Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • Selling old tech for new may not always be the best decision; keep in mind the value and nostalgia attached to older gadgets.
  • Regret can set in when realizing the unique features and experiences of older tech that aren’t replicated in newer models.
  • Consider carefully before selling off old gadgets in pursuit of the latest technology, as some devices may hold sentimental or historical value.

We’re always chasing to get the new thing, and usually that means selling the old thing it replaces. Yet, more than a few times in my life I’ve sold off an old piece of tech and then ended up regretting it.

Sometimes the new thing was worse, sometimes the old thing was worth more than you knew. These are a few of my biggest blunders.

My PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 is still widely regarded as one of the best gaming console in history, and its sales record is only now in danger of being beaten by the Nintendo Switch. In fact, by the time you read this, it may already have happened. I originally bought a used PS2 from a friend who imported an original Xbox (which wasn’t sold in my country) and it served me well for years throughout high school.

After I graduated, I worked all the time and hardly got to play on my console, so I sold my PS2 and all my games, and bought a Sony PlayStation Portable with the money. I have no regrets about the PSP, which is an amazing system with a great library. However, as the years went by it seemed like selling the PS2 was a mistake. There are still so many amazing games that have not been ported to newer consoles. The PS3, even the original with PS2 backward compatibility, isn’t an elegant solution, and there are plenty of mods to add HD and modern storage to PS2 consoles, which are still going strong. So I would not be surprised if there’s a refurbished PS2 in my future somewhere.

My Last CRT Monitor and TV

I bought my first LCD monitor about 20 years ago. It was a 19-inch 1440×900 LG model. Booting up the original Far Cry I immediately knew I had made a mistake. While the size and widescreen aspect ratio were great, compared to my 17-inch Viewsonic, it was washed out, blurry, and with terrible backlight bleed.

Similarly, I regret getting rid of my 21-inch CRT flat screen TV. It still had many more years left in it, and would have filled in a great niche for retro gaming. Luckily, this didn’t hurt as much as my CRT monitor, because I replaced it with a plasma TV, which brings me to my next big regret.

My Plasma TV

I learned a hard lesson with that LCD monitor, and I held out a long time before getting a flatscreen HD TV. Every LCD HD TV in a store or at a friend’s house looked horrible to me, even if they were newfangled 1080p models. So instead, I bought a (then) enormous 51-inch 720p Samsung plasma TV and I held onto it all the way to 2016, when I bought a 4K 55-inch Samsung to replace it. Even then, my new 4K TV still didn’t quite measure up to the vibrancy, clarity, and color of that plasma and if not for the resolution, I would still be using it today. In fact, the person I sold it to is still using it to this day! Although, I have now joined the OLED club, so perhaps this regret stings just a little less.

My CD Player

I adopted the MP3 craze hard from the outset, since I was getting tired of dragging my CDs to school, not to mention having discs skip just from a casual walk home. However, as wonderful as modern streaming services and the option for lossless digital purchases are, I’m leaning back towards physical media.

Whether it’s my now-growing Blu-Ray and DVD collection, or my shelf full of paper books, I’ve caught the bug of wanting something to watch or read when the apocalypse comes. While I’m not a fan of vinyl records, I do want to get back into collecting CD albums, but my CD players are long gone. I never had one particularly good one, but I do feel bad that I didn’t keep even one. Also, inexplicably, neither the PlayStation 4 nor PlayStation 5 support audio CDs, so while they are keeping my movie disc collection relevant, I’ll have to buy a dedicated player if I want to enjoy the feeling of owning my albums again. Maybe the one thing I regret even more is getting rid of my CDs. I never imagined needing them again!

So, So Many Cool Phones

My first ever phone was a Nokia 2110—a hand-me-down from my parents, so they could keep tabs on me. Since then, I’ve had a whole host of phones that would be considered iconic or at least interesting these days. For most of my life I’ve considered them nothing more than tools, which I could dispose of when done, but for at least some of them I feel that keeping them would have been a good idea.

My SGH-V200 Samsung phone was my first camera phone and my first phone with a color display. It was also the first phone that let me tether it to a computer and get internet access anywhere. Just the fact that it was a flip phone would make it worth keeping.

Then there’s my old Ericsson T18s which was the first phone to have voice dialing as far as I know, and it felt like a sci-fi object at the time. I even, briefly, had a Nokia 7110 which wasn’t actually the phone from The Matrix (it was the 8110), but no one knew that!

Unlike the other stuff on this list I obviously couldn’t still use these phones, but it does feel wrong to have just let them go when some went on to become something historically noteworthy. Then again, there’s a fine line between preservation and hoarding!

I’ve Learned My Lesson

These days I don’t always need the money from selling my old stuff to buy new stuff, so I do think about it carefully before just getting rid of my gear. When I eventually upgrade to something new from my MacBook M1 Air, I think I’ll hang on to it, and you can pry my Nintendo New 3DS XL from my cold dead fingers!

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By John P.

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