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Hand-me-down technology

Bought on eBay: $24.99

I love old technology. Sometimes old technology is better than new technology. It sure is cheaper.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve been making some improvements in my telephone situation. I did not rush out and buy the newest telephone toys. Instead, I defined my needs, did some research, and then shopped for bargains on eBay.

Those who sell technology, of course, are always trying to convince us that we must have the very latest. Verizon, my cellular carrier, has a program called “New Every Two.” Every two years, Verizon will give you a new cell phone — for free, as long as you sign a new contract. This serves two purposes: It helps teach us that technology is obsolete after two years, and it keeps people locked into contracts.

Do I need an iPhone? No, I do not. If I were still in the corporate world, maybe it would make sense. But here in the sticks, and as a retired person, my needs are different.

Now that I have dial tone on the phone wiring in my house (thanks to a Telular SX5T bought cheap on eBay) and can connect any telephone I want, this is how I saw my needs for one of the three phones in the house: 1. Cordlessness; 2. I wanted a phone compact enough to carry outdoors, since people my age have been known to fall or otherwise need to call 911; 3. I wanted something that would speak the name of who’s calling, so I that I know who’s on the line before I answer the phone.

There is one device that meets all three of these criteria, and they don’t make them anymore. That’s the Uniden ELT560 cordless phone. I believe it’s the only clamshell “flip phone” ever made for cordless (as opposed to cellular) service. It can be loaded with customized ring tones that you can record yourself, and it uses caller ID to select the appropriate ring tone. I made recordings of myself saying the names of my regular callers, so instead of ringing, the phone repeats the name of whoever is calling. As a clamshell, it will fit in my pocket with its keys safely covered, and it has the range to work pretty much anywhere on my property. The cost on eBay for “new old stock” was $24.99.

I’m a gadget freak, so this is how I keep my gadget costs under control. I buy old stuff when old stuff will do the job. Often, the old stuff is superior.


  1. Quetal wrote:

    You impress me everyday with your thought processes. I know that is not your intention, but still, you just seem to do the right thing on a regular basis. I hope you don’t fall though.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    If I ever fall it will be because the cat got underfoot and knocked me down.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink
  3. mountain madness wrote:

    I heard that!!! I have two small dogs who are always underfoot especially in the kitchen while I am getting hot food out of the oven!!!! If not them it’s one or all of the three boys!! LOL

    Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

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