Monday, January 01, 2007

Top 5+ List of 2006

Okay, I know it is already 2007, and I should be looking forward, but:

At the end of 2005 and 2004 I wrote a list of the Top 10 tech products and have been thinking hard about whether to do one for 2006 or to do something different. The problem is that I've previously limited this list to products I've actually used or own, and had to limit (or pad) my list to ten items.

So here is my slightly different top 5+ list for 2006 (I still may repeat tech gadgets from previous years if they - or their updated versions - still are worthy of mention):

iPod Nano second generation - the 2nd generation improves on the original with a less scratch-prone anodized aluminum finish, brighter screen and double the capacity.

Creative Zen Vision:M - this MP3 Player with video capability outclasses the iPod Video with a 262,144 color screen and support for multiple video formats.

Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable) - there are even more games available now and some of the more recent ones have incredible graphics. Sony also continues to release firmware updates which add more and more features. Also, worldwide sales of the Sony PSP are more than Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Ubuntu Linux - Maybe I'm biased towards a product from a fellow (ex-)South African, but this free Linux distribution from Mark Shuttleworth's company is competing right up there with commercial Linux distributions. Although my main Operating System is Windows XP, I like to have a Linux distribution installed and handy. Right now Ubuntu Linux 6.06 LTS is it.

Mozilla Firefox browser - still my browser of choice. I'm slowly upgrading to version 2.0 (one machine at a time), while Mozilla still releases updates to version 1.5.x. Even with tabbed browsing, Internet Explorer 7 doesn't come close.

Honorable Mentions

Nintendo Wii - the gaming console Sony hoped the Sony Playstation 3 would be. The Wii makes gaming accessible to non-gamers, and is attractive as a second gaming console to gamers.

Giveaway of the Day website - I don't know how long this will still be around for, but it is a great idea. Mainly shareware software, the programs are available for download and free registration for one day. I've found some useful programs there. The catch - the software can only be registered in the 24 hour period, cannot be upgraded and doesn't have technical support.

VMWare Player and Server Even though Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 is now free, VMware still outclasses it with more powerful features

Dishonourable Mention
Motorola RAZR V3 cellphone - popular but flawed - the screen is impossible to read in daylight. If that and a slippery keypad is acceptable this isn't a bad phone.

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