How-To Geek

What You Said: The Technology You’re Most Thankful For

Earlier this week we asked you to share the technology you were most thankful for–big or small, old or new–and you responded. Read on to see the tech your fellow readers are thankful to have.

Many readers were thankful for the Internet as an entire technological advance. Lee writes:

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.

Jim is especially thankful for the Internet:

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

Several readers took it back to the basics of electronic life. Suhail writes:

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

Guy Dols echoes the sentiment:

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.

While the Internet/World Wide Web and the invention of the microchip ranked highly, many readers expressed thanks for the most basic of modern amenities. TheFu writes:

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.

Clear and easily distributed water is certainly something we take for granted in first world countries. If you’re interested in helping people in developing countries gain access to clean and safe water supplies, we would urge you to check out Charity Water (“A” ranked by to help bring wells and water purification systems to those in need.

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 11/23/12

Comments (8)

  1. ReadandShare

    We took the time to respond. Would be nice if you could list out the top 5 or 10 from all participants — so we all have an idea of our collective thoughtsw — versus just the 4 or 5 you deemed worth mentioning. Thanks.

  2. krokkenoster

    I would say that TRANSISTORS are the best as NOTHING in our computers can exist without them . Remember the “i.c’s” inside your computer consist out of billions or even trillions of them!! My Dad told me that when they were announced in the early fifties that electronic science TOOK A STEP BACKWARDS with this invention Imagine that!!

  3. zepe

    Answer: The semiconductor.

    I remember when I first heard about the transistor. Several of us were studying in my room and a guy came in and said, “Have you guys heard about that new invention called the transistor? It’s supposed to replace (vacuum) tubes.” When we asked about it he said, “I don’t know except that all these holes are supposed to be running around and electrons fall into them.”

  4. F11

    The NAND gate might be great but actually you can create a NAND gate with 2 transistors so really we should be most thankful for the transistor?

  5. Al

    I think refrigeration is one of the best inventions.
    It allows us to store food much longer and feed people better. Even to move food farther than we could have without it. Both in the industry and at home. I don’t think many people remember having to pickup or have delivered those large blocks of ice to put into the ‘icebox’ to keep food.

  6. EROS

    Television, achieved primarily with electronic developments from WW II. It provides entertainment throughtout the world, particularly to the young, the elderly and disabled who have no other means of entertainment other than books and music. It led to transistors, solid state circuits, computers, the Internet, and satellite communications.

  7. MaxB

    Television, it helped safeguard the world from over population. Remember before TV, having 12 or more children was quite normal.

  8. Riddle

    soooo , no one’s answer was HTG ??

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