Saturday, February 5, 2011

Gadget Alternatives

Hello all--My name is Michelle and I am a guest blogger. Patrick has been reminiscing about the gadgets he played with as a kid, and I have a slightly different experience that he asked me to share.

When I was growing up, I didn't have "gadgets," that I played with, but I was really into computer games. Thinking back, they were all really silly, but as a little kid, I loved them. I'm pretty sure my dad wrote some of them (they were really simple), but not 100% positive about that. One of my favorites was a coloring book. You could chose a picture and then paint it however you wanted. My favorite one was a picture of a boy sitting under an apple tree, and occasionally, if you were lucky, when you finished painting the picture, an apple would fall and hit him on the head. Another one was a spelling bee game. You could program the words you wanted into the game and then it would quiz you on the spelling. Sounds lame, I know, but I thought it was pretty neat. There were just so many of these simple games that I spent hours playing.

As I got a little older, say grade school, we started to play CD-ROM games. We had "Where is the USA is Carmen SanDiego?" "Reading Galaxy," "Babysitter's Club," and a few others that were pretty awesome. One of the best computer games I think I ever played was "Logical Journey of the Zoombinies." Thanks to Patrick, I was able to relive that experience for a little while a few years ago.

Well--that was my childhood experience of technology without "gadgets."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My first music player

Back in 2003, I was starting to "collect" a lot of mp3's.  I decided I needed a portable music player.  I went out on the internet and had a look at the options that were available.  After some searching, I found a device called an iPod from Apple Computers. Some of my more "well off" friends were starting to talk about these devices. One problem I had was that I did not know what Firewire was, so I moved on.  Now, at the time, iPod could also use usb, but I did not want to deal with it.  So I purchased a Dell DJ, and loved every second of using it.  I finally wore out the buttons about 3 years later.  Then, I got an iPod.  The Dell was MUCH better than my iPod.  With the Dell, you could: make a play list, rename songs, delete songs, make recordings, and name those recordings.  The Dell did not chain you to a computer, which meant you could grab your friends songs.  The whole time I had my Dell, I just assumed that all other players allowed for these features.  Boy, was I wrong.  The Dell used Windows Media player to sync, but could also use windows explorer. Imagine that, you didn't have to use proprietary software to use your mp3 player. Here is the list of mp3 players I have had over the years:

Dell DJ Jukebox 20GB     2003-2006       Second Best
iPod 80 GB                       2006-2007      Did not like
iPod touch 16GB               2007-2010      Okay device
Droid X 24GB                   2010-present   Best device

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A generations first gadget

My first gadget when growing up was a Gameboy. And not the Color, or Advanced, or SP or DS, but the classic Gameboy.  These Gameboys hit the shelves in the middle of '89.  I, personally, got one for my birthday when I was in the second grade.  That's about 1996, give or take a year. I had the black version. Everyone remembers the classic gray shell, but mid-way through their life cycle, they started making different colors.  I remember a friend of mine had a yellow one, someone else had green.  For a young boy, the best gift that could have been given was a Gameboy. Currently, my gameboy is locked away in some forgotten corner of the house. Last time I had it on was when I was still in high school.  If I were a betting man (which I am), I would say it still runs just fine.  When the Gameboy Colors came out, I got one of those, and then eventually replaced it with my Gameboy Advanced.  But the original hardware still ran fine.
I did not have a lot of games, and sadly, I never beat some of them.  The very first game I got was Star Wars: Return of the Jedi for Gameboy.  To this day, I have never beaten the game.  Over the next two or three years, I got a few more games.  Starting in the forth or fifth grade, I got Pokemon Blue, which was the BEST MOBILE GAME I'VE EVER PLAYED. I also have Pokemon Red and Yellow, which make up the set.  All three carts are in a zip lock bag waiting for someone to play them. Another great game was Zelda DX, which was really a color game, but also ran on the original Gameboy. I played through about 70 percent of the game and lost the cartridge. After finding it while cleaning up (most likely my mother's idea) two years later, I played through the rest. I did not have a book to help me out, so (not counting the time it was lost) it took me about 4 months to beat it. The Gameboy was a great starting point for our mobile gadgets, even though non of us still play the device, many of us have emulators on our cellphones that let us play those amazing old school games.  If anyone has stories about their Gameboy(s), I would love to hear them. Post it in the comments. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Current Toys

OK soooo, I think a great place to start when talking about gadgets is to talk about the gadgets I currently run around with.  My mobile gadgets include an android phone, a notebook, and a netbook.  First, the cell phone. I have a rooted Droid X with Verizon, and I love it. In fact (and this my be a bit sad) I call my phone "number one" and my girlfriend "number two."  My last cell was just a nondescript Nokia candy bar phone.  When I upgraded to a smart phone, I discovered hundreds of new ways to waste time, mostly with apps. The Android store has lots of awesome yet worthless apps that serve no other propose than to pass the time.  I purchased a netbook about two years ago and it served its purpose, which was to get me through the rest of under my undergrad.  I came to the conclusion that I needed to have more power than the netbook could offer.   Once I started my Masters degree, I bought a proper notebook, which I use on a daily basis.  Most of my blogs will be about gadgets I don't own, but have researched information about each device. I plan on making my next post about my very first gadget; my Gameboy.   

Allow me to explain myself

Hello allow me to introduce myself, My name is Patrick, I am a 23 year old man of average looks and build. Currently I'm a graduate student at Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. I am in the first of four semesters it will take me to pick up a masters degree in Information and Communication Sciences.   Currently I hold a degree in Business Administration from the same school. My motivation for starting this blog are two fold, the first of which is I am required to do so (I feel that's a good reason) the second is, I am obsessed with technology. I like all sorts of technology but mostly hardware, but I do not like to program stuff. Obviously "hardware" is far too wide a subject to write a blog on, so I intend to keep the topics focused on gadgets.  When I think of a gadget I think of a cell phone or a netbook or some other portable device.  My blog is called Gadgets of Today and Yesterday because I intend on talking about devices that changed the way the world did business. Questions like "pagers how did they work and why were they so important to society?" will be asked and answered (hopefully). I believe today's gadgets will be more interesting to people readings this blog, so I will also write about that subject.    Also it has been suggested that I talk about what old gadgets we have hidden away in our closets.  It is my intent to post every few days, but being that I am taking 12 hours of grad classes this may become difficult.