Other people make New Year's resolutions for better lives; I make resolutions for better ways to use tech. Wait a minute, isn't that the same thing? Check out the five things I plan to do better with tech in the coming year.
Make better use of the cloud
My problem isn't that I'm not using the cloud -- it's that I'm using it too much, or at least inefficiently. I've got a OneDrive account I use for some files, I use Google Drive for other projects, and I've got an iCloud account , although I rarely use it. Oh, and did I mention the Dropbox account I use with my family? Or the SugarSync account I use to keep files in sync and in the cloud across my many mobile devices, laptops, and desktops? This is not the way to go. In 2015 I vow to put together an intelligent, coherent strategy for using the cloud. And when I've finished doing that, I'll find a cure for cancer.
Decide if it's time to cut the cable cord
I'm not a big TV watcher, but I have a cable account that I spend far too much money on. I've also got two Internet-connected TVs --- one a smart TV, and another not-smart TV that I've equipped with Chromecast and an Amazon Fire TV stick. I've got Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions, so have plenty of options for watching TV, movies, and anything I can find on the Internet. Is it time to cut the cable cord? If so, how will I be able to watch the Patriots and Red Sox? How can I watch movies not available on Netflix and Amazon Prime? I don't know. But I do know that it's time to figure out whether this is the year I cut the cable cord.
Upgrade my hardware
I have the most astonishing collection of PCs, Macs, mobile devices, and just plain weird hardware, but some of it is getting quite long in the tooth. Do I really need that Vista desktop anymore? How about that ancient PC on which I've installed Windows Home Server that no longer seems to serve? My early-generation iPads are getting long in the tooth. My aging MacBook Air doesn't feel so airy anymore. My Google Nexus whatever wheezes every time I ask it to retrieve email. My Chromebooks need updating. I've got Nooks, Kindles, and even a Kobo Vox ereader. As for my collection of oddball tablets, I'd rather not speak about them.
I have much more usable hardware as well, including Windows 8 machines. But it's time for an overall refresh. In 2015 I vow to upgrade my hardware, and do it without breaking the bank.
Fix my upstairs WiFi woes
I'm lucky enough to have two home offices. In my main one downstairs, I have my wireless router, and in the other -- an upstairs converted sunporch -- I can get only a piddling Internet connection, the only room in the house with this problem. I make do sometimes by using my smartphone as a hotspot, and other times use a WiMax USB stick. But in 2015 I am going to finally find a long-term solution. Does that mean some kind of repeater, or upgrading all of my WiFi hardware? Does it mean a power line home network? I don't know. But this year I'll fix it.
Learn to code
I've been writing about tech for quite some time, and although I'm handy with HTML, macros, and so on, I don't know how to really code. Over the years I've taken French classes and Italian classes, learned to play the lute, studied basic Egyptian hieroglyphics, and even taken tap-dancing lessons. But never have I learned to code. This year is the year. By this time next year I'll tap dance my way to the keyboard, so happy that I'm about to code I'll have my lute in hand, singing French and Italian medieval long songs.