With the Black Friday shopping day behind us, there’s talk of new tech-related gadgets and such. While reflecting on the hardware/software/gadgets I started using this year, it occurred to me that at least three of them fell into the “Why did I wait so long to do this” category. So without further delay, here they are.
- Smart Phone – For a while I avoided smart phones because of the large glass display and their tendency to be relatively large and heavy. I needed a lightweight, small and durable phone that wouldn’t be damaged when I was in Indiana doing farm work. However, last year I accepted an executive position with a former client, and my “spare” time for playing weekend farmer went away. Still, it wasn’t until this year that I finally gave up my small and durable flip phone for an iPhone. Not long after getting it, I was traveling when a client emailed me an Excel workbook with a proposed project time line. Let me just say, it’s quite an experience (or at least it was for me) the first time you get an email, open an attached Excel workbook, review it’s contents, send an informed and final email reply, and be done with a whole task, using just the phone in your pocket!
- SSMS Tools Pack – Mladen Prajdić [Blog|Twitter] is the developer of this add-in for SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). If you follow Mladen on twitter, then you know he is constantly communicating with the SQL Server community about SSMS Tools Pack and features, fixes, improvements, etc. You might also be like I was, at least until this year, and have not yet downloaded and installed it. Big mistake. It’s free and installation is easy, so give it a try. When I did, I began playing with it for hours and wondering why I hadn’t started using it earlier.
- Non-browser Twitter Application – For most of the first year I was on twitter, I just used the web browser interface. Without knowing anything better, it seemed to be sufficient. Plus there’s a large number of choices for twitter applications and I didn’t want to spend time researching them, or installing yet another application when just using the browser was fine. However, once the script kiddies began having “OnMouseOver” fun on the twitter website, I decided it was time to try an application. TweetDeck seemed to be the most popular, and it didn’t disappoint. Okay, it’s one more application that asks to do updates from time to time, but so far it’s been worth dealing with that minor annoyance. Following multiple streams at once has enhanced my twitter experience (I follow 4 or more hashtags at a time, which is a great feature during events), and the columnar layout is a nice interface for the iPhone.
Did you have similar experiences with any technology products this year? If so then please feel free to discuss it below with comments, post it on your blog, etc.