Time Machine

This summer, we're digging out old devices and seeing what they were actually like to use.

Our phones today are far more powerful than our desktop computers from decades ago. And yet, those old computers worked just fine! The Time Machine project is an opportunity to boot up those old devices and see how they feel to use.

As our hardware has improved, how has the user experience changed? Which parts have stayed the same? Which parts have gotten worse? There's only one way to find out.

How To Participate

Take video of yourself using an older device. Any personal device from any time period is great. We're particularly interested in the history of day-to-day devices like personal computers and mobile phones.

Upload the video somewhere. Upload to Google Drive, Dropbox, or even YouTube - anywhere we can download it from.

Send us the video link + extra info. Tell us about this device, when you got it, what specs it has, and anything else you think is interesting. We'll get the video posted here on the website for everyone to see.

At the end of the summer, we'll compile all the submissions into a final report.

New Videos
5 videos have been submitted! Would you like to see them?
Latest Submission
Device: Lenovo G570
Nickname: Leonard
Submitted by: Ben Visness
Release year: 2010
Processor: Intel Core i5-2450M @ 2.50GHz
Memory: 4GB DDR3
Storage: HDD

I have very fond memories of this computer. This was the computer I used for FIRST Robotics back in high school, and the computer we used to drive the robot at the world championships in 2013 and 2014.

That doesn't mean it's fast, of course. You can see that it is very sluggish to do many normal tasks, like typing into a Word document.

Still, exploring this computer brings back a lot of memories, and funny enough, allows me to show off a lot of different applications. I found old Blender models on here, an old platforming game in Unity that I barely remember, a video called "OBS Test.mp4" on the desktop, and even a definitely legal copy of Counter-Strike 1.6.

Naturally, because it's running Windows 7, I was unable to shut it down without running Windows Update. I had to forcibly kill it.