Read About Featured Gadgeteer – Gregory Guida


Name: Gregory Guida
Location: British Channel Islands

I started being interested by gadgets more than thirty years ago
when the first electronic products appeared. I remember going to
school with the first electronic pen watch, pen calculator (stolen
from me by a classmate, an event I haven’t got over yet),
programmable calculator (a Texas Instrument TI58) and the first LED
watches. My first computer was an Apple II+ with 16KB of RAM to
which I eventually added disk drives and an Epson FX80 printer
before changing it to a Macintosh 512K circa 1984. It then evolved
into a Mac II, Mac IIfx, Powermac 8500, G3, G4 400, G4 450 and G4
2×976 to which I added the first 20″ LCD, soon changed to a 23″. I
am now working on a G5 2×2.5 with the fabulous 30″ Cinema Screen.
Beside these, I have a “desktop lamp” iMac 20″ which I use for
video production and a few G4 act as servers for my home automation
system (10 Macs and 2 PCs around the house in total).

On the portable front, My first machine was a Toshiba T1000
(DOS, monochrome not backlit LCD, 1 floppy) then a Powerbook 100,
280c, G3 230, G4 Titanium and now, an AiBook 1GHz. I also use some
sort of Compaq for the aviation programs that only run on Windows

I still have all those computers to which I added some
collectibles from the 70s and 80s, a total of about 120 machines
plus about 30 calculators and hand held computers of the same era.
I also have a small collection of “function” watches, including the
Seiko Watchman and the beautiful Porsche Design Compass Watches. I
now wear a Breitling Emergency with the built in 121.5MHz built-in

The collection of course extend to video games, especially
portable ones and I have accumulated all the Game boy models
(except the virtual boy which I am still looking for) as well as a
selection of Sega and Atari hand held plus some Japanese oddities
such as the Wonderswan.

On the PDA front, I started in 1980 with the pocket computers
Sharp PC1200, then 1500, 1600 (with its tiny floppies and A4
tracer), 1250 and 1350, a Casio PF-8000 in 83 (a remarkable machine
for its time with an area you could draw letters on with your
finger) then a Sharp IQ7000, 8000, 9000, ExpertPad PI-700 (an Apple
Newton made by Sharp), Newton 2000, Atari Portfolio, Casio
Cassiopea E115, Toshiba E570, Palm V, Sony Clie T625, Sony Clie
NR70V, Palm Tungsten, Sony Clie UX50, Palm Tungsten 3 (I bought a 5
but was disappointed by the poor quality and lack of microphone so
gave it away, I looked at the LifeDrive, too big, too slow, too
late and at the Tungsten X, same problems as the 5 and now am not
sure what to upgrade too. I have lost too much hair over Pocket PCs
to want to go back to them).

One of my hobbies is house automation and I laid down more than
3000 meters of wire in my house in Scotland. Each room would
receive a bundle of Sat Coaxial, Ant Coaxial, Loudspeakers,
Telephone, Alarm and the essential Cat6 Ethernet. These all went to
a small room where I centralised the services: telephone exchange,
fax server, computer based answering machine, weather station, X10
controller, music and video servers, web and email servers and
HiFi/Home Cinema remote. Some of the Cat6 were dedicated to IP
video cameras (6 in total) and the whole interface was web based so
I could access and control all these from anywhere in the world.
Now I am faced with the daunting task of starting the wiring from
scratch (but on the other hand, I only have to lay Ethernet cables
since everything nowadays can run on them including the fabulous
Sonos system I use now).

Below, the house network being assembled in Scotland: 24
Ethernet clients, 20 telephone extensions, 60 X10 terminals, 6 IP
cameras, 3 MP3 network players, 1 EyeHome network player, Alarm
system, SlinkE home cinema interface, Phlink Mac based answering
machine, the Mac built-in network fax, a QMS 3100 Network Colour
Laser printer

I have always been interested in photography so have had a long
range of cameras and having turned professional recently my kit is
pretty up to date. I started with a Zenit E (a very poor russian
SLR), went on to a few point and shoot, then a Canon AE1, Minolta
7000, 700i, 9xi, and finally 9 with a nice selection of lenses. For
underwater use I bought a Nikonos 5 and, later a Nikonos RS with
all accessories and lenses (which I managed to drown on its first
dive!). I had the first Canon Ixus (Elph) APS, then a Powershot Pro
70, the Digital Ixus, Ixus II, 700 and 750. Then, having waited so
long for Minolta to do a Digital SLR, I bought a Canon 10D then an
EOS 1DsII and all the lenses necessary for Wildlife Photography. I
have a couple of telescopes, a portable ETX90 and a static LX90
with which I intended to do astronomy photography but haven’t come
around to it yet (not much of a sky in Scotland).

