Name: Dave Hawkins
Location: Reading, UK
I’ve always been interested in gadgets of all types and have worked my way through a wide range of personal organizers, PCs and communications devices in the past. Because of my particular circumstances I guess my requirements are slightly different from some people. During the day I work for the Government in an office based job, but in the evenings and at weekends I am a part time professional magician providing entertainment for corporate and private events around the country. The advertising for the business is entirely internet based – potential clients finding out about my business from my website
( www.david-hawkins.co.uk ) and all enquiries being handled via email. It also means that my schedule can sometimes be fairly hectic – juggling “day job” appointments as well as magic engagements. The main gadget that runs all this is my trusty Palm Tungsten T3. I’ve owned several Palms in the past (and had a quick foray into the world of the iPaq) but found the T3 to be the most reliable and suitable for my needs. Loads of 3rd party software loaded (just started playing Bejewelled 3) but mainly use Datebook, eWallet, ListPro, and the standard Palm apps for contacts and memos. I would normally upgrade straight away when a new Palm is announced, but hearing lots of issues concerning the T5 has left me a bit dubious that it would be a wise move. However my T3 has a few slight problems (a screen alignment issue and very scratched Graffiti area) so I’ve decided to buy a new T3 whilst waiting for the OS6 devices to come along. Along with the Palm I carry with me daily a Sony Ericsson K700i phone which spends loads of its time hooked up to the Palm via Bluetooth to check email and internet browse. I also send tons of texts via the SMS application on the Palm. Composing a text on the Palm is SO much easier than using the phone keypad. I’ve seriously thought of getting a Blackberry instead – but not yet made a decision. The other gadget I couldn’t live without is my portable GPS receiver (Navman ICN 650). Since my magic shows can be all over the country I rely totally on GPS to get me there and back with minimum stress. It actually makes complicated journeys enjoyable and I can’t even contemplate driving a car without a GPS unit (incidentally it doesn’t really class as a gadget but my wonderful new car – BMW 120i is truly hi tech and has loads of “toys” to make driving easier and enjoyable).
Back at home I have loads more gadgets to make life easier and more efficient. My PC is a Dell Notebook (9100 Inspiron) which is hooked up to a Iomega Portable 60 Gb hard drive for backups. Of course I have the obligatory printer (HP Laserjet) and Scanner (Canon) which enables me to manage my personal affairs and deal with all the requirements of the magic business. A subscription to the email based eFax service means that I can send and receive faxes via email, without the need for tying up a phone line with a fax machine.
A few other gadgets that I couldn’t live without – my Gameboy Advance SP is the perfect relaxation tool. I have a large number of games, and I’m currently nearing the end of Pokemon Fire Red. However I suspect I’ll be ordering a portable Playstation when they become available in the UK. I also have a 40 Gb iPod when I’m in the mood for music and a LG portable DVD player for watching films (and instructional magic DVDs) on the move. After working my way though several digital cameras, I’ve recently brought a Canon S70 digital compact (with a remote control and Ultrapod) – I’m more of a point and shoot guy so this is perfect – easy to use, compact to carry and produces great images. On a recent holiday to Orlando I ended up with around 1.5 Gb worth of photos in a week !!! I’ve been tempted by a digital video recorder but wonder if I’ll use it enough to make the purchase worthwhile.
Finally I have a few gadgets for personal care – not something that is often covered on Gadgeteer – but they definitely make my life easier. Firstly a Braun Activator shaver – produces an excellent close shave – but the best part is that when not in use the shaver is housed in a base unit which both recharges and cleans the shaver for next time – and leaves the room filled with a lovely lemony scent from the cleaning solution. I’ve used an electric toothbrush for years, but my dentist recently introduced me to the concept of power flossing. I’ve never had the patience to use floss, but now with my gorgeous Waterpik power flosser the operation is actually fun and, according to my dentist, my teeth have never been cleaner !
So that just about sums up the gadgets that currently make my life easier, more efficient and fun. Hope it’s been of some interest – don’t know if I’m the first Gadgeteer from the UK, but I’ll bet I’m the first magician !!!