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Breaking News Home | All | Religion | Society | Tech | Choice | SA News
FRONT PAGE  |  11/25/2015
MONDAY, DEC 26, 2005  |  8 comments
50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years

We're living in the golden age of the gadget. Don't believe it? Check your pockets. Odds are you're carrying a portable music player, an electronic organizer, a keychain-size storage device, a digital camera, or a cell phone that combines some or all of these functions. And you'd probably be hard-pressed to live without them.

At PC World, we'd be lost without these things. We don't merely test and write about digital gear, we live and breathe the stuff. In honor of this raging gizmo infatuation, we polled our editors and asked them to name the top 50 gadgets of the last 50 years. The rules? The devices had to be relatively small (no cars or big-screen TVs, for example), and we considered only those items whose digital descendants are covered in PC World (cameras, yes; blenders, no). We rated each gadget on its usefulness, design, degree of innovation, and influence on subsequent gadgets, as well as ...

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· Page 1 ·  Found: 8 user comment(s)
News Item12/29/05 2:45 PM
Jim | Nebraska  
John, the HP-25, which I had, the 25C, which I didn't and the HP-29C which my brother gave me, were very useful, especially the ones with the continuous memory.

The Tandy Model 100, is still a very useful computer, one I should put more use to.


News Item12/28/05 3:51 PM
"And you'd probably be hard-pressed to live without them."

I'm over 30 and have never had a driver's license....logically I have never owned a car....I hardly use the cell phone and see no reason to keep paying for cell service, so the phone will go out the day the computer will go also. The TV? What's a TV? (Ok I know, but I can live without it). I can do just fine without them. Being tied to the "e-leash" or bound to gadgets is a disaster waiting to happen when they fail to function or the means to make them function ceases to exist.


News Item12/28/05 2:52 PM
Jim | Nebraska  
Neil, I agree the HP programmable calculators were great, and still are if you can make up battery packs for them.

My family having an SX70, I know first hand what a poor product that was, having and still have Model 100's I know what a great product that was/is.


News Item12/28/05 11:46 AM
John | San Jose, CA  
Sounds like Brother Neil was, like myself
not willing or not able to spring for one
of those VAUNTED HP-41C's, which was the
true "rocket-ship" of calculators back
When the 11C,12C,15C, and 16C came out.

Most of the people I know who owned one
didn't even come close to using all the
features (native and expandible) that it


News Item12/27/05 6:18 PM
John | San Jose, CA  
Like W from UK, I was also looking for NON-electonic gadgets,
expecting to see at least one or more of Ron Popeil's products.

Then I realized the survey wasn't covering such low-tech products.


News Item12/27/05 5:00 PM
W | UK  
Past 100 years?

'Tin opener' followed by 'electric tin opener' followed by 'ring pull' opening tins...just waiting for the electric self-opening/serving/self-disposing tin

Seriously...have you ever been camping with tins of beans etc...forgot the tin opener...forgot the next best camping gadget...'the swiss army knife'...but had in possession one unsharpened chopping axe? Ever had crisps for breakfast?


News Item12/27/05 2:53 PM
Neil | Tucson  
Jim, remember that until digital cams, Polaroid was the only instant photography available.

The HP-35 pocket calculator deserves a place there too:

"The HP-35 and probably the entire HP pocket calculator product line was the sole result of a visionary CEO who chose to ignore the market studies and produce what he felt that engineers would want."

My 1983 HP-16C soldiers on, and you can still buy its financial sister,the HP-12C.


News Item12/27/05 2:01 PM
Jim | Nebraska  
Hmmm, Polaroid SX70 camera? -BUT- Tandy Model 100 big PC WORLD is one of those good places to download free software such as spyware killers and they probably have AVG, I would think also.
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