Doing both aviation and boating, I was fascinated by GPS as soon
as it became available so I bought the first one, a Sony Pyxis.
This impractical behemoth was soon replaced by a stream of Garmins
ending in 12cx, eTrex, eTrex Vista and eTrex Vista c. For aviation
purposes, I used first a Garmin 190 then a 196. I didn’t go further
as those handhelds are not very useful flying IFR and I have two
GNS430 on my panel.

I also have a weakness for walkie-talkies and have about 10
pairs, including the fabulous XACT wrist watch and the still
unsurpassed Alinco DJ-C5T (VHF and UHF transceivers). I have been
fairly reasonable with mobiles phones, starting with the first
Motorola DynaTac and changing 11 or 12 times until today’s Sony
K700i. I did get a Motorola 9505 Iridium SatPhone which I love to
death even if I only use it once or twice a year while on
expedition (cellular reaches almost everywhere nowadays).

Finally, I have three Aibos: ERS 110, 210 and 7 and heard with
dismay that Sony just stopped development on them. I might start
collecting them soon.

I am also a petrolhead and have accumulated a few sport and
classic cars, none, unfortunately, with outlandish kit. I don’t see
it happening in the near future, but I would love to rebuild a four
wheel drive (a Toyota Amazon) “expedition” style with all possible
gadgets and/or an old limo (a RR Phantom 5 preferably) with a built
in home theatre. Maybe someday.

I prepared the picture below for the Scott eVest web site. It
shows the vest loaded with all the kit on the right. Remarkably, it
all fits well but the computer in the back pocket is quite
vulnerable (don’t sit!). While I would probably not wear everything
on me, this selection is my normal travelling gear and was prepared
for a round the world trip I did in 2004. Notable items include the
Yoshinaga titanium flask (brilliant but not easy to find outside of
Japan), the Titanium Thermos (superb but very expensive), the Zeiss
5×10 pen monocular (small and light, the perfect alternative to
binoculars), the Fisher Space Pen (everybody should have one), the
Buck Knives BuckTool (unfortunately discontinued, the best of the
Leatherman style pocket tools by far), the Motorola 9505 Iridium
Phone (call home from the North Pole), a pair of pocket Sony Noise
Reduction earphones (essential in noisy aeroplanes) and the Petzl
Zipka Head Torch (easily the most practical and versatile light in
the World). The little grey and blue thingy is the smallest
electric shaver I could find, but I am still looking.

Today, I would add my Sony PSP, iPod and about 50 pounds of
Canon camera equipment.

I skipped over the video, HiFi, walkmen and all the nice
trekking and climbing gadgets but I hope the above makes me a bona
fide Gadgeteer!

Read other featured gadgeteer stories
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for posting!

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • bessac August 10, 2009, 11:58 am

    bonjour GREGORY

    C’est donc par ce site que je parviens à te retrouver !!Je cherchais un site plutôt de photos comme j’avais pu déjà consulter.
    Peut être est ce parce que je ne t’ai pas écrit depuis longtemps que je ne retrouve pas ton adresse ds mon carnet !!! à moins que je sois moi même un peu désordonnée!!
    Je rentre d’un séjour au PEROU : trek + un sommet modeste mais sympa !!!
    J’avais envie de te donner de mes nouvelles et de recevoir des tiennes !!!
    Si cette envie est partagée, communique moi ton adresse actuelle.
    A bientôt.
    Toutes mes amitiés liées à des souvenirs poignants et une relation précieuse!!


  • Amy Alvarez October 9, 2010, 6:29 pm

    Hi Gregory,,Just wondered by any chance if your Mother is Joetta Miracle-Guida ? I was married to her cousin Mike Denny for about 10 years..(back in the 70’s.I knew her wonderful parents Theora and E.W,I have been married to a Cuban-American for 15 years and live in Florida.My husband is a big time “gadgetteer” and owns a telecommunications company.Really just looking to say hello to your mother but saw your ‘interests’ were so similar to my husband Small World! IF you are her son..Thanks,,,Amy Harris Alvarez

  • Amy Alvarez February 20, 2011, 7:48 pm

    Please see above letter written last October.A reply can be sent to above e-mail .Thanks..Amy

  • Judith Nelms August 8, 2012, 11:33 pm

    Am trying to email Amy Alvarez about Joetta Miracle-Guida, my high school French teacher many years ago in Knoxville, TN.

    • Julie August 9, 2012, 10:31 am

      @Judith This is a really old post. I no longer have contact info for Gregory. Sorry. You might do a search on Facebook.

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