Gadget Man – Episode 142 – Retro Gadget Part 8 – Nokia 3310 Mobile Phone

We’re now on the home straight with the Retro Gadgets Series and what better classic gadget to feature but the legendary Nokia 3310 mobile phone.

This is certainly a gadget that needs very little introduction, after being introduced in 2000, the handset went on to sell more than 126,000,000 units. What’s more, the handset continues to be used in many households today.  I previously discussed the handset in Episode 98 with James Hazell.

Nokia’s new owners HMD relaunched the device in 2017 with a homage to the original device, attempting to capture a new market of low-cost mobile phones. This too was covered in Episode 102 with Mark Murphy.

The Nokia 3310 launches in the UK
The Original Nokia 3310 and the the 2017 HMD Nokia 3310 reboot

Today, however, it was the turn of Matt Marvell to listen to my lament about this classic piece of technology history.

You can listen in to the recording by clicking at the top of the post. Don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE, SHARE and most importantly COMMENT. I’ll catch up with you next time

Matt Porter
The Gadget Man

Gadget Man – Episode 141 – Amazon Alexa is now providing NHS Medical Advice

The UK Government’s ‘Department for Health and Social Care’ have today announced a collaboration between themselves and Multi-Billion Dollar tech firm Amazon to provide NHS website information via the popular Alexa platform.

Amazon Dot running Alexa next to a pill
Amazon Dot running Alexa can now assist with NHS based medical information

With immediate effect, UK owners of the Alexa based devices such as the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot will now be able to request medical information by asking their devices.

This morning, I spoke to Mark Murphy from BBC Radio Suffolk about the devices and their potential uses in health. You can listen in via the link about. Don’t forget to Like, Share, Subscribe and Comment!!

The press release is as follows:-

Press Release – 10 July 2019

The NHS is collaborating with Amazon to provide reliable health information from the NHS website through voice-assisted technology. 

The technology will help patients, especially the elderly, blind and those who cannot access the internet through traditional means, to get professional, NHS-verified health information in seconds, through simple voice commands.

Amazon’s algorithm uses information from the NHS website to provide answers to voice questions such as:

  • “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?”
  • “Alexa, what are the symptoms of flu?”
  • “Alexa, what are the symptoms of chickenpox”

The technology has the potential to reduce the pressure on the NHS and GPs by providing information for common illnesses.

Voice search has been increasing rapidly. By 2020, half of all searches are expected to be made through voice-assisted technology.

NHSX will look at ways of making more NHS services available to all patients through digital technology. The announcement supports the commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to make more NHS services available digitally.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:

We want to empower every patient to take better control of their healthcare and technology like this is a great example of how people can access reliable, world-leading NHS advice from the comfort of their home, reducing the pressure on our hardworking GPs and pharmacists.

Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we want to embrace the advances in technology to build a health and care system that is fit for the future and NHSX will drive this revolution to bring the benefits to every patient, clinician and carer.

Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said:

The public need to be able to get reliable information about their health easily and in ways they actually use. By working closely with Amazon and other tech companies, big and small, we can ensure that the millions of users looking for health information every day can get simple, validated advice at the touch of a button or voice command.

Part of our mission at NHSX is to give citizens the tools to access services and information directly, and partnerships such as this are an important part of achieving this.

Gadget Man – Episode 140 – Retro Gadgets Part 7 – The GPO Telephone Handset

Before the age of privatisation of utility companies in the United Kingdom, the General Post Office (GPO) of the United Kingdom was responsible solely for the provision of telecommunication services for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The notable exception was Kingston Upon Hull which has been granted the licence to provide it’s own telephone services in 1906.

Alongside its telephone services, the GPO also issued a variety of telephones for use on this service. Although handsets were supplied in different forms, it wasn’t until 1937 when a new line of ‘portable’ telephones was introduced using the Type 332 code number. These telephones used the rotary dial system with the handset sitting directly on top of the unit.

During 1959, the 700 series was released by the GPO. This was launched after public demand for handsets similar to those featured on US television shows. These devices were modern in design with anti-tangle cord and came in very smart two-tone colour schemes. This was the design which is still found in many homes some 60 years after launch (although some modification was necessary to bring them in line with current BT sockets).

The 706 models came in two-tone green, topaz yell, concorde blue, two-tone grey, topaz yellow, lacquer red, ivory and black. The red models being in great demand still today.

Such was the popularity and demand for the Model 706 and later the Model 746, several manufacturers were contracted for its manufacture with both table-top and wall mounted version was available to rent.

GPO Type 746 Telephones
GPO Type 746 Telephones – Image Credit: Wikipedia

In 1981, the GPO was privatised and the New Plan Socket was introduced for all new handsets, this allowed for approved 3rd party telephones to be either rented or purchased for use on the British Telecom network. The public was quick to drop this rotary dial phone in favour of new Tone-Dialing push-button models and the 746 was consigned to history and in many cases rubbish-skips and land-fill.

However, I think every house needs at least one Model 746.

Listen in the audio attached and listen to me talking to Matt Marvell on BBC Radio Suffolk about this amazing retro gadget

Thanks for reading and listening, don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and SUBSCRIBE and I will see you next time.

Matt
The Gadget Man

Gadget Man – Episode 139 – Retro Gadgets Part 6 – The Breville Sandwich Toaster

We’re now at part six of the Retro Gadget series. This week I spoke to Matt Marvell at BBC Radio Suffolk about the absolutely amazing Breville Sandwich Toaster!

Many a Saturday lunchtime in my youth was provided by this gadget. Where I would mostly find my toasted sandwich contained ham, cheese and tomato, I found in later years there was a myriad of ingredients that could provide fillings to tantalise your taste-buds.

