Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, was born 100 years ago Wednesday in London.
While that historical footnote passed with hardly any mention in Silicon Valley, Fleming's spy novels deserve a place on the shelf in the section titled "history of technology." Fleming, who rose to the rank of commander in the British Admiralty during the World War II, introduced Bond in 1953 with the publication of Casino Royale. The subsequent Bond books and films brought to public notice everything from luminous watches to car phones and pagers--long before they became commonplace commodities in contemporary society.
We also can thank Fleming for the popular phrase, a "James Bond gadget." For a look back, take a look at the list compiled on Wikipedia.
So let's raise a glass--shaken, not stirred, of course--to Q and the rest of the team. Happy birthday, Mr. Fleming. the man whose imagination contributed mightily to popular thinking about all those cool high-tech toys.