Looking through some old photo albums, I spotted me with an FT817 in the garden dated 2001. This means I first bought the FT817 at least 16 years ago. I was probably working OX (Greenland) at the time, with 2.5W and a telescopic whip on SSB. It seems amazing that it has been around all that time with effectively no competition.
Another thing that struck me was how young and thin we looked back then!