Book Review: Useful Book of Gadgets, Gizmos and Apps

This is an exciting time for tech lovers. Growing up as a millennial, we can’t imagine life without technology (we weren’t born after all). There are a lot of new gadgets out there right now, most of which are now more powerful than those used to send man to the moon.

With the rise of technology becoming ever prominent, I was recently sent the new book by Martin Bailey which promises to solve ‘life’s little problems one gadget at a time’.

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Regardless of whether you’re a tech whizz or can barely work your phone, this book promises to tell you anything you need to know about the latest technology.

The book offers an impartial view of technology but you can be sure that all the technology featured are items that the author (Martin Bailey) uses himself as an unashamed geek with a passion for technology.

The book covers a wide range of subjects from how to learn a new language to how to turn your phone into a photocopier and filing system.

I feel like this book is more of a present for family members than it is for students as not many of the problems solved are student related. There are tips on how to keep track of pets and how to make floor plans on your phone, all of which are extremely useful but perhaps not for a 18-21year old.

I only have one criticism of this book and that’s that I can’t help but feel that, although this book is solves problems of the 21st century, a lot of the tips are already a little outdated. One example of this is how to add lyrics to mp3 files. I can’t remember the last time I used an MP3 file. With apps such as Spotify allowing us to listen to music online and then records making a steady come back in the Indie scene, few people download mp3s as their main source to listen to music.

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Brittany Guymer

Editor of the Student Wire | Studying PR and Journalism at Leeds Beckett | Lover of good music and all things quirky | Easily bribed with mini eggs

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2 Comments

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    Thanks very much for taking the time to review my book. I’d like to respond to a couple of your comments to allow readers to better understand why I chose the gadgets I did to include in the book.

    It was difficult to find the right level to pitch this book as the potential audience is very wide, and a student’s needs will differ greatly from, say, a businessman or an OAP. Whilst I accept your example about most of the younger generation streaming music as opposed to using MP3 there are many (on limited data/broadband plans or on a tight budget) that will still rely on MP3s. I, for example, will use my phone to pump music to my car when driving, but the likes of Spotify are not always suitable for that when driving through patchy 3G areas or when roaming overseas.

    The book is also designed to help people get the best out of the tech they already own, and while it may not always be cutting edge it may extend the life of equipment that’s not yet ready for the scrap heap. A good example there is the Chromecast for audio, which will convert an old music system to one that can stream via your WiFi network.

    I did try to include a number of gadgets for those working on a budget and also to cover outdoor activities such as cycling and camping. Good examples here are the Wallet Ninja (18 tools in a credit-card sized tool), Rollie egg cooker (great for those in small accommodation that don’t like to cook), the Biolite camping stove that can also charge your phone and the Tentsile hammock tent.

    Also, remember that while some of the gadgets may not be relevant to you today it’s more about knowing that they exist, so that if you or someone else has a need in the future you already know that a solution awaits! A number of my friends proofed the book during its early stages and have come back to me to tell me about conversations they had with friends where they could say ‘ah, I have a solution for that!’.

    Again, thanks very much for the review and I’m glad you enjoyed the book!

    Martin Bailey
    Author
    The Useful Book of Gadgets

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