Top 10 thingies I got in 2008

Yesterday, I “ve been listening to the Tech 5 podcast of John C. Dvorak, where he said, “This is the time of the year when all Top 10 are arriving in all these magazines because it “s an easy way to do something and you “re kind of tired of writing and there “s nothing to write about. I think I might write one for the PC Magazine…Most of these things are crap. They are just throwaways. Don “t read them hellip; rdquo;

After these words I decided that this is exactly what I should do. I need to write my Top 10 list.

I “ve been around for a while and have seen a lot of interesting gadgets, products, technologies and fashionable things to do. That “s why I use the word cool really rarely. So here “s my list of things that surprised me and made me use this highly abused word.

10. Shazam. Last week, I was sitting at a noisy restaurant. Somewhere on the background, this annoying elevator music was mixed into this noise. I decided to see if Shazam , a cool application that I installed on my iPhone, will be able to find out for me who ‘s singing. I was amazed – it was listening for a minute, and was able to recognize the song. This is freaking cool! It can recognize 6 million songs. Of course, after recognizing the song, it ‘ll conveniently offer you a link to buy this song at the Apple store, but IMO that is state of the art application.

9. Wall Street Journal. I “ve subscribed to this interesting newspaper and just love it. I may be a bit unusual reader though hellip; Every morning I pick up the fresh paper on my driveway and start with throwing away its section “Money and Investing rdquo;. I “m not interested in Stock market. But the quality of other articles is great and I really enjoy my morning coffee with WSJ.

8. Heatable toilet seat. A couple of months ago I was vacationing in Japan. Each hotel we stayed in had this warm toilet seat with electronic control washing and drying you from behind and from the front. When I came back home, I bought one for my house. The saleswoman in the bath appliances store said, “I got one – it “s heaven! rdquo; She was right.

7. Podcasting. I started recording my own audio podcasts at least once a week. IMO podcasting is better than se hellip; oops blogging. It so much easier to talk than to write, and it “s so much easier to listen than to read hellip;. So far, I “m recording my podcasts in Russian , but next year may start dubbing them in English too. Now an MP3 player, iPod or iPhone combined with a pair of earphones allows you to carry your own world with you regardless of where you are. You always listen to people you like while driving in the car, commuting to work by subway, in the plane, pretty much all the time. You can shield yourself from this annoying world.

Warning. Wearing the earbuds or earphones during sex is dangerous, even more so if your partner wears them too.

6. Bounced check. I “m a partner in a small consulting company. Beside regular consulting work we run training for large corporate clients. Last September we “ve deposited a check from a really large firm, and their check was bounced. The cool thing is that this check was for a small amount. Is there crisis or something? Maybe I shouldn “t throw away that section from WSJ hellip;

5. MacBook Pro.I finally bough MacBook Pro. This is a cool device. You can read about spending my honeymoon with MacBook over here.

4. Vacation in Japan. We love traveling and always knew that Europe was the best destination. This year we found out that Japan is also a great place for vacationing. I “ve blogged about that trip right here . We are planning to go there again soon.

3. iPhone. This is probably the best device I “ve ever bought. This is not just a phone ndash; this is a small great looking and powerful computer. Just love it. Go get it.

2. This is my Mountain. My older son was writing songs for years. They “ve been practicing in basements and once in a while had gigs in small clubs. But finally, they ‘ve released their first real album called “This is my Mountain rdquo; . I like this music, and especially the fact that it turned into a product. You can download a bunch of his songs for free at myspace or even get a CD.

1.Enterprise Software without the BS. This is a title of the e-book I published this year. I was always interested in various aspects of life of a corporate software developer, and this book reflects on how I see it today. The book is available for free download at this Web page .

Happy New Year!

Yakov Fain

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