According to Axl Rose, nothing lasts forever. Especially not in the cold November rain. That said, Axl probably didn't Google much before he wrote that song. Turns out there's a lot of technology that can survive even the most preposterous tests of endurance. And by "preposterous" I don't mean "Hey, I dropped my cellphone in a puddle and it still works! Sort of!" I mean these electronics have survived ...
The Game Boy That Survived An Explosion In Desert Storm
The first Game Boy was released a little over 30 years ago, and for a plastic brick that you shove games into like a Mario-themed toaster, it's surprisingly durable. I just didn't expect it to be hellfire levels of durable.
But behold the Game Boy owned by Stephan Scoggins when he was deployed during Operation Desert Storm. His barracks got blown the hell up when he was, thankfully, not present. His Game Boy, however, was caught in the blast. When the soldier found it again, it was a charred hunk of pixelated shit, but hey, the man loved his games. So, hoping against hope, he sent it back to Nintendo for a replacement.
Back at Nintendo HQ, no one had a lot of faith in repairing the machine, as it was literally melted. Despite that, when they swapped out the battery and put Tetris in, the goddamn thing turned on. It didn't work well, but dammit, it worked. Let's see your Flappy Bird do that. People still play Flappy Bird, right?
The Commodore 64 That Became An Anthill
If you're old enough to remember the Commodore 64, then you're old enough to remember the ceaseless boredom and floppy discs the size of waffles. Back before anyone cared what Apple or Pentium or even electricity was, they used these things. And when a guy happened upon one that had been outside for at least ten years in Oregon, sucking up the worst that Oregon has to offer, he did what anyone would do in 2018: He made a YouTube video about it.
The computer was loaded with pine needles and a family of not entirely computer-savvy ants. The RF shielding had rusted away to actual dust, and to clean it, the guy used his garden hose. You may be aware that this is not a typical computer repair tool. Nonetheless, after a thorough hosing and much reconstruction, he actually got this machine in working order again, proving that the Commodore 64 is a cursed monstrosity that will never die.
The Pen That Spent 25 Years In A Stomach
A 76-year-old lady went to the doctor with a number of symptoms, and an x-ray revealed something long in her abdomen. It was then that she recalled swallowing a pen 25 years earlier, as one does. When doctors removed it, the outside was corroded thanks to 25 years worth of burrito juice, but the ink was still fine. Apparently her intestines had been in the middle of writing the lyrics to a new Soul Asylum song. Weird, right?
The Deep-Diving Nokias
Many phones can handle a little brush with water if you fish it out of the toilet fast enough, but this Nokia managed to survive for three months in a lake. But that pales in comparison to the 14 years another phone spent at sea before finally being found in an oyster like a goddamn techno-pearl.
The Nokia 3315, also known as the shit they made Captain America's shield out of, was supposedly shucked out of an oyster in Australia. After discovering that it still worked, it was promptly shipped off to an auction house, because even though it had been Titanic'd, it probably couldn't play a YouTube video for shit and was only good as a novelty buy for the weird and wealthy.
The Apple Watch O' The Sea
Rob Bainter lost his Apple Watch while he was body surfing, which is the most California thing possible. After being all "whoa!" and "dude!", the ocean refused to return the item, so Bainter headed back to his VW van to eat fish tacos and play a funeral dirge on his ukulele, I assume. But then, as if Poseidon himself was a Samsung fan, the watch returned after six months, three miles down the beach. It was still in perfect working order, with all of Bainter's info and apps intact, and now possessing the phone numbers of six mermaids!
The Original Apple Computer That Still Works After 40 Years
Sometime after the dinosaurs died off but before Chromebooks were made, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built about 200 computers that they called the Apple 1. Less than half of those computers still exist in the wild, while China has only a single breeding pair in Beijing. Needless to say, it's a rare treat to find one, and someone did. And it still worked!
