Top Ten Events in Tech –2009

It seems that everyone is doing their Top 10 this or that in 2009.  So, I’m throwing my two cents into the mix.  This isn’t your run-of-the-mill story either.  Some (or most) of these are listed in other places, but the reasons may be different.  And the ordering may be different also.  So, here we go:

10.  Netbooks- Netbooks were around in 2008 also, but I think they finally came into their own in 2009.  i saw some of the first netbooks with what passed as “Linux” (I quote that, because it didn’t look like any distro I’ve worked with).  In 2009, the netbooks matured and are now a viable way to surf the net and do minor tasks that you don’t need a full-powered laptop for.

9.  Google Chrome OS- This is a continuation of #10.  Yes, the actual OS is not available yet.  But, Google announced it in 2009, and gave us an alpha look at it.  Which is enough to get some people salivating, and other people (read Microsoft and anyone else who’s interested in the “Cloud” or netbooks) moving to counter it.

8.  T-Mobile’s outage-  Speaking of “The Cloud”, T-Mobile unfortunately found out that the cloud isn’t everything that people claim.  They were relying on Microsft (and their subsidiary Danger) to store all of the data for their Sidekick phones.  That’s fine as long as the company who you’re relying on is able to keep their servers running (and keep your data intact).  Unfortunately for T-Mobile, the Sidekick, the users, and “The Cloud”, this wasn’t the case. 

This is why I keep saying it’s fine to backup things online in “The Cloud”, but you want to have a physical copy that you can get to really quickly. Don’t rely 100% on the other guy—in case something does happen.

7.  The Age Of the Smartphone-  This was the year for the smartphone.  From the Palm-Pre to the Android phones, everyone got in the game.  Every major carrier announced their own smartphone offering (or updated the offerings they had).  And the makers of smartphones also opened up their own “App Stores” to rival Apple.

6.  Hackers hack and Cops catch-  From the TJX Credit card hack to NASA, hackers set their sites high this year.  Foreign hackers are targeting the Power Grid in the US.  The hackers who struck TJX caused a lot of monetary damage, and got caught.  The hacker for NASA may have found his alien evidence, but refuses to come to the US to talk about it (he’s fighting extradition on fears that he will be put in Gitmo).

5.  Conficker hits 8 million and keeps going-  Around April 1, everyone was afraid of the April Fools joke that didn’t happen.  Conficker hit about 8 million infected PC’s in January and kept going.  On April 1, it was supposed to get an update and activate..  Sometime after, it got an update.  We’re still not sure if it activated, but it did start spewing spam.  And it’s still around.

4.  Twitter and Facebook take the world by storm-  Yes both of these were around before 2009.  However in 2009, a lot of people started realizing they were here.  2009 brought celebs like Ashton Kutcher and Miley Cyrus to Twitter (she’s gone, he’s still there).  And 2009 made Twitter into a world-wide news source (thanks to some power hungry dictators in Iran).  Facebook keeps growing and revamping their Privacy Policy (some for the better and some for the worse).

3.  Canonical releases Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala-  And Linux fans rejoiced.  While Karmic is not a Windows killer by any means, it is definitely a mature operating system that I encourage people to check out.  The idea that if you have an older computer and are upgrading to Windows 7, instead of tossing that old computer in the trash, install *ubuntu on it and free yourself is starting to have new meaning. 

2.  Apple releases OS X Snow Leopard-  Apple released their latest version of the OS X Operating System, and Mac fans rejoiced.  Also the people who are running Mac OS on “Hackintosh” computers rejoiced, because they were soon able to upgrade for $29.99.  (Note the price for an upgrade…….)  However, there was one major flaw—the guest account that kills your data.  But, Apple fixed that right away.

1.  Windows 7 arrives-  And Windows Vista and Windows XP users rejoiced….  Finally they have an operating system that the tech pundits claim is worthy of upgrading to.  I say this knowing that I have had minor problems with Vista in the past—and most of it was due to my computer not being powerful enough for it.  But, Windows 7 is changing that for a lot of people.

The people who were concerned about upgrading to Vista, are happy now.  They have a viable option in Windows 7.  And the people who upgraded to Vista (or bought new computers that supposedly could run Vista) are happy, because now their computers will run the way they were claimed to…  NO, Windows 7 is not a Vista Service Pack.  YES, Windows 7 is a viable replacement for XP and Vista.


So, there you have my Top 10 events in Tech.  It should be noted that these are not in order of importance.  The reality is that in their own way, each one of these is the most important event in Tech. 

Happy New Year 🙂


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