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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    The Giz Wiz Asks You! > What's the best gadget you own; or have ever owned?

    It can be an old one that you still love, even an old one you don't use any more. But share your BEST GADGET EVER!

    I'm going to pick SLINGBOX as my favorite gadget ever. It's 3 or 4 years old but I use it with every trip I make. It enables me to watch my cable box at home from anyplace there's WiFi. I even use it on my boat instead of paying for cable. I just pay $20 for basic DSL and I can watch anything on my laptop right there on my boat that I could watch at home. Live shows, shows I recorded & I can even set my DVR to record shows I want from anywhere there's WiFi. There are many newer models, including HD Sling boxes: http://www.slingmedia.com

    April 29, 2009 | Registered CommenterThe Giz Wiz

    I am going to have to go with the iPhone. In the nearly two years I have had this device, I have become entirely dependent upon it. Not only is it a good communications device (phone, text) but its great for mobile internet access. While away on a recent trip, I could still download and listen to my favorite podcasts (including the Daily Giz Wiz of course) without need of a computer and sync cable. I can browse the internet, get bus schedules, maps, check bank account balances, take photos and upload them instantly. All on this slim device that fits comfortably into my pocket. It made the flights go by quickly, even the delays at LAX, filled with Tiki Bar TV videos and an episode of Security Now. Truly the best gadget ever for functionality and flexibility in a sleek, easy to use portable package.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

    I too have to pick the iPhone. I have had MANY different smart phone and phones in general and none have been so useful as my iPhone. I love my Macbook and Sprint cellular internet modem but much more often I just use my iPhone to look things up. I was at my grand parents house out in the middle of Texas. Power went out and it was storming like MAD. My iPhone and the weather channel app allowed me to bring up live radar maps down to the zip code of their house and watch the storm progress. I can't imagine life without it now.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTony Ward

    Hard to pick one but most of my favorites are from when I was a kid because that's when gadgets made me the happiest. Two that stick out he most are, a toy called Merlin, (tick tack toe RULED when I was like eight or however old I was when I had it) And My OmniBot, (only kid in the neighborhood with one...almost made me popular for a whole three days after the Christmas I got it lol).

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPoeFan

    Gosh, I'd have to say my first gadget was my swiss army knife I had as a kid. It made adventuring in the woods behind my house all the more fun. Mmy current love is my iPhone 3G. It has everything I need with me. Audo, Video, App's and photos of my daughter. It's not perfect (no corkscrew) but it has everything that makes me happy at the moment.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

    A year ago, I'd have said my TiVo... it's been a wonderful thing. I purchased it back in the days when TechTV a) existed and b) was worth watching, and bought it principally because of Leo Laporte's raves. To this day, if I am at someone's house and live tv is on, it drives me NUTS to sit through commercials... not with my TiVo at home, though. I bet I've saved an amazing amount of time skipping commercials via the TiVo and watching stuff as I want to watch it.

    In the past year, though, I've gotten to the point when I don't watch as much tv at all due to, uh, other sources.

    Nowadays, my favorite gadget EVER is my Kindle 2. I never got the appeal of the Kindle, to be honest, but I took the plunge, and I have fallen in love with it. I read far more than I used to, and Amazon has done a great job with usability and functionality.

    In 2nd place is my Peek portable email device. I'm not much of a cell phone person, so a device that allows me to ONLY check email while on the go, is a big plus, and hardly ever leaves my pocket.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternewfers

    Can I name more than 1 ? Of course I'll give away my age :<(
    1. 8 track tape player
    2. CB Radio
    3. Amiga 500
    4. Video Toaster
    5. First PC
    6. TIVO
    7. IPod Touch

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPodcastBunker

    I would say my Garmin GPS. With it, I can go where ever I want.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Zengerle

    The best gadget has been my Nokia N800. I can get online from anywhere without the bulk of a laptop or netbook, it can play nearly all formats (not quicktime) and if you're really good with it you could get into its system files and really release its potential. I'm not that good.

    I keep it loaded with podcasts from TWiT, Systm and Tekzilla for day to day use and really long trips I put in the maximum SD card 16GB and load a couple of movies. I can't go anywhere without it and if I forget it I feel lost. I always check for my cell (calls and 'net access when I can't "borrow a cup of WiFi") and my N800 before I leave out the door (spare battery and charger, too). I get RSS feeds for sales and have found some great deals while out on the road, would have miss it if I had to wait until I got home to check on the desktop.

    Nokia is coming out with the N97 in the summer, can't wait, it may be replacing my N800 if the price is right or is picked up by a cell provider, until then my number one favorite toy, can't be without, behind my laptop is my Nokia N800.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNYCRR

    It's hard to choose... at first I was thinking my 'Butter Butler', but I think I maybe love my TomTom just a little bit more!

