Gadget guru

6 min read

T3’s switched-on tech loon puts his ‘sort stuff’ channel on again

Guiding human evolution went well until the batteries ran out


A This would once have been an excuse for Guru to espouse about Logitech’s masterful Harmony range of third-party clickers, but they’ve met their end – possibly because TV remotes are generally pretty solid these days, or perhaps because of the slow deprecation of infra-red.

Not that others haven’t stepped up to claim the crown that Harmony left vacant. SofaBaton, for example – GaGu loves the descriptive name – sells its X1 universal remote kit for about £230. It includes a beamer that sits in the middle of the room, allowing it to selectively control all manner of devices, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, which offers it control over more than the average remote. If you want something slightly more Harmonyesque, the SofaBaton U2 (£70) looks and acts suspiciously like the Harmony Elite once did. Not that Guru is making any accusations.

You might consider something like the Fire TV Cube, which could allow you to do away with your remote entirely

Industry veteran OneForAll is still loitering in the shadows too, putting out a whole bunch of replacement remotes, universal remotes, and some which can vastly simplify the number of controls – perfect for helping the elderly or, in GaGu’s case, the very drunk to operate even the most technologically extravagant telly.

You might also consider something like the Fire TV Cube (£140), which could allow you to do away with your remote entirely if you can somehow master the linguistic effort required to voice control everything through Alexa. Guru would not recommend this – he goes as far as ‘Alexa, TV on’ before getting a headache.


A Tech didn’t get expensive, reader. It got really, really, cheap. Ridiculously so. The fact that companies are now raising prices on new gear has to do with a number of factors including inflation, internal compensation for the cost of previous component shortages, and the fact that you are an easily exploited idiot with money to burn. It is your fault and you should feel ashamed.

As far as the cheapness goes, allow Guru to use his frequent friend the ZX Spectrum as an example. This was a computer made to be super-affordable, to bring the power of pixels to the tellies of British families that could not afford the luxury of the Acorn Electron or that disgusting US import, the Commodore 64. It was the cheapest thing out there, on purpose, going as far as to utilise the working halves of otherwise broken RAM chips to save a shilling or three. The inadequate 16K version cost the 1982 equivalent of £438 in today’s King’s Sterling – 48K, which you really needed, was a pricier £595.

This article is from...

Related Articles

Related Articles