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Thread: Top 10 Technologies I Can't Live Without - 2007

  1. #1

    Default Top 10 Technologies I Can't Live Without - 2007

    1. iGoogle
    2. Google Reader
    3. OS X Leopard
    4. iPhone
    5. MacBook
    6. Google Maps
    7. Google Analytics
    8. Google Docs
    9. Google Webmasters
    10. iMac

    Agree? Disagree? Post your top tech for 2007 here!



  2. #2
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    1. XBMC
    2. Netgear NAS Box
    3. View Ranger (GPS OS Maps on Mobile)
    4. Google Search
    5. Google Maps
    6. MY-SQL & PHP
    7. SKYPE
    8. TIVO
    9. Philips Pronto
    10. NTL 20mb Broadband



  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    the Top Ten bits of tech I can't live without - at least without breaking into a cold sweat... I realise this is more of a cumulative list than just a 2007 list - I don't think 2007 has been the major tech breakthrough year...

    perhaps 2008 will see cheap pervasive multi-touch flexible OLED displays...

    in the meantime -

    1) Broadband
    2) Google
    3) Vario II (still the best)
    4) Outlook Web Access
    5) Albumplayer (best jukebox on the planet!)
    6) Ubuntu 7.10
    7) The Beer Fridge
    8) Kitchen wall mounted touchscreen PC
    9) Wikipedia
    10) Western Digital passport 250Gb drive

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    I've struggled with No.10, so here's my top 9, with the 10th to follow. The reasoning is underneath.

    1. & UKHA_D
    2. Freecycle
    3. X10
    4. WiFi
    5. "The Internet"
    6. Google
    7. Googlemail
    8. 3G Connectivity
    9. Home Automation finally becoming mainstream
    10. (to follow)

    And here's why: & UKHA_D
    It's impossible to split these two as they're so intertwined. Without the continued support and inspiration of the mailing list & Mark's site there would be no tech in my life, simple as that. Check out the mailing list at:

    An unlikely choice? well, not really, not least for the group I belong to. With it's aim of keeping perfectly servicable items out of landfill it has proved a great source of "free" tech for me over this past year. Network cards, routers, sound cards, switches etc. have all come up, as have computers, laptops & printers - all of which would otherwise have ended up in the bin. More info at

    This has been another "biggie" for me this year - converting over some of my hard-wired systems into truly controllable automation. Yes, X10 is an older technology and has its failings but generally, for me, it's been very reliable. The scalability of X10 is also a great feature - modules can be added later as needs & ambitions grow.

    Although I've been involved in this for years with work, I finally rolled-out WiFi at home this year. The days of having to ...ahem... "borrow" bandwidth from neighbours to surf the 'net in front of the TV are now gone

    "The Internet"
    This still astounds me The wealth of information that is freely accessible is quite amazing and this coupled with the back-to-base communication/automation opportunities must make it one of the top "inventions" of all time.
    For sheer simplicity, speed and accuracy I find the Google search engine unbeatable. The basic, uncluttered search page is perfect
    Another Google product
    I have a few accounts and like the search engine, the simple, uncluttered and reliable interface is hard to beat. For me, it knocks the socks of Hotmail etc.

    3G Connectivity
    What's really impressed me is not just the mobile phone connectivity, but the roll-out of 3G for fixed-location internet access. 3G routers for offices are now appearing, especially at temporary construction sites etc. and these, coupled with those natty little USB 3G modems for laptops, is really opening things up. It's such a simple idea I don't know why I didn't think of it myself... Anyway, the question for next year has to be "Will 3G overtake WiFi for hotspot access?"

    Home Automation finally becoming mainstream
    Hopefully not another false dawn - I was in B&Q near the new Byron HA kit and overheard one of the older staff members enthusing to his friend about what he could do with it all. It's the little things like this that give me hope that we're not a niche group of sad anoraks(!) and what we do for a hobby, or job in some cases, is actually of interest to the rest of the population.

