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Old 12-08-2016, 04:40 PM   #1
issybird
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The demise of the gadget

I don't think there's anything especially revelatory here, but it's a good exposition of the situation: The Gadget Apocalypse Is Upon Us.

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For 30 or 40 years, through recessions and war, through stability and revolutions, they were always there, one gadget after another, from transistor radios to TRS-80s to Walkmen and Gameboys, then iPods and Flips, GoPros and Fitbits. We were sure gadgets would always be with us, because they had always been with us, and it was good.

But no. Winter is coming for gadgets. Or maybe winter has already come for gadgets. Everywhere you look, these days, gadgets seem on the rocks.
I'm kind of a Luddite myself. I usually don't like the "new-and-improved," preferring the "tried-and-true." Moreover, I tend to like dedicated gadgets, rather than an all-in-one, to the extent that my tote tends to clack with the assortment I'm carrying - dumb phone, unactivated smart phone, eink reader, small tablet (sometimes two, or with one bigger one), plus Fitbit.... well you get the idea. And I tend to go to bed with a jumble of devices. But I assume I'm in the minority.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:22 PM   #2
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I prefer single-purpose "gadgets" myself. In particular, I really like having dedicated MP3 players since I can load them with storage and play whatever I want, whenever I want. I don't like streaming services and I especially don't like curated playlists.

Also, single purpose devices (gadgets) tend to be simpler to operate. At least that has been my experience.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:30 PM   #3
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I would have to disagree with that article. There are more gadgets now than ever before.
Yes, the bigger companies are losing a few sales.
Using the Go Pro camera as an example. Now they are not the only one making those types of cameras.
They have competition.
As to the IPhone, there are numerous smart phones.
I could go on but I won't.

And look at all the kitchen gadgets. Big and small. Or don't since they all take up real estate.

Agreeing with cromag too.
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Old 12-09-2016, 12:06 AM   #4
Ken Maltby
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It's been the gadgets great and small that have improved human existence. Everyone touts the automobile and the airplane but it was gadgets like the washing machine and microwave oven, that provided the time to free up people's lives.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 12-09-2016, 05:05 AM   #5
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I think the biggest change is that these "gadgets" aren't for gadget freaks only anymore.
Ten years ago, if you had a PDA, it was a gadget, now everybody and his grandmother has a smartphone.

So, what is a gadget these days?
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:14 AM   #6
shalym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
I think the biggest change is that these "gadgets" aren't for gadget freaks only anymore.
Ten years ago, if you had a PDA, it was a gadget, now everybody and his grandmother has a smartphone.

So, what is a gadget these days?
I agree. I think it's not necessarily that the gadget is going to disappear, it's that more gadgets have gone mainstream. People today don't think of their TVs as "gadgets", but I can assure you that my grandfather did.

Witness Issybird, a self proclaimed "Luddite" who owns two mobile phones, multiple tablets, ereaders, fitbit, and probably more that she doesn't think of as "gadgets" anymore because they're ubiquitous.

Gadgets aren't going anywhere...the definition is just changing.

Shari
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
I think the biggest change is that these "gadgets" aren't for gadget freaks only anymore.
Ten years ago, if you had a PDA, it was a gadget, now everybody and his grandmother has a smartphone.

So, what is a gadget these days?
I agree the smart phone has become the all in one gadget.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:20 AM   #8
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I use more dedicated devices as well, even though I have a smart phone. I have a smaller i phone and still tend to use it as a phone only.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cromag View Post
I prefer single-purpose "gadgets" myself. In particular, I really like having dedicated MP3 players since I can load them with storage and play whatever I want, whenever I want. I don't like streaming services and I especially don't like curated playlists.

Also, single purpose devices (gadgets) tend to be simpler to operate. At least that has been my experience.
This.
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Old 12-09-2016, 09:26 AM   #10
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I turned my phone into a PDA and library. I have most of the birding books and other nature series which are sold as apps, which is why the phone. A dumb phone won't run them. A backpack full would run over 10 lbs if you have hard covers. Then you have to access the backpack for the appropriate book. By that time, the bird is gone.

The phone weighs ounces.

Have 5 good astronomy apps also. Takes about 1/2 hour to customize the phone and get rid of social and streaming sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google. Get rid of other included apps you will never use.

I use Pocketbook to read. It handles the legal DRM free downloads from the National Park Service. Its only permission is storage.
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
It's been the gadgets great and small that have improved human existence. Everyone touts the automobile and the airplane but it was gadgets like the washing machine and microwave oven, that provided the time to free up people's lives.
Why exclude airplanes and cars? They're just bigger gadgets. In some sense maybe even you and I are gadgets.

Barry
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:13 AM   #12
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People today don't think of their TVs as "gadgets", but I can assure you that my grandfather did.
When I was in about the 3rd or 4th grade, probably about 1948 or 1949, our teacher explained that television worked by sending a glow zig-zagging across and down the screen creating the false appearance of an image that wasn't really there, and that that would soon make everyone go blind.

This was in Austin, Texas where TV hadn't been seen yet but I'd been to visit my great grandmother in New York and I'd seen a TV and spent hours watching it and I hadn't gone blind. When I explained this in class I got in a lot of trouble for contradicting my teacher.

I'm 76 now and my vision isn't as good as it used to be so maybe she was right after all. Terrible gadget, TV.

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Old 12-09-2016, 10:43 AM   #13
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No, I don't see a gadget apocalypse. Quite the contrary. Not only are Millennials born with a smartphone in one hand, but their helicopter moms have already set them up on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. The Millennials will go into withdrawal if they are not constantly connected. Even my generation, the Boomers, have embraced gadgets and would no longer function properly without them. Yep, we grew up learning to work calculus on slide-rulers before the transistor made it possible to have a pocket-able, affordable scientific calculator, we had rotary dial phones, B&W TVs with 13" screens, Encyclopedia Britannica, Websters Dictionary, Atlas Maps, the guy on the street corner to ask travel directions from, snail mail, teletype for delayed news from around the globe, newspapers, printed magazines, Sears and Roebucks, and for us networking meant getting our lazy butts off of the couch and going out into the real world to visit people in person. Nevertheless, we are almost as dependent on gadgets as the Millennials. Even the few of our parents' generation who are still alive have embraced gadgets. Gadgets are not going away, if anything they will manage to become part of our evolution as we morph into an even more horrible species than we are now.

Last edited by jswinden; 12-09-2016 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:46 AM   #14
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For me, the word "gadget" implies both a certain level of portability and, dare I say it, frivolousness. I'd argue that a cellphone per se isn't even a gadget anymore, although the latest iPhone is. A wristwatch isn't a gadget, but a smart watch is. So I do think that stuff can evolve from gadget to necessity; however, I still think a gadget has to be smaller than a breadbox.
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:51 AM   #15
ZodWallop
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Quote:
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I'm kind of a Luddite myself - dumb phone, unactivated smart phone, eink reader, small tablet (sometimes two, or with one bigger one), plus Fitbit.... well you get the idea. And I tend to go to bed with a jumble of devices.
The definition of 'Luddite' sure has changed

As for the demise of the gadget, the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, the Ring doorbell and the Nest thermostat tell me gadgets aren't going anywhere (unless I have a misunderstanding of what is defined as a 'gadget').
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