Gadgets by nature are anything that was originally considered a thingamabob that most people weren’t interested in to start off with but really blossomed into a ‘must have’ item. This concept goes with anything from the common wheel, a paper clip, sticky notes all the way up to high tech gadgets such as Broadbandchoices.co.uk wireless modem.
The first gadgets known to man were the crude tools of the caveman, the invention of sticks as working gadgets (think fire making), and the always present (since its invention): the wheel. These gadgets of ancient man would make way for more high tech inventions of their time. The wheel made it possible for carriages and coaches, trains and cars to have a mode in which to move. Transportation owes its existence to one lowly caveman that no longer wanted to lug stuff around by himself so he made a wheel and a wheelbarrow.
What became of the world after these inventions could bring us to be awestruck and inspired. As the civilisation expanded ships would sail to other countries, new peoples would be greeted and new gadgets would be invented. Benjamin Franklin was one of the most prolific inventors of all time. He opened the first post office, ran a printing press and discovered the foundation of electricity. When he went out and ‘played’ in the rain with that kite and key, it’s a good bet he had no idea where it would lead. From lighting up the night-time pathways to powering Broadbandchoices.co.uk, it all started with Franklin.
It’s hard to consider a world without electricity. Our gadget history path would lead us away from candlelight thanks to Thomas Edison, onward towards the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell would have no idea that later we would be able to send images (facsimile machines to become known simply as faxes) and information (the Internet). Really – how does that phone line know if it’s a voice, an image or information?
Besides the fax machine, which was only put out on the market back in the early 1980s as a brand new gadget, we have seen our electronic world explode in other manners. Remember the betamax, video recorders and laser discs? They’ve gone the wayside as gadgets such as DVRs and TiVo have taken over. Anybody remember the Atari and Commodore computers? They were first on the scene and would begin the technology revolution towards computers-as-phones (smartphones and PDAs).
Besides mechanical and electronic, there are two other categories of gadgets: programmable and applications. These gadgets would include such items as the cathode ray tube (CRT), processors and microprocessors. This began the programmable phase where the processors would lead to the invention of the gadget entitled the computer. It is now commonplace to ask how many are in the home rather than ‘what is a computer?’
Application gadgets can be considered a direct result of the computer in our lives. Microsoft Office, Adobe products, iTunes, and iPhones all belong to this category. The Internet was originally a military gadget and would later be introduced to the general public. Since its public release modems have gone from analog to digital and the way in which to carry the signal has gone from a telephone line to finding the Broadbandchoices.co.uk (cable) and mobile broadband (wireless) packages.
No matter where you personally are within the history of the gadget world, it is constantly growing. The little caveman would be sitting here dumbfounded looking at the Information Superhighway and how broadband can bring our world closer together. The next time you have a brilliant idea to invent a whatchamacallit, why not give it a whirl? You never know where your curiosity will take you.