with a price. When our new toy finds its way home, there are the learning curves that come with working with a new piece of equipment. While recreating shortcuts and installing software is a little frustrating, it’s when you have a new operating system and discover that you need new equipment when the good turns to annoying really fast.

Because computers are constantly evolving, it is no surprise that a typical techie household has something we’d affectionately like to call a junk box. These boxes are basically a miniature electronics store housing cables with outdated cords equipment that can still be used in a pinch and even some relics that even the owner has no idea existed. 

We invite you to take a look inside our junk box to see if you can name all these items that we've collected through our years of computer building. Feel free to take anything you want and have a few laughs because we can’t believe we bought those things either.

3 joystick When flight simulators were the next big thing, gamers would use one of these items to have a more realistic flying experience. What device are we thinking of?
Mouse
Joystick
If you ever found yourself on a too-tough mission in a flight simulation game, one of the issues could be the joystick. If it wasn't calibrated properly, the joystick could have made your game harder than it needed to be.
Modem
Keyboard

Advertisement

2 modem Back in the day, you needed one of these external devices to connect to the Internet. What is it?
Keyboard
Mouse
Hard Drive
Modem
Did you know that the modem predates the computer? Modems were around in the form of teletypes which were developed in the late 1920s to help machines communicate with one another from across the world. The first computer didn't show up until 1936, a little over a decade later.

Advertisement

7 5 inch floppy disk You've been working on your term paper all day at the library, but it is closing time and you don't want to lose your work. Which one of these items would you use to save your file?
Printer
Floppy disk
Floppy disks came in various sizes physically and capacities, however with the 5 1/4" floppy disk that the word floppy truly applies. These disks were super flimsy and if you wanted to protect your work, all you had to do is cover a side notch with a piece of tape.
Modem
Mouse

Advertisement

8 computer punch card If you decided to vote using a hard copy ballot, you probably created one of these. What are we thinking of?
Timecard
Punchcard
Before floppy disks, companies relied on thousands of punchcards to store their data. Because there were so many of these cards, they had to be read in a certain order, and if a single card was misplaced, it could set a team back a few days.
File
Folder

Advertisement

6 Facit_E560_dot_matrix_printer Which of these printers is known for its perforated paper?
Dot matrix printer
For the most part, dot matrix printers did do the job they were required to do, however when a newer innovation came about we were more than happy to get rid of these problematic machines. In addition to the loud noises it produced, continuous feed paper is considerably more expensive.
Inkjet printer
Laserjet printer
3D printer

Advertisement

10 Mainframe_Computers Today we have server rooms that house data from thousands of computers from all over the world, but back in the 1970s, these computers would occupy the same amount of space. What computer is it?
PC
Laptop
Word processor
Mainframe computer
In the world of tech, the saying “bigger is better” doesn’t apply; the amount of memory on the IBM 1970 Mainframe was 500 kb of RAM with 233 MB of hard disk space which is over 100 times smaller than the iPhone with the smallest memory capacity.

Advertisement

12 keyboard What computer essential is needed for typing commands?
Keyboard
When it comes to keyboards, there are many different types to tailor to an individual’s needs. For those of us with a lot of desk space, the ergonomic keyboard can be a little larger than the norm and helps people with pain issues.
Mouse
Printer
Scanner

Advertisement

4 Magnetic Tape Before servers, you would need to use one of these to archive a network's data. What are we thinking of?
Thumb Drive
USB Port
Magnetic Tape
When it came to computing in the 1950s, data was stored on a double reeled tape. Looking like enlarged versions of a cassette tape, this storage device could store up to three megabites of storage and like a cassette tape, magnetic tape was prone to becoming unraveled and tangled up in its drive.
Hard Drive

Advertisement

11 monochrome monitor Do you get migraines? If so, you may not have survived a week working in the 1980s when these emerald and amber displays reigned supreme. What piece of equipment are we thinking of?
Scanner
Monitor
In addition to adding color and various sizes to its innovations, monitors now have the ability to filter out blue light, which when looked at for an extended period of time can lead to eyestrain headaches.
Modem
Printer

Advertisement

14 Jcacweb_cam If you've ever participated in a web-based conference call, you've probably used one of these. What are we thinking of?
Microphone
Mouse
Modem
Webcam
If you are a coffee lover who is constantly stuck making a fresh pot of coffee for the office, you aren't alone. The inventors of the first webcam used it to monitor the centrally located coffee pot in their lab, where you could check levels before deciding to get a drink.

