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Turns out that she's always visualised them as small spikey things - much like the metal "jacks" that you can play games with.
Hadn't really thought about it before - but on being asked I realised - I visualise widgets as round and flat - a bit like an ice-hocky puck, but smaller. And of course they come in lots of colours.
How do you visualise widgets?
An unnamed or hypothetical manufactured article.
When I was growing up, back in the 60s/70s, there was an actual product called a widget. It was a little handheld razor blade/scraper that was bright yellow, had a custom razor blade (by Gillette) inserted (with extras and a place for used blades) with a frosted clear plastic cover to keep it safe. I used mine regularly.
Ever since I first heard the word in connection with X Windows' Athena Widgets, I've always pictured them as brightly coloured geometric shapes, often rectangular, that can be stuck on a screen.
I still have that "bright" "sticky" "pointy" "cornery" "coloury" feeling whenever the word comes up, so the usual "red widget" vs "blue widgets" discussions make perfect sense to me!
I have no data to back this up, but suspect American and European widget makers
have suffered greatly from Asian competition. -Larry
I hadn't envisioned anything as flimsy as a party horn.
The best widgets would be solidly constructed, often with a cast metal base and other metal parts.
Sure, the knobs could be plastic, nothing made of paper except the label on cheaper models.
The roundish base should have a flat bottom so it sits upright on a table.
The tube or projection sticks out at an angle, not straight up like a flagpole.
The electromechanical ones have lights and switches, maybe even a meter.
My biggest complaint about widgets are the rubber 'feet' on the bottom.
If you clean the widget with alcohol or Windex, the glue softens and the damned feet fall off.
Now you have a 'wobbly widget'. Its futile trying to glue the lost foot back on. -Larry