My gadget history

I guess continuing from where I left off at my fashion style, and similar yet different than my semi-annual gadget update posts, I just want to list my main gadgets over the years, the ones I carry and use everyday. I’ll also include vehicles, just for kicks because they are also “gadgets” in a way.

I got my first car in May 2009 when I got my internship at Environment Canada. So because Toronto’s TTC system sucks, I had to buy a car for the commute. I liked small, luxury cars so I eventually ended up with a 2002 Acura RSX, paid $6500 for it, with help of my parents.

Acura RSX

It was a decent car, and I enjoyed driving with the sunroof down, listening to music and cruising a lot. I had it for a little over a year before I sold it in Aug 2010, to help pay for school, at only $3300 (I scratched up the car alot).

My second vehicle that I used from Nov 2012 to Apr 2016 was my 2011 Honda PCX 125 scooter. This was my primary vehicle in San Francisco, and I loved driving around in it. The freedom I had in it was much more than anything I ever experienced from a car.

Honda PCX 125
Honda PCX 125

Bought it for $2500, sold it for $1300 (because again I crashed it and it wasn’t in good shape).

I can also list my parents’ cars since I drove them around before. The first car I remember our family having was an old 1980s Ford Escort, followed by my dad’s 1992 Ford Taurus, and my mom’s 1994 Mercury Topaz. My dad’s Taurus eventually broke down, and my mom’s Mercury was wrecked in a car accident which I was involved in back when I was 12. I was delivering papers back then and my mom went out to drive me and it was a really cold day with a blizzard so the driver t-boned us and fortunately we didn’t suffer any injuries but the car was totaled.

My dad got a new car, the 2000 Ford Taurus station wagon (he likes big vehicles), and my mom got a 2003 Honda Civic (which was new at the time). My dad drove that Taurus for like 15 years up until last year when it stopped working, and my mom’s Civic got totaled by my brother in a car accident in 2011. My brother was not injured fortunately, and my mom replaced it with a new 2011 Honda Civic. My dad just recently got a new 2015 Acura MDX 2 years ago, which was a really good ride. I think our family became more fond of Hondas/Acuras now (my mom had 2 Civics, my dad the MDX and me the RSX and PCX).

My dad's 2015 Acura MDX

2009-2010: 2002 Acura RSX
2012-2016: 2011 Honda PCX 125
2017-: EcoReco Model R

(main) Phones

In 2005 I had my first cellphone (remember, kids didn’t have cellphones that much in those days!). It was a cheap Sanyo flipphone, and I used it sparingly to text or call my friends. In 2007 I upgraded to a Samsung D900 Black Carbon, which was thin, slim, and had a 3.2mp camera. I used that phone from 2007-2010 until I broke the screen.

Samsung D900

Then I had an iPhone 3G from 2010-2011. I got an iPhone 4 after I went to San Francisco in 2011 and used it until it was stolen from me in Apr 2012. Then I upgraded to an iPhone 4S which is still one of my favorite phones, that I would use until Nov 2013, when I upgraded to the iPhone 5S. Because I don’t like big phones, I would stick with the iPhone 5S until Apr 2016, when Apple finally released the iPhone SE. And now the iPhone SE is my main phone. I would also use the Sony Xperia Z3C as my main phone in Korea from Dec 2014 to Aug 2016 when the screen got smashed.

I used the 5S from 2013 to 2016

2005-2007: Sanyo flipphone
2007-2010: Samsung D900
2010-2011: iPhone 3G
2011-2012: iPhone 4
2012-2013: iPhone 4S
2013-2016: iPhone 5S
2014-2016: Sony Xperia Z3C
2016-: iPhone SE
2017: Google Pixel
2017: Kyocera Duraforce Pro
2017: BlackBerry KeyOne
2017: HTC 10

(main) Laptops

In 2003 I had my first laptop, the Dell Inspiron 7500 and it was good for the time even having a dedicated ATI graphics card, although it had heating issues.

Dell Inspiron 7500

When I went to university, I changed to the laptop I would use the most, the Gateway CX2724, which I bought in 2007. It was a convertible tablet, and had a digitizer and pen with it, wayyy before Windows 8 came back. It was running Windows XP tablet edition!

Gateway CX2724

I used this laptop until 2008, when I switched to the Dell Latitude E4200, which was a very small, portable, light (only 2.2lbs!) laptop that was very versatile. I would dock it in the docking station and use it with my monitor at home, and it was easy to carry at school.

