Last night, at the age of 92, writer, producer and commentator Andy Rooney passed away after complications from minor surgery. While his career spanned more than 60 years, Rooney is best known for his essays and commentaries at the end of CBS' 60 Minutes every week in the US.
Between 1978 and October 2, 2011 when he retired from the show, Rooney delivered 1097 essays on a wide range of topics — from politics, to pop culture, to current events. His 'ordinary guy' approach made him feel the spokesperson and voice of reason for the entire country. Well, the spokesperson and voice of reason for a country stuck in the 1950s, maybe. Rooney was particularly adept at being a techno-curmudgeon. But that's a good thing!
Sure, you can make fun of Andy Rooney for being terrified of his kitchen drawer and for blaming his own inability to use a computer on Bill Gates, but you need this kind of guy around. Seriously! Now that he's gone, who will speak out against the rampant spread of technology? When the machines start marching down our streets and dragging us out of our homes, who will cock a furry eyebrow at the last human-powered TV broadcast and croak, I told you computers were a bad idea! Nobody! We'll miss you Andy.
So enjoy this collection of Rooney's commentaries on gadgets, hardware and his frustrations with technology; they're some of our favourites.
Andy Rooney on Bill Gates and Computers Let me see that 50-year-old typewriter of yours serve up a game of minesweeper.
Andy Rooney on eBooks and eReaders This one is just adorable.
Andy Rooney on Car Gadgets Clearly Rooney has never seen a backseat full of kids instantly quieted when The Little Mermaid pops up on a car's infotainment system. He probably shut his kids up the old-fashioned way: by talking to them.
Andy Rooney's Kitchen Gadgets Andy Rooney's not the first person to declare a holy war against uni-tasking kitchen gadgets, but if you've purchased a device specifically designed for draining tuna cans, I don't think you have much right to complain.
And Rooney and the Five Worst Inventions We Can Live Without I agree, venetian blinds are a tool forged by the devil himself.
Andy Rooney on the Simpler Inventions that Improve our Lives Come on, not even a little love for the mobile phone?
Andy Rooney's Desk Tools Andy wishes the big black phone sitting on his desk had the ability to sound differently when someone he didn't want to talk to called. This is why you needed a mobile phone, dude.
Photo: AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler