The Toybox in 2008: A retrospective

Summary:It's been an incredible year. This blog was launched, ZDNet Reviews was overhauled, and a whole lot of news 'n' reviews came through The Toybox pipeline.

The Toybox. This picture is incredibly meta.
It's been an incredible year. This blog was launched, ZDNet Reviews was overhauled, and a whole lot of news 'n' reviews came through The Toybox pipeline. And through it all, you readers were here with us.

Here's a recap of the best stories:

January:

The Toybox launches!  Blu-ray delivers the knockout punch to HD-DVD. CES 2008 arrives, and Josh gets hands-on with Microsoft's Surface. Broadband gets more expensive.

February:

Clocky the mobile alarm clock threatens sleepers everywhere. The $499 32GB iPod threatens savings accounts everywhere. Lenovo's X300 ThinkPad brings sexy back to business. Spurned HD-DVD lovers find a back door into the Blu-ray camp.

March:

Sony's Alpha A300 digital SLR camera arrives. The perfect hotel room strip is had, sans Eliot Spitzer. Playstation 3 gets BD-Live. Blu-ray gear greets HD-DVD fans with...higher prices. The Apple logo gets creative juices flowing.

April:

Andrew reads the riot act for multifunction printers. Firefox 3 Beta 5 arrives! Rumors of Dell and HP netbooks surface. We teach you how to calibrate your HDTV. Asus launches a 10-inch Eee PC. Josh tries out the Canon Vixia HF10 camcorder...and falls in love. Intel releases its "Yorkfield" processor.

May:

Dark levels of HDTVs are questioned. Dell's Inspiron 1435, 1535 and 1735 laptops are leaked. Olympus' E-520 dSLR debuts. Iomega releases an external hard drive that resembles a flask. We teach you how to defrag your disk like a dictator. The Amazon Kindle returns! VIA's "Nano" processor arrives.

June:

The Asus Eee Box debuts. The Flip Mino camcorder gets official. Samsung's "iPhone-killer" Instinct is announced...the iPhone 3G keeps its crown. Father's Day gifts for fathers from sons (and daughters). Firefox 3 is released! Dell charges $50 for Windows XP on new machines. Early gadget adopters found to be "arrogant." Digital Experience NYC! 2008 comes and goes. Bigger Asus PCs rumored.

July:

Adobe makes Flash Google-friendly. The first Linux-based cell phone arrives. We proclaim the top 10 summer gadgets of 2008. MSI's Wind netbook arrives...and sells out. Sony unveils the world's "first 16.4-inch notebook." Readers debate whether air, water or liquid metal is best for cooling CPUs. SimpleTech's [re]drive shows its bamboo cards. Andrew shows you how to turn your external HD into Samuel L. Jackson. FireWire 1600 and 3200 are approved.

August:

The solution to navigating phone trees is found. Andrew solicits readers for recommendations for a new mouse. Netbook prices slide the slippery slope to affordability. Microsoft's "Blue Track" mouse technology is uncovered.

September:

Google rival Cuil kills the Internet. Sony recalls 440,000 laptops. Apple's new iPods debut! RIM announces Blackberry Flip and Bold! Josh puts the iPhone 3G through its paces. T-Mobile and HTC's Android-based Dream/G1 leaked! Best Buy's Geek Squad Black Tie service fails. Sen. John McCain invents the Blackberry. Andrew gets a sneak peak at Panasonic's Blu-ray offerings. Holiday Spectacular! NYC 2008 comes and goes. Palm's new OS gets a date. The T-Mobile G1 arrives! Josh gets hands on with the Slingbox PRO-HD. An Apple netbook is rumored. The new ZDNet Reviews is launched!

October:

AT&T lays off employees. Apple runs out of ideas. Gadget nostalgia peaks. The BlackBerry Application Suite and Storm are leaked! Josh blogs from 35,000 feet. The BlackBerry Storm's merits are questioned vs. the iPhone. Touch-panel Asus Eee PCs are rumored. Andrew gives up on free national Wi-Fi. The best personal finance software is discussed. Josh gets cozy with the T-Mobile G1. Telecommuting kills the office. Zombie PCs run wild. A $99 iPhone is first speculated upon.

November:

Josh reviews the BlackBerry Bold. Printer ink assaults your wallet. Barack Obama wins the election! WPA is cracked. DHL throws in the towel. The iPhone tops the RAZR as mobile king. CES 2009 is previewed. Andrew reviews the T-Mobile G1. Sony's Kindle-killing e-reader is reviewed. LG and Sharp get caught for price-fixing. Verizon announces the BlackBerry Storm. Andrew asks if smartphones are worth it. The economy tanks. Andrew laments the age of work computers. Engineering and technology get sexy for grads...and women leave computer science. The iPhone translates "fish" to "sex." The Storm gets too consumer. The iPhone comes to Walmart. Josh spends some time with the BlackBerry Storm. ZDNet launches its first Holiday Gift Guide!

December:

Cell phones distract drivers. Netbooks dominate Cyber Monday. The 1,000,000,000th mouse is produced. The iPod touch gets VoIP. Vintage gadgets become art. Google uses too much bandwidth. The merits of Wikipedia are considered. David Pogue socks it to the BlackBerry Storm...and Josh explains why. Apple's Macbooks get cranky. Sony lays off 16,000. Acer takes Asus' crown as netbook king. Andrew explains why a $99 iPhone is just plain stupid. HP begins using 3-year laptop batteries. Some guy makes $100,000 using YouTube. Patents for a 3D Mac OS X interface are unearthed. Andrew puts the kibosh on the "iPhone nano." The BlackBerry Application Suite surfaces...again. Toshiba announces a 512GB SSD. Dell's Macbook Air-killing Adamo gets techies buzzing. And finally, the Internet as we know it breaks.

Thanks for reading. We'll see you in 2009! -- Josh and Andrew

Topics: BlackBerry, Apple, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility

About

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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