Dell E4200

I would use this laptop until Aug 2011, when I got my HP Envy Beats edition. This laptop had dedicated graphics, which I hadn’t had since my first laptop, so I could finally play games on it!

HP Envy Beats

I would use this laptop until I felt that it was rather heavy to carry around all the time, and made me wish I had a notebook like my Dell again. The screen on it also later broke and doesn’t work anymore. That’s when I got my Lenovo Thinkpad X240 in Jan 2014, which then became my main laptop. I also had a Macbook Pro Retina 13 from 2012-2014 that I used mostly for programming or recording.

Lenovo X240

I used this until the screen started malfunctioning around Jun 2016. From then on, I used my work Macbook Pro Retina 15 as my main laptop until I got the Lenovo X1 Yoga to finally have my own personal laptop again. It now remains my main laptop as of Dec 2016.

2003-2007: Dell Inspiron 7500
2007-2008: Gateway CX2724
2008-2011: Dell Latitude E4200
2011-2014: HP Envy Beats 14
2012-2014: Macbook Pro Retina 13
2014-2016: Lenovo Thinkpad X240
2015-2016: Lenovo Thinkpad 14 Yoga
2015-2017: Asus G751
2016-: Lenovo X1 Yoga
2016-: Alienware 15 R3


I’m a gadget freak (May 2013)

As people who know me may find out, I really love gadgets. An example is my purchase of the Sony HMZ-T1, which I reviewed Here. I love the quirky, niche gadgets and here’s a chronicle of my gadget obsession since I was young. In case you’re wondering btw, these recollections are all from memory, so don’t expect in depth reviews of something I had when I was 15.

2002-2006 Gadget collection
Sharp Yo-190

Sharp Yo-190
Sharp Yo-190

This is a mini computer PDA/Organizer that I had back in middle school and was probably my first gadget. It had a calendar, memo, email, web browser, converter, clock, and calculator. With computer linking capability, a backlight, and 256k of RAM, it was amazing for a small kid like me. I took it to class and used it to store all my friends phone numbers and stuff. I probably didn’t use it to its full extent as it was designed for adults, but it was my first taste of gadget goodness.



This is such a niche device. But I had one of these things. It was kind of like a PDA or a game boy, but not. It had a bunch of downloadable games, and this chat thing, which I guess the makers expected this to be really popular, because that chat was only to other Cybiko users. I used it to play alot of cool games, it even had two players games in it, but eventually it got bricked when I reset it while playing a game and it didn’t turn back on after that. Eventually Cybiko realized it was a niche product and so the number of actual applications were really low. It was a cool device for the time though. ‘

Casio Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia BE300
Cassiopeia BE300

Yay, the $300 PDA I had when I was a kid. You know, back before smartphones, people had these devices called Pocket PCs, which are like the precursor to today’s smartphones. And I had the Casio Cassiopeia, cause I was the nerdy kid on the block. It was a good device – it had a number of cool apps and games for it, and no other 15 year old kid had something like that. Unfortunately, it got bricked when I tried to root it and install another OS on it, lol.

Dell Inspiron 7500

Dell Inspiron 7500
Dell Inspiron 7500

The Dell Inspiron 7500 was my first laptop, which I got in 2003. It was quite powerful for the time, having a dedicated graphics card (ATI Radeon 7500), and cost over $2000 I think. Ah yes I remember the days when 256MB RAM was alot, and everyone had a sound blaster card. And these days we take built-in Wifi for granted, but back then laptops didn’t have it built in! I needed to use a pcmcia wifi card to have it! (remember pcmcia/express cards?) and it also had legacy modem & s-video ports which are not found anymore… I had good memories with this laptop, and especially the overheating issues, due to Intel having not invented mobile processors yet. The Pentium M hadn’t arrived yet, so it had a full Pentium 4 processor in it, which isn’t efficient, and often overheated the laptop. My dad and I had to put it on some homemade pieces of wood as a cooling solution, lol.

