Thursday, January 04, 2007

10 Things A Nerd Can’t Live Without

Sean Fallon, a nerd wrote:

Over the last year or so I have amassed a number of gadgets, services, and software applications that I truly consider to be indispensable. Here is a list of ten of those products that I feel no nerd should be without:

1. MacOSX: I was a die hard PC user until around a year ago when I decided to make the switch to a Mac. The lack of gaming options on a Mac is a definite negative, but the ease of use, versatility, security, and multimedia options more than make up for its deficiencies. For everyday computing, a Mac is the way to go. Some must have downloads for the Mac include:

  • Quicksilver (Free): Fast application launch utility
  • Ecto: ($17.95 for Mac and Windows): If you have a blog, this desktop application makes writing for it a whole lot easier.
  • Google Notifier: (Free) Check your Gmail Inbox from your desktop
  • Mac The Ripper and Handbrake: (Free) DVD extractor and DVD to MPEG-4 converter (compatable with iPod and PSP)

2. Parallels: This is the software that really sealed the deal for me with regard to making the PC to Mac switch. OS virtualization with Parallels gives me the best of both worlds. Why should I have a PC when I can run XP (along with a myriad of other OSes) at almost native speeds right inside OSX?

The other great thing about Parallels is that the company is committed to their product. They are extremely diligent with making improvements and the $80 price tag is more than reasonable.

3. iPod: I don’t think that I really need to go into detail on this one. Despite stiffer competition this year, Apple’s iPod is still the best MP3 player around.

4. Bluetooth Headsets: We all know that the cellphone is indispensable, but those of you who have one that is Bluetooth enabled will undoubtedly appreciate the option of adding a wireless headset. Let me tell you, not having to hold that phone up to your ear all the time is very liberating - especially if you are multitasking.

5. PDA / Smartphone: Outside of writing for Nerd Approved, I’m also a personal trainer - which means that I have tons of clients and appointments to keep up with. For the last year or so I have been organizing my life through my Palm Tungsten TX, and I would be completely lost without it. Naturally, smartphones like the Blackberry could also fit into this category.

List continued after the break.

6. Blockbuster Total Access: I’m a big movie fan so ever since Blockbuster released their Total Access Netflix killer, I have been enjoying more movies than ever. Having the ability to return DVDs in-store for new titles along with game rentals via their monthly coupons has really put Netflix at a competitive disadvantage.

7. RSS Readers: The development of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) has made keeping track of new content on my favorite sites (of which there are hundreds) quick and easy. There are tons of RSS aggregators out there, but I recommend either Bloglines or Google Reader.

8. When you need gadgets and electronics, NewEgg should be the first place you look. This is especially true if you build your own PC’s. I have bought thousands of dollars worth of computer parts and software from them, and their prices / customer service is unmatched.

9. HDTV: HD television makes life worth living. After you have tasted it all normal channels (and video games) will be dead to you.

10. Gmail: Gmail is the best web based email service out there. Period.

Other products that will soon be added to this list:

Nintendo Wii: If I ever get my hands on one that is.

Media Center PC: We all know that the DVR is one of the best products ever, but kicking it up a notch with a full on media hub is my next project. I will be building mine, but there are many pre-made solutions out there including the Hannibal Deuce and the Mvix MX-760HD Wireless Media Center.

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