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Posts Tagged ‘Gadgets’

PostHeaderIcon New Year, New Tech?

We are not saying that just because it’s a new year you need new technology.

This is a good time of year to assess your tech, though. Now is the time to think about what works in your office and what doesn’t and take some time to think about the future. Do you have a tool that doesn’t work quite the way you want it to, anything from your CRM solution to your mobile phone?

Make a list of all the technology you use in your daily life, both professional and personal. Is it a long, scary list? Resolve to make it shorter. Is the list short and the number of things you still use outdated solutions for long? Resolve to make your list longer in 2009–if that’s your goal. Decide what works and what needs work and carve out some time to research possible options.

Unsurprisingly, we’re not the only ones who think this is the time to think about your 2009 technology needs. Check out some of the New Year’s tech resolutions articles we found around the web–it’s good food for thought.

ArsTechnica’s 2009 Tech Resolutions

One of my personal faves mentions, among other things, cleaning up techno-clutter. Check out these 5 resolutions at

Infoworld’s top tech resolutions for 2009 are interesting, to say the least, but more geared toward large, enterprise operations, although, as open source advocates we especially like #2.

We’re trying to be greener, so Ted Sansom’s Green Tech Resolutions for 2009 is especially appealing.

A little lower tech, but more real-life oriented is this list from the Chicago Tribune’s Eric 2.0 column.

Tell us YOUR 2009 tech resolutions.

PostHeaderIcon Happy Birthday to the Mouse!

The link below is to an article about Logitech’s one-billionth mouse, but the part I found most interesting was the tidbits on the history of the computer mouse. Did you know the computer mouse is FORTY years old today?

Check it out!

PostHeaderIcon Cool Things You Should Know About

Time magazine has released their 50 Best Inventions of the Year list for 2008. Want the video version instead? Find it here.

Among my personal favorites are

#3 – the LRO. What can I say, I’m the child of an astronomy buff who has followed the space program practically forever…

#5 – the LHC. The astronomy buff mentioned above also taught HS physics for 20years, so I’m a natural fan of this one.

#10 – Roadrunner. Not the cable service. I think I liked this one because (a) fast is good and (b)”petaflop” is a fun word. Say it, you’ll see what I mean.

#11 – Algae Oil. A potential carbon neutral alternative fuel source that doesn’t impact the world food supply. What’s not to love?

#15 – Singing Supervillain. A blow for life w/o the big studios as well as a darn entertaining lil flick.

#18 – the MSL. Just in time. The Mars Phoenix lander/lab will be going offline any day now due to the Martian winter. This tough little buggy, launching in Feb. 2009, will pick up where Phoenix left off, but more durably.

#25 – Thin Film Solar. Cheap(er) solar, what’s not to love?

#33 – Portable Power. Take a walk and charge your ipod/crackberry/cell phone without an extension cord. Sweet.

#37 – Clean Building. Concrete that cleans the air!

#42 Disemvoweling. It’s not actually that cool, I just love the made-up word used to describe the process.

#47 – Offshore Internet. We liked this one so much we already blogged about it last month.

Go, check out the list, then come back & tell us ~your~ favorites.

PS – those are Dy’s faves above, not OA at large 🙂

PostHeaderIcon Smart Phone Mania!

Time for some ~real~ fun stuff!

Check out CNN’s list of 10 nifty apps for your phone here.

Even more interesting are reports of a shortage of developers for phone applications. So, if you know how to write software for smartphones, even this economy could be good for you. Especially you open source folks 🙂

PostHeaderIcon Awesome Clients!

Today was one of those weird days. I had phone calls set up and payrolls to try to rush out of the door and just all kinds of funkiness going on. And then my son comes in while I’m on the phone and stands there with his finger over his lips to tell me he knows I’m on the phone and to be quiet. He stood there and waited for me to get off the phone and then ultra politely asked me to help him put new batteries in his toy. He was just SO cute that I had to load up and go buy some batteries for the kid. I try to reward good behavior like that – especially phone manners. I work at home and the kids are here a good bit of the time when school is out.

Anyway, so I come back and find this on my porch. It was from a client and read, “Candy, For the days we drive you to drinking. 😉 Thank you for all that you do!”

