Ode to Old, Reliable Products
When I first started working at Nokia in what is now the Enterprise Solutions group, we either had just begun shipping the Nokia IP440 or it was about to start shipping. I do remember it taking a few months before I got my brand new pair of IP440 from the factory shipped to my house.
By today’s standards, the IP440 is a laggard, but back then, a P2 400 with up to 768mb of RAM was quite the machine. Since they use fairly standard off-the-shelf Intel motherboards and other components, I still use the guts from these machines in my lab. The chassis are big (4U), but very serviceable and very solidly built.
I have a fondness of these systems for sentimental reasons, but so do our customers, apparently. We stopped selling the IP440 many years ago, but they are reliable, versatile, solid performers. Many of our customers still use these platforms in some capacity or another. Due to customer request, Nokia extended the support for the platform beyond the usual 3 years after the official end of sale.
At the end of March of 2007, the IP440 officially reached the end of it’s supported life. It’s no longer a supported platform, but I have no doubt the boxes will be used by many as long as they power up. They are that good, and that reliable.
There are few products like that in the market place, though I think on the phone side, the most comparable device would have to be the Nokia 6110/6160/6185/6190 devices (or what we used to call the 6100 series). They are bricks by today’s standards, but they were sturdy, reliable phones that got the job done. I used these phones for years, especially the Nokia 6190, until it stopped working with my SIM cards–doesn’t like 64k SIMs.
Do you have some workhorse products/devices that may not be the sexiest thing in the world, but they just get the job done? Post your memories in the comments.