A Decade in Review and a Happy New Decade!

Technology has been the most influential factor in changing our daily lives. It is growing faster and faster every decade. The 80’s became the official start to user friendly computers with a thing called Operating System. The 90’s moved you from an era of Atari to Nintendo’s futuristic handheld gaming device. The 2000s took you from a home computer and even a portable laptop to a pocket-size device that does everything you need to do on a computer.

Yesterday was an end to a revolutionary decade. A decade which set the stage for technology development in the upcoming years of this century. A decade which drastically changed technology every year within its ten years.

Who would have thought a 2 megapixel Canon digital camera from 2001 would fit in our phones today; yet still, 2 megapixel camera is an old standard for cellphone cameras. Who would have thought that you could play Co-op mission with a friend that lives 5000 miles away from you. Who would have thought that you could store tens of thousands of songs in one tiny device that you would have had to get a thousand CDs for in the previous decade.

We all know there are countless devices that have had a major impact on our lives, but there are some that stand above all others. Here is my list of the top ten devices (or such) of the decade (in chronological order):

Playstation 2 (2000)

The PS2 was a perfect successor to its hardcore gaming predecessor. It is Sony’s ultimate console that truly changed gaming. It is the most sold console in history with 138 million units sold. Not to mention it has lasted the whole decade, and it is still in the market.

The PS2 was a new step towards hardcore gaming and also a home entertainment system that your family could enjoy in the living room. Sony caught people’s eyes when put DVD playback on the PS2. It was a big band for the buck – sound familiar with the PS3 and blu-ray. The PS2 clearly dominated the game industry with its fantastic game library until the 360 gained some ground in 2007 and Sony started to move on to PS3.

Windows XP (2001)

I remember when I first saw this operating system, it was the best thing I had seen. It opened my eyes of what computer should be like. Obviously any new Microsoft operating System was going to become a standard for everyone, but this one didn’t disappoint. Let’s just say that it is better than its so called successor – Vista. It lasted nearly a decade and will last for sometime as many people still have no need of switching to Windows 7. There is one spec that I love to mention about this software – it only requires 64 MB of RAM.

iPod (2001)

This should be self-explanatory. The ipod gave people reason to not use CD players any more. I mean who would wanna keep loads of CDs stacked in their house when they can store more than a 1000 songs in a pocket device like this. Combined with the itunes, the ipod began the age of digital distribution of music. I haven’t seen a CD player in ages or even a mp3 player besides the iPod – with the exception of Zune.

Xbox Live (2002)

The Xbox became an easy rival to the PS2, but it didn’t offer anything different. However Microsoft did begin a service which it still successfully carries out today. The Xbox Live began in 2002, and it offered the best online service for gamers even though it was the only one you had to pay for. It had an early start over the PSN and had time to mature. It had several years to set up a base for online gaming and it did. Once the Xbox 360 released in 2005, it was a must have service for gamers. Even though the PSN has caught up to Xbox Live, no one can forget that it revolutionized online gaming and created a huge base of online gamers.

Motorola RAZR V3 (2003)

There is nothing special about the RAZR’s specs. What’s special is that it was the first phone that did what a phone was supposed to do and didn’t look like crap. For the first time, the design and good looks of a phone mattered more than its features. I can say this because the RAZR sold over 110 million units. Motorola deserves credit for making a beautiful phone, but they lost it when Rokr and Razr2 happened. They finally had something to show after these 6 years of intentional absence – Droid.

TomTom (2004)

I was tired of printing out directions from mapquest. I needed a GPS like Tomtom that could give me turn-by-turn directions to take me from point A to point B. I am sorry but there isn’t anything else you can say about a navigation device.

iPhone (2007)

What was your reaction when you saw Steve Jobs holding the iPhone in this hand during WWDC 2007? That thing looked like something only Apple would and could make. It originally started as a smartphone that was also an iPod. Soon people didn’t care about its iPod feature because they were simply amazed by _______ (can’t find a word and too many things to describe). I shouldn’t have to tell you why it – 3GS that is- is the best phone to date. The iPhone is like a standard for other phones to compare to. Every new phone keeps on coming to compete with the iPhone, but no has really surpassed it yet.

The iPhone was a major leap from a phone or a smartphone to something completely new. It brought the touch screen (without stylus) and many other things that were ahead of its time. It put cellphone companies in the right direction. Without the iPhone, there is no guarantee that we would see phones like we see today. And who can forget the revolutionary App Store that came a year later.

Happy New Year! They have an App for that……

Amazon Kindle (2007)

If games and music can go digital, why not books? Amazon’s e-book reader took the first step towards making Barnes and Nobles useless. I can say it went fairly well because a lot of people were actually willing to switch. It was a good way to carry a lot of books at once and save paper.

However I think the kindle is over priced. The Second Gen Kindle, which released early 2009, costs $250 – $300. While Amazon isn’t the only one making e-book readers, they should take another step making it affordable for people.

Asus Eee PC line-up (2007-08)

Asus brought the first decent and affordable line-up of  netbooks. Before the Eee PCs, computers as small as netbooks would cost about $4000. Asus took a step to making a netbook affordable for people and making it a reasonable price for its value.

All netbooks now come with Intel Atom Processor, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, and Windows XP. While you can argue that netbooks aren’t as popular as smartphones or laptops, they do offer another choice for consumers for computing. It is hard to make a netbook your prime computer for everything. Netbooks are really meant to be as your alternative. You can take to a vacation and use it for emails and a little web browsing. I wouldn’t recommend typing a college paper on it though. Netbooks are a very important invention of this decade, and one of them deserves to be on this list.

Playstation 3 Slim (2009)

Last but not least, the PS3 Slim took my prize for the next-gen consoles. You may not like the Matte finish, but you have to admit that Sony did a great job making this slim console. They made it 33% smaller and 36% lighter than the PS3 Fat.

The PS3 Slim had many other reasons for being on this list aside from its dimensions. It came out in the beginning of September, and for me that month marked the true beginning of the PS3. 2008 was said to be the year for PS3, and 2009 was dominated by great PS3 titles. Yet that was not enough to attract more consumers. Publishers (like Activision) and people wanted Sony to add a $100 price cut, which I didn’t think was necessary. Before the PS3 Slim, Sony’s future long lasting console was just said to be expensive regardless of the fact that Sony was losing money every unit it sold. I thought that to make from $400 to $300, they had to take off some features like Wi-Fi, but I was proved wrong at TGS 2009. The day came at the Tokyo Game Show – The PS3 Slim was announced.  It was for $300 with 120GB harddrive and included all key features from the PS3 Fat besides “Other OS.”

After the Slim was released, Sony really started pushing its market. They had many commercials that really proved it was a Big Bang for the Buck. Microsoft soon came with a $100 price cut for the Xbox 360. Thats is where they are now.

If you ask me, PS3 is a much better value than any other conosles. out there. It would be a great home enterainment system with the Blu-ray player, and an amazing game experience with its amazing new game library that Sony has built up for the past 2 years. The PS3 Slim doesn’t offer anything new or innovative for people, but it does offer the best value for what you are getting compared to any other gadget of this decade.

Thank you to all our readers. We all had a great first year.

You all have a Happy New Decade!

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