How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: What Technology Are You Most Thankful For?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving for U.S. readers and we’re interested in what technology our readers, celebrating the holiday or otherwise, are most thankful for. Hop into the comments and share.

Smartphones? Ebook readers? All that miniaturization that makes your medical equipment tick? Whatever technology you’re most thankful for this year, we’d love to hear all about it. Sound off in the comments with a note on what technology–be it gizmo, gadget, or bit of code–you’re thankful for and what makes it dear to your heart.

Check back in on Friday for the What You Said roundup to see what you’re fellow readers are thankful for.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/21/12

Comments (68)

  1. Someday

    Without any hesitation I can say that my iPhone is the best gadget I’ve ever owned.

  2. LadyFitzgerald

    Technology that actually works!

  3. Lee

    I’d probably have to say the Internet in general, because that has essentially inspired most most of the features in modern technology. Plus, I wouldn’t know nearly as much about tech now if I didn’t have access to the Internet.

  4. dima

    World Wide Web

  5. Asgaro

    The Interwebz.

  6. Nathan

    The internet of course, but there’s something else : anything that can produce digital sound : earbuds, speakers, headphones…
    Without them, seriously, what would be music ? And communication ?

  7. srsly tho

    Probably the gun. I doubt you’d be celebrating the day had you not used it to wipe out the indigenous people.

  8. Troll Detected^

    Really dude? REALLY?!

  9. indianacarnie

    The net….. and the transistor. And my beautiful beautiful Asus G74Sx :)

  10. Bear

    The Internet of course. Never has so much information been available to virtually everyone on the planet at the speed of electricity.

  11. iandrewmartin

    Hands Down – Toilet Paper
    Sorry about the pun, but it is true.

  12. Jim

    The Internet. The information I’ve found and people I’ve met, (including my wife), have been life changing

  13. TheFu

    Water purification, by far.
    A distant 2nd is a hot water heater attached to the shower head.

    All other tech falls very far below those two in my book. If you don’t believe me, turn off your water heater for a week and stop assuming water from the tap is clean enough to drink.

  14. David

    Ahhh hifi audio (hi end), then the internet. But that subject to change and can be swapped around at any time. It so cool to listen to KSHE95 and live well over 1000 miles away. Best of both worlds.

  15. Frank

    yep – plumbing – water on tap, don’t need to carry a heavy bucket 10 miles, and sewerage you dispose of by pressing a button …

    followed by electricity on tap, 24 hours a day – without which, as we saw with NYC Hurricane Sandy and continuing – all your fancy iPhones and data centres don’t work for very long at all … !

  16. Frank

    oh yeah – agreeing with TheFu – I forgot to include the clean safe almost-free drinking water on tap we take for granted in Australia, while much of the world’s population has to deal with the risk of cholera and terrible diseases

  17. Jeff Sadowski

    PHP, Mysql, and javascript

  18. warlock

    Have never posted here but I think the thermos bottle.

  19. They call me crazy

    The wheel. Even the humble HDD has one.

  20. ReadandShare

    Modern plumbing, most definitely.

  21. sue

    Clean drinking water, can’t live without it. All the other stuff is nice, but we can live without it.

  22. Suhail

    Integrated Electronics! This is what drives & will drive each & everything in our world.. :-)

  23. I_dont_live_here

    i am thankful for the GPS without it i wouldn’t have know my wife my cheating on me with 3 different people 5 blocks away from my house. Thank you GPS because of you i threw her out to the dump!

  24. David Piper

    Medical tech keeps me alive. I have had a cardiac pacemaker since February 2001 keeping my heart beating. Amazing tech in a very small device.

  25. Jeff

    Solar Power

  26. TechGeek01

    I’d have to say that I can’t live without any of my gadgets or stuff like plumbing. I couldn’t live without any of that stuff.

    Though, in a whole separate category, Dropbox is epically awesome, and I use it on a daily basis.

  27. Ameet Kumar Tandi

    World Wide web

  28. shaun

    I would hands down have to say CLEAN WATER and ELECTRICITY!!!

    Then I would have to say the Internet, Thank God for DSL!

  29. RRRoman

    electro-mechanical generators

  30. ElSelcho

    As many have already stated, water purification is #1 by far. Everything else is just nice to have.

  31. Guy Dols

    The NAND gate, without the NAND gate there would be no logical processing so no computers, no internet, no phones only lights bulbs and Morse communication.

  32. NSDCars5

    AMD processors. God knows how I’d’ve got a quad-core laptop at the price otherwise. :P

  33. Pope Pinhead


    Not that anyone knows how to use it or anything. I’m still thankful for it. Because without birth control our planet might be more over run by even more hungry humans than ever. Not a whole lot unlike cockroaches on garbage or cancer!

    That’s “technology”, right?

