My digital life in the year 2000

We are coming to the end of a decade.

So much has changed in the world technology. I thought it would be fun to jot down the gadgets and other misc stuff I used in those days.

1. Computer. I used a Powerbook G3 (Pismo). I had a love/hate relationship with that computer. It had a 400mhz processor and it was my first laptop with wifi. The screen was amazing. And even though System 9.x was getting long in tooth I loved it. But it was big and heavy. A year later the Powerbook G4 titanium was introduced and I bought one that same day.

2. Phone. Nokia 8210 running on AT&T. I couldn’t get a signal on 280 near below 92. I guess somethings don’t change. But that phone was sweet. It was tiny and the battery lasted forever. Many nights I didn’t even charge it.

3. Blog/Personal website. In the late 90’s I bought the domain In those days, I used Microsoft FrontPage. I would add a new photo to the home page every week or so and then update the page with family news. Internet Achive still has some data from my site back in 2000.

4. Bandwidth. I was a PacBell subscriber. I paid $50/month for 1.5Mbps/downstream. I don’t remember how much upstream I had in those days.

5. PDA. That was the year, I dumped my Palm for a RIM 950.

6. My personal email was hosted on hotmail.

7. In the late 90’s, my browser default home page was set to I think by 2000 it still was but I’m not sure.

Item #7 reminds me how much the web has changed as well. So many of my favorite web services didn’t exist back then. And even some of my favorites from those days I use very differently today (e.g. Google). It’s interesting to think about what the next 10 years will be like.

We are so tied up in AppStore mania (one of the great themes of 2009) that we’ve lost the real story: the twin forces of the move of computing happening in the cloud with really compelling mobile browsers that should, over the medium term, subsume all of the more important native platform capabilities

My top 10 favorite albums of 2009

There were so many fantastic albums this year it’s quite difficult to choose just ten.

I shared songs from all of these fine records during the year so I dont think there will be too many surprises.

Okay, well here goes:

10. Dark Was The Night This is a complilation of indie artists and all proceeds goto HIV/AIDS awareness and support. I actually discovered this record from Colin Meloy on Twitter.

9. Hazards Of Love, The Decemberists. This one took my by surprise. I really didn’t like it at first but I stuck with it as a loyal fan. Then one day it just clicked. Beautiful record from front to back.

8. Outer South, Conor Obert and the Mystic Valley Band. Loved it from day one.

7. Sigh No More, Mumford & Sons. Just an all around fun album.

6. Monsters Of Folk . Amazing record by Conor Oberst, Jim James and M. Ward. My expectations were super high and they delivered.

5. Hometowns,The Rural Alberta Advantage. Their first record and its fantastic.

4. Reservoir, Fanfarlo. I discovered this one on the hype machine. Wonderful.

3. Humbug, Arctic Monkeys. This album just rocks. That is all.

2. Hold Time, M. Ward. An instant classic.

1. Changing Horses, Ben Kweller. When I heard Ben was going to go country on this new record i wasn’t suprised. He moved back to Texas and you could always hear those roots in many of his older songs. I saw him play last year and a number of songs from Changing Horses made the set list. They were awesome. I bought the record on vinyl and mp3 and it’s been on heavy rotation ever since.

Anyway, that’s my list. Great year and I’m looking forward to a promising 2010.

(disclosure: the links above use my amazon affiliate code. all proceeds will be sent to Heifer International).

How to unplug on vacation

I was going to title this post “confessions of an email addict”

My good friend Tim wrote a fb update yesterday and asked how to disconnect during vacation.

That is a good thing to figure out.

It used to be simple. Create an “out of office message” on your mail server. Then just leave your laptop at home or in your bag. Presto.

But now many of us create and consume more on our always connected phones than our laptops.

The truth is I’m not ready to completely disconnect. I want my phone with me in case my wife needs me or other family members need me. Checking Twitter and FourSquare is fun. I love taking photos of interesting things. And I want to be able to deal with any critical matters that may arise from my partners or our portfolio.

So here’s my plan but I absolutely welcome others to contribute. We are all in this boat together :)

  1. I did create an out of office messagae on my mail server. It says I’m away until jan 4th because I am.

  2. I’m only checking email once a day. And in the morning before 7:30am.

  3. I’m asking that folks send me a txt or Twitter dm for urgent matters. That will be a small number and I’ll deal with those during the day.

  4. I’m going to be extremely mindful of the number of emails I create during my morning shift. The more emails you create, the more you get.

  5. A lot of my friends catch up on all of their email on vacation. The theory is that your re-entry back to work will be less crushing. I used to be a member of this camp. I’m trying something new because that feels unhealthy to me. Vacation is time to relax, reflect and recharge and have fun!

I’m looking forward to this time off to be with my family and friends. Cheers!