Judging from all the people on campus sprouting cell phones, portable music players, Palm Pilots, laptop computers and other high-tech gadgets, it might seem that everyone is indeed rushing to prove that he who has the most toys when he dies, wins.
Hold on a minute, though. Most of the folks we asked about high-tech playthings actually put them to some practical use. In fact, some people are so practical that their favorite gadgets are decidedly low-tech.
It has to be the Palm Pilot because it makes me look important even though Im really not.
Shen, Engineering 03
Remote control, because then you dont have to get up and walk. Do you know how far you sometimes have to sit from the TV? I even have a computer remote, so I can change the songs on Winamp.
I cant decide between my cell phone and my Palm Pilot. Theyre both small enough that they fit into my purse. Little phone, little Palm Pilot, little purse its all little.
Im a big fan of electric screwdrivers. I use them to fix little odds and ends in my apartment. And I like the buzzing sound.
The electric toothbrush. Do you have one? No, but I think theyre a fabulous idea.
The incandescent lightbulb, because otherwise everything would be dark.
My stereo; its what I do to relax. Its a little bit of an escape.
I use my computer for e-mail. I check it every two seconds. Its my link to the world.
hajoui, College/Wharton 03
My MP3 player; I use it between classes to bear the noise of most city places. Its a good break.
Mair, College 04
I use my blender twice a day to make smoothies with.
My alarm clock if I have to get up, I need it.
A pacemaker. I know people who really cant live without it.
My PC Im practically married to it. Its for everything next to breathing.
My hot pot makes my life easier. I think I use it three or four times a week to make ramen.
When Im at home I play my PlayStation 2 for several, several hours a day.
Kim Vinh and Sara Marcus
Originally published on February 15, 2001