Happy 15th Anniversary MethodShop – You Bastards!

Frank Radice
Frank Radice
Happy 15th Birthday MethodShop... You Bastards!

Is the Web Browser Dead?Really MethodShop? 15 years? Are you going out of your way to make me feel old? I can’t believe you are turning 15 years old on March 22. First of all, websites aren’t supposed to have birthdays. Second of all, who even had their act together way back in 1996 and was out registering domain names? You bastards!

I’ve been visiting MethodShop.com religiously for at least 7 years now. I have to. My gadget addiction requires it. I’ve always been an “early adopter.” From electric guitars (I had 18) to the iPad, I always have to have the latest gadget.

It all started when I was 12. My parents refused to buy me an electric guitar on my birthday. They thought it was just a phase and I wouldn’t play it. But it’s all I wanted. I was like Ralphie and his BB Gun in the movie A Christmas Story. But Ralphie finally gets his gun… I never got my guitar. So I improvised. I made one. I’m proud to say that in 1961, a young 12-year-old Frank Radice built an electric guitar from spare parts. That Frankenstein-guitar sounded and played like shit (I even painted it brown), but it was electric! That’s all it took. I was hooked on gadgets from that point on.

After amassing an impressive collection of guitars, amps, stereos and whatnot, I soon got into photography. Before I knew it, all this gadget stuff was starting to pay off. My knowledge of photography landed me a film editor job at NBC and then ABC News. But it’s at ABC where I got to see my first “must have cool” gadget up close. In 1972, some of my coworkers came back from a presidential trip to Japan with Sony Walkmen. They had giant funny looking headphones but you could finally take music with you. I just had to have one… and I did.

Then came computers. A friend gave me my first computer in 1979. It was actually an HP dumb terminal with an acoustic coupler that a government office on Capitol Hill had thrown out. It was broken, but it just needed a new motherboard. So I called HP and they sent me a new board for free! From there, I was just a modem connection away from all night sessions of the text version of Hitchhiker’s Guide  to the Galaxy on CompuServe.

Since then I’ve owned thousands of gadgets including: a Commodore 64, Atari 400 & 800, almost every Macintosh computer made, a Samsung BlackJack, BlackJack 2, Blackberry’s, Palm V, iPod, iPod Shuffle, iPod Mini, iPod Nano, iPhone, FlipCam, FlipCam HD, QuickCam, remote control helicopters, an 8-Track in my Alpha Romeo Spyder, a Heath kit stereo, a Dynaco stereo, a McIntosh stereo (no relation to Apple, different spelling) hundreds of speakers, hundreds of TV’s, a video spigot, digital performer, pro tools, motion picture film cameras, video cameras, still film cameras, digital still cameras, u-matic VCR, Betamax, VHS, VHS-c, first gen TiVo, first gen Apple TV (now I have the new ones)… I could go on and on but I’m tired of one finger typing on my iPad. You can probably find a few more gadgets I missed on my desk below.

Happy 15th Birthday MethodShop... You Bastards!

But I’m also, as my friend Bill Hartnett (@JungleRock) says, an “early abandoner.” It’s true. I have filing cabinets full of gadgets that I’ve only used once. I’ll get the latest gadget, but then what? How do you take it to the next level? Where do you learn how to hack it? How do you learn how to do cool stuff? That’s where MethodShop comes it. From how to save videos off of YouTube to hacking my Apple TV with Boxee, I love how the MethodShop tutorials take you through the process step-by-step.

Shiny only goes so far. It’s how you use your gadget that makes it special. That’s actually how I found MethodShop. I had a computer problem That I couldn’t figure out and they saved me. As much as I LOVE gadgets, my wife is the exact opposite. She H-A-T-E-S them. She thinks they are just clutter. One time she took a pair of scissors and cut off all the wires under my computer desk at home. Everything was still plugged into both the AC outlet and the computer, just the middle part of the wire was missing. God knows how she didn’t get electrocuted. After spending at least an hour trying to figure out what was going on, I gave up. I contacted MethodShop and they figured it out, helped me safely remove the cables and even sent me links where I could purchase replacements. Who knew owning gadgets (while being married) could be so dangerous?

Thanks MethodShop! You always post fun stuff on your blog (especially my articles), push me to take my gadgets to the next level, and probably saved me from getting zapped while crawling around on my hands and knees under my desk that day.

Happy Birthday and tweet this you bastards!!!! Thanks for making me feel old!