#2 Apple iPad — to be honest, when it was announced, I didn’t really see the big deal. However, then I got an iPhone 4 (six months after ditching my Windows laptop for a MacBook Pro). I now have a better appreciation for them. As I am not generally an early adopter, and a bit of a pixeler, I’m waiting for generation 2 or 3, which should be about the time when my MacBook’s ready to be retired.
#3 Amazon Kindle — this is another device that I’ve had a hard time seeing the point of. I <3 Books. Furthermore, I am spoiled by the King County Library System‘s hold system and having a spouse who deals with my kids’ voracious reading habit by making weekly trips to the library. Essentially, I login to the web site, put books on hold, and they magically appear on my chair at home. We might consider picking one up for my daughter who has problems with the smallish fonts of books.
#4 Netflix – I’ve been a long time customer. Haven’t set foot in a Blockbuster since they dinged me for a late fee in 1998. Netflix’s streaming system works pretty well in conjunction with a Roku (though I now understand it’ll work with our Wii). With rare exceptions, the streaming content is >2 years old, but considering how infrequently I go to the cinema, that’s OK. (Update: I’ve also tried Hulu and PlayOn.)
#13 Apple iPhone 4 – After being on a pay-by-the-minute plan for a few years, I finally found a phone that didn’t suck. The internet browsing experience is good enough that I don’t always have to carry my MacBook with me. The camera takes photos that are actually pretty good. The GPS is good enough for car navigation, though some geocaching applications don’t seem to work well. (Update: what swayed me towards iPhone versus Android was that work would pick up the data plan cost, since I spend an inordinate amount of time keeping up with email.)
#14 Google Chrome – I’ve only recently started using Google Chrome because (a) they now permit browser plugins like AdBlock (because I’d go epileptic with all the flashy fly by crap otherwise) and (b) Firefox’s quality has gone downhill. I don’t know if that’s because the Adobe Flash plugin is a piece of crashy malodorous equine output, or if Mozilla’s genuinely lost its direction. Apple’s Safari is a pretty good browser, too, but until recently, has lacked the plugin capability. Both Chrome and Safari are very fast.
#19 Microsoft Office 2010 – I think Microsoft Office 2007 was jarring because it inflicted The Ribbon, and I spent more time trying to find stuff. After three years, I’ve gotten used to it. Mostly. The 2010 release itself feels far less bloated than its predecessors. Outlook’s search capability is up to what Google offered in 2001. (Hint: searching on “John Chawner” should not return the union of queries with “John” and “Chawner”)
#23. Canon Pixma MG8120 – when I was looking to replace my HP multifunction printer, I briefly tried another HP. It was so bad, I returned it the next day. (Thank you, Costco!) I almost picked the Pixma, but the Lexmark had cheaper ink.
#34 Google Voice – I’ve had a number for a while (hint: it spells “bacon”), initially as a fallback if I ditched my (then) T-mobile number for a (now) AT&T iPhone. More recently, I use it for screening calls and as a cheap way to text message. Transcription is pretty cool.
#41 Google Gmail – this is my second favorite Google offering, behind their maps. I’ve been using it since 2004 and, boy, does it surpass Outlook/Exchange (even the newest one): messages are threaded by default, search works, and it’s accessible from every machine I use.
#54 Rovio Angry Birds. Cute game and a fine time waster for that five minutes before the meeting when people are rolling in. It’s big enough that there is even a video spoof.
#64 Facebook. Facebook. Facebook. Having done Friendster, burnt out on Orkut, and skipped entirely MySpace, I had pretty low expectations for The Latest Social Media Thing. But once I got a handle on the privacy settings (hint: don’t share what you don’t want people to know), filtered out the mindless games, it’s a hyper RSS feed for keeping up with my friends.
#100 Ubuntu Linux – Since my product is multiplatform, I spend a fair bit of time keeping tabs on Linux directions from the context of what’s gaining market share and what’s easy to maintain. RedHat is still the big kahuna, SUSE seems to be on the downward spiral, but Ubuntu keeps gaining momentum.
Anyone else want to weigh in?