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTadarnold

    It has to be a Palm Pilot. I first got one about 12 years ago. I've been upgrading all the way through the Palm Centro. Unfortunately, my company forced me, kicking and screaming, into a Blackberry. It's like stepping back in time about 10 years! I hate the Blackberry. Palm could clean its clock any day. Problem is Palm marketing sucks compared to Blackberry, in the corporate world. I'm hoping the new Pre will change that and I can go back to a Pre and bury my Blackberry!

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel B

    I would say my Apple Newton was the best for its day. It was really ahead of its time. People made fun of its handwriting recognition, but no one has come out with better for a portable device. If it was 1/3 the size, it would have been perfect,

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBob Hafer

    All time most favorite gadget ever... The TV Remote Control.
    A Close 2nd is the MyGig in my Dakota. USB input for my many mp3's. Sirius radio. Navigation system. Makes driving fun again.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDaddyPlaid

    This is a very difficult question to answer, but I would say my favorite gadget is my C.Crane Wi-Fi internet radio. I have to thank the DGW for recommending this product. Leo Laporte is also a big fan of it.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

    I can't think of just one. At different times in my life I have had gadgets that I absolutely loved.
    As a preteen I had several old school handheld games that I couldn't put down. Football, basketball, Merlin, A Coleco handheld boxing game that totally captivated me .
    As a Teenager in the early 1980's it was my Atari 2600 game console. That thing entertained me for hundreds of hours through high school and after.
    My first computer, in 1997. It opened a whole world I didn't realize existed previously.

    Right now I'd say it's my iPhone. I love having a portable computer that fits in my pocket and holds my entire iTunes library.
    I use the GPS on it all the time. The calendar holds reminders for appointments. I keep up to date with sports scores while on the go.
    I'll just cut this short and say that the downloadable apps make it the one thing I would not want to be without currently.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScottSkiba

    iPhone and iPod Touch

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSean

    Tube Press (The Ultimate Tube Squeezer™) Works on all tubes!

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnita Bath

    My iPhone at the moment.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEdward

    I'd have to say our TiVo and it's certainly gotten even better over the last year or so.

    We've had ours since the days of TechTV (our first WAS our DirecTV reciever...and it was branded a TiVo...not a generic DVR). My husband bought books on "Hacking Tivo" (thanks to recommendations on "Call For Help"/"Screensavers") and he's added hard-drives to just about every one that we've owned.

    Thanks to "TiVo-ToGo"/"TiVo-ToComeback" we've been able to share programs between the two Tivos in our house to send shows back and forth upstairs to the computer room or down to the living room, we can set recordings from tivo.com, we've pulled shows off the TiVo to watch on our iPod Videos and have even put our own videos from our computer onto the TiVo (this was especially helpful while working on our own video podcast to take footage we've filmed ourselves and see how it looks on the big TV screen).

    Now that TiVo is teamed with Netflix, I can watch all my movies and mail them away and STILL have plenty to watch on days when mail isn't coming (Sundays or long weekend Mondays). There's also Amazon Unbox and other services to do this as well. We can even watch YouTube and various video podcasts through our TiVo.

    We've also never had to worry about missing a show that we love from the moment we first programmed it (I don't even know if I would remember HOW to set my VCR at this point).

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBryan Irrera

    It's got to be the iPhone. To call it a phone is to insult it.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

    My harmony 880 universal remote. That and my Zune 80 gig, which I listen to all the TWIT shows.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Cyopick

    That's a hard one to pick. I've had my Axim x50v (using Windows Mobile 2003) for many years and still use it on a daily basis. But my Nokia N810 is getting more millage lately. If it had a reliable PIM and agenda feature (I depend on an always available agenda with reminders that beep at me), it would probably be my all in one device. For now, they work as my dynamic duo. Although, I am really considering an HTC Pro to replace them, as well as my basic Nokia mobile phone... Ask me again in a few months!

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSylvain Racicot

    First thing I thought of is my thumb drives. I had a succession of them but stopped with this one. It solves the problem of the connection getting shmutz on it from being in a pocket or exposed on a key ring when the cap gets lost. It has a rubber gasket all the way around it with a pocket for the "business end", and that same gasket is what attaches to my key ring. Perfect solution. The only complaint I have is that the largest one this model comes in (as far as I know) is 2G.

    There's also my cell phone although I no longer consider it a "gadget". It's a necessity. I'd no more leave the house without my phone than I would without my pants.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjan001

    I have to say my favorite piece of tech is my PANASONIC BL-C20A wireless G remote video camera. It is basically an indoor unit, but I have been using it outside for over 2 years now. I monitor my turtle Henry at http://henrytheturtle.com. The server is a tad slow at times, but it work great to monitor my turtle from school.

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermike troiano

    My Sony Cyber-Shot H10

    April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChuck