Back in August, we told you about a contest to locate the world's oldest working bar-code device. The contest, called "The Big Upgrade," did indeed turn up some dinosaurs—including models that were more than 35 years old, according to sponsors Ryzex and Psion Teklogix.
The oldest—and possibly the least attractive—entry in the contest was an MSI 2100 portable data-collection terminal that is battery-powered and relies on a cassette tape for memory. The unit, with its dull yellow outer shell and plastic carrying case, dates back to the early 1970s.
The grand prize winner was randomly selected from eligible entries. Tyler Templeton of New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co. won a new handheld computer from Psion Teklogix to replace his old Telxon PTC 600 and 960 mobile devices.
Although the contest's sponsors injected humor into the proceedings, there was a serious point to the search. "With this contest, we saw how people stretched the life of their bar-code scanning devices to an extreme. This illustrates how hard it can be to recognize when equipment starts to cost a company more in maintenance and lost productivity than it's worth," said Chris Glennon, vice president of sales and marketing for mobile technology specialist Ryzex, in a statement.
Photos of some of the entries can be seen at www.bigupgrade.com.