2006-2011 Gadget collection
I had several gadgets when I was in university, including several laptops. Among the ones I had was:

Gateway CX2724

Gateway CX2724
Gateway CX2724

You know how all these Windows 8 convertible ultrabooks are coming out?? Well back in 2006, Gateway had a convertible notebook, the same kind!! 4 years before the iPad came out. And I was carrying this 7lb behemoth to classes. Despite the heavy weight, I loved using it. A screen that can rotate?? A Wacom digitizer?? That was cool stuff back then, and although it wasn’t particularly powerful on specs (an original Core Duo and GMA 950), it was a unique laptop.

Asus EEEPC S101

Asus EEE PC S101
Asus EEE PC S101

My next laptop was when netbooks were all the rage… and this one really catches my eye. It only had 16GB of storage, sure. And had an underpowered Atom processor. But, the brushed aluminum lid and Swarovski crystals… they were a good touch. Ok, so I bought it based more on looks, but it was decent for what netbooks do – browse the internet. Netbooks have been replaced by Tablets and Chromebooks now, but they all serve the same purpose, to be mobile and browse internet.

Dell Latitude E4200

Dell Latitude E4200
Dell Latitude E4200

My last laptop in college is still one of my favorites. This was in 2008, before ultrabooks came out. But this essentially is an ultrabook. A powerful laptop that is thin and light. It was only 2.6lbs!! and had a Core 2 Duo ultra low voltage CPU, which was good for its time, and I had a port replicator as well, so I could connect it with 3 externals and a 22″ Samsung display at home. It was very durable, I think I dropped it a few times and even spilled drinks on it before and it kept working. It served me well – I gave it to my parents after I retired it, and I will always remember playing Starcraft 2 lagging the hell out of games with it on that integrated GMA 4500.

Archos 7

Archos 7
Archos 7

Yes, the same one I reviewed, and as I mentioned – 320GB of storage space, plays movies without a hitch, and recording PS3 gameplay, it still holds up to the tablets of today despite having an outdated TFT resistive touch screen.

Myvu Crystal

Myvu Crystal
Myvu Crystal

Yes – I’ve had several HMDs before. The Myvu is actually quite good, when I hooked it up to my Xbox 360/PS3, I was able to play many games quite smoothly on it. Of course, my current Sony HMZ-T1 beats it hands down, but the Myvu was pretty decent for its time, plus the company is out of business, so they might be hard to find.

Samsung D900

Samsung D900
Samsung D900

My cellphone of choice during university. Remember flip phones and slider phones? This was the slimmest slider phone when it came out, and its one of the best non smartphones out there. 3.2MP camera with an autofocus and flash was good for its time, and sending text messages isn’t great as the iPhone of course, but it does its job well. And remember when batteries lasted weeks instead of days?? yeah…

Creative Zen Vision M

Creative Zen Vision M
Creative Zen Vision M

This was my mp3 player of choice during university, and it stills holds up pretty well to the iPod Classic, even now. It stored 30GBs, which is actually more than most phones these days can store. Remember when people carried a dedicated mp3 player back before smartphones? Not to mention, it played alot of photo and video formats, could record radio and voice, and had some pretty good sound quality as well.

Canon Powershot 300

Canon Powershot 300
Canon Powershot 300

I recorded all of my old videos, and took all of my old pictures on this baby. Before I got my new Canon and iPhone. It was – and remains – decent at what it does.

Flip Video Mino

Flip Video Mino
Flip Video Mino

The Flip Video Mino was the GoPro before GoPros. A pocket camcorder that can be taken anywhere easily and record from your pocket. It was innovative for its time, before smartphones had good cameras, and unfortunately, I didn’t use it as much as I should have.

2011-2013 Gadget collection

iPhone 4S

iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S

What can I say? I went through 22 years of my life without needing this phone. And yet now I can’t live without it. It’s the perfect phone. I’ve never wanted an iPhone 5, or a Galaxy SIII or a Nokia Lumia, or a Blackberry, simply because the iPhone 4S has everything I need. It has a ton of apps, it has a small enough screen to be portable (I don’t like the big screens on the iphone 5 or samsung galaxy), its replaced my main camera, and its great at texting. I’ve never wanted anything more.

Sony HMZ-T1 / HMZ-T3

Sony HMZ-T1
Sony HMZ-T1
Sony HMZ-T3
Sony HMZ-T3

I reviewed this before and my thoughts haven’t changed. It’s a simulated 100″ screen with the best 3D you can get, and virtual surround sound. The only downside being the comfort and lack of two-player convenience. I’ve also upgraded to an HMZ-T3, which is much lighter than the T1 and has wireless HD transmission, but still requires you to carry around an HD receiver.

