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My Gadget: Chris Norton ‚ 300kph is not fast enough

Chris Norton is regional director at VMware, one of the world leaders in cloud computing and virtualisation services. He also happens to own thousands of gadgets, and shares his philosophy about them…

Chris Norton, AKA Naughty Norton, says he was a lazy student with a penchant for sports like swimming, water polo and rugby. He started his career at IBM as a call centre operator, but quickly moved up the IT ladder. He has survived a brain tumour and a near fatal motorcycle accident. Married to Caroline, they have two daughters, Kamryn (10) and Ashley (7), both of whom have inherited his love of all things gadget.

Chris is intrigued by gadgets and owns thousands of them. The worst gadget he ever bought, he says, was a 16MB Sony Walkman MP3 player: it was the beginning of 2002, he paid R5000 for it and it could hold all of 25 songs.

He cites his best gadget yet as the TomTom Go 1000, ‚an awesome piece of kit, especially the LIVE functional traffic updates‚ . His attitude to biking encapsulates his gadget philosophy. Asked why anyone would ride a bike at 300kph, his response is: ‚Because they don’t make one that will do 350kph.‚

We asked him about his gadget life:

1. What is the earliest gadget you can remember owning?

A Commodore 64 gaming console.

2. What phone do you use and why?

Blackberry Bold ‚ I believe that it is a business tool and the most effective communication device, given the diversity of countries that I travel through.

3. What is your favourite gadget (aside from the above)?

My generator, my AR Drone and under-counter bar fridge. Even if there are no power failures, I really enjoy the prospect of being able to be completely self-sufficient for days, week or months if I need to be. And I like the concept of flight: the Drone makes it very easy and fun at the same time. The Bar fridge is always full and I am always happy to see it ‚ and use it, of course. With the generator, I will always get to see the rugby and drink cold wine or beer.

4. What is your favourite online tool or useful site and why?

The AccuWeather site ‚ when you have very little downtime, it makes it easy to plan activities in advance. It means I am able to make the most of the time that I have.

5. What is your favourite mobile tool or app and why?

Skype ‚ I believe in communication options that make the burden of travelling more bearable for both me and my family, as I can stay in contact and talk as long as I need to.

6. What gadget do you wish would just go away?

My Garmin. It’s just a backseat driver and never really seems to recognise the places I want to go. I need it for the speed trap info and warnings.

7. What is the best piece of gadget buying or using advice you can give to consumers?

Ask yourself if you want it or need it. If you need it, then it is not classified as a gadget. And remember, if you came home one day and your wife has sold that box of gadgets in the corner of the garage for what you said you paid for them ‚ you will more than likely lose quite a bit of money.

8. Which gadget are you looking forward to being launched in SA?

Buggati Veyeron ‚ technology and poetry in motion ‚ would love to test drive one, could never afford one. Not yet anyway.

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