Read about Featured Gadgeteer – Kerry Woo

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Name: Kerry Woo
Location: Nashville, TN

gotm aug 06

Greetings from Nashville, Tennessee where the weather is great and the people are friendly! I’m Kerry and yes, I am a gadgeteer. My friends think because of my Asian roots that it is my cultural duty to perpetuate the Asian stereotype with gadgets in hand, which I don’t deny… just visit Las Vegas during a Consumer Electronics Show. For me it is almost like having a Roots experience. I’ve graduated from anything with a power cord attached to wireless and battery powered gadgets.

So in no particular order, I’ll do my best to recall the more significant gadgets in my life. My insurance agent has the full inventory listing, so I won’t bother listing everything.
Back in the sixties, as a young boy with a morning paper route, the necessities included a Philco transistor radio, butane fueled hand warmers, company issued oversized canvas bag to carry newspapers and scoring a grocery store shopping cart to deliver the Sunday papers in. With my savings, I purchased a small b/w RCA TV!

While in high school in Richmond, Virginia, technical classes were offered for three hours/credits for two years to accommodate those who wanted to pursue a non-academic, trade oriented direction. As an aspiring commercial artist, the graphic arts class blew me away! “Are you telling me that I can have 100 copies of my original artwork!?!” Cameras, light tables, printing presses, Linotype hot type machines, drafting tools, letterpresses… I knew my destiny as a gadgeteer was sealed.

My first PC was a Vic Commodore 20. I use to spend hours typing in code from magazines just to come up with a simple math addition program. My son Gary did learn to add and subtract with this basic program. I was fortunate to work at a computer store when the Apple Macintosh was introduced and for $2500, I got myself the 128K Mac, ImageWriter printer and later financed a $5700 LaserWriter Plus which I was able to parlay into a small graphic design firm while riding the momentum as a early adopter of desktop publishing. The kids at age 4 and newborn each received a Mac for Christmas. I still have them and may retrofit them as an aquarium.

This present day, I been through multiple Windows PCs – a HP Pavilion, Systemax, Dells, other HPs… but last year I got a bad case of blue screen of death reboots sickness and fell instantly in love at the Apple store with a nice iMac G5 20” screen with 500 gig of hard drive space and 1.5 of memory and JBL speakers. Yes, I’ve come full circle.

It’s networked with a bundle of NetGear “Home Digital Makeover” stuff that I won at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show to a Xerox laser printer and the Windows PC and Dell laptop via a RangeMax Wireless Router. I’ll get around to using the NetGear Storage Central unit soon; although the Digital Music Player that wirelessly plays music from the PC through the stereo digitally skips a lot.

I’m a big Palm guy, totally blessed with working in the software end of the business with a original Palm Pilot (cracked screen and all), Sony, Zodiacs, Tungsten E and now a Treo 650 and LifeDrive. I’m having a blast using a Bluetooth tomtom Navigator for an “I’ll never have to stop and ask for directions” GPS software on the Treo.

Of course like any gadgeteer, I have a three big boxes of cables, CAT 5 cable, plugs, connectors and old cell phones with busted screens stored in the attic. You just never know when a need might arise for eight power cords!
Besides all of the other stuff like VCRs, DVDs, surround sound stereo, big 36” TV for NFL football and my favorite – DirecTV; there are shelves of VHS tapes, DVDs, 8000 mint condition phonograph records filed A to Z plus my Netflix, Flickr accounts and Napster on the PC. I’ve fallen in love with my Kodak EasyShare Z730 camera, which is a fun gadget to complement my blog (shameless promotion: ) The film based Minolta camera is dormant along with my Sony Camcorder.

Gadgets come and go in a circular fashion – these days it’s all about the upgrade! Having been in the music business and seen the evolution of 8 tracks to cassettes to CDs and the Sony Walkman reborn as the iPod, it simply amazes me how all ages from young to very old have embraced technology. Even my 80-year-old mother in law has ditched the VHS for a DVD player…
Here’s a revelation for me – these electronic gadgets are wonderful, but I’m telling you power tools is pure nirvana! Delta table saws, compound miter saws, cordless drills, Bosch jigsaws and all of the accessories like clamps and levels allow one to build bookshelves and desks to house of the gadgets acquired over the years! Norm Abrams, master carpenter from The New Yankee Workshop is the king of power tools.

All of this stuff is great — but it’s just stuff. If a gadget will help you stay in touch, blog, share photos, foster great personal relationships, build furniture and be a handyman to serve as a helping hand to someone in need, then in the end, it’s all good.

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