Read about Featured Gadgeteer – Drew Golden

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Name: Drew Golden
Location: Plano, Texas

Where did it all begin?

Well, I was a freshmen in High
School when I was first introduced to the TRS-80 Mod III.  I was intrigued, and
signed up for a summer course in Basic.  I remember the class and yellow book
entitled Basic Basic – and the follow up class and orange book Advanced Basic. 
I was hooked.  Basic took off and I had to play at home; my first computer was
the Sinclair ZX-81.  $99 for the kit, and I botched the kit and paid the
additional $49 for the botched-kit here’s-a-properly made special.  I worked
with that painful computer for 6 months before I sold it and upgraded to the
TRS-80 Mod III with a whopping 64k memory and *dual* floppy drives.  Life was

College came and I was
absolutely convinced that Computers were fun, but there was no money to be made
in it.  (At the time, Unix and Mainframes ruled the world, and the best a
College Grad could expect was a tape jockey position.)  So I suffered through
Economics and Business classes and filled my spare time with Computer classes.

Then I hit the world, as the
world hit the computer age.  As a poor graduate, I purchased a Magnavox 286-20
PC.  Wow, what a screamer that was!  Color Magnavox monitor and a cool 9600 baud
modem.  I discovered the cool dial-up world of BBS, and used off line news
readers (remember SLMR – silly little message reader.)  Then the world changed
again.  A company called ID Software released a game that would change the world
as we know it, and make the PC that you presently have a weak chimp – the
released the Shareware version of Doom!

I spend *hours* downloading it
as soon as I caught the buzz surrounding the game.  It was 1.30am when the
download finished and I started the install.  Life would not be the same.  The
screen came up,  I was alone in a dark room, and the breathing and music and
*fright* from the game were amazing!   Copies appeared at work and we played
network games (over IPX – ARGH!) and the world was forever changed!  A computer
game where multiple players manipulated 3D representations!  Wow!

Now where am I?

Plugged in.  I am a gadget
addict – and I freely admit it.  My wife allows me to spend what I can recoup on
eBay.  So I churn gadgets and hang on to good technology.

What have I churned?

*  First PDA was a Palm III. 
Was a gift, did not get it until I had one, but am still convinced paper is
better in face-to-face meetings.

*  Went to the sexy Palm Vx
and subscribed to Omnisky!  Wow, 9,600 baud wireless access – a new Palm
Interface, email, and it was all slow as molasis.  Sold on eBay.

*  Rim Wireless 850.  This is
wireless email done right.  Delivered to my hip – instant access, black and
white, thumb keyboard.  Perfect.  Sold as well to move up to Danger.

*  Danger Hiptop:  Of all the
Silicon Valley Tech Startups, this is one I would not have bet money on.  I
peered at their web site and the promised device – and I could not believe that
they made it to market.  I am still  shocked.  The day T-Mobile started selling
the device, I was in the store buying one.  It was the Rim on crack.  beautiful
B&W screen, wireless web, always on always connected, Instant Messaging, I was
connected.  Best Wireless Web Experience to date.

*  Color Sidekick:  Was in the
store the day it came out.  Dumped the B&W sidekick on eBay for what I paid for
it (wow!)  The Color sidekick is almost too connected.  The web browsing
experience could *not* be beat.  The instant access email, view word attachments
and pdfs.  It is not to be believed.  But I was too connected.  People began to
expect instant IM or email response.  Tech world had reached it’s summit, time
to back off and be a little less connected.  Did I mention that the sidekick is
also a phone?

Failed technology!

*  iPaqs.  Lose their brains
when they device loses power.  Constantly have to set up new profiles to get it
working.  Bad versions of Word and Excel.  Mail and Web experience is just plain
bad.  I have no idea why anyone likes these piles of junk.

*  Microsoft Phones:  I
carried the T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone for a year.  What a pile of garbage!  Bad
phone, bad PDA, just plain bad all around.  Stick to one thing and do it well,

*  Windows XP:  Fine after
installation.  Need to re-install after 18 months of use.  Prone to every email
virus known to man.

