Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tech Things I'm Thankful For

As 2010 wound down, a snowstorm blanketing the Northeast gave me a few extra quiet days to reflect and plan for 2011 (it also gave me an extra day on the slopes but that's a post for a different blog).  Some of that reflection brought me to thinking about what "tech things" I was most thankful for in 2010. Here's my list. Add your own thoughts below.

My Droid 2 - I made the switch from 5+ years of various Blackberries to a brand spankin' new Droid 2. Emails, calendar and contacts are still great and thanks to ActiveSync, they're seamlessly sync'ed to my mail server, Entourage and Outlook. I'm a heavy user of DropBox ( and Evernote (, which have always been great on my Mac and are now great on my Droid too. Google Maps and Navigation have saved me from getting lost and also from getting stuck in traffic. The interface is so intuitive by 2 year old figured out how to scroll through photo and paint pictures in the Dora Coloring Book app without any help from me. Voice Commands work pretty well and have no doubt made me a safer driver. And, oh yeah, I've got Flash on there too (Steve Jobs, you're going to have to give on that one day soon).

Smart Tech Support People - specifically, my engineers at CMIT. I used to be the smart tech guy. I'm still somewhat smart and somewhat of a tech guy. But I'm the last person you'd want standing up your new Windows Server 2008 box. Technology is so integrated into our lives now. It's more complicated than ever yet we need it to be as simple and painless as possible. Smart Tech People are the ones who make that happen.

Facebook - I know this isn't a new 2010 thing. But what did happen in 2010 is my family and friends discovered Facebook. I don't care what cereal you had for breakfast. I'm not crazy about some of those 20+ year old pictures of me that have surfaced. But I do like knowing what my family, friends and their kids, all of whom have scattered around the globe, are up to. I like knowing that my 17 year old cousin in California got his drivers license. I like seeing pictures of my college friend's newborn baby. And I like that I can find all of this out on my own time (usually at 10 pm, on my couch, while trying to not watch annoying reality TV shows).

Evernote - You won't know how useful Evernote is until you start using it. Every note, every bit of information, every detail of every active project, every fact that needs to get filed away in case you need it one day. PDFs, Word docs, Excel, pictures, mp3, free form text, you name it. Handwriting recognition, easy searchable, available to me on my laptop, Droid, any web browser, sharable if I want it to be and most importantly, easy to get the information in to and out of.

Kindle - I'm reading again. And I'm reading for pleasure. I read 12 books in 2010. That may not seem like much but it's more than I read in the last few years combined. I read trashy sci-fi, business books and my friend Jeff' Berg'ss novel Miller's Tales (shameless it here). I haven't compared it to a Sony Reader or Nook and what I love about it is probably just a relevant on those devices as well.

What tech things are you thankful for? Let me know.

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