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?