Read about Featured Gadgeteer – Mark Rosengarten


Name: Mark Rosengarten
Location: New York

They don’t call me "The Gadget Man" for nothing!

It seems to my co-workers that I come in to work every week with some new
gadget. I am the person the creators of Ebay had in mind. I buy, use, get bored
and move on.

I am a chemistry teacher, my name is Mark Rosengarten, and I am a Gadgeteer.

Why do I deserve this title so cherished by readers of this site? Read on, be
brave and I will tell you.

My love of gadgets goes back to my first laptop, the Tandy 1100FD, with a
transflective yellow screen with blue characters. It was stolen off my desk in
my office at the school I teach at, and it really ticked me off. It fueled my
search for another laptop.

I saw an ad in a Damark catalog for a Panasonic BP-470 laptop for $599. It even
came with a carrying case! It was a great laptop and it lasted me two years. I
sold it to a friend who was entering law school and needed a laptop for papers
and internet access. At this time, I was on Prodigy and was running the Prodigy
software very nicely from this laptop with its built-in 2400 baud modem.

In 1993, I purchased a Prolinear PIC-1000 palmtop computer. This was an XT
palmtop that was a clone of the Zeos Pocket PC. It followed me on a trip out
west, where I used it to type the trip log. When I got back from the trip, I
hungered for a more powerful portable for use at work, so I sold the Palmbook
and got a Midwest Micro Elite laptop, 486slc-33, that served me very well for
the next year and a half. A contest in AOL’s PDA area gave away two Psion Series
3a’s. I did not win, but it fueled the fire for my palmtop lust that continues
to today. I bought the HP200LX. This palmtop has gone through an awful lot and I
still have and use it today. It’s still in perfect condition and I used it until
this year to run my grading program.

When Palm first announced their Pilot 1000 and 3000, I printed out the life-size
image from the web site and created a mock-up out of thick paper and played with
it for months while I waited for the real thing to come out. When it finally was
released, I rushed to Circuit City and bought one. Then I bought the Palm Pilot
Personal, and upgraded it to a Professional. Then I bought a Palm III, then a
IIIxe, then a Handspring Visor Deluxe (blue!). I sold the Visor to another
friend and got the Sony Clie PEG-610N, my first color handheld. This lasted two
years before I replaced it with my current PDA, the Sony Clie SJ-33.

I have also owned and used the HP Omnibooks 300, 800CT and 500. My current
laptop is the Fujitsu P-1120. At 2.2 pounds, it is the smallest and lightest
laptop that you can buy direct in the U.S. I have also owned and used the IBM
PC-110, two Toshiba Libretto 50’s, a Libretto 70CT, Gateway Handbook, Handbook
486, Olivetti Quaderno, Casio and Tandy Zoomer, HP Omnigo 100, Canon Innovabooks
360CD and 475 CD, IBM Thinkpad 500, IBM Thinkpad 510cs, IBM Thinkpad 240, a Zeos
Pocket PC, Tandy FD1100 HD laptop (the hard drive version of my original
laptop), Tandy Model 100, IBM Workpad C3 (Palm Vx equivalent) and several
Windows CE devices including the Casio A-11, Casio E-11, Uniden PSPC, NEC
Mobilepro 450, Sharp Mobilon 4600, HP660, HP Jornada 680, HP Jornada 690, HP
Jornada 720, NEC MobilePro 770, Jornada 545 and the Intermec 6651. I have owned
and used the Psion Series 5 and Diamond Mako (Equivalent to the Psion Revo
Plus), and I currently use a Psion Series 5mx. I even bought one of the Matsucom
OnHand computer watches. I carried around the Xircom REX-3DS credit-card-sized
PDA. I also have a Tandy Model 120 and Model 200, as well as a Twinhead Subnote
486-33, and two Compaq Contura Aeros…the 33 and 25 MHz models.

OK, what about the gadgets I have now? Well, there is the HP200LX, Psion 5mx,
Fujitsu Lifebook P1120 and Sony SJ-33 I mentioned above, plus the following:

Digital Camera:
Canon S200 (I am trying to sell this off).
Canon S400 4-MP digital camera. This one has about the best macro mode I have
ever seen.

Gameboy Advance SP

NK Kestrel 4000 hand-held weather station including temperature, pressure,
humidity, dewpoint and wind speed, all data graphable and trackable.

Apple iPod, 30 GB 3rd generation with car adapter. I LOVE my iPod.

Sony MD505 minidisc player. This is being given to yet another friend this
holiday season.

Kenwood TH-F6A handheld ham radio transceiver. My call sign is KC2LXG.

Portable TV’s: Casio EV-550, Casio TV-200, Casio TV-30 and Citizen 06TA.

Garmin Etrex Legend handheld GPS.

Olympus L200 ultracompact minicassette recorder.

Canon Elura 40 DV pocket-sized digital camcorder.

Neo Geo Pocket.

Sony WEGA 36" HDTV with Panasonic home theater system (still paying that one
off, at 0% interest, for the next 15 months). I have a 13-inch TV in the
kitchen, a 13-inch TV in my office, a 19-inch TV in my bedroom and a 27" TV in
the basement with my exercise bike. Get the feeling I like to watch TV? I love
sales. I really do.

I also have a Tandy Model 120 and Model 200, as well as a Twinhead Subnote
486-33, and two Compaq Contura Aeros…the 33 and 25 MHz models. I took the
Compaq Contura Aero 4/33 and put it to use with our Science Workshop lab probe
interface at school.

I also have astronomy-related gadgets, including a Takahashi FS60C fluorite
refractor with a Coronado SolarMax hydrogen-alpha solar filter on it that allows
you to see prominences and solar flares. I also have a Tele Vue 76 apochromatic
refractor on a solid Bogen tripod with a Tele Vue Upswing head on it. A
Celestron C5+ and an Orion XT8 dobsonian reflector rounds out that collection.
But wait! There are the Oberwerk 11X56 binos, the Orion Otter 10X28 waterproof
binos and the Pentax 7X20 monocular.

I am sure there are some that I have forgotten, but you get the idea. I am going
on a storm-chasing tour next summer, my second in as many years, and this time I
am bringing an "Uncle Milty’s" 17-pocket gadget vest. Everything fits nicely
into it and I am looking forward to the trip.

"He must be rich," I hear you think.

Not on a teacher’s salary, I ain’t. How can afford to buy these gadgets? I am
unmarried and have no children. This frees up money for gadgets. I don’t take
trips as a matter of course and I have few things to spend my money on. Usually
I will sell off an old gadget on Ebay to afford the new gadget, but I will
sometimes come upon a gadget that I hold onto for years, like my HP200LX. My
iPod will also fit into that category. My passions in life are gadgets, teaching
and my three cats.

Oh, yeah…and I check out the Gadgeteer web site at least three times a day in
the hopes that something new will turn up. I have subscribed to Mobile Computer
& Communications, Computer Shopper (back when it was a REAL magazine, not the
thin nonsense it is today), PC Magazine and Popular Science. I used to read HP’s
Palmtop Paper and I check out Ebay for vintage gadgets daily. I also read every
review on’s site and I visit six or more times
a day. I ogle the PDA’s at my local Best Buy and even give recommendations to
people who are looking to buy a Palm or WinCE machine. I always seem to know
more than the guy whose job it is to sell them. People come to me for PDA and
laptop recommendations, and I love spending other people’s money.

So am I a "Gadgeteer", or just a pathetic wannabe?

You decide.

And you had better decide correctly. 🙂

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