    No.10 - to follow

    No #10 yet, but picking up on Paul's "can live without" = tinned meat!! arrggghhhh!!
    If only these guys put their efforts into something productive...
    Last edited by TimH; 4th December 2007 at 12:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    1. 3G
    2. P990i
    3. Wi-fi
    4. Intarweb
    5. (K)Ubuntu
    6. VMWare
    7. Metalworking kit (welder, grinder, etc)
    8. Mass power generation and distribution
    9. VoIP
    10. Solar power (to keep my favourite watch going)

  6. #6
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    1. Google Reader
    2. Bluetooth
    3. Tivo
    4. SatNav with Traffic Information and Speed Cameras
    5. Google Maps / Google Earth
    6. iPhone
    7. Skype / SkypePhone
    8. Unlimited Broadband / Unlimited Mobile Data plans
    9. X-10
    10. Internet Banking

  7. #7
    Administrator Eddie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    My list, in no particular order...

    • Google Apps
      For Calendar & IMAP Email and domain hosting, all for free!
    • Google Reader
      Used daily, on PCs and Mobile.
    • MP3
      On IPod and Slimp3.
    • Tivo
      Probably going to be replaced with Sky+ this year in the absence of any new models, but I'm not looking forward to it.
    • X10/Homevision
      Controls all the lighting and heating in my house, with no problems at all.
    • Ubuntu
      Excellent Linux distro.
    • XBMC
      I have two XBOXs whose sole purpose in life is to run XBMC.
    • SatNav
      Having no sense of direction, this is a godsend.
    • WiFi
      Despite my house seemingly being built with the express purpose of blocking WiFi signals this is still extremely useful.
    • iPhone
      I will get one, oh yes, it will be mine, maybe, no definitely...



  8. #8
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    I'd have to think long & hard to even come up with 10 technologies/devices that I could hand on heart say I couldn't live without... I have very much a "love/hate" relationship with most of my tech... However, there are a few things that I came to during 2007 that haven't (yet) manageged to annoy the t1ts off me...

    1: SONOS - I love it, SWMBO loves it, anyone can work it (without a 30 minute training course or a 100 page manual!) and it absolutely does just exactly what it says on the tin, all the time, every time, without fail. (actually, I lied, I think the handsets have locked up once or twice, but they are very easily reset, boot up very quickly & thus are ready to use again in about 15 seconds).

    2: Mobile broadband. Coverage issues aside, mobile broadband has been invaluable this last year as I've spent a lot of time travelling with work. I started off with a Vodafone 1.8Mb version, recently upgraded to a the latest 7.2Mb. - can't say I've ever yet actually seen a 7.2Mb connection though, so the network clearly isn't all there yet.. As I've moved around the country, I've noticed that coverage falls off very quickly outside of major city centres with most rural areas only served by old 2G speeds. - Still good enough to keep up with my UKHA mail though!

    3: WiFi becoming more pervasive. Fortunately, in many cases where the mobile broadband doesn't have the coverage I need, it's almost always possible to use WiFi instead. Increasingly I've noticed the tendency for hotels to offer it for free as well, although that's by no means universal... - hopefully in the not too distant future, all hotel WiFi will be "free"

    4: Slingbox. Only a recent addition, but so far has worked well, hasn't crashed, and has allowed me to watch my home TV (live and PVR recordings) from the office and (some) hotels. I'm even thinking of getting another one to put on my 2nd Sky box.

    5: Comfort. - Not a new technology, nor something that's new to me in 2007, but I *did* upgrade my 5 year old Mk1 to a new Mk2 in 2007, and just like the old one, Comfort has been flawlessly running 24x7 ever since without a hiccup. I *have* started to make much more use of its HA capabilities during 2007 though, - linking it with CBUS & HomeSeer, and getting more adventurous with the programming. The new sunset/sunrise time tracking feature will only serve to enhance that during 2008

    6: Homeseer. Again not a new technology, but a major upgrade to version 2 was implemented this year, and again this is a product that truly fits the description of technology I couldn't live without.

    7: CBUS. - Not much you can say about this really, except that it's in the same plane of existence as SONOS, in that it "just works" virtually everything I said about SONOS applies to CBUS as well (except the part about the handsets freezing obviously!). I envisage a major growth of CBUS in my house in 2008.

    8: Virtualisation - More for work than for home use, but I absolutely couldn't function these days without both VMWare & Virtual PC, and my stack of virtual machines.

    ... struggling to think of the next couple of items now....

    9: Geovision. In 2007 I upgraded to newer GV hardware & software, and a new server to run it on. This is another one that just never seems to fail (hasn't yet anyway), and which I use almost every single day.

