Carl West: My life in gadgets

GfK's Carl West talks to PCR about the gadgets that have played a key role in his life over the years
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We talk to Carl West, business group director, GfK, about his favourite pieces of technology through the years.


My first ever gadget was the Sinclair ZX81 personal computer. I modded it with a 128k RAM upgrade and a stick-on rubber keyboard. My first school CDT project was making a wooden carry case with polystyrene molding so I could take it round to friends’ houses to play games.


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Later a Tatung Einstein computer was given to me by my father. The Tatung was a basic computer on which I learnt to program Pascal and Crystal Basic. This was the machine that got me interested in computing and later was the basis for web design and database building at companies I have worked at.


The most significant historic phone I have owned was the Orange SPV. Based on Windows CE, it was the spark for my insatiable hunger for the latest handset. As a result I went through every SPV series phone including PDA and Nokia Communicator, until the launch of the iPhone.

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Regarding gaming I have to highlight the Super Nintendo (SNES), which was the console that got me through A-level revision and also was used by my house mates and I playing Mario Kart after many late drunken nights.


Today, outside of the constant use of my smartphone my gadget of choice is a tablet. I do not use a computer at home anymore. My tablet is used for shopping, gaming, social, education, my calendar, work and keeping my kids happy on long journeys.