Sunday, November 28, 2010

PC World's 100 Best Products of 2010

PC World's December issue includes their list of the 100 best products of 2010.  Reading it made me aware of how far behind the tech curve I am.  Most blatantly, I do not have a smart phone.  My phone is so old it doesn't even have a camera.  So without a smart phone, many of the top 100 products aren't relevant to me.  I also don't own any Apple products, unless you count the old iPod Touch my 16 year old son gave me when he upgraded to an iTouch 4.  The most usage I've gotten out of the iTouch is playing Words [with Friends] Free,  a Scrabble-like game.  So there's a whole other category of tech I can't use.  Finally, we don't have an HDTV, DVR, home theatre, or even Netflix.  And I prefer the dead tree version of books relative to their e-book counterparts so e-book readers don't pertain either.

FWIW, here are my intersections with PC World's list.

#2 is the Apple iPad.  My wife has one of these and it appears to be a cool device.  She uses it primarily as an e-book reader and plays the occasional game (more on that later).  Several folks at the office use iPads kinda like a big PDA.  Because I take a lot of handwritten notes, I don't know if the iPad or any other PDA will work for me.  I do like my Dell Mini 10V netbook even though I have to wait for it to boot and it doesn't have a touch screen but I only use it for personal stuff, not business.

#10 is Microsoft Security Essentials.  After years of fiddling with Norton, McAfee, AVG, Spybot, AdAware, Super Anti Spyware, MalwareBytes, Bazooka, HijackThis, and several others I have found that Security Essentials does a good job in a very non-obtrusive way.  Right now, I'm using it on all my Windows machines.

#14 is Google Chrome.  I had been using Chrome as my main browser on my netbook for a year and had no problems with it.  However, when RockMelt (based on Chrome) was released, I switched because after all, Facebook, Twitter and browsing were the main uses for my netbook so why not get them all in one package.  (For the record, I use Firefox as my primary browser on my work laptop.)

#19 is Microsoft Office 2010 about which PC World cites its online features.  If that's all there is, I'll stick with 2007.  I just about live in Office all day and all I want to do is read mail, write docs, make a spreadsheet, and prepare a presentation.  I don't need any online stuff.  Just make the basics work better.

#37 is Norton AntiVirus 2011.  Back when I used Norton AV (see above) it was almost as intrusive as a virus itself and a resource hog on top of that.  In fact, when I tried to replace it with McAfee I found that McAfee wouldn't run if I fully uninstalled Norton.

#41 is Google Gmail.  It's a great, free email service.  Everyone can benefit from a Gmail account or two.  Students should create one with a professional user name (e.g. first.last) for job hunting.  Gmail lets me keep my personal email out of my business email inbox.  For the record, Google Talk is great too.

#54 is Rovio Angry Birds.  I only mention this because since my wife downloaded Angry Birds two days ago for her iPad it seems the only words out of her mouth are "I must kill more pigs."  Then she gives me and the boys creepy looks.

#64 is Facebook.  Privacy gaffes aside, Facebook is a fine tool for connecting and sharing with friends and family online.

#100 is Ubuntu Linux.  My son uses Ubuntu on his netbook and another computer in his apartment and seems quite happy with it.

Like I said, a pretty sparse subset of the top 100.  How about you?  Do you agree or disagree with any of PC World's choices?


Jim said...

I didn't know what a lot of those choices were until I looked (a few) up. I weighed in here

John said...

Jim, it's interesting how similar our lists are. The main difference is you seem to watch more movies than we do and you have more Apple stuff. Who knows, I made need a new phone soon (but I said that last year).

Francis Shivone said...

I haven't seen that list but will be going right to it.

I don't have a smart phone either which puts us behind the front line of development. It's sad when we get the hand me downs from the kids but it's true here as well.

I like the Google apps online including the email. As much as anything it's a storage device for files I want other people to be able to see.

Agree on Word and Excel.

Oh, and I bought a Kindle instead of an iPad because I wanted to wait for the iPad2 which will have easier printing capabilities and, I hope, a camera attached. Love the Kindle for reading.

John said...


Knowing what my netbook did to my online time, an iPhone would be like a permanent tether to the 'net. (Not like that would be a bad thing.)

I still can't let go of dead-tree books. When my wife wanted an e-reader and we considered the relative benefits we figured the iPad would be worth the extra money. At the rate Kindle prices are dropping, soon you'll get one free with your first book purchase.