Toys for Titans

(Apr. 7, 1997) Here is an excerpt from an article published in the mid 1990’s on the former Upside.com featuring some of my gadgets.
Toys for Titans
John Patrick
Vice President, Internet Technology,
IBM Corp., Somers, N.Y.

Gadgets go back to the beginning for me — Tinkertoys, Lincoln logs, erector sets, chemistry sets. I don’t think it is in the genes because nobody else in the family shares my love of gadgets.
GPS 40 global-positioning-system receiver
Garmin Corp,
Olathe, Kan.
It is a handheld receiver, and I carry it in my briefcase wherever I go. When I get somewhere I haven’t been before, I take the latitude/longitude from the GPS 40 and enter them in my Web site (Domino, of course) using my ThinkPad. The other thing I do with the GPS coordinates is send e-mail to my staff and friends and include a link to a map of where I am. Essential or even needed a little? No. Fun to do and talk about? Yes.
Polar Accurex Plus wireless heart-rate monitor and sports watch
Polar Electro Oy,
Kempele, Finland
Running is one of my hobbies — see the “races” section of my Web site (johnpatrick.com). I upload the heart-rate information from the Polar Accurex, and then I can display various graphs and comparative information about my heart rate and fitness level.
“Mr. Dudley” electric-lighted pepper mill, model number 6002
Dudley Kebow Inc.,
Oceanside, Calif.
(619) 732-3636
I guess my all-time favorite, most-used gadget is my electric-lighted pepper mill. I like pepper on food, so it has a practical application, but I think what I like most about it is that every time I use it, it makes my wife or kids or guests laugh, and that makes me laugh. I always say, “I don’t know why everybody doesn’t have one of these.