*  Linux:  Hobby OS Only. 
Sorry, no support number, no one to sue, no corporate acceptance.  As much as I
hate it, windows is slowly taking over the world.  And trust me on this, I was
with Linux when Slackware was king.  I downloaded the floppy disk sets and
installed the hard way.  I was in love with Linux at the time, and I learned a
great deal as we grew together.  But Mac OS X is just such a finished product it
makes Linux look like the hobby toy that it is.

Just plain works:

* Mac OS X.  I am a switcher. 
My main PC is a iMac 700 with 17 inches of widescreen viewing pleasure.  I have
no idea why anyone would every want to use a PC after falling in love with
this.  It’s like Linux and Windows married (all of the good things from each.) 
Expensive but real good.

*  Flat Panel LCDs.  Wow –
less electricity and all of that desk real estate regained!

*  Nortel Venture MLT Phone
System:  Available now on eBay only.  Allows up to three outside phone lines. 
Transfer calls between phones, intercom, speakerphone, and shared phonebook. 
This is how a home phone system should be.

*  Sony Clie TH55.  Wireless
802.11b.  Can use my GSM phone to connect to the internet.  It’s my slightly
less connected fix.  And I have not churned this one yet.

*  Palm OS:  After all these
years, still good!

*  eBay:  Turns junk into gold
and funds my expensive gadget habit.

*  Google:  My portable, never
fails, encyclopedia galactica, it’s truly the only book you’ll every need to
find the answers to life, the universe, and everything.  Arthur Dent should have
been so lucky.

*  Copy of Dune.  Sorry, it’s
always worth a re-read.

*  DirecTV:  Dish Network just
did not cut it.  I love the High Definition channels and I watch Sopranos every
Sunday in High Def.  (Plus I catch the Stars when I can.)

Other assorted gadgets I love
or carry around:

*  Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridge
– captures all those old home movies

*  Apex AD-600A with the
‘good’ ROM.  So good, you can’t sell it on eBay!

*  Sony Ericsson T616 and the
HBH-60 earpiece:  Blue tooth enabled for the Star Trek head set, and wireless
internet access for my Palm device.  What is not to love?

*  Fender Fat Strat with the
Boss DS-1;  nice humbucker on the bottom, foot on the DS-1 for heavy jamming!

*  Moleskine pocket notebook
and a Rotring 600 series trio pen:  Pocket notebook is my faux PDA, takes
brilliant notes faster than my PDA – but it’s so cool it needs to be considered
a gadget.  And the Rotring Trio Pen is a must have!

*  Fisher Silver Bullet Space
Pen:  Always found in my pocket.  Writes underwater and in extreme
temperatures.  Not that I will need to take notes underwater on Mars; but there
is something Chic about whipping out your own pen to sign a bill.  And for under
$30 it’s a really nice guilty pleasure.

*  OVO Decision Maker from  All watches should be this much fun!  Grab one before they sell
out again.

*  LogiTech Pocket Digital
130:  Takes 1.3mp pictures, enough built in memory for about 40 snaps, has a
flash, size of a fat credit card.  Pocket cameras this small get carried around
and used.  When I travel, I carry this in my bag and lob it into my pocket when
I wander.  Great snaps!

So, as you can see, I am a
gadget nut.  When I am away from the office, you’ll find me VNCing in to my work
PC from my wireless PDA in a local Starbucks.  I’ve had a server running linux,
up and running since 1996.  I can remember when slackware was downloaded one
floppy at a time, and rawrite was used to make your floppy disks.  In my spare
time, I play with Content Management Systems like PostNuke and Zope.  And for
Christmas, I purchased a Nintendo GameCube for my children (3 and 5 years of

What’s in Drew’s bag:

*  Moleskine pocket notebook
*  Sony Clie TH55
*  Sony Ericsson T616 and HBH-60 headset
*  GameBoy Advance
*  10gb iPod (2nd generation)
*  HP 12c RPN Financial Calculator
*  Rotring Trio 600 Multipen
*  Revo Polarized 1130s
*  LogiTech Pocket Digital 130 

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Golden, Derek E. June 15, 2010, 9:29 pm

    How do you rember all of the little details … wow .. any who amazing .. i rember Doom …. and i do rember your dule floppy …

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