Top 5 Tech for 2010

In keeping with the tradition of the past few years, I’ve compiled the list of the top 5 technology related items that I’ve personally used this year.  These are items that I didn’t own or use prior to 2010.  So here goes:

#5 – 1Password – If you’re like most people, your life has made a gradual migration to online services.  With everything from banking, investments, bill payment, entertainment, and tons of social services becoming accessible via the internet, keeping track of account information and passwords has become a real challenge.  While I make my living in Information Technology, I realize that writing down passwords and account information is a bad practice but I had resorted to keeping a password protected spreadsheet to keep track of it all.  So after a little research, I landed on 1Password as the solution to this problem.  It does a nice job of tracking passwords, logins, account details, and even payment details.  The data is encrypted and secure and I have it configured to synch between my Macs.  There’s also an iPhone/iPad app that will allow you to have access to the data on the go.  I’ve used it for about 3 months and highly recommend it.

#4 – DropBox – Cloud computing is all the rage these days.  Cloud computing means lots of different things to different people, but suffice to say that at the core it means leveraging internet services for any one of a variety of things.  One of the things that I’ve begun to leverage the cloud or internet for is data storage.  Ubiquitous access to the internet means that I have the flexibility to have access to important files from anywhere, anytime, and from any device.  Dropbox is a service that provides up to 2GB of that capability for free.  At this point 2GB is enough for the really important stuff, but if you need more their plans for additional space are reasonably priced.  The killer use of this service for me is combining it with 1Password to provide the password synchronization across machines that I mentioned previously.

#3 – Apple TV
– Over the past couple of years, we’ve begun to use Netflix more and more.  Specifically, we use the streaming service extensively.  The kids had begun to use the iMac in the hearth room as a movie player.  While this worked fine, they would rearrange the furniture every time they wanted to watch a movie and the 42″ LCD TV would sit unused.  So, I moved my Blu-Ray player with Netflix upstairs and acquired an Apple TV as a replacement.  This thing rocks!  Finally, I have an affordable (& commercial) solution for streaming content not only from online services from Apple, Netflix, YouTube, Flickr etc, but I also finally have the ability to stream content from my central repository of photos, home videos, music, etc.  This box is $99 and looks like a hockey puck (okay, it’s a square hockey puck but you get the idea).  At $99, it’s in the impulse purchase range and a great addition to my home theater setup.

#2 – Apple iPad
– I originally didn’t have the itch to buy one of these.  But my wife saw the value in using it as a presentation tool for Real Estate.  While we haven’t used it much for that, it is a great way to take the net with you in places where you don’t typically have internet access.  Of course, that implies that you have the 3G version which we do.  It’s a web browser, it’s an ebook reader, it’s a game machine, it’s a video player.  And, I’ve yet to see anyone pick it up and not be able to quickly figure out how to use it.  This is the game changer that folks always thought tablets could be.  It just took someone like Apple to finally get it right.

#1 – Apple iPhone 4
– While the iPhone isn’t new to me, the iPhone 4 has really been a personal game changer.  As I mentioned last year when I acquired my iPhone 3G, I it use the iPhone for lots of stuff beyond a telephone.  But this year, the iPhone 4 has become a viable replacement for a point & shoot camera or video camera.  Not to mention, the performance improvements and multitasking have made it a much more capable personal computer.  In fact, I’m such a fan that we’re now a 4-iPhone family.

Well there you have it sports fans.  These are my own personal top technology items from 2010.  I’ll keep you posted on them as I get more seat time with each.  And, you can bet I haven’t acquired my last gadget.  I’ve got to get busy cause I’ll have to write this same article in just 12 short months.

Happy New Year to everyone and here’s wishing you a prosperous 2011.

Cheers,
Braddog

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One Response

  1. Thanks for sharing, I hope the iphone 4 is better than the 3GS that I have. The battery runs out in 3 hours and it doesn’t even work on the ski slopes!

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