Gadget Man

PC World produced their list of the 50 greatest gadgets of the past 50 years here.

Being a bit of a gadget guy, I thought I would see how my adoption patterns mirrored the top ten. Here is the list and here is my status against the list.

  1. Sony Walkman (1979): Check. I had a couple of these cassette-based portable music players. And, to show how much has changed, my youngest son has never seen, nor listened to, a cassette tape. The original Sony Walkman had two headphone jacks. I never shared mine. One Walkman, one gadget man.
  2. Apple iPod (2001): Check. We have four of the little critters littered around the house. The big and bulky 1st Generation right up to the latest iPod Video. I remember all the hassles associated with the first one. Could a Mac-based iPod be used with a Wintel computer? Answer: yes. Although, looking back, I’m not sure why I did that.
  3. ReplayTV and TiVo (1999): Uncheck. Never got one of those. Partly because the barren Canadian landscape was without PVRs for years and partly because I am not that keen on recording broadcast television.
  4. Palm Pilot 1000 (1996): Check. A small form factor PDA. It offered 128KB of RAM which could hold about 500 contacts. I was a master of Graffiti. Graffiti was the unusual scribble language that allowed you to make notes. Quite the dinosaur when compared to my Blackberry 8700r.
  5. Sony CDP-101 (1982): Uncheck. I hated the sound of the first generation CD players. I stayed with analog for another 10 years. And, perhaps I am getting less selective, but I find that I don’t care as much about the analog versus digital format. Sometimes, I find that I even enjoy listening to mp3 and AAC files. You know, as long as they are cut at a high enough bitrate.
  6. Motorola StarTac (1996): Check. The first tiny cellphone to take the market by storm. We still have a bunch of old cellphones hanging around the house. I chuckle every time I see the big, bulky “portable” cellphones. I can’t believe I thought that they were cool back then. The StarTac was cool.
  7. Atari Video Computer System (1977): Uncheck. I was too busy hacking on computers. I did not get in on gaming systems until the Atari 5200. Cool machine. Short life. Regardless, Pac Man and Space Invaders were really neat games to play back then.
  8. Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera (1972): Check. I had quite a passion for photography in my youth. And, for some odd reason, I had a bit of a fling with Polaroids. Terrible prints though. Did not last and I think I lost them all. The same will probably happen to all my digital photos.
  9. M-Systems DiskOnKey (2000): Check. Had to have one of these USB flash memory sticks for sneakernet. I had an 8MB version which seemed huge at the time. Now I carry 2GB SD cards in my digital cameras.
  10. Regency TR-1 (1954): Uncheck. The gadget man was not alive then and never secured a portable transistor radio during his youth.

50 Greatest Gadgets

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