Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I've always been a quasi-tech nerd. I'm not an early adapter by any means, not in the true sense, but I have had a gadget or two before most of my friends. This isn't saying much, of course, as most of my friends back home still don't have Skype. I like technology, so tonight I'm going to run the top ten tech toys that have influenced me the most. There's been way more than 10 of course, so I have to leave out my first TV and my first video camera and my old VCR that allowed me to record syndicated Wonder Years episodes in junior high. So it goes. I'm going chronological order here, as I'm too lazy to rank.
10. The ghetto blaster. This was my first boombox. It wasn't even a real brand, it was some J.C. Penny store model. The ghetto blaster included two tape decks and a radio along with speakers. I used it to record the radio, to record other tapes, and to record my own radio shows when I was a little kid. Because of the ghetto blaster, I owned a copy of the entire Europe album rather than just "The Final Countdown" single, because I recorded my buddy Daniel's original. BTW, the real one was black, not red, but this is the closest style match I could find otherwise.
9. Walkman. I owned several walkmen. My first was an Emerson with a graphic equalizer. After that, I went high end and only bought expensive Sony Sports walkmen with auto-reverse and bass boost. Once I acquired my first in the late 80s, I pretty much had one on me at all times for nearly a decade until I got my first Discman.
8. Nintendo Entertainment System. Like this wasn't going to be here. I was late to the NES game, and didn't get one until 1989 or so. This one never became irrelevant. I have an NES emulator on my current computer, and though my ghetto blaster and walkmen are long gone, I still have my original NES. Still works too, as I long as I jiggle the cartridge after blowing in it. It's on loan to my cousin, who I will kill with an axe if she lost or broke it.
7. My 13 inch Toshiba TV. Amazingly, this cost $240 new. I worked all summer mowing lawns to save up for it. Prior to this, I had a 4.5 inch black and white TV that didn't get cable, though I was able to watch Arsenio on it. On the Toshiba, I could watch anything.
6. My first computer. Now we jump ahead a few years, from grade school to freshman year of college. My first computer was an HP desktop with a 1 GB hard drive. It ran on Windows 95, though I later updated to a pirate version of 98. This was my only computer throughout college. It did not play DVDs, and it could not burn CDs. In the year 2000, I gutted the whole thing and erased every program but AOL and Word so that I could run a video editing program that was a bit too much for the old girl. I used this for the sake of making a Eurotrip vid, which took such precedent that I basically didn't go to class for 3 weeks. I miss college.
5. The Samsung Uproar. This was both my first cell phone and my first mp3 player. It had 64 MB of space for music, and it retailed for $300 in its day. When I left Lawrence and went on the road for the summer, it became my primary phone. It was also one of my longest running cell phones, as I had it for nearly two years.
4. My first iPod. I bought a 3rd generation iPod, white, greyscale, 10 GB, and it changed my life. It was my third mp3 player, but the first that I could but essentially my whole music collection on. It was also one of the first million iPods sold, and it converted me from staunch Windows guy to staunch Mac guy. I owned two Windows PCs at the time (a desktop an a laptop ) and bought a Mac desktop shortly thereafter. Like the rest of the world a couple years later, I went from album to playlist. I'm not sure if this made me a better person, in fact I'm almost sure it made me worse, but I can't imagine going back the other way now.
3. My Samsung A-640. Smart phones, at least in the modern sense, did not exist at the time. However, due to my expat lifestyle, this remains the smartest phone I've ever owned. For its time, the A-640 had everything. Most importantly, it had a mini-SD card, so it was functional off-network. I'd had camera phones before, but the card slot made this a real digital camera. Since I got this phone (and a long series of cameras) I haven't bought any disposables or film. Like everything else on this list other than the NES, I no longer own it. Some items I sold, some I broke, this one I lost.
2. My Mac Book. This laptop is still my primary computer, and it has been for over four years. This was my fourth computer, but it was the first that did everything. It's portable. It had (and I mean had in the past tense) a long battery life. It edits video like a dream. It burns DVDs. It's on its last legs now, but it is now my longest tenured primary computer ever.
1. My iPad. I wish I would have gotten the 3G, but the iPad is still amazing. I can use it to write, to watch videos, to surf the internet, to read books, to play games, and to rock. Thus far, it's been crazy awesome on the road. On airplanes, I used to take out a series of things to put in the pouch in front of my seat - a book, a paper notebook, an iPod, a DS, and probably other stuff. On my last fight, I just took out the iPad. It's the last thing I use every night, and it's the first thing I turn on in the morning. It's also become my primary word processing device since I got a bluetooth keyboard for it.

0. Since I originally wrote this, I've upgraded my tech to a near-perfect pitch. First, I bought a WiBro Egg. Essentially, this is portable 4G wireless in a pocket-sized package. It works anywhere in Seoul, and pretty much anywhere in urban Korea. This solved my 3G problem on the iPad. Next, since my old iPod was on the fritz, I bought a second-hand iPhone 4, but didn't connect it to service. 3G be damned though, the iPhone can do everything but call on wifi, and as stated I have wifi everywhere. Now I can run web, text, Voxer, Skype, FaceTime, Facebook, Twitter, Kakao, Tango, plus anything that works on an iPod. High speed internet on both devices costs me a mere 15 bucks a month with the WiBro. 90% of the time, I don't even carry my real phone anymore.

 Is your list similar? I'm always down for nerd talk.

1 comment:

Karan HW said...

I've been going thru ur blog a lot wince I stumbled upon it via the Google. Keep it up!