Advertisement

23 Sound_BlasterX_H5_Gaming_Headset What computer accessory would you use if you want to communicate with others while killing baddies in an MMORPG?
Twitch
Headset
In 1961 two former pilots founded Plantronics where they designed and manufactured headsets for NASA, who wanted a two-way communicator compact enough to fit in a spacesuit. The following year astronaut Wally Schirra wore the headset on a mission and the rest is history.
Webcam
Paddles

Advertisement

21 touchscreen Have you ever worked in retail? If so, you've probably run across one of these when you've rung customers up using a cash register. What are we thinking of?
Touchscreen
The touch screen was invented in 1965 by E.A. Johnson, however it wasn't until the 1990s that they became accessible to the everyday consumer. When Bell and IBM launched its Simon Personal Communicator, it featured a touch screen. This was considered one of the first cell phones.
Large format printer
Desktop scanner
Power glove

Advertisement

1 computer mouse Originally with one button, this computer must-have is pivotal when it comes to moving between screens on a desktop or laptop computer. What is it?
Keyboard
Joystick
Mouse
Did you know that the first computer mouse was actually made of wood? We didn't either! Developed by Douglas Englebart in 1963, the mouse had a wooden shell with two wheels to glide horizontally and vertically.
Power Glove

Advertisement

26 computer tower What computer part shares its name with a part of a castle?
Tower
Most high performance gaming computers are towers because it gives them room to add graphics and memory cards as well as fans to keep the overall system cool. If you want to get fancy, you could add interior lighting to give your machine a futuristic glow.
Drawbridge
Moat
Parapet

Advertisement

22 Racing Pedals Do you feel the need to speed? What gaming accessory would you use to accelerate your car during a race?
Power glove
PC racing pedal
If you were learning to drive, using a foot pedal could help your feet recognize the difference between a gas pedal and brakes. While positioning is important, real time behind the wheel should be experienced so you could learn how to react to everyday traffic.
Joystick
Paddles

Advertisement

27 computer microphone Do you listen to podcasts? If so, you'd recognize this piece of equipment that is pivotal to the recording process. What is it?
CD burner
Magnetic tape disk drive
Microphone
If you are thinking of becoming a podcaster, some planning needs to happen. Aside from finding your studio, there are microphones for different types of podcasts. If you are recording with others you'll need multiple hookups and if you travel there are microphones built for mobile use as well.
Modem

Advertisement

20 magnetic tape drives Which of these things would you use to read a magnetic tape?
CD reader
Floppy disk drive
Tape drive
Just like a cassette tape, a magnetic tape drive looks like a massive tape recorder. When Apple first released its Apple II machine, it relied on standard cassette tapes for its storage.
Thumb drive

Advertisement

28 Memory Card If you're a digital photographer, you should recognize this memory storage device. What is it?
CD ROM
3 1/2" floppy disk
Memory card
Before memory cards were used in digital cameras, 3 1/2" floppy disks were used. While this was convenient, memory cards provided more space and gave the photographer options to get higher quality photographs.
Cassette tape

Advertisement

30 Barcode Scanner Have you ever signed for a package? If so you saw the delivery person use one of these before you signed for it. Which tracking device is it?
Webcam
Image scanner
Barcode scanner
Did you know that UPC scanners are over 40 years old? The first item to be rung up using a barcode scanner was a pack of Juicy Fruit gum, which was purchased a little after eight in the morning at a grocery store in Ohio.
Dot matrix printer

