7 hours ago
Friday, October 29, 2010
List: '12 Monumental Gadget Firsts'
Today’s ‘List Friday’. Gizmodo tells us Sony launched its tape cassette Walkman on 1 July 1979 . It wasn’t an instant hit. But eventually it took off. And with sales of 200 million it remained the world’s iconic low cost portable music device for many years. Arguably until Apple launched its iPod. On 23 October 2001. This week Sony announced – ironically on the iPod’s ninth birthday – it’s withdrawing the Walkman from sale in Japan. Technology sprints on, eyes fixed on the horizon. Or past it. And sparing no sentiment for its previous champions. Fittingly gizmodo – a tech website; or is it a blog? – provides today’s list: ‘12 Monumental Gadget Firsts’ . (Click on each photograph to find out more about its gadget.) Its blurb says ‘These clunky ‘firsts’ will leave you hungry for a game of Duck Hunt and your favorite cassette. Or possibly send you scrambling to hug your sleek iPhone while giving thanks for the goodness that is modern technology’. All the ‘Monumental Gadget Firsts’ look clunky and outdated. But each of them – as the first commercially available model of their gadget – is a necessary step on the pathway of tech evolution. We all thought they were terrific in their day. And though their day’s gone, they still have an important role to play. At least 63-year-old Farmdoc likes to think so. Ho hum.