Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Top 100 gadgets of all time

Mobile PC magazine just released their list of the top 100 gadgets of all time. Of course, like all top 100 lists (don't we have too many of those now a days?) the decisions are completely arbitrary and subjective. But like other lists, it's also fun to see where your favorite gadget stacks up. Included on the list is the abacus, iPod, walkman, pez dispenser, scissors, stapler, TiVo, and others. The prestigious number 1 position goes to the Apple Powerbook 100 of 1991. Here's why:

"Never mind the Apple versus PC debate: Until Apple unveiled this 5.1-pound machine, most "portable" computers were curiosities for technophiles with superior upper-body strength. But the PowerBook 100's greatest and most lasting innovation was to move the keyboard toward the screen, leaving natural wrist rests up front, as well as providing an obvious place for a trackball. It seems like the natural layout now, but that's because the entire industry aped Apple within months. The first PowerBooks captured an astounding 40 percent of the market, but more important, they turned notebook computers into mainstream products and ushered in the era of mobile computing that we're still living in today."

Seeing Apple on top made me smile.

Of course, like all lists, some gadgets turned up missing. Everyone has their favorites. Among mine on the DNA ("did not appear") list are: flashlights, cell phones, digital voice recorders, eyeglasses, and DVD players. I know I'm forgetting others--the hardest thing is to think explicitly about gadgets so transparent that we forget about them, but couldn't live without them if they were taken away.

Any favorites not on the list? I'd love to hear them!


Anonymous said...

Did you actually READ the article??? Flashlight (Maglite), cell phones (at least three of mobile phones were listed), and a recorder were mentioned.

Rick said...

Well, I did read the article, but trying to remember all 100 obviously bit me this time. Thanks for reminding me that some of the obvious mentions WERE mentioned....