Europa Report screenwriter and author Philip Gelatt on the Atari Lynx and function over fashion

Billy Steele
B. Steele|09.06.13

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Europa Report screenwriter and author Philip Gelatt on the Atari Lynx and function over fashion

Every week, a new and interesting human being tackles our decidedly geeky take on the Proustian Q&A. This is the Engadget Questionnaire.

In this week's installment of our regular session of inquiry, author and Europa Report screenwriter Philip Gelatt dishes on convenient fact-checking and rewind dreams for broken iPhone screens. Head on past the break for the full response rundown.

Europa Report screenwriter and author Philip Gelatt on the Atari Lynx and function over fashionWhat gadget do you depend on most?
I feel like everyone must say their phone, but it's totally my Galaxy S III. I use that thing for everything.

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Which do you look back upon most fondly?
Totally random -- the Atari Lynx. Because it had awesome games and it felt like you were holding a real meaty chunk of technology in your hands. Also Xenophobe.

Which company does the most to push the industry?
Not sure I'm qualified on this one to say, but if I had to venture a guess, I'd say Google.

What is your operating system of choice?
OS X. I used to be a PC person, years and years ago, but when I switched, I never went back. But I do miss PC gaming dearly.

What are your favorite gadget names?
I don't have any -- I feel like they're dangerously close to becoming like drug names.

What are your least favorite?
Droid. Because every time I hear it or say it I can feel the unblinking eye of Lucasfilm / Disney upon me.

Which app do you depend on most?
Not sure it counts as an app, but I use this writing program called Scrivener a lot -- to do outlines and organize thoughts. Also Scapple, which is so simple as to seem silly, but is actually super useful.

What traits do you most deplore in a smartphone?
I guess I get mad that I still have to use it as a phone at all. I'd rather just use it as an internet device. But that's less to do with the smartphone and more to do with my own social anxieties.

"I don't care much how a thing looks as long as it works well."

Which do you most admire?
The simplest traits are the ones I most admire: that it fits in my pocket, that it can do so much.

What is your idea of the perfect device?
Psh. The pursuit of perfection is a fool's quest!

What is your earliest gadget memory?
Honestly, it's complaining about how some Bond movies didn't have enough of them. And then, my first Game Boy - I had one those before I was allowed to have a Nintendo - and that little thing just felt like it could do anything.

What technological advancement do you most admire?
We got into space! And that was totally awesome.

Which do you most despise?
Does the ability to comment anonymously on the internet count as an advancement? I feel like that's one of the worst aspects of the modern age.

What fault are you most tolerant of in a gadget?
I don't care much how a thing looks as long as it works well.

Which are you most intolerant of?
If it breaks before I feel like I got the proper amount of usage out of it. That drives me nuts, because we all know I never keep receipts.

When has your smartphone been of the most help?
I use it to constantly fact-check during conversations. I think it drives everyone else around me completely insane, but I consider that incredibly helpful.

What device do you covet most?
I've never had an iPhone. I don't necessarily covet it, but I do think that maybe someday I'd like to have one of those.

If you could change one thing about your phone what would it be?
That I dropped it and cracked the screen. Sigh.

What does being connected mean to you?
Communication, basically. Most of my friends and co-workers live in other cities, other states. Being connected means that they get to stay co-workers and friends.

When are you least likely to reply to an email?
When I don't have anything useful to say or add, then I try to stay quiet.

When did you last disconnect?
Other than when I'm asleep? I don't know. I keep telling myself I'll take a week or two off of the internet but I've never done it.

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