Today's kids may have their iPads, and their iPods and their iPhones and their iWhatevers.
I once had something that beat them all.
It had no battery, no charger and no access to the Internet.
It came with no warranty, and not simply because people didn't value warranties a whole lot when I was 10, the year it arrived on my birthday. It came with no warranty because, well, if it conked out, it conked out. End of story.
It was red and silver and shiny, and it looked decidedly high tech to my 10year-old eyes. I had other friends who'd had one. But I never imagined I'd have one of my own.
"Oh," I swooned, when I opened it up. "An Etch A Sketch."
My sisters, not yet owners of the then-iPod of the day, looked over my shoulders, trembling.
"Can we try it?" they asked.
"Not yet," I said. "Me first. It's my birthday."
I wasn't exactly sure how it worked, and I'm still not sure. Let's just say there was some kind of magic at play. You drew something - a farm, say, complete with silo, fenced pasture and corn stalks - and then erased it whenever you wished, simply by giving the thing a shake.
This was, well, both mind boggling and mind blowing, and incredibly fascinating to a young gal like me, who cared little for the other stereotypically blockbuster female toys of the day: the Chatty Cathy and the EasyBake Oven.
OK, so it had its limitations. Straight lines were easy. Curvy ones, not so much. You weren't given the opportunity to draw in a rainbow array of colours. And if someone happened to jostle your device when you were in mid-sketch, there was every chance that a key component of your creation - the silo, say - might completely disappear.
Still, those negatives mattered little to me. I took my Etch A Sketch everywhere.
In the car. On the bus. To the grandmother's house for dinner.
I created, not only farm scenes, but houses and schools and mountains and lakes. They weren't exactly beautiful - the Etch A Sketch had its limitations, after all - but they were decidedly new age, especially for a gal of my time.
Today, of course, the sons - and their counterparts - have mastered YouTube downloads and PowerPoint software and Microsoft Excel.
What those all mean is a mystery to me, and I simply do not care. Once, I had an Etch A Sketch. And I've known nothing as high tech since.