The 2009 awards go to …

Let us start out with the formalities of wishing you well for the
coming year.
Knightwise, Nyana, LotCha, Scotty and Kira the cat wish
all of you the very very best for 2010. May this coming year herald the
fulfillment of many of your dreams and ambitions (not all of them, we
need something to aspire to) but still, a lot of them. We hope you had
a great new years celebration and it has been a pleasure in receiving
your new years wishes via mail, twitter and IM as the we watched the
globe turn into the new year.

So its time for one of these
rhetorical and prophetical posts where we ponder the year gone by and
peer into the murky depths of the future .. From a technology point of
view of course. Its time for the Annual "Knightwise.com" ‘tech of the
year’ awards. We look back at the way technology worked for us the last
year on a personal basis and hand out some awards.

Most used technological device.

The
best gadget you own is not the most expensive one, or the very latest
one .. its the one you use the most. So looking back at which of my
thingamagoo’s I used the most the last year I’ve made a selection of 3.

Bronze : Macbook Pro.
I acquired my Unibody Macbook Pro
early on this year and handed my older Macbook Pro over to Nyana. After
we re-decorated our kitchen , the 24 inch Imac in our house moved
downstairs and claimed its rightful place on the kitchen table. (That
was Nyana’s Idea). As a result, the only "Desktop Mac" we have in the
house,  that was otherwise my main machine and mostly used for
Multimedia stuff (podcasts , videocasts etc), now became Nyana’s main
machine. She wakes up in the morning , comes downstairs, turns on the
Imac and logs in for the rest of the day. This meant that I spent a lot
more time on my Macbook Pro then on the Imac. I must say I was hesitant
at first, not very confident in the thought that this "laptop" was
powerful enough to compete with the ‘desktop machine’ I was used to. However
, I was wrong. Over the last year I’ve done just about EVERYTHING on
this little machine. Granted : the four gigs of ram AND the 7200 rpm
hard drive give it that extra bit of power that lets my creative urges
run wil. Screencasting, Imovie, Podcast production , DJ-Software,
Photoshop.. its all done on that 15 inch slab of silver. The addition
of an external keyboard, mouse and 27 inch display to the Macbook, have
changed my concept of a ‘desktop’ computer forever. In my new office
there is a "docking spot" for the Macbook as I hook it up to the "main
screen" and enjoy the luxury of " stationary computing " on a device
that was actually designed for mobile use. The 27 inch display becomes
the Macbooks ‘main screen"  as the laptop display becomes a secondary
screen housing IM-lists, Tweetdeck and all things related to
communication (I use it as my ‘Skype terminal’). So far I’m very
pleased with it. Looking at the hours I clocked on this baby, the
Macbook Pro gets the bronze for most productive hardware this year.

Silver : The Ipod Touch.
For
the second year in a row, the Ipod touch saw a LOT of action. Listening
to music an podcasts makes up a large part of my day. The Ipod touch
seldom to never fails when it comes to battery-life and the little
device goes just about everywhere. For a 300 euro portable device its
pretty  rugged and boasts no signs of wear and tear, even it its second
year of heavy use. The one thing that does surprise me is the fact that
the advanced capabilities of the device ( Wifi, Videoplayback,
Applications etc) still have not really caught on in my daily use. I
mostly use the Touch for its primary function : As an audio player.
Sure I’ve installed some additional apps and have done the 3.0 firmware
upgrade, but don’t catch myself using the touch for Mail / Facebook or
Twitter when I’m within wifi coverage. This might be due to the fact
that I have my Blackberry for that. But still : If i take a look at how
much I use the "advanced options" of the Touch, I’m wondering if I
would use those functionalities more when they where on an iPhone. Who
knows. Still : Miles to the gallon : The Ipod Touch touch gets second
place.

Gold : The Blackberry.
If I where
to calculate the amount of hours spent on this device it would surely
be a LOT. My Blackberry Curve just goes ANYWHERE with me and keeps me
connected during those daily and boring traffic jams. I’m not one for
‘calling people over the phone’ so the "phone functionality" of the
Blackberry doesn’t see a lot of action, BUT the Data-connection on the
device is used all the time. My "digital sidearm/lifeline" to the world
wide web is how I can best describe the Blackberry. Keeping me
connected with Twitter (thanx to "Ubertwitter") is one of the main
functionalities. Its great to use Twitter on the Blackberry for general
Tweeting, but thanks to the Geo-location option of Ubertwitter its also
nice to post where you are, so you could find a Tweet-up in the
neighbourhood. So is using Twitter as a Digital "helpline" to post
questions when i’m "on the road". If Twitter can’t give us any answer
about our surroundings when Nyana and I are out and about, we can use
Google maps and its built in search functionality. With the
Blackberry,I can shoot pictures to Flickr straight away, and of course
browse my way out of any argument (thanx to wikipedia). And it of
course also does general Mail and Sms messaging, which has taken over
as my main line of communication. In the beginning of last year I set
my personal Cellphone to Voicemail, told everybody to mail me on my
Blackberry and have barely powered on my personal cell at all. The
Blackberry is the perfect combination of portability, a good simple
interface and connectivity to the net. For that . it gets gold this
year.

Best application of the year.
If I need to choose
what was the most interesting piece of software this year, it would be
a little bit of a tie. On one hand there is of course Linux. Over the
past year I’ve endeavoured to learn more about the workings of the
command line and have found it to be a fast and very productive way of
getting things done. Simple applications, commands , little home-made
scripts, they all added to the great experience in using Linux. On the
other hand there is Firefox. Easily the most used application of the
last year, as more and more of my computing activities become cloud
based. The google Apps suite and countless web-based applications like
Meebo, Zoho Notebook and others got me to spend a lot of time in the
Browser. I have been trying out Google Chrome and must say I am very
very impressed with its ease of use AND speed. I think we are going to
see Chrome make a big impact in my browsing activities in 2010 .. but
those are just predictions. But in any case : the application awards go
to the open source applications.


New technology of the year
The
best "new" technology this year is my Sony Ebook Reader. Having got
mine about 6 months ago I spend my time on the device 50/50 between
USING it and DEMONSTRATING it to other people. People are very curious
about it whenever you pull it out. Personally I think the Ebook is
going to be big in 2010 and that Apple is keeping an eye out to turn
the Itunes store into a digital bookstore once the "Apple Slate" is
going to be released. The switch from "paper" to digital book has
almost gone overnight for us,
 and its been quite a drastic
ride. Packing up all my Star Trek novels and archiving them up in the
attic, together with my cds was something that happened in once single
day. It was funny to notice how the shelves and cupboards that housed
our books, suddenly sported little ornaments and nothing else. But it
did point out the significance of this technology.

the end of IM
If we are to mourn the loss of one
technological aspect, then its gonna be MSN. What had once been the
communications hub of the Knightcastle , is now reduced to a list of
chatters that are 99% idle. 
MSN used to be the main link
between Nyana and her family (mum and grandma ) but has been replaced
by Facebook Chat.  However, the biggest change we’ve noticed is not the
fall of MSN as a client, but how "instant messaging" has made room for
a more indirect form of chatting. Popping up chat-bubbles have faded
away, in favour of IM services like Twitter and Facebook. More and more
"Chatting" has made room for "Posting" and conversations take a more
indirect swing. Not that we mind, I think its a natural reaction to
communication overload thats hitting us these days. But still , i’m
curious whats gonna happen with IM in 2010.
So
.. those have been my predicitions, reviews and prophecy’s.  As a new
years resulotion i’ll try to post more articles on the blog  so .. Off
we go !

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