The Gadgeteer is 25 years old! – Have you been here from the start?

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NEWS – Wow, 25 years is a really long time! I didn’t have a smartphone or a smartwatch 25 years ago. Now I have both. I didn’t have WiFi or wireless home Internet back then either. 25 years ago, my phone only made calls and very basic text messages. Now I can use my phone as my one and only device if I wanted to – I don’t (yet).

Let’s take a little trip down The Gadgeteer memory lane. Back in 1997, I posted a few “reviews” on the USENET message forums about PDAs (personal digital assistants). USENET was kind of like Reddit but without pictures and video. People seemed to enjoy reading my reviews, so one thing led to another and I decided to create my own website on the free hosting platform called Geocities. I named my site/page The Gadgeteer and by December of 1997, I purchased the domain name the-gadgeteer.com and moved from Geocities to a dedicated server.

The very first reviews posted on the site were a review of the a/v Producer 8 remote control and the REX PC Companion PDA. Followed by a ton of Palm Pilot cases and styluses 😉

In the 25 years that have followed, I teamed up with Judie Stanford (geardiary.com) and over 200 other great writers to publish over 24,000 news and review posts.

I’m incredibly proud of how much the site has grown over these 2.5 decades and I don’t see it ending or slowing down anytime soon. What do you think, will The Gadgeteer still be around in another 25 yrs? I may be reviewing a brain-controlled wheelchair by then, but I say bring it on!

37 thoughts on “The Gadgeteer is 25 years old! – Have you been here from the start?”




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  2. Congrats Julie! I’ve been with you since I found for review for my first PDA (it was a Pilot, of course) Since that very first review, I’ve bookmarked, then added to my Feedly, and now follow you on Twitter & Instagram. I can never get enough of gadgets, or The Gadgeteer! Once again, congrats, and here’s to another 25 years!?

  3. Congratulations! I can’t remember when I started reading your blog, but it has to be from near the beginning. Keep going!

  4. Way to go Julie! Lots of hard work, sweat & time have paid off.
    My DAILY stop is to read your page. Great reviews from great people. Continued success!

  5. I don’t think I’ve been here all 25 years, but it’s been close. Pretty sure I first encountered you on those old USENET forums. And now I feel old(er). 🙂

  6. Congratulations Julie… like the others, I can’t recall the exact time I started reading The-Gadgeteer but, I know it was Palm Pilot related. Best of luck for the next 25!

  7. Congratulation Julie. Thanks to the reviews I have purchased some great items making my live easier. I don’t know how long I have been here, but it had been some time. Keep up the good work.

  8. From reading all your Palm Pilot reviews to being a contributor for a number of years all the way from Tasmania Australia i’m proud to have been a part of the journey. Congratulations.

  9. Congratulations Julie! The Gadgeteer has been a welcome destination for almost 20 years for me. Enjoy the accessible reviews and variety you exhibit on the site. Hope you keep gadgeteering in great health for a long time. Great job to all the contributors.

    1. Congratulations Julie.
      Now I know how I found your website.
      Came for the pda reviews and stayed for the rest.
      I must have started 3 or 4 years late though.

  10. Congrats! I think I was among your original readership, I remember working on linux workstations in the late nineties and reading your first posts. You’ve made it to 2022! That is certainly saying something, think of all the failed companies from that era!
    Here’s to another 25 years!
    cheers,
    michael

  11. I started checking out your site while researching pdas. The pocket pcs seemed the way to go so I purchased a Compaq Ipaq right after Y2K because of your reviews. I’ve been here every day since then. You’re at the top of my Favorites list. Thanks, Phil

  12. I’ve been following you since almost the beginning, probably because of the articles on stationery and pens, ukulele too. Small details : I read you from France, just near Paris 🙂 Congratulations for these years

  13. Congrats Julie! I probably started following your blog in ’98. I was researching buying Palm Pilots then. The reason I know it was before 1999 is that was the year I shared a link to your site with the woman that was to become my wife three years later. 🙂

  14. Yet another person who came for the Pilot (or Palm Pilot, I’m not sure what year I discovered you) and stayed for the rest. Congratulations on 25 years!

  15. CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS JULIE ! I found Gadgeteer in 1998 and learned stuff about my first Palm Pilot from you and Judie. You were kind enough to give me a few tips by email. It was you who prompted me to try a Pebble smartwatch. (My smartwatch. May it rest in pieces.) Even when I’m not reviewing I read everyone’s articles and check the site 3 times a day. Wishing you continued success with the-gadgeteer.com !

  16. Robert van Weersch

    I have been her since 2000, so not right from the start, but still quite a long time.

    Congratulations and many thanks for providing us all these years with your reviews!

  17. Bruce (BJ/Quick) Byrne

    Was there in the beginning having know you on irc in the good ole days. Congratulations with 25 years. That’s really amazing.

  18. Another reader here from the Pilot era! Crazy. I found the site while looking for reviews of the Palm Vx — soon before I bought one from an online retailer who is long gone.

  19. Congrats, Tho I’m sorry to say I will be needing to send you a bill for all the gadgets I’ve bought over the years due to you. So many palm pilot, Sony Clie, and other hand held goodies.

      1. That was awhile ago I think. I know I found your site when I was in High School and got my first Palm Pilot. That would have been 1997/1998. “The Gadgeteer” was directly responsible for me walking around my High School with a belt holstered Palm pilot, a 2400 baud modem I built for it that lived in 2 35mm film canisters taped end to end. One end had a palm pilot sync connector and TI-85 Link plug, the other had 2 alligator clips. I used to sit in the back of Mr. Ennis’s Algebra class’s right next to the exposed 66 block for the building. I would clip onto it, and could dial BBS’s on my TI-85 (later the palm pilot when I got one)

        That was some serious NERD level I had back then, Julie you are guilty of at least contributing to my extreme level of Nerd back then.

        Side note, Our school used serial Unix terminals for all the teachers. There was NO authentication on the network. All you needed was a terminal app and access the serial cables in all the room. Grades, attendance, class rosters, etc were all accessible from my Palm Pilot. The last year I was there they replaced it with a “Windows” network. The network ALSO didn’t have any authentication. They migrated to an application that DID have client level Auth for the teachers, HOWEVER all the apps accessed the same DB III database, which was 100% WIDE OPEN. Fun days. Sadly I’d probably goto Jail if I did any of that stuff these days.

          1. WOW, just WOW. I updated the Power Inverter review. After seeing that link above it occurred to me that I still HAVE and USE that inverter. 25 years later. Not so for the Clie or Casio tho. I had forgotten about that watch.

  20. I remember my first review I read here – it was this one:
    https://the-gadgeteer.com/1999/02/28/palm_v_review/

    I was looking at getting a Palm (and did get a Palm V, which I used to take notes in college). Looked over several reviews.

    Partly I remember it because of *where* I was at the time: I read the review on the terminal inside the server room of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. (Where I was working for the summer.)

  21. I too have been a faithful follower since the very early days. Your terrific site was a must go to site every day for me. I could not wait for EVERY Palm device review. And based on those reviews I bought EVERY new device!! What an amazing ride you took me on then and now! I truly feel like we are cherished friends and tech colleagues!! Congratulations!!

  22. Jo Valentine-Cooper

    That REX review mentioned was the first thing I read; I ended up sticking around for all the PalmPilot stuff to follow. I was still in high school at the time. 🙂

    Of all the sites that I used to regularly visit when I was a teenager, this is the only one that I’ve kept going back to over the years.

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