The Gadgets Page

December 1, 2012

The 1936 Los Angeles Electrical Exposition

Filed under: Retro Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 8:34 am

This photo from Retronaut looked so familiar to me. After years of attending CES, I see women dressed as electrical appliances all the time.

Women Dressed as Appliances 1936 Los Angeles  Electrical Exposition

Usually, I see women dressed as network cables, electrodes or microchips, but these women dressed as washing machines and vacuum cleaners look very similar. Only the costumes have changed.

Why do marketing people do this?

Are they trying to humanize “scary” new technology? Are they trying to sexualize it?

Whatever they’re doing, they’re missing a full HALF of the population by only dressing women up as gadgets instead of using both men and women. Maybe women don’t need technology to be humanized or sexualized to love it. Maybe us girls just love gadgets without all that marketing stuff.

October 25, 2012

Disney’s Carousel of Progress: See The Gadgets of Yore

Filed under: Retro Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

I feel as if I’ve found a gem! Here is a video showing Disney’s Carousel of Progress, which used to be in Tomorrowland in Disneyland, but is now at Disney World. It showcases all the gadgets of yesteryear. It was supposed to be a hopeful look at the technological progress we have made over the last century, but it also was a commercial for the new things that GE had for sale. Now, however, it is merely a historical look at gadgets.

Even the so-called “future” of this attraction is so quaintly set in the past with its virtual reality games and microwaved pizza for Christmas dinner. Back in the early 90s, we all thought virtual reality was going to be the wave of the future, but it still hasn’t arrived yet. Here is a photo of a disappointing virtual reality booth at Comdex in 1996.

Disappointing VR Booth at CES 1996 from The Gadgets Page

Now, virtual reality sounds quaint, just like the idea of flying cars. They would be cool, but I don’t have any hope that either one will materialize.

When it comes to predicting the gadgets of the future, it’s far better look to science fiction than to the hopeful aspirations of gadget companies. For example, this short film, True Skin, has an abundance of ideas about biotechnology. I wonder if it will feel just as dated in ten years as the final scene of the Carousel of Progress.

In the end, predicting the future of technology is far more difficult than it seems. For every science fiction idea that finally comes to fruition, there are fifty that remain in the realm of fantasy. I’m sure that there IS a great big beautiful tomorrow on the horizon for us. It just might not look like we expect it to.

October 10, 2012

How Owning An Apple Product Feels Sometimes

Filed under: PDAs and Phones — Laura Moncur @ 7:21 am

My phone wants me to update to iOS6I haven’t upgraded to iOS6 on my iPhone. The new operating system came out almost a month ago, and that little indicator on my Settings icon is quite irritating, but not nearly as irritating as losing my Google Maps app would be. I haven’t run into any problems yet, but I suspect I will and eventually, I’ll have to upgrade.

It used to be that I looked forward to Apple product updates, but the last few OSX upgrades have made my computer slower and LESS useful than before. Now, I have the choice between iOS5, which works wonderfully and I have no problems with it or iOS6, which feels as if my favorite feature has been RIPPED from me. I use Google Maps EVERY day. The Apple maps with Yelp enhancements just aren’t going to help me find the post office or the library.

Sometimes, owning an Apple product makes me feel like they care more about their concerns than mine. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, I thought, “Yes, finally a phone that was designed for ME.” All of that good karma has worn off and now, I with this new update, I feel as if they are so embroiled in screwing Google that they have completely forgotten about me.

In fact, this video shows EXACTLY how I feel, with less urgency, of course.

I suspect I’ll have to start looking at other phones, computers and operating systems in a few years. Hopefully, we won’t enter another dark age where we have to build our computers from components like we did in the mid-90s.

October 5, 2012

I Can’t Believe Steve Jobs Died One Year Ago

Apple is memorializing the death of Steve Jobs on their website. You can see the video here:

Here is what’s on their website:

A message from Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

Steve’s passing one year ago today was a sad and difficult time for all of us. I hope that today everyone will reflect on his extraordinary life and the many ways he made the world a better place.

One of the greatest gifts Steve gave to the world is Apple. No company has ever inspired such creativity or set such high standards for itself. Our values originated from Steve and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple. We share the great privilege and responsibility of carrying his legacy into the future.

I’m incredibly proud of the work we are doing, delivering products that our customers love and dreaming up new ones that will delight them down the road. It’s a wonderful tribute to Steve’s memory and everything he stood for.

  • Tim

Here is Jonathan Ive’s tribute to Steve Jobs:

When we found out that Steve Jobs died, Stacey, Dan, Michael and I were driving on our way to a quickie trip down south. We listened to Steve Job’s Commencement Speech.

