I started writing about my top technology tools last year and have been fascinated at how my technology needs have changed (or not!) in the past year. Hence I am writing this post to see what are my top technology tools in 2011.
This year, I realized that my technology tools actually fall under three categories: Hardware, Software and external websites (yes, I use external websites as technology tools).
In fact, the setup below is exactly what I need to work from wherever I am (which is what I want to do all the time)
- Blackberry: This is by far the most useful device I have had in my life. A single device that I use for mails, phone calls, photos, blogs, IM, social media, server management, etc. What more could I ask for from a single device? It is now available for under 50USD a piece and is the most cost effective device I have used in my life.
- Netbook: This is surprisingly the machine of my choice. At 229USD, this has proven its worth many many times over. I know an iPad is a cool device, but I can never imagine typing at this rate on a iPad. I know large laptops have bigger screens, but guess what, my 10 inch netbook serves the purpose extremely well.
- Mobile Broadband Router: At 50USD, this router is by far the most cost effective router I have seen. It has the following features which makes it a unsung hero in its category: Wireless Router – It allows wireless access just like all other wireless routers; Wired Router – It has LAN port which allows it to be used as a wired router – like all other routers; and here are the two killer features: Mobile USB Port – which allows me to plug in a USB data card and use that data card as the input for my wireless router; Portable – it can be charged at home and carries about four to six hours of charge – enabling me to make any place a wireless location, with just a USB data card.
- USB Data Card: This allows me to access the internet from wherever I am and this is quite powerful as the speed has now crossed 7MBPS
- Comfort Needs: I use a 21 inch LCD monitor along with a wireless keyboard and mouse, which helps me do graphic intensive tasks when connected to my netbook from my office. The cost of the monitor, keyboard and mouse together costs less than 150USD.
With the top four key technology tools of my choice, with the software listed below available, I am able to do what I want wherever I am.
- Ubuntu: I just realized how simple Ubuntu had made life for people like me, who can get most of the open source tools in it.
- Firefox: I love this browser, especially its Private Browsing feature.
- Libre Office: This replaced Open Office after Sun purchased Open Office.
- PHPBB: This is still my preferred Document Management System of choice.
- WordPress: Hands down the best online Content Management System I am aware of.
- Facebook: This is a killer tool if anyone wants to make a good presence using social media.
- Twitter: This is a tool which is fast becoming garbage, but still is used by many prominent people in this world.
- YouTube: Their channels have wealth of information and they are yet untapped.
- LogMeIn: I use this to connect to any remote machine within my trusted set of computers.
- Join.me: This is a mini version of Logmein, allows people to connect without having to share passwords.
A few changes happened between last year and this year from my list of preferred tools. The most notable changes are:
- Tech Crunch: TechCrunch is not on my top lists anymore. After Mike Arrington left, I feel they still produce good amount of blogs, but not sure if the quality is still there.
- NetFlix: I used to watch movies on NetFlix all the time and then write about it. This year, I cancelled my service with NetFlix along with 800,000+ other customers who cancelled due to their change in policies, increase in rates, etc.
- Putty: I used Putty very actively last year, but ever since I started using a machine with Ubuntu OS installed in it, I stopped using Putty.
- GIMP: For many years I was struggling to find an equivalent for Photoshop, and finally am convinced that GIMP is good enough replacement for Photoshop. I get to do exactly what I want and when I know it is Open Source, nothing makes me happier!
- OpenX: This used to be my tool of choice earlier for advertisements serving, but I have not paid attention to it for almost a year now. Not sure if this might come back as a useful tool of my choice in the near future.
Based on my thought process, I am prediciting that the following tools might become a part of my necessity list in 2012:
- Galaxy Android Phone
Lets see how it goes 🙂 . Have you thoughts of your top technology tools of choice?