Name: Bruce Silver
Location: Tipton, IA
A Gadgeteer. As much as I hate to admit to the addiction, I suppose that’s the
first step in recovery.
While it is arguable that the rubber stoppers or sticks I would find in the
allies of Tipton, IA, and play with for weeks on end could be called gadgets,
there is no rebutting that the hinged box I broke to create my first Star Trek
communicator started me, at age 6, on an ever expanding and impossible quest: to
find the Perfect Beast.
Impossible not because perfection is subjective; it isn’t to ME. Impossible
because of the law of inertia. Mine, an industry’s, a target market’s; all with
different needs and opinions, constantly moving, all never quite aligning.
But sometimes they come close, and the Gadgeteer in me gets all excited again.
Look at the Titanium Powerbook G4 running OSX.
My three-ring binder in grade school, with all the inserts (the pencil case with
Ziploc-like zipper, the hole-punch, the ruler WITH calculator!) transitioned to
my backpack in college (full zipper and all the right pockets inside and out,
with durable leather bottom), then to my briefcase post college (expandable, of
course), and now is a system of packing options, meeting the right needs for the
right situation. My first pencil obsession morphed into my pen obsession, which
became a mechanical pencil obsession. Audio gear, camera gear, camping gear,
computer gear; it never ends. It always moves forward with those maddening
words, "If only I could find one that . . ."
My point is that being a Gadgeteer isn’t really about the gadgets. They’re a
by-product. The dead cells of beast’s skin. If I ever caught the Perfect Beast,
I wouldn’t have so many gadgets – just the one (in each of my perceived areas of
need, of course ;-)). Then, I could drop out of the quest.
But inertia is a powerful force, and change brings the wanderlust. Look at that
Psion Series 5 – perfect! That Palm Vx is so small – perfect! Why would I need a
laptop – the MobilePro 770 is perfect! The CLIÉ 665 – color screen, twice the
memory, 4 times the speed, WITH an mp3 player – PERFECT!
I have a son now. Eidan’s 1st birthday is Saturday (7/6/02), and I almost bought
him a little magna-doodle type unit, in the shape of an oversized Palm, that
lets you draw on a screen while it blips funny sounds at you. But I stopped
myself. He must find his own inner Gadgeteer, and my cast offs are waiting on a
shelf for him, ready to discover on his own.
I can hardly wait.