The Most Influential Gadgets. . . For Me

I was recently asked to write a short piece on “My Favorite Gadgets of All Time”. I decided to take that topic and write about the gadgets that have most influenced me and the way I use technology. Here’s the piece I penned:

For me, the original iPhone was a revelation. It wasn’t that it had a touchscreen — I’d seen a lot of stylus driven Pocket PCs and Treos. It wasn’t that it had a completely integrated iPod — many phones had mp3 capabilities and some, like the Walkman series, were even more than decent at it. It wasn’t even about the UI — it was intuitive, fresh, and new, but very simplified (especially the original 1.0 release). It was all about the web browser.

Mobile Safari showed me that it was possible to have a true, desktop-like internet experience on a mobile device. I could carry around the internet – and it was the true internet, as I was used to experiencing it — in my pocket! This blew my mind, and opened up new worlds of possibilities of what I could do and where I could do it. Plus, I could consistently get “woah!” reactions from people who’d never seen it by whipping out my iPhone and navigating to their favorite site.

Another of my favorite gadgets was the first crop of netbooks — the original Asus EEE PC and the competitors that came shortly thereafter. Whether running Linux or Windows XP, all of these machines were new in that they were computers small enough to take practically anywhere and cheap enough so people could actually afford to buy them (as opposed to UMPCs). Like the iPhone, they allowed me to have real computing power wherever I was, whenever I needed it (I personally had an original Acer Aspire One). Now, the current netbooks are even less expensive and get phenomenal battery life, and have been largely responsible for pushing down the prices of laptops overall.

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