Hardware 2.0 2009 << REWIND <<

OK, despite the fact that the ball dropping for 2000 feels like it was about five minutes ago, this year, along with this decade, is fast coming to an end. This means that not only is it time for to do a rewind of the year, but of the decade too.

OK, despite the fact that the ball dropping for 2000 feels like it was about five minutes ago, this year, along with this decade, is fast coming to an end. This means that not only is it time for to do a rewind of the year, but of the decade too.

What I've tried to do (and hopefully succeeded at doing) here on Hardware 2.0 is provide you, Constant Reader, with good, honest, solid advice on tech matters. Some of this has been based on extensive testing done in the lab, while some has been based on opinions and gut instincts. I know that some of you think that my opinions are designed to wind up, annoy and inflame readers in the name of page views, but nothing could be further from the truth. I hold no allegiance to any of the major tech religions and don't spend my time flag-waving for one multi-billion dollar corporation or another. In fact, I spend a lot of my time playing the role of consumer advocate. I always write honestly, from the heart, and with conviction. If you met me in person, my opinions would be the same as those you read here (although I might express them more colorfully at times!).

That said, I don't expect everyone to agree with me all the time on everything. Part of what makes Hardware 2.0 fun is the debates that go on, both in the TalkBacks and via email and Twitter. I read all your comments, and this year has been a bumper year for feedback, with tips, leaks, story ideas and questions flooding in - keep it up!

With that out of the way, let's get cracking with the 2009 rewind!

Jumplist:

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2009 - It's been an odd sort of year ...

It's hard not to look back at 2009 and without thinking of one word - RECESSION.

It's been a tough year for everyone. Here on Hardware 2.0 I've done my best to keep things upbeat and not focus too much on how the economy ground to a halt. That said, it has to be said that it's been a tough year for tech. Roll on Twenty-Ten.

Windows 7, Windows 7, Windows 7

Yikes! When I look back through the logs for Hardware 2.0, I can't help but notice how Windows 7 related posts hog the top 25. Over the past 12 months there has been an insatiable appetite for information on Microsoft's new OS.

Here's a selection of popular Windows 7 related posts:

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Windows 7 beta 1 performance - How does the OS compare to Vista and XP?

Odd how the top post of 2009 was also the first post of the year. A couple of days before Christmas Day last year I got my hands on a copy of Windows 7 Beta 1 and spent a fair bit time playing with this new OS over the holidays. To ring in the new year I posted this performance test, looking at how Windows 7 stacked up against Vista and XP.

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Windows 7 build 7048 vs. Windows 7 beta 1 vs. Vista vs. XP performance shootout - which is best?

Windows 7 build 7057 - Performance that blasts past XP, Vista and previous builds

During March of 2009 a couple of new Windows 7 builds were leaked, and readers really wanted too know whether Windows 7 was faster than Vista or XP.

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Windows 7 RC 32-bit vs. Vista SP1 32-bit - Gaming shootout

Gamers have been paying pretty close attention to Windows 7 over the past 12 months.

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Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 9.10 - Strengths and weaknesses

While some considered it sacrilege, I even took time to look at, and compare and contrast Windows 7 to the most popular Linux distro.

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Lists, lists, lists ...

You guys really like to know what kit you should be spending your money on. Every couple of months I publish a "Best Kit List" and this is always a popular feature.

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Hardware 2.0 'Very Best Kit List' for Nov/Dec 09

Holiday Gift Guide 2009: Hardware components

Rather than link too an old kit list, allow me to direct you to the latest editions, packed with hardware goodness!

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Best 'bang for the buck' graphics cards

Build a high-performance gaming PC for under $650!

More lists!

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Seven great (and free!) applications for Windows 7

Lists of applications, especially free applications, are always popular.

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Tips and tricks

It shouldn't be forgotten that not everyone reading Hardware 2.0 is a tech god. The regular sprinkling of tips and tricks that I post are aimed at those readers.

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How-to: Burn your Windows 7 .ISO to DVD disc

I was amazed how many people asked me how to do this, and equally amazed as to how popular this simple piece was.

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The "no bull" guide to Conficker

My beat isn't security, but sometimes I come across so much nonsense written about a particular topic that I just have to set the record straight!

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Boost Windows Vista system performance with ReadyBoost

This simple tip from 2006 is still going strong!

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Legal stuff

2009 has been a busy year for lawyers. Here are a few of the most interesting legal stories.

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Apple vs. Psystar

Lots of coverage this year regarding the legal battle between Apple and Florida-based Mac-clone maker Psystar. This story does now seem to be drawing to a close.

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EU fines Intel record $1.45 billion in AMD antitrust case

The EU has been dishing out quite a few butt-kickings over the course of the year. This was one of the biggest.

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Mythbusting

One of my mottos is "don't take anything on face value."

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Safari 4 - "The world's fastest browser" ... NOT!

Myth busted!

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2000 - 2009: A very brief history of tech in the "Noughties"

OK, a lot has happened during the past decade, so my tech summary is going to be brief.

Most influential tech - iPhone

Without a doubt the iPhone has made the biggest splash in the tech world the past decade. I don't have one, I don't particularly like them, but they've changed the way we look at and use smartphones.

Bad rap of the decade - Windows Vista

Sure, Microsoft fumbled the launch which in turn permanently tarnished the reputation of the OS. But in reality, Vista, especially a post-SP1 Vista, wasn't a bad OS.

Most anticipated OS - Windows 7

Haven't seen this level of excitement for a Microsoft OS since Windows 95. Not only that, but this is, without a doubt, Microsoft's best OS so far.

Most long-lived graphics card - NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX

You could have bought this card back in 2006 and still have a pretty capable graphics card in 2009.

No-brainer CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600

Without a doubt the dominant CPU of the decade was Intel's Core 2 Quad Q6600. Through a series of price drops and revisions, this CPU was on my 'must buy' list for almost two years, from around mid-2007 to mid-2009. This was the CPU that ushered in an era of quad core and made it accessible to mid-range buyers.

OK, enough with the rewind! Here's to the next decade.

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