  34. Earl

    clean water and waste disposal; toilet paper

  35. Mtech

    Cable Ties
    Label Maker

  36. Len

    Gotta B Electricity Little if anything in an urban area works without it. Go on name ONE Thing

  37. Bob

    The bicycle

  38. dave

    Preperation H, amazing how it shrinks those nasty roids

  39. Surge

    The internet. Without it, we would be still writing letters everyday instead of texting, and wishing the letter would get to the other side of the world in less than 24 hours. I mean, the internet is the center of the whole chain of technology. A lot of things would not exist in the world yet without it!
    But to come to think of it, maybe microchips. As in those tiny chips that once were much bigger. Without that, not even the internet would have existed.
    But most of all, without the web (aka internet) How-to Geek wouldn’t exist right now!
    Oh and one last thing, displays! I mean any would do (lcd, LED, plasma, big-boxed-old-monitors) although the big-boxed-old one irritates your eyes. But seriously, whatever it is, without digital displays, life would suck! Plus you would never be able visually see whats going on in your nice powerful box sitting on your desk, right? Its like being blind!

  40. John

    Ecmo machine . A medical miracle used at Colubia Presbyterian Hospital to save my 27 year old nephew who had pneumonia and was in critical condition.

  41. StevenTorrey

    The handy-dandy laptop with all the bells $ whistles: camera, speakers, microphone, internet connectivity, windows 7, and Micro-soft office word. It presents a quality of life issue. With Skype I can video-chat with far distant family, friends; with Google Voice make inexpensive calls to far distant people. Microsoft Office allows me to type in Hebrew, Greek, and Russian. How Great is that!? The internet makes available a wide range of information in just seconds. I paid to have my Master’s Thesis typed many years ago–by an incompetent typist; now I could type a doctoral dissertation complete with Hebrew and Greek text. If you look at dissertations from back in the day–the author had to hand write the Greek or Hebrew. Spell check makes white-out a thing of the past. I remember the day when I would type the paper–with carbon–only to make numerous mistakes, requiring white-out or correct-tape–or requiring the whole page be retyped. Gad, the computer word processor is a God send to any writer.

  42. A

    The Electro-magnetic force. It makes all this possible.

  43. Ken Myattt

    A properly functioning flush toilet.

  44. tony

    air conditioner [a/c] to me thats the best invention of the 20th century

  45. Interwebz Fan

    1). Toilet Paper
    2). Google, along with the internet
    3). Laptops
    4). My Win7 smartphone

  46. MMSDave

    Am absolutely with
    on that one! Toilet Paper! Think about it…

  47. ontopofit

    The Internet without my doubt…

  48. ontopofit

    The PC too!

  49. buddyboy9


  50. Torin

    The Internet.

  51. ltymes

    Indoor flush toilets, especially in the winter.

  52. RA

    Definitely electricity and running water.

  53. ak6989

    I believe that without the advent of the electric power nothing else that we enjoy today could be made available to so many for very little cost.

  54. bedlamb

    Submersible ships. (the kind that come back up)

  55. manoj kumar

    i would say internet, microchips, nano tech, capability of genetic modification.
    but all this still not able to improve quality of life people live on this earth, long way to go…!!!

  56. Pete

    Heated car seats :-)

  57. rmath97

    Circuits and computing (correct me if i am wrong). The were the first thing which started the whole idea of computers and devices. Almost every thing is made due to the initial invention.

  58. JohnSmith

    Bottled water

  59. Rick

    FREEDOM!!! and How-To Geek which has helped me tremendously!!!

  60. Cody

    Simple, fire, or even more generic, combustion. Without we would have no electricity to run the water purification plants, no vehicles, no heat much less hot water, and many more things. Combustion is used in everything you do even if it is indirectly like the generation of the electricity you use to charge your phone or the heat used for heating your water or house in the winter.

  61. Patrick Rogers

    Without someone having introducing the concept of a zero into ancient numbering systems, absolutely nothing (or zero, if you will) mentioned in the foregoing comments would have been possible. We would never have been able to develop pure mathematics, and its associate sciences. In fact, the very word “Technology”, would never have entered into the etymology of any language. Ironic that we should attribute to this non-existent entity – a symbol – which resembles “The Wheel”, as well as the very building blocks of all matter, from sub-atomic particles to the very Cosmos itself. In the absence of detailed research, I believe credit should go to the ancient intelligentsia in the Middle East and India.

  62. Ben Franklin

    Electricity my friends, without it there would be no PCs, iPads, iPhones, Internet and the like!

  63. TheProudNoob


  64. gunner

    i am tempted to cite the m1919a4 browning and m1911a1 colt .45, but that might make some folks unhappy

  65. Slomem

    The collective technology that taught teachers how to teach. Without teachers technology would not exist. As well as any other thing that helped modern life survive. Teachers !

  66. jeorgekabbi

    TCP/IP it is the mother of all internet technologies.

  67. dwn

    I’m going to go with the roads

  68. Gilberto

    Spreadsheet software. Project design is so much easer with it

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