Tech that makes you smile

There are some things you just can't help but love

Tech to be grateful for

Photo by jbcurio

There are some things you just can't help but love. Here are technologies that make some IT folks happy.

[See related article: Technology We Won't Miss]

Dan Ritter, Director of IT/Operations, Smartleaf, Inc.

  • "The rise of the Web (HTTP, HTML) as the de-facto platform for offering information and general services.
  • LCD monitors. Not only is a 24" screen more affordable than ever, it can be moved around without needing a work request from facilities.
  • USB interface devices. Cross-platform, hot-pluggable, and cheap.
  • Moore's Law continues to hold some validity.
  • VOIP is replacing the old phone system all the way out to people's houses."

Merryl Gross, a 15-year veteran web application designer

  • "High speed Internet with VPNs, which make it possible to work not only from home, but from any home you happen to be at.
  • Inexpensive Wifi, which makes it possible to work from any room in that home. And I mean ANY. As long as you're not on a video conference call."

Dan Franklin, senior software developer at an educational publisher

  • "USB devices that contain their own installation software as a fake hard drive. Every device manufacturer should do this!
  • The Web's ability to help you on any IT problem by Googling the error message. This saved me in a tight spot eight years ago, and it's still a great way to start when you don't know where to turn.

Chris De Herrera, portable/mobile device guru,

  • Better hardware compatibility. "We've lived through the bumps in the road as we adopted technologies like Wi-Fi and USB 1.0 which did not always work well. In the past we spent a lot of time looking for drivers - now Windows does this for us automatically and finds more drivers than ever before."
  • "VPNs and high speed Internet (cable, DSL, 3G) - With these two technologies IT pros can work on critical systems from anywhere! This really improves their quality of life because their lives are disrupted less, and it is more convenient for them to check on an issue. In the older days, we had to use dial-up to accomplish the same objective.
  • Wireless e-mail - With the ubiquitous availability of smartphones, IT pros are able to keep up with the latest issues real time. In the past we depended on pagers to know critical events. Also this allows us to work almost anywhere to resolve an issue."

Craig Mathias, founder, Farpoint Group

  • "I've not used Windows 7 in a production environment yet -- and likely won't until SP1 is available -- but earlier versions of Windows were so bad that I switched to Macs. I am grateful for Apple's building a reliable product that has boosted my productivity enormously, although I still don't like the Finder."
  • "I'm grateful for 802.11n, the most important advance in WLANs since their genesis. I'm grateful for the dedicated engineers who continue to push the state of the art regardless - wireless still has several years of major advances ahead of it before it becomes like wired networking - pervasive and boring."

Benjamin K. Stuhl, a physics Ph. D. student and open-source enthusiast

  • "I'm glad that USB, FireWire, and 802.11 wireless all have good interoperability now and can be reasonably expected to just work. I'm glad that memory technologies and form factors have settled down so that now you only need to know the technology (DDRn) and whether it's a laptop or a desktop, as compared to when you had to know how many pins on the DIMM and which of the three different types it was! I'm happy that it is pretty easy to get a POSIX-ish environment anywhere now, even on Windows. And I'm really glad for nice cross-platform toolkits, like Gtk+ and Qt, which free me from having to deal with raw X11 or the Windows API -- and let my programs be portable across operating systems, too!"
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