Getting to know: Deputy Tech Editor Trevor Tan

Deputy Tech Editor Trevor Tan using the Casio Exilim EX-FR100 mounted on Casio EAM-4 selfie stick to take this picture of him and his paraglider near Mount Fuji at around 1,000m above sea level.
Deputy Tech Editor Trevor Tan using the Casio Exilim EX-FR100 mounted on Casio EAM-4 selfie stick to take this picture of him and his paraglider near Mount Fuji at around 1,000m above sea level. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

This short Q&A series with ST's beat reporters lets readers meet the person behind the byline. These are the experts who will be answering readers' questions in our new askST section.  

1. If you were to be whisked away to a desolate island, which tech product would you bring with you? 

It has to be one tech product? Possible to bring at least two? This is so I can bring the Third Wave Power mPowerPad 2 Ultra, which is a solar-powered battery pack that doubles as insect repellent and gives out SOS signals (HELP!). The other tech product is definitely my Apple iPhone 6s Plus, and a Lightning cable to charge it. Even if there are no cellular signals, at least I can play games on my iPhone.

2. Back in school, were you already into tech? If so, were you considered one of those uncool geeky guys into tech? Did you ever think that you would become The Straits Times' deputy tech editor? 

I got into technology at a young age because my elder brother studied information technology. I powered on his computer whenever he wasn't around and learnt how to type commands on DOS to navigate around the operating system. As a result, I discovered computer games. The rest is history, as they say... 

I don't know if I am an uncool geeky guy. But my classmates always sought my help whenever they got into problems with their computers, Mac or PC, or the school's computer lab printer (is there still such a thing now?). 

I was a photojournalist, who happened to write about tech as well, at another local daily before joining the then-Digital Life desk in The Straits Times. So, it has been quite an interesting journey. And I am still wondering how I became The Straits Times' deputy tech editor too...

3. Tech = geeky & nerdy OR smart & sexy? 

All of the above. 

4. If a woman came up to you and spoke fluent tech language, would you be a) turned on or b) turned off? 

Turned on. Without doubt. Chop stamp. Confirmed.

5. If you could give a free tech item to every Singaporean, what would it be and why? 

Walkie talkie. So, they can finally talk to one another without being too far from one another.  

6. Which is the most underrated tech product that you have come across and why? 

Keyboard. It is the "most touched" tech product that everyone uses most of the time in the day. Yet, I can never understand why people can endure lousy keys with poor tactile response or poor ergonomics. Invest in a good keyboard and it will be life-changing.

7. What is the most non-technologically advanced product that you own? 

I feel every single product, even a USB cable, has plenty of technology in it. But if I have to choose, it will be my car. It still runs on petrol, I think. 

8. Which tech item would you say best represents you and why? 

Apple iPhone. Simple, minimalist and useful.