Gadgets shmadgets. All hail the fish hook!

In this day and age, it's easy to get caught up in the flood of flashy, new products that seems almost never-ending. And for the gadget lover, it's almost impossible to imagine life without the cell phone, PSP or Treo. But sometimes it's nice to take a step back and look at the technologies that really matter. In that vein, has compiled a report celebrating the "20 most important tools of all time."

The list includes the knife, rifle, eyeglasses, candle and other technological breakthroughs that changed civilization forever but often go overlooked. As an addendum, Forbes also wrote up an ode to the "other greatest tool ever": the almighty duct tape.

It's a nice look at how critical to our lives some seemingly commonplace tools really are. Getting this larger perspective is always nice, but that doesn't mean we'd want to live without our iPods.

Tech Culture
About the author

Jennifer Guevin is managing editor at CNET, overseeing the ever-helpful How To section, special packages, and front-page programming. As a writer, she gravitates toward science, quirky geek culture stories, robots, and food. In real life, she mostly just gravitates toward food.


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