    10: Draytek Vigor 2200E broadband router. - It took me a while to realise it, but when I look back at the above list, I realised that a great proportion of it would be of no use to me whatsoever without a decent, reliable broadband connection to my house, and this router has been absolutely at the heart of that. Nothing else truly fits the title of technology I couldn't live without as much as this little gem. Getting a little old in the tooth now (must be getting on for 7 years or so) so I'm considering an upgrade to a newer model, but frankly, this still does virtually everything I need it to, and it just does it so damn reliably!

    So there you have it, - I surprised myself; - I *did* manage to think of 10 things... How about the top 10 technolgies that you *would* most like to live without as a flipside of this discussion? - I'll start off with...

    1: VISTA. *AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!! *NOTHING* this year has been the cause of so much shouting, screaming, swearing, slamming of doors (and laptop lids) and stamping around in the Gordon household during 2007. This is without doubt the most annoying software I've ever had the misfortune to have to use.. I could rant on about this for far too long, so I'll force myself to stop right there....

    Paul G.

  9. #9
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    North Lancashire

    Default Top 10 Technologies I Can't Live Without - 2007

    Tuesday, 04 Dec'07 - 10:23:40 GMT

    OK :

    top ten technologies I'm more than pleased to have the use of :

    1: Internet & Yahoo! Groups ...

    2: Google (just the search engine, but am sure 'will be following Mark into the rest before too long) & Multimap ('cos it includes contours)

    3: Apple Mac (with both OSX Tiger & OS8.6, 'cos that's when 'Office last worked good, in my experience, and we have a lot of legacy stuff in Office)

    4: Nokia E61 / Symbian 60 / Web'n'Walk (needs rather a lot of patience, but does a minimum & can add the old G4 Powerbook to do the rest, keen to move to iPhone, for all the reasons Mark has highlighted, but need 3G)

    5: DAB radio (for BBC World Service, which otherwise doesn't get this far north, and for some BBC Radio 5 programmes, which otherwise are too much work)

    6: HP RPN - still makes arithmetic so much easier

    7: Thin lightweight Mylar film, 'cos it made headphones really work (way back in the 80s), with good implications for household harmony

    8: Idratek (not in yet, but without it our particular aspirations for HA would be a non-starter) - and it needs 'XP, so that , too !

    9: HF T5 fluorescent lamps - controllable, economical - making (with HA) some sophisticated lighting schemes affordable

    10: UFH & mechanical ventilation with heat-recovery & good insulation - big improvement to household air quality & comfort, with
    affordability - along with a few HA challenges

    11: ...

    don't read too much into the order ! Don't suppose it would be quite the same if I wrote it tomorrow .... there's bound to be an obvious one I've overlooked ...


    PS: the obvious one, as Tim did not overlook, was ukha .... c'est la vie !

  10. #10
    Automated Home Jr Member Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    Hmmm tough one....

    In rough order...

    1. My PC - I use it every day for most of the day and not only for work. I had to rebuild it recently and was totally lost without it.

    2. My SPV M5000 - Has everything on it, all my contacts, appointments, TOMTOM, the lot. It the device I used every day and would be lost without it.

    3. Homeseer - This thing runs a lot of devices in my house from lighting, fish tanks, heating etc etc. I really feel the pinch when it goes down. This includes X10, ZWave etc.

    4. X10 Mini timer - Wakes me up in the morning and get's the house started. Give me control of devices when there isn't a PC around.

    5. SS13 Radio Based X10 Switch - I use these all around the house for controlling lighting etc. They are also used as a kind of "bye bye standby" for TV's etc. Used many times every day.

    6. Geovision CCTV - We have 6 camera which we check often. We also have a day/night camera in my 3 year old's room for keeping an eye on him when he's in bed and we are downstairs. Not only that my Mum and mother in law can also logon to it to check him and 'Ahhhhh' at him asleep.

    7. Parrot CK3300 Car kit - Use it daily as my phone never seems to stop ringing and as a bonus it has built in GPS receiver !

    8. VPN Networking - Used to remotely access my home network which is done daily.

    9. MCE Media Server - We use this for all our movies, pictures and music.

    10. Skype - We have skype/landline phones all round the house and I'm still amazed how much better Skype calls sound to normal calls.

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