We watched that Stephen Fry programme on the TV last night – his 100 best gadgets. Entertaining but inconsistent sums it up I think.
Some of the gadgets were extremely generic while others were very specific. for example, the iPod counts, even though it is just one amongst many mp3 players – and not even the first to hit the market – but another gadget was “the record player” when it could just as easily been something iconic like the Linn sondek LP12, the Technics SL1200 or the Dansette. The same applies to something as vague as “the PDA” instead of picking the cream of the crop (Psion Series3) or “e-book readers” instead of the ever-tempting Kindle.
I’m also confused about where you draw the line between toys and gadgets. If a RC car counts as a gadget then why not a RC helicopter or the Corgi model of the James Bond aston Martin with the working ejector seat and other trimmings? Or why is the folding bike a gadget but not the bicycle generally – or the mini scooter?
I think if it was me I would have substituted MagLite for torch and zippo for lighter and I would have found some way to squeeze in the Leatherman somewhere, and the GorillaPod, and the USB stick, and… ooh, loads more. But then isn’t one of the main purposes of such lists to generate a bit of controversy and conversation?
Most amusing was the slightly disapproving way Fry said that some people spend an average of four hours a day watching TV – in the middle of a three-hour programme.