Canon M400

Canon M400
Canon M400

I recorded all my videos and trips with this thing, and its pretty decent at that. Full HD res, multiple recording modes, and a better low light performance than many other video cameras out there. It continues to be my main video camera.

HP Envy Beats edition

HP Envy Beats
HP Envy Beats

My current main laptop. The one I use for everyday computing. Its my first laptop with a quad core processor and a dedicated video card (Radeon 6630) since my Inspiron 7500, and I loved being able to play games at high framerates again. Also, the beats audio is quite good when using external speakers or headphones. Its also got a hybrid SSD-HDD drive system which is great for fast bootup of applications, and I still get alot of storage space. I don’t really appreciate the low resolution 768p screen though, but it is still a very functional laptop with 3 USB ports, an optical disk drive and full HDMI port. Eventually the display broke when it slipped off my desk and fell on the floor, but the HDMI output still works so I can still hook it up to a display and it functions.

Macbook Pro Retina 13

Macbook Pro Retina 13
Macbook Pro Retina 13

This is my first macbook – and its mainly used for work purposes. For many years I never got a Mac – but I realize its faster for development, and less riskier for viruses, so I’ve been using it as my main work laptop now. Its fast, the screen is gorgeous, and its a Mac – I wouldn’t say its better than windows, just different. I also use it as my main recording tool after installing Pro Tools on it – for some reason Windows just isn’t as good for audio recording and video editing as a Mac. I’ve since sold this laptop due to using my iPad Air a lot more.

Nikon D5100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D5100

The Nikon D5100 is my DSLR. I don’t use it too much for general photography use, as I use my iPhone for taking most pictures due to the wider lens. The DSLR lens I use is more for taking close up pictures, portraits, and video recording, of which the quality is much better than my Canon but requires another cameraman to hold. It is a pretty decent value too; I acquired it at only $400.

Audio Technica A900

Audio Technica A900
Audio Technica A900

These are my go-to headphones for recording, studio monitoring and anything else requiring little to no noise interference. They are excellent closed back headphones, and for the price of $150, very good value for what you get. They are one of the best sounding headphones I’ve owned (and I’ve owned many), so I’ll probably keep these for many years 🙂

Audyssey Wireless Speakers

Audyssey Wireless Speakers
Audyssey Wireless Speakers

These are my computer speakers, and they are pretty decent at all around performance. I am impressed at the level of bass they offer despite not having any subwoofer. They are bluetooth enabled, so other than my computer, they also double as speakers for my iPhone and tablet as well.

Panasonic ST50

Panasonic ST50
Panasonic ST50

Sorry Samsung, but Panasonic makes better Plasma TVs at the medium range segment, and hence I opted for them. This is a 3D Plasma TV, which means uniform viewing angles, deeper blacks, and pretty thin too… all in all, one of the better TVs I’ve used, though I wish the interface for youtube and video browsing was done better.

Samsung E450 Sound Bar

Samsung E450 Sound Bar
Samsung E450 Sound Bar

This is the soundbar for my TV, and its a pretty good value as well, being only $150. It takes in the regular HDMI and optical connections, but also comes with Bluetooth and AUX and a wireless subwoofer. Many soundbars at this price doesn’t have bluetooth, hence I went for this one.

Monitor2Go HD+

Monitor2Go HD+
Monitor2Go HD+

This thing is pretty cool, its a portable second monitor that displays a nice HD+ resolution, and can be used in various configurations, standing up, swiveling, etc. It also supports being used as a secondary display for an iPad, iPhone, or anything with an HDMI connection. I’m currently using it paired with my Mac for work, and the DisplayLink technology works flawlessly.

That’s alot of gadgets eh??? Probably not the end of it either… once Google Glasses comes out, as well as the Occulus Rift (A VR HMD) and This awesome quadcopter (which I plan to use for recording) comes out, you know I will be getting them :).