Toasted Sandwich
Toasted Sandwich

A great idea, place two buttered slices of bread in the toaster with the filling of your choice ‘sandwiched ‘ between them. Lock down the plates and wait for the light to turn green. Hey Presto! The meal of your dreams.

You can listen in to the audio stream to find out what I thought above the Sandwich Toaster and it’s cousin, the Waffle Iron.

In the meantime, I’ve done a bit of research into more adventurous Toasted Sandwich fillings:-

Takeaway Curry Sandwiches – Now this appeals to me, I used to be a great fan of Curry-on-toast, the night after a takeaway, so taking the idea a step further with a Curry Sandwich, sounds delicious!

Spaghetti Bolognese Sandwiches – Similar to the former, I’ve tried this on toast too! I bet it tastes amazing!

Cheese and Marmite Toastie – I’ve tried this and can confirm it’s lovely! Assuming you like Marmite.

Peanut Butter and Marmite Toastie – I love Peanut Butter and Marmite on toast for breakfast and can imagine having the ingredients toasted in a sealed package would be very nice indeed.

Cheese and Pineapple Toastie – This sounds divine! OK, I’m off to make one for myself, where’s the pineapple?

If you enjoy a toasted sandwich? Let me know, what’s your favourite filling, comment below and let me know.

Don’t have a Sandwich Toaster? You can buy one at our Amazon Store by clicking below


Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe and Share and I will see you soon.

Happy Toasting!!

Matt

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Image by Rebecca Humann from Pixabay

Gadget Man – Episode 138 – Universal Music and the Importance of Backing up Your Data

Keeping backup copies of your data has never been so important and only this week it has been revealed that a fire at Universal Music has resulted in the loss of the original master tapes of some of the worlds most famous artists.

To compound the issue, the backups were kept in the same vaults and seemingly perished resulting in the total loss of the original recordings of the likes of Buddy Holly, Eminem, Sheryl Crow, Tupac and Tom Petty (to same but a few!).

With digital photography now the primary method of capturing images, it is now more important than ever that these sometimes precious images are also kept safe. Hardware failure or loss of devices is more common than ever before, so multiple backups are extremely important!

Hardware failure is a real and present issue
Hardware failure is a real and present issue

Today I spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about backups and my experience of how to keep your data safe.

To find out more, listen into the stream above. Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe and Comment with your experiences of backup successes and failures.

See you in the next episode!!

Matt

Gadget Man – Episode 137 – Retro Gadgets Part 5 – VHS vs Betamax

We reach the fifth part of our series on Retro Gadgets and in this one, we focus on the 1st Format Wars where VHS fought Betamax for dominance in the VCR format battle for supremacy.

During the ’80s, video entertainment came home with the introduction of the Video Cassette Recorder and with it came competing standards.

The Format Wars - Betamax vs VHS
The Format Wars – Betamax vs VHS

The main standards were Sony’s Betamax and JVC’s VHS. Both were looking for market dominance, but who was to win?

Find out what happened and how we still witness mega-corporation format rules today.

Click on the play button above and don’t forget to subscribe using the widget above and I will see you very soon.

Matt

Gadget Man – Episode 136 – What is happening to iTunes?

Apple has now officially announced that they are splitting the iTunes app into THREE different services in the next few months.

The 3 apps will focus on Music, TV and Podcasts and will finally separate these services from the iTunes app which was initially written synchronise copy-protected music to and from the first iPods.

Apple WWDC19
Apple WWDC19 – Image Credit: Apple Inc

Listen in to my interview with James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk to find out what iTunes was and what it will become in the near future.

Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe and Share and I will see you very soon

Matt

Gadget Man – Episode 135 – Retro Gadget Part 4 – SodaStream

In this episode, I talk to Matt Marvell at BBC Radio Suffolk about the SodaStream.

The SodaStream is a fizzy drink machine which uses CO2 gas forced under pressure into an attached bottle of fresh water. After fizzing has taken place, the user adds their choice of flavoured concentrate to the water and thus create their own home-made carbonated drinks.

SodaStream
SodaStream

SodaStream was popular in the ’70s and ’80s with big-named brands such as Irn-Bru, Tizer and Fanta licensing their concentrate, with many other brands and flavours available.

The product has been modernised over its lifetime with Samsung building the product into some of its refrigerators.

In this episode of the podcast, we chat about our childhood memories of the SodaStream.

You can listen in my click on the link above or subscribing using your favourite podcast platform.

Don’t forget to Like, Share and Subscribe!

Thanks for listening

Matt

Gadget Man – Episode 134 – Retro Gadget Part 3 – Hostess Trolleys

Now we have reached the third part of our Retro Gadget series, we go left-field by selecting something that has been a part of peoples dining rooms for many many years.

Hostess Trolley
Hostess Trolley

Yes, I’m talking about the Hostess Trolley, a dining gadget that has been keeping our dinner party food warm for many years.

Listen in to the podcast by clicking on the play button above and subscribe using your favourite podcast app using the widget.

Don’t forget to Like and Share and I will see you very soon

Matt

Gadget Man – Episode 133 – Alexa is now reading Bedtime Stories

In this podcast episode, I speak to Mark Murphy at BBC Radio Suffolk about reports that Smart Speakers are now taking parents places by reading stories to children.

Intelligent Assistant Smart Speaker
Intelligent Smart Speakers are now taking over parental responsibilities in some cases.

BookTrust surveyed 1000 parents and discovered that 25% have used Alexa or Siri to read stories to their children.

Here I discuss the survey with Mark and how the changing face of parenting has lead to the use of smart speakers to step-in when parenting becomes too busy.

You can listen in to the episode by clicking on the play button above, or subscribe using your favourite podcast app by clicking the subscribe button.

Thanks for reading and listening in and see you next time.

Matt

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