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The 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years

Discussion in 'Electronic Equipment' started by Too_Many_Tools, Dec 25, 2005.

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  1. wavetrapper

    wavetrapper Guest

    While not overly popular, the mini-disc recorder/player (Sony) is one
    fanatastic gadget. It would be in my top 50 for sure.
     
  2. Pete C.

    Pete C. Guest

    They list the Apple Newton at #28 and indicate that it "paved the way
    for smaller, simpler devices like the PalmPilot", but in fact like many
    of the things that are hyped as being invented by Apple, the Newton was
    once again a rehash of someone else's product.

    The Casio Databank PF8000 predated the Newton by nearly a decade, I got
    mine in about 1985, had handwriting recognition remarkably similar to
    the "graffiti" that showed up in the PalmPilot much much later and a
    whopping 4K of memory with the extra 2K expansion pack.

    For those who never saw the PF8000, it is/was about 5" wide, 3" high and
    1/4" thick with a 2" square or so touch pad area at the right which
    functioned both for handwritten text input without the need for a
    stylus, and also doubled as a calculator touch pad. The Databank watches
    came quite a bit later.

    For those who think the somewhat ill fated Apple Newton was a technology
    leader way ahead of it's time, Casio beat Apple both by a decade and
    with better functionality, usability and ergonomics.

    Pete C.
     
  3. Guest

    There was an article in the Wall Street Journal written at the time the
    Newton got the ax. It pointed out that the Newton enjoyed popularity
    among young physicians working as interns and residents in hospitals.
    They were sorry to see it go. I can't comment on the Casio. Probably
    the same reaction.
     
  4. Ralph Mowery

    Ralph Mowery Guest

  5. Pete C.

    Pete C. Guest

    Found a link that shows the PF-8000

    http://www.voidware.com/calcs/pf8000.htm
    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/article/read_about_featured_gadgeteer_evan_koblentz
    http://pocketcalculatorshow.com/calculator/index5.html

    One of those sites dates the PF-8000 to 1980 putting far far ahead of
    the Newton.

    Pete C.
     
  6. Guest

    I didn't see clip-in pedals or aerobars.

    They rank right up near the top with me.

    Lewis

    *******
     
  7. Guest

    I doubt they polled any women - otherwise I would expect to see the BOB
    (Battery Operated Boyfriend).

    Ed
     
  8. Franc Zabkar

    Franc Zabkar Guest

    I'd have to take issue with the choice of Microsoft Intellimouse
    Explorer (1999). The first optical mice were available at least 15
    years (?) before, albeit with a metal pad and hefty price tag. I'm
    still using a serial Mouse Systems mouse of that era. I also recall
    paying about AU$40 for a Taiwanese serial optical mouse in 1990. I
    can't understand why PC World believes that MS's product is "the first
    mainstream optical mouse".

    I'd also have given an award to the Casio and Sharp organisers of the
    early 90's.

    - Franc Zabkar
     
  9. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest


    I had one of those optical mice with the metal pad, it worked well at
    the time but the modern optical mice are infinitely better. They provide
    the advantages of optical along with those of mechanical mice for the
    best of both worlds. I was never fond of the Intellimouse Explorer
    ergonomic design, in fact I didn't like it at all, but the standard
    Intellimouse optical that was offered for a short time, as well as the
    Logitech models are quite good.
     
  10. Jon Elson

    Jon Elson Guest

    What IMBECILE came up with this list? They are all TOYS!

    Let's see, the jet engine is probably just a bit too old to stay on the
    list. And, I guess the transistor has run off the edge, too. The
    integrated circuit is still less than 50 years old. Microwave
    oven? The internet? Solid state computers? Silicon memory technology?
    Disk drives? laser printers? Ink jet printers? VCRs? Lasers?
    CAT scanners, MRI, ultrasound?

    Oh, I get it! Gadgets! Not just inventions, but gadget as "useless
    gott-have-it junk". OK, now the list makes sense.

    Jon
     
  11. Guest

    They arrived much earlier.
     
  12. Has

    Has Guest


    The list is of course limited to nerdy gadgets--"we considered only those
    items whose digital descendants are covered in PC World"

    Than again, I may have missed the vibrator issue...

    -Has
     
  13. The first in dash CD player should be on the list.

    Also the first radar detector.

    I'd nominate the hp 95LX as the first pocket computer, even before the
    Newton.

    I'd also put the Timex Ironman on the list. This little simple
    multifunction watch is the best selling "computer" ever produced. I
    own three including the one I'm wearing now which is 20 years old and
    predates "Indiglo."

    50 years is a long time. How about the Bullova Accutron "tuning fork"
    watch.

    No GPS? Surely I'd put the Garmin eTrex series on the list, or the
    Gecko.

    Bicycle computers.

    Leatherman multi-tools.

    That list is too far weighted towards audio and not broad enough in
    scope.
     
  14. RHF

    RHF Guest

    Every House Wife's Dream "The Electric Can Opener" ~ RHF
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_appliance
    Followed by every other "Time Saving" and "Work Saving"
    Electrical Kitchen, Household and Personal Appliances :
    including the Vacuum Cleaner and the Washer and Dryer

    Plus Every Power Tool Know to Man !
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Tool

    READ - The List of Edison Patents
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Edison_patents

    The Electric Light Bulb followed by the Compact Fluorescent
    Lamp (CFL) and then the Light Emitting Diode (LED)

    The Telegraph followed by the Telephone
    and then the Cellular Phone.

    The Phonograph Record followed by the Tape Recorder
    and then the Video Tape and the DVD Recorder/Players.

    The Radio followed by the TV Set
    and then Digital Cable and Satellite TV Systems

    The Home Computer followed by the Everything Digital !


    For those Who Are Into Something - Low-Tech and No-Tech :

    * Solid State In-Organic - The Pet Rock !
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_rock

    * Organic - The Chia Pet !
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chia_pet
    http://www.cooltvproducts1.com/Category.asp?cat=38&parent=35?source=froogle
     
  15. Alan Holmes

    Alan Holmes Guest

    The first radar detector was developed around 1942!

    Alan
     
  16. David

    David Guest

    Do you ever take a break from shooting speed?

    This is the best can opener ever made:

    http://www.ccrane.com/more-categories/kitchen-accessories/swing-a-way-can-opener.aspx
     
  17. RHF

    RHF Guest

    DaviD Asks Himself - " Do you ever take a break from shooting speed? "

    DaviD - One of America's Many Freedoms :
    Manual -or- Electric - The Choice Is Yours !

    FWIW - My Manual Bottle Opener - Talks To Me ! :eek:)
    { It's Time For A Beer ! }
     
  18. m II

    m II Guest


    I disagree. Almost twenty years before (1974) that they had the HP-65.
    It even had a magnetic card writer/reader for saving data or programs.

    =====================================
    HP introduces the first minicomputer to be based on 4K dynamic random
    access memory chips (DRAM) instead of magnetic cores.

    The world's first programmable pocket calculator, the HP-65, is
    introduced at $795. Its programmability will later lead some to call it
    the world's first handheld computer.

    http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/abouthp/histnfacts/timeline/hist_70s.html
    ====================================


    I don't like the direction the company has taken. My experiences with
    some of their printers have soured me on the 'new' HP. I loved their
    products and philosophy until the end of the HP 41 era. They've turned
    into just another mass marketer, with all the cheap plastic trappings
    that accompany that mindset. .


    mike
     
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