Contest Seeks Oldest Working Barcode Reader

Here at Wi-Fi Planet, we have a soft spot for old technology. Call it nostalgia, call it clinging to our youth, but the sight of an Atari 2600 in working order makes our heart go pitty-pat more than the sight of a brand spanking new Wii. (No offense, Wii, it’s not you, it’s us.)

For that reason and that reason alone, we share with you news of a contest. It has almost nothing to do with Wi-Fi and everything to do with scrounging old gizmos. Since we still have our first electric typewriter, our first computer (a Texas Instruments TI-99/4), and, yes, our Atari 2600, we thought you should know:

A company called Ryzex is sponsoring a contest to find the oldest working barcode device. Bellingham, WA-based Ryzex is a mobile technology company, which focuses on automated data collection (ADC) solutions, including RFID. The winner of “The Big Upgrade” contest receives a new handheld computer from Psion Teklogix. Bigupgrade-3.jpg

“With the constant evolution of technology, what was new a year ago may be old today,” said Chris Glennon, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Ryzex in a press release July 22. “Yet we know companies that have kept their data collection devices in service for more than a decade—and in fact we’ve helped them do it. Although a data management device may appear ancient, with ongoing support many have been able to keep their equipment on ‘life support’ way past their warranty, and we’re excited to uncover these with ‘the big upgrade’ contest.”

Current entries, which include a working Symbol MSI PDT 1475 from the 1970s and a Telxon PTC 716  from the 1980s (pictured, right), can be viewed at the contest Web site.

The contest deadline for submission is September 22, 2009.

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-Fi Planet and although she owns all manner of new mobile gadgets, she still prefers vinyl to digital and sometimes evens talks on a rotary-dial phone.

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