Gadgeteer Spotlight articles are short informal interviews with some of this industry’s most influential and interesting people. Gain some insight and learn some interesting facts about the people behind some of our favorite gadgets, gizmos and gear.
Today we sit down (virtually) with Brando Ng of Brando Workshop…
When was Brando Workshop first started?
What prompted you to start the company?
In 1998, I started up www.brando.com.hk, a Palm related informative personal website where I shared my Palm knowledge and everything related to Palm with many Palm users and friends. Since then, my website has become well-known in Hong Kong PDA user groups. The increasing number of Palm users as well as the popularity of mobile devices inspired me to start a business specializing in PDA accessories.
What was the first product that you put on the market?
It was a plastic PDA Case called Pal Pal Twister, later on we made a screen protector and it became the most well known product in our company.
The Pal Pal Twistor for the Palm V was the first product from your shop that you ever sent me to review. That was back in 2000:
http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/pal_pal_twistor_review. Remember the Palm V? Wow, PDAs sure have come a long way since then, don’t you agree?
Yes, and I loved the Palm V very much, and used it to read lots of electronic books. It could do everything, a wonderful machine gun!! I used it to check e-mail, read news, read books, store my address book, view pictures (B&W), and even used it as a remote control. It kept all my personal data and schedule plans and was always kept in my pocket!
How many different products do your shops currently sell?
Approximately two thousand items of PDA accessories and three thousand of others.
How many employees do you have?
13 employees and some business partners, 17 people in the same office.
Any hints you want to give the readers on new products or product categories that you might be adding soon?
Funny, innovative gadgets.
Where do you call home?
What mobile phone do you currently use?
The iPhone and SAMSUNG U708.
What PDA (if you use one) do you currently use?
The Palm Tungsten T3 is still the best device for me to carry my personal data since 1997.
This platform is actually called PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT (PDA) which helps me to carry all my data in any circumstances, no matter changing PDA device or changing PC. It has a backup on the PC and the PDA, you have no worry about data being lost! I hate those devices which cannot transfer your data to a new device or new desktop, that is not an ASSISTANT, that is a burden instead.
What is your primary computer?
My first computer was an Apple II, which someone sold me for US$100 in 1986. However, due to the incompatible software and the application usage, I changed to IBM/DOS compatible computer, and currently to a Windows PC that I built myself.
What is your favorite gadget right now?
The iPhone, definitely iPhone. I found it had the shadow of Palm, also with a good OS platform inside. People can do development on it, there are lots of 3rd parties applications/games/utilities online now. I believe it will become more popular soon! Besides, Canon Xh-A1 and Canon 40D help me on taking nice baby videos and pictures, their quality is nice.
What is your all time favorite gadget?
Palm helps me a lot! No matter on daily life or on business, it helps me on everything.
What do you like to do when you’re doing working? Any hobbies?
I like ball games, I can play almost all of them, such as table tennis, football, basketball.
What car do you drive?
Mercedes Benz SLK 350 and a Honda Stream
Which gear bag do you use and what is in it right now?
Well, it’s not a special gear bag, just a Porter bag from Japan, its quality is good. I have a Palm Tungsten T3, iPhone, SAMSUNG U708 and a Toshiba 1.8″ HDD inside.
Thanks Brando! I appreciate you allowing me to do this interview and I look forward to reviewing many more of your products in the future!