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Thursday 17 June 2004

Really useful gadgets [brit]

Gadgets, gizmos, expensive crap, call it what you will.
We live in an age of pocket sized devices that would have H.G.Wells reaching for the valium and we're of course nowhere near the end of it. 'Necessity' is no longer the mother of invention, merely a forgotten aunt who most likely spends most of her time drinking sherry.
However, I love gadgets, and I found one (again) this morning whilst pottering around.
A box, perhaps one third the size of a cereal packet, and made from white plastic. It's unobtrusive, and it has a simple ON/OFF mode of operation.
Switch it on however, and it'll supress mobile phone signals within 20 metres. Mobile ringtone hell is but a memory; interrupted meetings and other phone related crapola simply *gone*! Hurrah!
What's your favourite gadget or gizmo? I'm all misty eyed over a remote control tank that has working main armaments and independently motorised treads; but there's no batteries for it... sniff.


  1. The most useful thing I've ever had, bar none is my Victorinox 'Cybertool' swiss army knife. Not just for building PCs either. I've lost count of the occasions where it's been just the right thing to have on me. Couldn't do without it.

  2. Currently it's my sky+ box. I know I've banged on about it before, but it really is leet as fuck. This week I've gone through all the sunday papers 'recomeded viewing' for the week to load the fucker up in preparation for the wankfest of football currently on tv. Instead of the match tonight I watched a very entertaining documentary about swingers, woohoo!

  3. My Sony TR1MP. I pull it out every day on the train to and from work and write on it. The time flies, I get shit written. I've looked at a bazillion other small notebooks and none is remotely suitable for the job. It's fucking amazing and I love it dearly.
    That and my Mr-T voices keyring. Don't give me no backtalk sucka!

  4. Yup the TR1MP. I bought one in Gatwick duty free just when it came out and came into the crosshatch to proclaim it's leetness. I remember the, quite right, derision and hoo-haa'ing at buying a Sony Vaio series. Lurks practically choked himself half to death on it. As it turns out, as those in the know, errr, now know, it's a completely different proposition, even designed, Rabid tells us, by a different division. I took it out shortly after purchase to be snorted at by the boys. Lurks, who in RL, edits a hardware magazine and knows just one or two things about kit, stopped snorting with derisioin into his pint after about 30 seconds and started looking pretty damn interested. 24 hours later he'd ordered one.

  5. Doesn't matter how many times he tells that story, it doesn't get true. Well bits of it are true. I snorted in derision because previously the wally was banging on about a full sized desktop replacement notebook with gaming capability, then he turns up on IRC and announces he's bought a sub notebook from Gatwick.
    What I have to admit though, is that anyone seein the fucking screen on a TR1MP wants one. Whether or not they have any use for it. It's kind of coincidental that the TR1MP just happens to be good at the things I happen to need a notebook for. I mean... I'm the sort of guy that's basically bought notebooks one-off for a LAN party...

  6. Ahh well it's true I was in split personality mode wanting two laptops (a gaming capable elite thang and then an ultra portable light shit thing) in one package and that Slim and Lurks were going 'listen mongo, you can't get both' which was fair enough. However the 'you bought a Vaaaaioooo????' was fairly universal and I remember it well ;)

  7. Well yeah, it is the only good Vaio they ever made. And in fairness, it could have been turd and you'd still have bought it so it wasn't an unreasonable assumption :)

  8. I don't know if it's strictly a gadget, but I'm quite chuffed with my new bluetooth keyboard. You'd be amased how much desk space suddenly appears when your keyboard is literally just the size of the keyboard and there are now wires or owt. I've got room for a mug of tea next to me when I'm faffing now which I didn't have before. Which is top hole technology in my book.

  9. So, err, the cable was going where your mug sits now? I've never really gotten the point of wireless keyboards. They don't fucking move. Wireless mice seem to have a point, the lead sometimes gets in the way but then in fairness I avoid wireless mice too because I don't like batteries and the lag.

  10. I have to agree with Jon on this one. Logitech Cordless Desktop MX. Superb bit of kit. The mouse is fine for gaming, and the receiver is also a charging station for it.
    I find having a cordless keyboard rocks as well, because if I'm feeling lazy, I can just lie in bed and work from there. :)

  11. Yeah I use one in my lounge for Wench and one at work too. Fair enough for Wench because I move the keyboard around on the glass coffee table right - although the range is a bit poo so I'll replace it with a Dinovo shortly.
    But the keyboards I use in my lair and at work don't move. Only the one at work has two batteries in it. Pointless.

  12. My new gadget today (ok its not really small enough to be a gadget) is my Epson 4870 scanner.Its Digital ICE is definitely the BTE when it comes to good scans.

  13. umm, I've got a homer simpson bottle opener that shouts 'Whoo hoo! Beer! Yesss Yess! Yess!'.
    The batteries are dead.

  14. My 40 gig ipod, use it pretty much everywhere home, work, gym - having my entire music collection and loads of different playlists available to me all the time rocks hard :)
    I even used it with my itrip to play music via my stereo when my DJ was late to my party on saturday! How leet is that!
    Dunno what I would do if I lost it, oh yea I do, I would fuck up my credit card and get another one :)

  15. My car blanket (with damp proof vinyl coating on one side) - I would never leave home without it - I've slept in it, had picnics on it, had sex on it, claimed my space on grass at crowded festivals on it and also used it once to wrap up my dying cat - indispensable!

  16. Have you washed it in between?

  17. When I was snowboarding in Livigno in March I decided to take advantage of the duty-free zone there and do some gadget shopping. I had been looking for a good watch for a while and so spent a few evenings looking in all the shops for one that would catch my eye. As you'd expect in a duty-free haven right beside the Swiss border, there were an awful lot of watch shops!
    I finally settled on a Suunto S6 ( Here's a piccy:
    It's fucking leet! A nerdy watch that doesn't look like it's for kids, has loads of features (digital compass, clinometer, barometer, logging, a PC link - you know, shit I'll probably never use. :) and it has very nice display.
    It feels more like a mobile phone to configure and use, with proper software and menu navigation etc though I guess that's not surprising for a Finnish company, they probably robbed a load of Nokia guys to work on it. :)
    It's the best bit of tech I've bought in a long time.