The one great thing about the end of the year, is that people suddenly get this irresistible urge to make up lists. Somehow the end of December awakes the human genome that categorizes items that have appeared or occurred in the last 365 days. Bizarre as this may be, the end products of this linear affliction does result in quite a few interesting lists. But .. Since we are not Timelords and lack the ability to travel BACK 365 days and alter our behavior to pay more attention to items listed at the top of some lists and steer away from items at the bottom .. These lists are mostly useless. Still. When you are a little bit lazy and have not touched ANY of the items on the lists, you can use them to your advantage by letting the list makers pay for their own mistakes and by reaping the fruits of their labor in the form of your upcoming shopping behavior. The lists i’m talking about are of course the "geek lists" with best software, hardware, etc etc. I’m not really a fan of drawing up lists filled with items that I have not seen, bought or only vaguely heard about so .. I’ll just give you my list with the best stuff I came across this year. ( I list only the best and maybe the worst cause the stuff in between is only vaguely important).
Best hardware purchase of 2007
For me the best hardware purchase consists of a device that has the most money-per-hour rating. This rating is achieved by dividing the price of a certain event by the number of ‘hours of use’. So the shit that was the cheapest and that I played with the most. For me that must be my Imac. I bought it for a ridiculous price using A: some clever tax trick and B by ordering a refurbished model. It brought the price to 750 euro’s for a 17 inch intel Imac with 1 gig of ram. True .. two weeks later the NEW models came out with the even BIGGER screen. But still I love this machine when it comes to usability and the number of hours I spend behind it.
Best sofware purchase of 2007
Again . What did it cost me and what did I get for it : I’ll divide the winners up into three categories : Mac, Windows, Linux.
Best Mac Software : I would say : I-life 08 because of all the interesting upgrades they did to both Garageband and Imovie. But at its pretty high price point it was kinda hard do bring down the money-per-hour rating. Although it was used a lot the winner of this years competition is "Podcastmaker" by lemonzdream.com for giving me a very cheap peace of software that immensely improved the speed to upload and tag the Knightwise.com episodes.
Best Windows Software : I have not bought one peace of Windows software over the last year I’m afraid to say so the "money" counter is on 0. If I however look at "number of hours in use " The winner goes to a portable apps collection I picked up from the net that has applications like firefox, thunderbird, open-office etc in them. Been using them for hours on end and they really help me out when I’m at a foreign pc. But if that does not realy count the price goes to VMWARE Server for letting me build a small army of virtual computers and not cluttering up my office.
Best Linux Software : Without a glitter of a doubt : Gutsy Gibbon for offering WPA2 support, Wobbly windows and a great linux experience. At the pricepoint of 0 euro’s it wins hands down.
Best website / service of 2007.
Tough call because there are a lot of services out there. But the one (for me) that has seen the most screen time on my computers is without a shadow of a doubt the whole Gmail experience. With that I mean : Gmail for my mail ( This year they made it perfect by adding IMAP to it) Google Calendar for collaborating (and syncing with both my Treo and my Pocket PC Phone) Google docs for online storage of configurations and info I need on the road and of course Google reader for letting me access and sort through my feeds. Love that !
So there you have it : My awards for 2007. Before we wrap up the Golden uptime award for most hours in service at the Knightcastle goes to : My G4 mac mini that acts as a fileserver, Itunes server, podcast aggregator and PVR. With an uptime of almost 24 hours a day it wins hands down. Followed by my own Ipod (minimal use 3 to 4 hours a day , maximum use almost 8 to 9 hours a day) Nyana’s ibook ( 8 hours a day minimal) and my own Macbook.