Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Stowaway? The Soundabout?


Believe it or not, those were two of the names considered (and, thankfully, rejected) for the Sony Walkman, selected as #1 in PC World's list of the 50 Greatest Gadgets of the Past 50 Years.

One can quibble with the inclusion of something like the Razr, but overall it's an amazing list, and reading it is fascinating. You'll be pleasantly reminded of devices from the past (the Speak & Spell! Pulsar watches! the Connectix QuickCam!)... as well as learn about gadgets whose present-day versions you might take for granted, like transistor radios and TV remotes.

Meanwhile, the New York Times' David Pogue has a typically informative list of his 10 Greatest Gadget Ideas of the Year.

4 comments:

Sydelle Pearl said...

Very interesting, but I'm disappointed about the omission of the IBM Selectric (1961) and its revolutionary pivoting typeball. I think this was as important as the Lego robot system.

Michael Markowitz said...

Boy, that's a great point Sydelle... either that or the first cartridge-loaded typewriter. That was a HUGE advance.

As for the Lego robot system I once bought one for a grab bag and it was NOT well received. I was shocked.

peeky said...

Nice, but where's the Ladies Private Pleasure System and Shudder-Maker 5000 by Ronco? Omissions like this throw the whole list into question.

Boski93 said...

They forgot Mattel's Electronic football. Bill Simmons wrote that, "in the late-'70s: Mattel releases its hand-held football game, which quickly becomes more addictive than crack. Just red dots moving back and forth ... somehow this passed for a good time back in 1981." Oh it did and now I have a Madden habit that would require 24 steps to kick.