Monday, January 18, 2010

Top Ten Technology Tidbits 2009

Just finished an interesting PC Magazine article on the top 10 most influential technological advances over the last decade. It got me to thinking: what would be on my list over the last year? Here it goes:

1. The Kindle -- without a doubt, my favorite Christmas present. Being able to read multiple books at the same time while traveling, reading the New York Times on Sunday without getting out of bed, and buying-on-the-go make this a great addition to my electronic gadget chest.

2. Twitter -- I know, I know: cheesy. But even though as technology goes I might be a late comer, this has truly been revolutionary. I no longer read the CNN and FOX sites for news. And, what a fun way to keep up at conventions and meetings. I owe a big thanks to Steve Levine at TMA for turning me on to tweeting.

3. The iGo Charger -- Ever since the 10 days spent in Austria last summer, traveling with a single charger for everything from iPhone to computer to iPod (and now to Kindle), the iGo has been my companion. Kind of expensive as far as chargers go, but the convenience of using one plug for everything (and it converts European voltage as well) is awesome.

4. Photoshop Lightroom2 -- I have always been a Photoshop fan, but as the generations of this great product have evolved, they've left me in the dust -- along with many who don't possess a degree from the Art Institute. Anyway, most of the improvements on images are common, and that's where Lightroom2 excels. Simple interface, database storage, and convenient output make this my top photographic tool on my laptop.

5. Mozilla Firefox -- I don't like to change things. In fact, I still use the same shaving cream I've used for 30 years. So why would I change internet browsers? The stability and usability of Mozilla Firefox blows IE away. Very cool.

6. Camtasia Studio6 -- If you do any presentations or seminars, being able to convert that presentation into a reusable product is very practical. In the past that meant recording PowerPoint presentations using the record function within PowerPoint. Camtasia Studio6 will make your presentations look like Oliver Stone was involved in the production.

7. Yoostar -- Technically one of the kid's Christmas presents, I've been able to play along with them. You can see one of our productions on this blog.

8. The webcam -- Although this has been around for a number of years, I never used this device until recently. Cathryn taught me how to use it, and I've been fascinated ever since. She is capable of making it rain, growing horns, and creating bubbles during her Skype phone calls -- I'm limited to slow frame rate videos at present but I'm learning.

9. The iPhone -- I was a confirmed crackberry addict having used up three of these phones in the last three years. But the iPhone, being part pocket computer and media player, has changed the way I use my phone. The apps are user friendly and mind consuming. Within a few finger swipes I can read my Twitter downloads, make a reservation on OpenTable, and check the aviation weather at the Mesquite Airport on AirWX -- not to mention update my FaceBook status. No wonder 5% of the AT&T cell phone users who have iPhones use 50% of the bandwidth. I'm guilty. Meetings just seem to pass faster.

10. Sodastream -- Ok, ok. Maybe its not really technology. But this little gadget is way cool. It allows you to make soda at home in virtually any flavor. The kids have become regular soda jerks. Dad is addicted as well and it has way less sugar and aspartame. Plus, I have an endless supply of Diet Coke.

That's my list. What's yours?


  1. Great list, Danny. I like lists because they make the information so easy to digest.

    Here are my to three communication applications for 2009:

    1. Ubertwitter. Simply fabulous and easy-to-use mobile app for Twitter. Can read/post/follow/unfollow/retweet anytime, anywhere. (Maybe my wife doesn't like it so much.) Can handle multiple twitter accounts. I also like HootSuite for Twitter on the desktop.

    2. UStream. Can't believe that we streamed more than a dozen live House Call events and the US Senate candidates' debate without paying a penny for the service itself. We're going to stream Governor Perry's presentation to the TMA 2010 Winter Conference later this month. It's not always that easy to use, but it's free.

    3. CoverItLive: I used this to live blog President Obama's presentation to the AMA and a bunch of AMA House of Delegates debates. Integrates twitter and allows audience members to comment as they see fit. Neat tool, plus the events are now captured for good on Blogged Arteries.

  2. Thanks Steve! I will definitely give UStream a try and I can't agree more on CoverItLive. I haven't used it except for one event during a psoriasis conference at Baylor, but it was easy to set up and use. Thanks for contributing.