That new 4K telly you point all your furniture at. The fancy hi-fi system you’ve enshrined in your new flat. Your Xbox One. All of them reduced to useless lumps of tech the moment the batteries in the controller go flat.
Every home, every office, every place where man seats his backside, needs a set of batteries (ideally rechargeable) if it’s going to survive in the modern world.
A battered old Nokia
You last recharged when there was a Labour government in place. It hasn’t had any credit put on it since Arsenal last won the League. But that little Nokia, standing vigil in your car glove box/kitchen draw/shed could save your life on day, helping you contact emergency services hours after your fancy smartphone died a death.
Here’s to you, brave little Nokia.
A tape cassette adaptor
This guy. This little guy. Without him, millions of road trips would have ended in the demise of friendships during the 23rd game of Eye-Spy (“The service station was 46 miles ago, we can’t see it any more?!”).
While the rest of the world’s tech has advanced, your trusty old Vauxhall Corsa has stayed firmly in 2004 – and this little gadget has ensured you haven’t had to fork out on a new in-car system to access your Spotify collection. It’s saved the world millions. Probably.
A Wi-Fi range extender
A Wi-Fi connection is the modern equivalent of an oxygen supply – which means any home that resembles a shape other than a long bungalow/studio flat is probably playing havoc with your domestic Wi-Fi supply.
You need one of these range extender fellas, like that of Linksys. Sync it with your router, plug it into a socket where you’re suffering poor coverage, and this little marvel will extend your Wi-Fi coverage to fill in the dead spot.
An old iPod
Sure, most of your music lives on Spotify these days – but when you need to “crush it” in the gym or set a new park run record, you don’t want the added bulk of your smartphone slowing you down. That’s where your faithful old iPod comes into its own.
No, it doesn’t have any apps. Yes, the screen is basic at best. But it’s these low-tech charms that are the secret to its slender charms – and if it does take a wallop, it’s not the end of the world. Keep rocking, little guy.
Those free earphones
They don’t sound amazing, and they’ll probably break after a year of use – but those earphones that came free with your smartphones can be a life jacket of 21st century life.
Need to watch an hilarious YouTube clip your mate sent you at work but don’t want the rest of the office to hear it? Boom, free earphones sitting in your desk draw to the rescue. Bluetooth cans just gone flat and facing the next two hours of train journey listening to someone belly ache on their mobile? These little guys tucked into your bag have got you covered.
An electric toothbrush
There are days when you won’t so much as glance at your PS4. Entire months when that DSLR camera won’t see the light of day. But if you’ve been paying any attention to your dentist, you’ll be sticking this gadget in your mouth twice a day.
Sure, you could use a manual brush. Just like you could be using candles instead of electric bulbs.
A massive external hard drive
The Maxtor D3 is one of the best going. Stick your digital life on it and never fear about losing all precious downloads ever again.
A multi-socket extension cord
The civilised world wouldn’t be civilised if it weren’t for this majestic column of plastic. It litters the floors of thousands of offices. It’s down the back of millions of TV cabinets. You could probably plug them all end to end and form an extension cord rope right around the equator.
We’ve not tried. It’s a stupid idea. But you get the point.
A proper printer
We’re supposed to live in the paperless age – a world in which trees are not longer pulped for mankind to print out passive-aggressive kitchen notes on (“THE DISHWASHER DOESN’T EMPTY ITSELF”).
We’re not there yet though. Until that day arrives, the humble ink jet printer is going to be a faithful companion that uses increasingly less ink, and takes up increasingly less space – like this little HP DeskJet 3720.
A hard-as-nails torch
The smartphone light has come to the rescue of many late-night stumblings through poorly-lit corridors – but it can’t hold a candle to the genuine article.
You probably got an all-metal, rugged-as-heck Maglite when you were 12 because your nan thought it was what all boys wanted. And she was right.
A proper rugged Casio
The definitive digital watch. Sure, you could spend upwards of £500 on a timepiece, but its core function of actually telling the time is covered by this rugged little £17.50 marvel. Every man should own one at some point. It’s got a light, stopwatch, it’s water resistant, the battery lasts longer than the average mortgage. A classic that literally stands the test of time.
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