Monday, December 12, 2016

Gadget World

I read in an article the New York Times the other day that the age of gadgets, of people doing start-ups to make hardware stuff, is waning (as opposed to apps that work on the all-purpose gadgets we have). This picture is from three years ago. We went to a reception where you could try (and buy!) Google Glass gadgets. You can see that FFP is trying them out. I couldn't because they were for right-eyed people only. So, Google Glass? Not so much any longer.

I have bought so many gadgets, especially if you count cameras. There were calculators including one that did hexadecimal and octal and could be programmed. There were many cameras, different types of film and then digital. I bought many external drives, scanners, printers, special keyboards, mice and other input devices. I bought a little gadget that you could plug books into. (I specifically plugged in foreign language dictionaries and seem to remember one gadget that was, simply, a French translator.)  I avoided some standalone gadgets, though. I waited for cell phones to have GPS and didn't buy a Garmin. I never bought a portable DVD player (although I bought many VCRs and DVD players). I never bought a digital picture frame. At least not for myself. Way, way, back there I remember a special little calculator gadget for balancing your checkbook. I think I gave these as presents.I had a Palm Pilot, With that silly set of shorthand marks you made with your stylus to write.

I never bought a Go-Pro or a drone and think that ship has sailed. I think I bought portable game devices for the great nephews or my money did.

Now I'm going to go look for those language translator gadgets. How worthless is that when you could probably download slick stuff on your phone and tablet and computer and, of course, surf the WEB?

What's your funniest gadget story of the past or present ? Do you ever long for the days when we travelled with paper maps and a compass. (I have a couple of those, too. And not just the one on my iPhone.)


Melanie said...

I bought my husband a digital voice recorder once. He traveled a lot and said he'd think of things while driving and wanted to record his ideas. I don't remember how much it was, but I found a nice one and it wasn't cheap. He kept it in the cup holder of his truck. One day a guy he was giving a ride put a drink in there, the cup leaked all over so it was bye bye voice recorder.

LB said...

My husband has two of those voice tecorders and uses them all the time to record interviews. I did have a little recorder that used micro tapes and used it for some digital diary entries on long trips for work in my car. Wonder where that is? And the tapes?

Jerry of Big D said...

At UT, I used a cassette tape recorder for one of my nursing classes. I took it once with me to Gregory Gym to record Abbie Hoffman's speech. Much to my horror, I discovered that the batteries had been dying slowly during that time. When I got back to my room and tried to play back the speech after I put in fresh batteries, all I got were odd, drawling noises. I never used it again (it could not alert the user if the batteries were going).