Sergio Ruiz, The life of a gadgeteer

The life of a Gadgeteer

Gadgets Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

There are two types of gadgeteers in this world. There is actually a third type, but I will discuss that type last, and only briefly.

The gadgeteer you will most likely meet in your travels we'll call “Mr Smith.”As every good American knows, the most reviled nemesis of Mr. Smith is Mr. Jones. Mr. Smith stays up every night, making sure he is equipped not only with the latest high tech gear, but the high tech gear that will keep him in the running with Mr. Jones. He reads all the hippest magazines in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, the one super gadget in there will put him in the ranks of the uber-connected.

You will find him in airport terminals, fumbling endlessly with all manner of gadgeteria, and never quite accomplishing anything. He will mutter words like “WiFi” and “Bluetooth” but his gadgets will serve as nothing more than a drain on nickel metal hydride. He will be the one with several platinum cards, each heaving under the weight of his addiction.

The second form a gadgeteer will have a modest supply of gadgets, but lives in an world of undocumented features. He will say things like “yeah, my cell phone is internet connected, I hacked it and changed the gateway to a free one. No online charges..” Or, he will have a decked out and hacked PDA which serves as a super charged mp3 player, but he only paid $30 for his. Better yet, it's legit.

We will call this gadgeteer Mr. P-Body. Mr. P-Body cannot afford to keep up with the onslaught of PDA and MP3 player tomfoolery that the press feeds us in an effort to put the pressure on our credit cards. Mr. P-Body can smell marketing hype a mile away, and he has an understanding of gadgets and their usability. When he sees new technology hitting the market, his mind immediately conjures up the next logical steps in the use of such machines.

While Mr. P-Body may own all of last year's models, his arsenal of electronic gear rises above the original intents of the item. He has managed to squeeze more performance out of them than even the designers contemplated. He sees the brains, the blood, the guts of the gadget. He can make it better, faster, stronger, cheaper.

If you fit in to the category of Mr. P-Body, or if you admire his character more than the techno enslaved Mr. Smith, this column is for you. So dust off that thinking cap, get ready to flash program your BS detector, and let's find out what the well heeled gadgeteer carries with him.

As an aside, there is one other gadgeteer that we have not discussed. It is the gadgeteer who somehow manages to have all the latest and greatest electronic trinkets, but has absolutely no idea how to use them. We will call this user Mr. or Mrs. Moneybags. They have more money than they do curiousity, and seem to pour it into the proverbial dumper while people in lower tax brackets are starving from I-Pod deprivation.

These people will be recognized as follows:

* Their VCR is flashing 12:00, and has been since 1985.
* They faithfully carry around their walkman and a pile of CD's while their I-Pod gathers dust on a shelf. It was just too confusing with all those cables.
* They used their PDA (a Tungsten) for about a week, but they couldn't understand what the deal was with graffiti, so they are back to using their Daytimer. The Tungsten is now back in its original box.
* They always complain about computer problems even though they have the fastest processor available. They refuse to believe that all the spyware that is installed could be causing their problems. The little alligator is SO CUTE, he looks like Izod. I am not getting rid of him!
* They have never done anything but take or make calls on their cell phones. Patching to a gateway? Why would anyone want to do that?

If you find yourself in the Mr. or Mrs. Moneybags category, fret not, you can be saved. It will not be easy, but you will soon learn that there is more to life than trumping both Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones. You can join the ranks of the P-Body gadgeteer. All it takes is a few deep breaths, and some button savvy.

Until then, let's play with some gadgets!

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