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The Greatest Gadget

Posted on 5th Mar 2010 at 11:32 by Joe Martin with 19 comments

Joe Martin
We got some new gadgets the other day, when Creative swung by the office and were nice enough to deposit some of their new gear for us to take a look at. I was particularly taken by the new Creative Vado HD, which is a small digital camcorder. It’s really a rather fantastic bit of kit, to be honest.

The Vado HD is smaller and thinner than my wallet (but not lighter than it, ho-ho!) and really simple to use. It’s got a built in USB cable that tucks out of the way nicely, plus a port for plugging in headphones, speakers etc. The screen is a good quality and the battery and storage can manage about two hours of HD recording from a single full charge. Stonking stuff.

The only really problem with it in fact are the little touch sensitive buttons, which can be a little fiddly. Other than that it’s an instant-on, high quality digital camcorder. It’s wonderful but, as I played with it at home last night, it struck me that it’s still by far not the best gadget I own.

The Greatest Gadget
The Vado HD

I’m a big fan of gadgets, which I define as small and stylish little gizmos that can be easily carried and which can be used for a range of day to day things. The Creative Vado HD is a digital video camera, but it’s also a gadget.

The iPhone too is a gadget, as well as a phone. It’s carried as much for it’s plethora of apps and stylish design as it is for it’s (often malfunctioning) phone capabilities. I don’t have an iPhone, only an iPod Touch – but I still carry it with me even when I don’t have my headphones because it, as a gadget, has many uses. In this day and age we’re flush with such gizmos and such devices are more often than not sold to us on the idea rather than the reality. I rarely need to use my iPod for anything at all, but I still have it in my back-up just in case.

The question, of course, is ‘in case what?’ and the fact that there’s no definite answer proves it is a gadget rather than something with an actual dedicated purpose.

The Greatest Gadget
I have big pockets

To me, the best gadgets ever are definitely the classics though – the Swiss Army Knife and cigarette lighter, not these fancy little technological marvels. I don’t smoke and I rarely need to fashion a spear or peel a bit of fruit, but I’m reluctant to go anywhere without my Swiss Army Knife and cigarette lighter in my pocket. Why? Just in case.

It’s always interesting to see new products being marketed as a ‘must have gadget’, especially when they are things that close inspection reveals to fall between the cracks of user needs. The Vado HD, for example, doesn’t have a specific use or customer that it’s targeted to. You’re as likely to record your son’s first words on it as you are to record a documentary. With so many gadgets being pressed upon us in this modern age though, I’m prioritising what I have in my pockets a bit more carefully – so I expect I’ll be leaving the Vado HD at home and keeping hold of my Swiss Army knife for the moment.

I may occasionally put my hand in my pocket and accidentally stab myself on the built-in scissors, but I think that’s a small price to pay for what I’m convinced is still the greatest gadget ever made.

19 Comments

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yakyb 5th March 2010, 12:21 Quote
i love my kelvin 23 although it could do with a pair of pliers integrated
phuzz 5th March 2010, 13:00 Quote
I've got a "Utilikey"
(http://www.swisstechtools.com/productdetail.aspx?PID=VZ75GDTdP68A)
It's basically a stripped down Swiss Army knife in the shape of a key, which means I've always got a knife, screwdriver and bottle opener always in my pocket, and it only takes up as much room as another key. Well handy little gadget, combined with a LED torch (which has replaced my micro-maglight) and a USB key stuffed with useful programs and I'm all set up to fix peoples computers where-ever I am...
Herbicide 5th March 2010, 16:44 Quote
Mine's a Cybertool 34. And a Minichamp on my keyring.
kenco_uk 5th March 2010, 17:05 Quote
I thought you weren't allowed sharp objects anymore, Joe?
CardJoe 5th March 2010, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
I thought you weren't allowed sharp objects anymore, Joe?

You joke, but back at home my mum never used to let me anywhere near the knives or anything. As soon as I got near anything remotely pointy I instantly started pretending to be Steven Seagal....