After some restoration work, this Apple 1 was put up for auction in 2018. These things were made in a garage with Steve Wozniak's own two little hands back in 1976 or so. Modern laptops tend to stop working if they hear you use foul language in the next room, so it's something of a testament to the endurance of this ramshackle device that it could be made functional again after over 40 years.
Drop Zone Phones
I currently have a case on my phone that is made from the same material as space shuttles, because phones themselves are made from meringue and mouse farts. Despite this, some have the remarkable ability to endure falls. Like the iPhone that managed to drop 9,300 feet from an airplane and live to tell the tale, shaming the phone that only survived a 400-foot fall from the StarFlyer ride in Orlando.
How does a phone escape a plane? Apparently a slight pressure change caused the goddamn door to crack open mid-flight. The phone's owner didn't even know it was gone until the plane landed, at which point the preposterous Find My Phone app somehow worked. It was 70 miles away under a tree, where a donkey helped them find it, because that's all this story needed to be perfect.
The iPad That Got Stuck In A Car Bumper
Some people have a bad habit of using the roof of their car as a coffee table. They set shit up there as they fumble for keys or fish cakes or whatever you need to drive, and then, every so often, the object on the roof gets forgotten. Alexa Crisa was driving behind a car where the item in question was an iPad. And when the car turned left, causing the iPad to fly off directly into her car, Alexa didn't think much of it beyond braking suddenly to avoid running it over.
It was only later that she found out that the iPad had lodged itself in her bumper, as if Gambit from the X-Men threw it. Her dad spotted the iPad and went at it with a hammer to get it out. Despite all that, it turned on when they were done, so they could track the owner down. Apparently, Apple's warranty covered that damage too.
The Queen's Fridge Is Older Than Your Parents
It's probably hard to imagine what life is like for the Royal family. Do they use modern gadgets, or do they sit around cosplaying Barry Lyndon? Well, if one fridge is any indication, it's probably the latter. It was purchased by Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 1954 to keep all the spotted dick fresh, and it is still working to this day, proving that British engineering is as resilient and sturdy as the substances they call food.
This story does offer some insight into why the royals are still as rich as they are. Not only did the queen not bother to update the fridge, but she also apparently didn't buy a TV for her castle either. She'd rent one wherever she visited, along with a VCR. And what did she watch? Well, the last major VHS release was David Cronenberg's A History Of Violence, so I'm going to imagine it being just that horrifying thing, over and over. It's best that way.
The Oldest Phone In Britain
Most people these days are concerned with getting the latest phone as soon as it arrives on the scene, up to and including actually waiting in line for one. Can you imagine? Getting in a line with people on purpose? But that's not for everyone. Some of us like our four-year-old phones, and others like our 77-year-old phone.
Located in the Birch Hall Inn in the sensual Beck Hole (which is not something I mistyped three separate times as "Bitch Hall Inn"), this near-octogenarian phone is around because the area is a dead zone and cells don't work. It's so old that its original number was 245. No, that wasn't the model number, that was the phone number.
The Man Who Pooped An AirPod
I remember the first time I saw AirPods and thought, "What is this shit?" Who knew I was a prophet? Those ubiquitous little headphones that look like you have serious ear leakage issues are everywhere, and they're super helpful if you use them as directed, which is generally considered to be externally. Don't eat your AirPods, kids. Except maybe it doesn't matter if you do.
One music fan in Taiwan learned how resilient an AirPod is when he, and I'm filling in a few blanks here, ate one for a bedtime snack. I can't say he wanted to eat the AirPod, but the story is that he went to sleep and then woke up with the AirPod inside himself. How did he know he'd consumed it? Well, he used the feature that helps you find a lost one, and could hear the beeping coming from his own guts. At the hospital, they recommended the most classic extraction method: taking a big ol' dump.
After going on Mr. AirPod's Wild Ride through the darkest reaches of man country, the AirPod came out the other side and was still fully functional, much like the infamous USB device that once came out of a seal while remaining intact. Did all the music he listened to from then on sound like shit? Ha. I love comedy.
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