Photo of iPad Cross Pen with Microsoft Surface
I HATE IT when I have to use technology that only works with specific things. It's like having a knife that can be used only to slice bread.
So I was so very happy to get a Cross pen (white because it's being hyped as an iPad pen) whose soft rubber top works as a stylus not only with the iPad but with my Microsoft Surface, iTouch, Lumia 1520 and iPhone 5C. This is a big win.
I started thinking about other things that are examples of universal technology, reached into my Bihn bag and found five items worth sharing.
1. My Huawei MiFi devices connect to all my smart touchscreens and laptops. However, the MiFis can be used as removeable storage only with my Surface, my Dell laptop and my Lumia 1520. Apple has castrated its smartphones by preventing them from reading USB on the go.
2. My Apple earpods work on all of my players so I can listen to Mix Radio on my Windows devices while using white earpods. Thankfully, Apple has not ported audio out through some sort of non-standard media port.
3. My iStabiliser holds both my iTouch and my Lumia 1020. It also keeps a makeshift mobile easel in place when I'm recording video clips. A small Edirol mini tripod completes the assembly.
4. My Book Book vintage cover holds my iTouch and a miniature USB key that slips into the side of my Microsoft Surface.
5. My Kanex KBY20 portable power pack recharges via two USB ports and I carry cables for all the smart screens in my work life.
I'm trying to avoid purchasing anything that is useful only for one operating system or is designed for a limited run of technology. I've two banker's boxes full of outdated electronic gear, much of it too difficult to break down and recycle. I don't like buying things that future generations will unearth as rusting toxic waste.