Friday Video: A blast from the past. Handifax 1000 promo video from mid 1990s shows how far we’ve come

My favorite Australian Video Blogger Dave Jones tore down a Handifax 1000 on video earlier this week. Never heard of a Handifax 1000? Well it was a combination PDA (personal digital assistant) and pocketable fax machine introduced in 1994 just before the Internet and the mobile phone revolution made this sort of device obsolete. Though short-lived, it’s an interesting piece of “ancient” technology and you might want to click on the link above to see the actual teardown. Pure 1990s system design.

The Handifax 1000 came with an instructional video on an analog VHS tape. Remember VHS? Remember VHS VCRs that ate tapes? Well, Dave had to pull a VCR from the recycling room at his office condo to play the tape, and the VCR apparently ate the tape, but Dave eventually got it converted to digital for our entertainment and I can’t resist posting it for this week’s Friday Video!

Take a look at the archaeological clues in this video: the cheesy synthesizer music composed in the blandest of corporate musical genres, the laptop with a monochrome screen, the big-as-a-brick mobile phone, the big hair, the RS-232 connection to the PC because USB doesn’t exist yet, the 3.5-inch floppy drive slots, the cameo by a Donald Trump lookalike. These are all clues regarding how much things have changed in less than two decades (except for Donald Trump).

“Handifax is compact, light weight, and solidly constructed.” Awesome! Now that’s marketing.

No need to watch all 24 minutes of the video. The first minute and a half ought to do it for you.

And if you’ve just got to have one, there’s one for sale cheap on eBay right now.


About sleibson2

EDA360 Evangelist and Marketing Director at Cadence Design Systems (blog at
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