Advertisement

31 Router Which of these things would you use to create a network in your home?
Modem
Router
Cisco didn't invent the first router (as many would believe); it was Bill Yeager, a researcher at Stanford. How did it come about? In 1980, Yeager was brought into his boss's office and given the task to sync up the computer science, electrical engineering and medical departments.
Power strip
CD ROM

Advertisement

34 stylus If you sign for a package delivery, you're going to need to use one of these before receiving it. What piece of equipment are we talking about?
Stylus
When you look at styluses, it is rather hard to pinpoint when they first came into existence. The closest date that archaeologists can guess is that it was invented around 1300 B.C. by the Romans, who used them to write on tablets. (Computer versions are a little bit newer.)
Keyboard
Mouse
Thumb drive

Advertisement

40 NES-Power-Glove On one hand, gaming companies want to encourage their users to go out and get some fresh air. On the other hand, they encourage the use of a pair of these to prevent hand injury. What are we thinking of?
Mouse
Joystick
Gaming gloves
While gaming gloves are most associated with console gaming, there are some that exist for PC use. These gloves are designed to help create an ergonomic environment for PC gamers who use desktop computers to play.
PC racing pedal

Advertisement

29 digital scanner When it comes to digital imaging, you need one of these to get a nice, clean copy. What device are we thinking of?
Dot matrix printer
Scanner
Common in offices today, image scanners have had a long history; the first scanner was used in 1952 and was invented by a team at the U.S. Bureau of National Standards led by Russell A. Kirch.
Webcam
Laserjet printer

Advertisement

19 Large_Format_Printer Need to print a poster for a presentation? What type of printer would you use to produce your eye popping visual aid?
Laserjet printer
Plotter
Inkjet printer
Large format printer
If you ever have to make copies of a larger document, a large format printer will help you in that case as well. Depending on the type of printer, you can create copies and even scan these documents to our email.

Advertisement

17 CD-RW_Ultra_Speed_burner Which of these devices would you use to copy your favorite playlist onto a CD?
CD burner
When using a CD burner, you needed to be careful when it came to selecting the appropriate speed. If you were to burn a CD using a faster speed, the disk may not pick up on all the data being thrown at it. If this error occurred, you would need to reburn the CD all over again.
Floppy disk drive
USB port
Thumb drive

Advertisement

36 N64-Game-Cartridge If you've played with a classic Nintendo system, you've probably used one of these portable devices to play your games. What are we thinking of?
3 1/2" floppy disk
Cartridge
Even though game cartridges are best known for gaming consoles, several computers utilized this same technology. One of these was the Commodore 64, which was considered one of the best gaming computers ever made.
CD ROM
Magnetic tape

Advertisement

24 fan If you have issues with your computer overheating, you may need another one of these. What are we thinking of?
Ice pack
Thermostat
Fan
If you're a gamer, you've probably run into fan problems in the past. Luckily if you keep running into problems, you may not have to ditch your machine; purchasing an external fan could be the answer.
Graphics Card

Advertisement

32 Inkjet Printer Do you want to print some of your digital photos for a scrapbook? You probably will want to use one of these. What are we thinking of?
Inkjet printer
Inkjet printing was first developed in the early 1950s, however it wasn't until the late 1970s that the inkjet printer gained the capability to reproduce computer-generated images.
Dot matrix printer
3D printer
Large format printer

Advertisement

16 Floppy_Disk_Drive_SDF-321B If you wanted to play Oregon Trail, you need one of these to read the program. What is it?
CD drive
USB port
Floppy disk drive
There were two different types of hard drives. The first came equipped with a small door which when shut, would help hold the disk still while the machine read the programs. The second was spring loaded, which was the predecessor to the 3.5" drive.
Thumb drive

Advertisement

35 Standard_Fingerprint_reader_controller Today, we use this type of device to unlock our phones using our fingers. What kind of computer accessory is this?
Retina scanner
Touchpad
Fingerprint reader
Biometric devices are still relatively new to the computing world, however using fingerprints to identify people has been around since the late 1800s. It wasn't until the Thinkpad T42 was released in 2004 that the general public got a chance to utilize this technology.
Stylus