How nice is that! See, I LOVE frozen drinks, especially margaritas. Oh, I’m not some alcoholic or anything, but I love even just frozen lemonade.

Some days, I love what I do so much. This is one of those days.

And to my son who showed what a polite little child he is, we will use it the first time tonight to make frozen lemonades. (Pina Coladas later for Dad and I!)


PostHeaderIcon Options for Going Green in Your Business

AccoutingWeb recently had a great article about simple ways to go green by safely recycling electronics and reducing the waste paper in the office by eliminating unwanted junk mail. Check it out here.

OffAssist has been moving toward a paperless office since January of this year, and we encourage others to go green for everyone’s future.

PostHeaderIcon Hands On!

I am a notebook user. In fact, outside of my backup systems, I use a notebook computer exclusively. I haven’t owned a desktop computer since sometime around 2000, 2001. (speaking for myself, Dy, not OffAssist as a whole on this one).

Keep that in mind when I tell you that even when traveling, I have almost NEVER used my notebook in the position required for IBM’s new patent to have any relevance in my life.

See what I mean here.

PostHeaderIcon Mobile Mozilla by Year’s End

Last October we reported that Mozilla was working on a mobile version of the Firefox browser.

Mozilla has recently announced that they expect to release mobile Firefox versions for embedded Linux and Windows Mobile by the end of the year. We think that’s great.

Now if only we can get Candy to stop pouting in the corner because they won’t have a version for Morris (i.e. Palm OS) this year…

PostHeaderIcon Google Rising

Seems we’re all about the G-word right now.

Word on the street is the Google is diving into the mobile browser market–with an Open Source platform.

I’m not geekalicious to competently pass all the scoop on, so check out this article on Financial Times’ website for all the skinny.

PostHeaderIcon Makers! Following a dream…

Sunday I had the great pleasure of attending Maker Faire here in Austin. What the heck is Maker Faire, you ask? It’s this festival of sorts where do-it-yourself types come out and show us what they got… and they got some cool stuff! Okay, and some really weird stuff too. My son got to make a transistor thingy (yes, the technical term) on a business card. We got to see the coolest new toy, Pleo, in person. We had a chance to paint a pumpkin, see robots – a lot of robots, play video games by jumping on a trampoline, finger paint on a touch screen, and yes folks, I got to see the EepyBird dudes do their Mentos and Diet Coke fountain show – and may I saw it’s awesome.

Okay, some of it was serious inventor type stuff, some of it was just downright silly. I mean, really, a robot thespian that sings “The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music”? Cool, but useful? I hated that movie the first time I saw it! But that robot was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. It’s a robot! That acts! Probably better than some actors out there 😉 Plus if I’m gonna get a robot, I want it to do my filing or laundry or fetch me a cup of coffee (with sugar and cream, darn it!)

But, you know, the first guy we saw when we came in probably made the biggest impact on me as far as work-related thoughts that swirl in my head… his name was John Funk and he is making a movie, folks. His movie is called Mary Lou Turbine and the Quest For the Dark Planet. Say that 10 times fast, I dare ya.

I’m not even 100% sure what the movie is about – and I even watched the trailer. But he has basically made or made use of old toys and stuff – I take it this is some sort of “no humans in this movie” thing – yeah, there’s a name for this, but whatever. Anyway… what struck me was this. This guy has been working on these elaborate scenes (seriously, I wish I had a picture of his city scape – amazing workmanship) for *YEARS*. How many people do you know that find a dream, a dream that probably makes his friends go, “Huh? You build toys in your garage for your movie? HUH?” and keeps following that dream after all this time?

Yeah. That many, I thought so. So, Mr. Funk, my hats off to you. Everyone should have a dream in their lives and in their businesses and follow it. I think your movie is sci-fi – not something I watch on a regular basis, but you know what? I’ll buy it when it comes out because darn it, I think you were a pretty cool dude and you made me smile.

One more thought… if two guys can make a name and business for themselves simply by dropping candy into a bottle of soda and letting themselves get soaked by all of that… anything really is possible. Go for it. Follow your dreams. I’ll show up next year to cheer you all on.