From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A gadget is a small tool such as a machine that has a particular function, but is often thought of as a novelty. Gadgets are sometimes referred to as gizmos. Gizmos in particular are a bit different than gadgets. Gadgets in particular are small tools powered by electronic principles (a circuit board).
The origins of the word "gadget" trace back to the 19th century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, there is anecdotal (not necessarily true) evidence for the use of "gadget" as a placeholder name for a technical item whose precise name one can't remember since the 1850s; with Robert Brown's 1886 book Spunyarn and Spindrift, A sailor boy’s log of a voyage out and home in a China tea-clipper containing the earliest known usage in print. The etymology of the word is disputed.
A widely circulated story holds that the word gadget was "invented" when Gaget, Gauthier & Cie, the company behind the repoussé construction of the Statue of Liberty (1886), made a small-scale version of the monument and named it after their firm; however this contradicts the evidence that the word was already used before in nautical circles, and the fact that it did not become popular, at least in the USA, until after World War I. Other sources cite a derivation from the French gâchette which has been applied to various pieces of a firing mechanism, or the French gagée, a small tool or accessory.
The October 1918 issue of Notes and Queries contains a multi-article entry on the word "gadget" (12 S. iv. 187). H. Tapley-Soper of The City Library, Exeter, writes:
The usage of the term in military parlance extended beyond the navy. In the book "Above the Battle" by Vivian Drake, published in 1918 by D. Appleton & Co., of New York and London, being the memoirs of a pilot in the British Royal Flying Corps, there is the following passage: "Our ennui was occasionally relieved by new gadgets—"gadget" is the Flying Corps slang for invention! Some gadgets were good, some comic and some extraordinary."
By the second half of the twentieth century, the term "gadget" had taken on the connotations of compactness and mobility. In the 1965 essay "The Great Gizmo" (a term used interchangeably with "gadget" throughout the essay), the architectural and design critic Reyner Banham defines the item as:
The first atomic bomb was nicknamed the gadget by the scientists of the Manhattan Project, tested at the Trinity site.
The earliest documented use of the term gadget in context of software engineering was in 1985 by the developers of AmigaOS, the operating system of the Amiga computers (intuition.library and also later gadtools.library). It denotes what other technological traditions call GUI widget—a control element in graphical user interface. This naming convention remains in continuing use (as of 2008) since then.
The X11 windows system 'Intrinsics' also defines gadgets and their relationship to widgets (buttons, labels etc.). The gadget was a windowless widget which was supposed to improve the performance of the application by reducing the memory load on the X server. A gadget would use the Window id of its parent widget and had no children of its own
It is not known whether other software companies are explicitly drawing on that inspiration when featuring the word in names of their technologies or simply referring to the generic meaning. The word widget is older in this context. In the movie "Back to School" from 1986 by Alan Metter, there is a scene where an economics professor Dr. Barbay, wants to start for educational purposes a fictional company that produces "widgets: It's a fictional product."
- Further information: Workbench (AmigaOS)
- Domestic technology
- Gadget Magazines
- Gizmo (disambiguation)
- Inspector Gadget (disambiguation)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Look up gadget in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
A gadget is a small technological object such as a device or an appliance that has a particular function, but is often thought of as a novelty.
Gadget may also refer to:
- Choro Q video games (also Gadget Racers), a series of video games based on Takara's Choro-Q toy cars
- Gadget Boy & Heather, an animated television series from DiC Entertainment
- Gadget: Invention, Travel, & Adventure, also known as Gadget: Past as Future, a 1993 videogame
- The Gadget Show: World Tour, a British television series focusing on technology
- Gadget Trial, a Japanese PC game for Windows operating systems
- Inspector Gadget (1983 TV series), an animated television series
- Pif gadget, a French comic magazine for children
- GADGET, a robot character in the Doctor Who episode The Waters of Mars
- Gadget, a fictional robot from the Suikoden series of video games
- Gadget Hackwrench, a young female mouse from the TV series Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers
- Gadgets, a series of machine-type monsters in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game
- Fad Gadget (born 1956), British avant-garde electronic musician and vocalist
- Little Nobody (also Funk Gadget), Australian musician and writer
- Next Time Gadget (born 1980), American electronic musician
- Reverend Gadget, steel fabrication artist, craftsman, prop builder, and television personality
- The gadget, the code name given to the first bomb tested as part of the Trinity nuclear test
- GADGET, a free software for cosmological N-body/SPH simulations
- Gadget (computer science), a subset of a problem instance
- Google Gadgets, dynamic web content that can be embedded on a web page
- Microsoft Gadgets, lightweight single-purpose applications