Sunday, 29 April 2012

Cutting Edge

An article in today’s newspaper bemoaned the paucity of new ideas from the IT world, which slightly surprised me because, as I understand it (not being a dabbler myself), there are hundreds of thousands of apps out there, claiming to do everything you’d never imagined you might need, plus some.  But on reflection, I had to agree.  New uses for saucepans, even new kinds of saucepans, but nary a new kind of pan.  The last significant invention was the smart phone, centuries ago in technology years.

Elsewhere in the same newspaper, I read about the Swiss Army Knife.  Here’s mine:

Pathetic, isn’t it?  To be fair, it’s at least forty years old.  It’s not my first one: that would have been in the late fifties.  I remember losing it at a funfair in King’s Park, then going back a couple of hours later and finding it in the grass; then losing it for good a week or two after that.  This one is mainly used, these days, for breaking into the infuriatingly impenetrable shrink-wrap that encases new CDs from HMV; but the corkscrew has been used, once, in a holiday flat in Gran Canaria when the management had failed, after repeated pleas over a whole forty-five minute period, to fill this horrific gap in the inventory.  That was when I found out how useless the Swiss Army corkscrew was.  The bottle got opened, but on our departure we noticed that the kitchen walls were being repainted.

The latest models are pretty good, though. 

You can get ones with 32Gb USB memory sticks, laser pointers to enable you to destabilise football matches, LED spotlights, MP3 players, prosthetic thumbs for iPhone tapping; surface-to-air missile launchers …  I may have made a couple of those up.  You probably get a useless corkscrew too.  And a Swiss Army squaddie to carry it around for you.

Anyway, there’s the breakthrough.  Merge the functions of an iPhone and a Swiss Army knife into one piece of kit, and you will have bridged the generation gap.  The virtual and the practical will co-exist, and we will have world peace.  Not to mention being able to extract boy scouts from horses’ hooves.


  1. Never mind the boy scouts, does it have a tool (or even an app) for getting Hunts out of Cockspur Street?

  2. No really, I'm quite excited about the prospect. Please invent it as soon as possible, the world will beat a path to your door. Or I will, at any rate.

  3. And a plunger; you need a plunger....even the original swiss army knives were mising them.

  4. I've never owned a Swiss Army Knife, but then I was never a boy scout either, having failed at Wolf Cub level. A hybrid Swish Appy Knife would be a surefire winner, though.

  5. Sorry Tim you're too late. I've sent you a picture of my Multi-Tools app on Twitter. It even has a Magnatometer.

  6. I think I'd settle for a corkscrew app on the iphone. (and a folding glass on my keyring)

  7. Richard - yes, it's called the Leveson Lever.
    Z - that reminds me to include satnav.
    Macy - the plunger will come with the limited edition Swiss Navy model.
    Martin - I resigned from the scouts. But kept the knife.
    Rog - I'm sure we can come to a deal re intellectual property rights. Have your people talk to my people.