Advertisement

13 Paddle_Commodore In addition to a joystick, the Apple II came with a pair of these to help you game (kind of). Which of these accessories are we thinking of?
Mouse
Paddles
Just like joysticks, if you're looking to play with paddles proper calibration is key. Paddles had looser controls, so if you calibrated it poorly, you'd have to wait until you were playing the game to see how bad off you were.
Handpad
Power Glove

Advertisement

15 Apple_II_IMG_4218-black Released in April 1977, this machine developed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak became one of the world's first mass-produced computers. Which machine is it?
IBM
Apple II
The Apple II computer remained in production until 1987, however users didn't have to fear that there wouldn't be a new machine to replace it. The Macintosh computer system was introduced in 1984. At that time, over two million Apple II units had been sold.
Commodore 64
HP

Advertisement

33 Alphacom_32_thermal_printer What kind of printer would you use to produce heavy duty shipping labels?
3D printer
Inkjet printer
Laserjet printer
Thermal printer
One of the reasons why shipping companies use a thermal printer instead of the standard inkjet printer is because instead of using an ink, a thermal printer burns the information onto the label. This helps in the long run, because then you don't have to worry about weather blurring the label.

Advertisement

39 laserjet printer If you have ever had your digital photos printed at a drug store, you're receiving a product printed by one of these printers. What kind of printer is it?
Laserjet printer
A laserjet's method of printing is a combination of inkjet and thermal printers. When paper passes through a laserjet printer, it is sprayed with toner and heated by laser. By using this method, prints come out dry and smudge-free.
Thermal printer
Inkjet printer
Dot matrix printer

Advertisement

9 3_5 inch floppy disk What sized floppy disk was considered mainstream in the mid-1990s?
8" Floppy Disk
5 1/4" Floppy Disk
3 1/2" Floppy Disk
3.5” floppy disks weren’t very floppy at all. Made of durable plastic, these disks were great for transporting files from one place to the next. On top of which, they had quite a bit more storage space than their predecessor.
2 1/2" Floppy Disk

Advertisement

37 Supercomputer The Cray, invented in 1962, is considered the first one of these. What kind of computer are we thinking of?
Microcomputer
Supercomputer
Supercomputers are still used in almost every government agency today. In one instance, a supercomputer was used to help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention develop new therapies used in the treatment of hepatitis C, which helped reduce or even cure patients with liver disease.
Minicomputer
Mainframe computer

Advertisement

18 Plotter_Algotex If you ever have received a blueprint from an architect, you have received a product from one of these. What type of printer are we thinking of?
Inkjet printer
Plotter
Engineers rejoiced when the plotter first rolled out in 1959. These machines drew their drawings using different pens and reduced time at the drafting table considerably. Prior to this, engineers would have to draw revisions on their drawings by hand.
Dot matrix printer
Laserjet printer

Advertisement

25 Altair_8800_Smithsonian_Museum What kind of computer was the Altair 8800?
Supercomputer
Minicomputer
Mainframe computer
Microcomputer
While many consider PCs the only microcomputers, there are other electronic devices that are used in everyday activities. Examples of other microcomputers include smartphones cash registers and laptops.

Advertisement

5 Commodore-64-Computer-FL What kind of machine was the Commodore 64?
Tablet
Laptop
PC
If you're a PC gamer, you should have recognized the Commodore 64 as a PC. Why? The Commodore was one of the first machines designed with the everyday consumer in mind. Instead of spending over $1,000 on a system, the Commodore 64 was half that amount.
Word Processor

Advertisement

39 Minicomputer Many businesses use one of these to store their data. What is it?
Mainframe computer
Supercomputer
Microcomputer
Minicomputer
When you're at work and hear the word "server," they're probably talking about a minicomputer. These computers are specifically designed to store various types of data and have the capability to service multiple users at once.

Advertisement

You Got:
/40

Featured