Programming Tech

Interesting gadgets, JS Frameworks, Libraries, Tech Links, Tech Articles

Cool past gadgets
Sony Rolly
Sony P series
Golden-i headsets
Ultra Mobile PC
Samsung Q1
HP Touchsmart TX2
Dell XPS M2010
Sony P Tablet
Oakley THUMP 2
Sony Mylo
Nokia N810
HTC Shift
Handheld PCs
HP Jornada
Sony Vaio Duo
Danger Hiptop/T-mobile Sidekick
Palm Treo (the first smartphone)
PDas and Pocket PCs
Sony Vaio Duo
Sony UX Micro PC
OQO Model 02
Archos Gen 6
Dell Adamo
Asus Taichi
Voodoo Envy 133
Pleo RB
Alienware m11x
Dell XPS M2010
Nokia N93
Eon 13S
Soundmatters foXLv2
Dell XPS 12
Myvu Crystal
AR figure Alice
Creative Recon3D THX sound processor
Turtle Beach Dolby processor
Astel & Kern MQS player
Custom Relics
Chromebook Pixel
Ultra sabers
Swart Amps

I read alot. Except I don’t read books, I read Wikipedia articles and nerdy articles. Lots of them.. here are few I came across:

Interesting Links/News
Someone was paid to hack Facebook exploiting Oath2?
Tells you some of the myths about guitar pickup tone
Someone actually made stacksort!! (based on an xkcd comic)
So this is the guy who started phreaking?
Chinese immigrants had it hard…
I wonder who still uses Telnet… if its always more insecure than SSH
Loved this game when I was young… didnt realize it was only released in Japan!
Super Audio CD?? I never knew this existed, I wonder if its actually audibly better than CD.
CGA is the PC’s first color standard – I remember the days of 16 colors.
Building a naive Bayes classifier, which has lots of uses in making complicated problems less complicated as it seems 😛
10,000 year old clock
Did you know MS made a JS replacement language, that adds modules, classes, interfaces and type checking?
Chinese sites look so awful and cluttered and looking at the minified JS, they even have chinese characters in JSON… omg must be a nice time parsing that
This guy ruled South Korea for 16 years until he was assassinated!! O_O
Email loops…
Vestal Virgins!
Let’s save IE6!!! hehe
The woman who had immortal cells
extreme pogo sports…
This is the first FPS game, not Wolf3D, not Doom. This game, and I played it when I was young.. pretty decent 🙂
Did you know? The first Chinese dynasty was started by this guy
The first Firefox phone?? omg
The Japanese have urinal games… wow
Prions are viral infection agents caused by eating brains o_O
This is a cool name for a Apache Ruby module
The game boy printer was really ahead of its time… people barely had dot matrix printers back then
There’s a programming language based on Lolcats
The Apple Newton had a programming language…
There’s a programming language that is multi-lingual keyworded
Woody Allen’s first movie was a 1960s Japanese dubbed spy thriller (it was a good movie, I watched it)
This was the most popular bike in the world thanks to China
Did you know? in WWI, people used pigeons to take aerial photos
Did you know? This is the worst pc game of all time, mainly cause it doesn’t work. At all.
Pig toilets… yes people used to use these
This is the crater that caused the extinction of the dinos
This is the biggest extinction event in Earth’s history
The original AI program Eliza, as a Java applet
Dunning-Kruger effecta cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average.
Apparently this guy lived for 152 years
A PS Emulator that was sold IN STORES
Oh yeah NeXT computers used these…
Someone sued a guy named Mike Rowe for having this domain name…
Charismatic megafauna – I suppose they are “charming” to scientists? hehe
Chinese magic mirror..
Werecats exist?
Black swan theory – this actually makes sense to me. Lots of everyday things have very small probabilities of occurring, but because there’s so many probabilities in general, the chance of any individual small probability happening is actually quite big.
Wow this is a rare add-on for Sega saturn..
I used to own one of these guys before Pocket PCs were there…
This chinese woman worked on the manhatten project… at a time when Chinese people couldn’t immigrate to America.
A game console that downloads games for free? – awesome. The future of gaming is streaming from the cloud – and this is the first step.
4004 was the first available microprocessor

Nice JS articles and tech sites
Java 8 looks pretty neat.. Joda time and Lambdas
Overapi kinda sucks as a Java reference (HashTables? really?) but the jQuery reference is decent. This site also compiles a nice list of Web dev articles. Here’s another checklist for web devs.
Good front end dev interview questions
jQuery 2.0 beta is out!
Comparing front end frameworks

Nice tech:
Interesting startup job repo
This is a really cool graphical tessellation generator…
Combine your Chrome tabs!

(JS Library Reference can be found here)