:(
Cupboard 5th March 2010, 20:44 Quote
heh.
Permanently on me/in my bag I have Leatherman, lighter (again, I don't smoke), knife, emergency battery for my phone, multimeter... its is amazing how useful they are :)
Sloth 5th March 2010, 21:26 Quote
Seen the 14' of paracord bracelet on thinkgeek.com? The only jewelry/accessory that I wear. And of course a little pocket knife to cut it, and lighter to melt the ends down smooth. Used to carry a small tube of superglue, got sick of slight leaks ruining my pants or turning the tube fuzzy blue. And the best gadget ever... compass! As long as you know the direction you need to go named streets are a crutch.
fathazza 5th March 2010, 21:42 Quote
frankly if you dont smoke but carry a lighter around anyway you are clearly a risk to society!
PureSilver 5th March 2010, 22:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fathazza
frankly if you dont smoke but carry a lighter around anyway you are clearly a risk to society!

:| What will you do if you're just out shopping and a power-ballad breaks out?

I always carry a small Leatherman, an iPhone and a Zippo and there's not much you can't do between the three of them.
Furymouse 5th March 2010, 23:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
started pretending to be Steven Seagal....

You lost all facial expression and ability to act? :D

And for me a permanent marker and leatherman seems to work well.
Combatus 6th March 2010, 00:31 Quote
If I could somehow integrate an oyster card, bottle opener, flat head and cross head screwdrivers and a knife into my iPhone, it would be the best gadget ever. But then the swiss army knife can't make calls or run CoPilot Live so I guess it's horses for courses
LucusLoC 6th March 2010, 00:34 Quote
i always carry not one but 2 leatherman multitools (i have found myself needing two pliers often enough to make it worth it to me), as well as a nice CRKT pocket knife (m16 model) in addition to a small flashlight, small first aid kit and my blackberry (with camera/video and music). those combined with my keys and wallet are thing i cannot ever leave the house without, period. my instincts just won't let me do it.

when i actually get a chance to leave the PRC i plan on getting a CCP and adding a Sig p239 to the list of items i will not leave the home without.

you can never be too prepared, though i do have some fun stories of going to the airport. . .
kenco_uk 6th March 2010, 00:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combatus
If I could somehow integrate an oyster card, bottle opener, flat head and cross head screwdrivers and a knife into my iPhone, it would be the best gadget ever. But then the swiss army knife can't make calls or run CoPilot Live so I guess it's horses for courses

There's an app for.. oh, wait.
The Infamous Mr D 6th March 2010, 09:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Furymouse
You lost all facial expression and ability to act? :D

Let's not forget a little bit soggy around the midsection.

Seriously, I hope Steven Segal doesn't read bit-tech, old fat crap actor or not, he'd still hand me my arse...
alpaca 6th March 2010, 17:34 Quote
a leatherman wave, and i have a little app on my nokia 5800 that turns it into a flashlight, so i don't carry around my mini-maglite anymore

although it was fantastic to see someone with a big one, proclaiming the size of your maglite was inversely proportional to the size of your (yeah you know) and then pulling the little one out of your pocket.
thehippoz 6th March 2010, 18:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
You joke, but back at home my mum never used to let me anywhere near the knives or anything. As soon as I got near anything remotely pointy I instantly started pretending to be Steven Seagal....

:(

the young or old segal? XD you should try a swiss army blanket.. got a couple of those- toasty and they roll up good
praxis22 8th March 2010, 12:21 Quote
I bought my multitool in a knife shop in Seville for 18 Euros, it's better then the expensive leatherman my boss carries. though I feel the same way about the lighter, I've had a dry zippo in my pocket for 10 years or more, and I have an "emergency" camel lighter in my leather jacket that found on the street in the 80's, still works :)
scawp 9th March 2010, 14:11 Quote
I find that a Visa card and domino's pizza on speed dial works in most situations
Fozzy 18th March 2010, 16:41 Quote
"The only really problem"
The only REAL problem

'I rarely need to use my iPod for anything at all, but I still have it in my back-up just in case."

I still have it AS a back-up

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