I hope my life has higher priorities than just wallowing in the pleasure of technologies. But I do love technology and it has made my life richer and more fun. The gang over at Unplggd inspired me with their bloggers lists of favorite tech. This isn’t a list of stuff new for 2010, but stuff old and new that I enjoyed most in 2010. So, without further ado, here is my Top Ten Tech of 2010:
1. Asus EeePC 1001HE netbook: I’ve lost track of how old this netbook is. Probably about two. But I’ve used it so much that the shift-key spring has grown tired and droops. Not only do I use it for road trips, it pretty much just stays in my gear bag to be conveniently pulled out whenever I need to do some fact-checking, web browsing, or checking email and my social network. I don’t understand how people watch TV without something like this on their laps. Would I rather have a MacBook Air? Yes, but for the same price one could buy three of these.
It isn’t just the tech that makes me love this work of art. She sounds sweet unplugged. But amp’er up and the result is breathtaking. The same technology was used by the Ovation guitar played by Glen Campbell back in the day. Frankly, there is no other guitar I would rather own.
3. HTC Droid Incredible Android smartphone. Of course it’s a phone and I make phone calls with it. That is why I gave up my otherwise sweet iPhone. I wanted to make calls with it. What surprises me is that I enjoy the Android OS as much as I did iOS. I use my phone for viewing TWIT.tv, listening to sermons, and, primarily, as my music player. Angry Birds and NFS are just bonuses. 90% of the surfing/playing I used to do on my netbook, I now do on my phone. I’d rather have the Nexus S, but I’m content to wait for the dual core 1.2 GHz Google phone that will be out by the time my contract is up. I worry about repeating my iPhone mistake of choosing a phone despite the carrier, but all other things being equal I would love to have a phone that was all Google and not boogered up by HTC or Verizon. Still, I give my Incredible a 9 out of 10 ranking. New for 2010.
4. Kindle 3
There is simply no better way to read. Before bed, Sunday morning, stolen quiet moments. A library of choices in a slimmer-than-a-book, non-glare, easy to read format. Coupled with Calibre, I can read almost anything on my Kindle. I would rather read on my Kindle than on paper, even if I wasn’t a tree hugger. New for 2010.
There are many better photographers in my family and there are many better cameras on the market. But, for me, this is the camera. Portable as in fits in a jeans pocket. Not a hassle to carry when we disembark the cruise ship or we’re hangin’ at the lake. Yet, it has geo-location, 10.2MP resolution, 10X optical zoom, and shoots 1080p video. New for 2010. The picture quality is excellent. If it had an external mic jack, light shoe, and remote trigger it would be the perfect camera. As it is, it is the perfect camera for travelers and bloggers.
It doesn’t tell me if the prevailing wind is off shore, but I know when the tide is coming in and when it is time to quit playing and head back to work. I’m not surfing before work like I did on the west coast, but I still have the watch that was part of the fun back when.
The old ding collector just hangs on the garage wall pretty much these days, but every time I pull my car in, I’m reminded of days of glory. You know memory can be selective. Forget eatin’ it, the stingray sting, and being too tired to paddle out for another wave. Just remember that glorious moment on top of the wave. This board was under my bare feet when it happened. Like all the best technology, my board is an indescribable, undefinable melding of technology, art, and soul.
No more muckin’ around with coffee grounds. No more throwing out half a pot of coffee. A newcomer to the best of list for 2010 is my Keurig brewer. A quick cup when I want it. Just throw in the Lipton’s tea bag, and “boom”, a cup of hot or glass of iced tea. Then the next person makes a cup of something else. Maybe not the greenest appliance, but it has reduced waste in our house.
9. Pentel Twist-Erase 0.9 Mechanical Pencil (black)
Yes, it is low tech but excellent. The rubber grip that just feels right. More eraser at the twist of the grip. The positive feedback of lead on paper. Of all the CAD software, digitizers, etc. I have used, this is still the engineer’s best friend.
Record two tracks independently on the keyboard. Pick any voice including rhythm instruments. Transfer them to your computer as MIDI files. Put’em together for mixing with other instruments or vocals in Audacity. Even for wannabe’s like me it is hard to have more fun than this.
11. 2008 smart cabriolet
This little car gets better fuel economy than any non-hybrid automatic in the country – three years after it came out! The interior is a work of art-decoesque art. Sensible and nothin’ but fun. It took a few years, but I finally found a car I like better than the old Triumph TR3.