I think Apple hasn’t been the same since Steve Jobs died. I don’t know what it was Steve did that made everything they did great, but whatever it was, the world is a worse place for his loss.

via Apple Marks One-Year Anniversary of Steve Jobs’ Death – Mac Rumors

September 26, 2012

Foldout Ottoman Turns into a Twin Bed

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 10:29 am

For $200, it seems a bit pricey, but what a GREAT idea! This little ottoman turns into a twin bed with just a little folding.

You can find it here: Fold-Out Ottoman Bed Cover, Bed Covering | Solutions

Here is another one from Amazon for only $159: Folding Ottoman Guest Bed Sleeper With Mattress & Fabric Cover at

Folding Ottoman Guest Bed Sleeper With Mattress & Fabric Cover at

Folding Ottoman Guest Bed Sleeper With Mattress & Fabric Cover at

I had no idea that a simple piece of furniture could be so versatile. I’m surprised IKEA doesn’t make one.

September 14, 2012

Seagull Steals A GoPro Camera: Captures A Beautiful Sunset

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 7:41 am

I absolutely adore this video of a seagull stealing a camera.

GoPro Camera at Amazon.comThe camera in question was a GoPro Camera, which is a rugged and waterproof camera that can take almost any abuse you can give it.

Had the seagull dropped the camera in the water, it would have survived, but the owners probably would have never been able to retrieve it from the cold depths of the San Francisco Bay. Fortunately, the seagull merely got sick of it and left it on the boardwalk near the shore.

The next time you need a camera that you can take swimming, mountain biking and on a clandestine flight over the San Francisco Bay, think of the Go Pro. It can handle it!

Via: Animal Videos: Seagull Steals Sunset of the Day – Cheezburger

September 5, 2012

Mason Jar Solar Lights

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 4:57 pm

Mason Jar Solar Lights from The Gadgets PageThe Hand Me Down House took some mason jars and dressed them up with mod podge and tissue paper. With the addition of a solar light, they became beautiful additions to the backyard.

This project reminds me of the hanging solar lights I did back in July:

The one thing I would have done differently with that project is use stronger wire for hanging the lights so that they could have held up to the near hurricane force winds we get in our neighborhood on a regular basis.

How to Make Hanging Solar Lights from The Gadgets Page

My four remaining hanging lights are going to be packed into our tent trailer and hung on the awning when we go camping so we can have light at night. Hopefully, they’ll be safe from the winds there.

Via: Survival/Camping / The Hand Me Down House: Solar + Mod Podge = AMAZING

September 4, 2012

DIY Tangle-Free Earbuds with Embroidery Floss

Filed under: Audio and Video — Laura Moncur @ 9:02 am

Apartment Therapy has a great tutorial showing you how to make your favorite earbuds both colorful and tangle-free using embroidery floss.

DIY Tangle-Free Earbuds with Embroidery Floss from The Gadgets Page

The tutorial suggests using the Chinese Staircase knot style to create this, but you could just as easily use the similar knotting style with only ONE thread because you’re going around the edge of the earbud cords, you only need ONE strand of embroidery thread instead of three like they’ve shown in their tutorial.

Either way, you’ll end up with earbuds that won’t tie themselves into knots every time you shove them into your computer bag or pocket.

August 26, 2012

PostSecret Comments On Photography

Filed under: Cameras — Laura Moncur @ 2:14 pm

This week on PostSecret, there were several postcards about photography.

PostSecret Photography from The Gadgets Page

It reads:

I will judge you if you always shoot your fancy DSLR on auto.

My problem with people with fancy DSLRs goes even deeper than that secret. I’ll never forget the day when Matt Strebe pointed at one of my photos and said, “You can’t take a photo like that with a snappy cam.” I laughed at him and said, “Dude! I took that picture with my IPHONE!”

The next secret is EXACTLY how I feel:

PostSecret Photography from The Gadgets Page

It reads:

Photography taught me to see beauty.

This last postcard broke my heart:

PostSecret Photography from The Gadgets Page

It reads:

When you tried to teach me the technicalities, you killed my love for photography.

Don’t let someone ruin your love of photography. You can take gorgeous photos with ANY camera. I’ve talked about this before.

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.

August 23, 2012

Angry Birds Space Encounters the Mars Curiosity Rover

Filed under: Toys and Games — Laura Moncur @ 3:19 pm

Why am I so excited about this?!

I don’t actually like to play Angry Birds. Physics games can be fun, but I just never got into it. But marrying that game with space AND the Mars Curiosity Rover makes me all excited inside!

Fall is coming SOON!


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