Nick Offin

Top 5 Tech: Dynabook’s Nick Offin on the tech that has shaped his life

Nick Offin, head of sales, marketing and operations at dynabook Northern Europe, takes us on a journey through the tech that’s shaped his life.


I tell my children “you have never had it so good” with today’s entertainment viewing choices. Hundreds of channels, streaming, video on demand, Sky, Netflix, Amazon Prime. Let me take you back to when I was a young child growing up in a household with a black and white TV with just three channels. Imagine my bewilderment the day a colour TV turned up, it changed everything. Pot Black Snooker in colour, for example, I recall the commentator famously saying “for those of you watching in Black and White the pink is behind the black”.


My father, ahead of his time, purchased a Betamax video system because his Which? magazine told him it was the best technology. In these early days of timer recording, you could build up libraries of tapes, recording the whole of Live Aid on a number of cassettes. Our local corner shop branched out into film video rental long before Blockbuster ever appeared, it’s where I bought the first Indiana Jones film. The only trouble was the inferior VHS system won out as the electronics and film studios backed it, quickly making Betamax redundant.


The Breville Sandwich Maker revolutionised my life as a student. When considering what to spend my student grant on in the most economical fashion, which included necessities such as rent, beer and the most cost-effective food regime – apart from the weekly splurge down the local take away. Long before microwaves, I armed myself with a sandwich maker and a copy of the great “Breville Toasted Sandwich Book”, filled with the best savoury and sweet delights you can get between two slices of bread. Quick and functional, it allows maximum time at the Students Union.


One of the great inventions of the 20th century was portable music – it was a game-changer. All your favourite 80s music on cassette tapes played in a battery-powered device with foam ear headphones. On long journeys and flights to holiday destinations your hand luggage would be brimming with music tapes and spare batteries, it was the must-have gadget. The Walkman is one of those products that named itself after its inventor, like Hoover, and became synonymous with portable music systems.


Just to prove I’m no technology laggard who yearns for the old days, my latest investment and must-have is the Peloton spinning bike. No more expensive gym memberships, when every year you commit at Christmas to losing weight and getting fitter, only to cancel the membership six months later when you realise the cost and number of visits you are making are less than economical. The only problem I have is queuing up behind the rest of the family to use it.

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