Tech resolutions for 2005

Tech resolutions for 2005

Summary: Many people are making bold predictions about the future of technology in 2005 but I'd prefer to put forward a list of my new year's resolutions in regards to technology.

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TOPICS: Emerging Tech
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Tech Resolutions 2005Many people are making bold predictions about the future of technology in 2005 but I'd prefer to put forward a list of my new year's resolutions in regards to technology.

1. Read more blogs/RSS feeds.
With the explosion in blogs (Web logs) last year, having read very few I feel somewhat left behind yet determined to hunt down some interesting columns. If you have any suggestions, please let us know. Last year also saw an explosion in Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, many of which can be found through Syndic8.com. Check out their 200 most popular feeds and see if anything interests you. Just remember you'll have to try to stay on top of the hundreds of stories if you add as many feeds as I have to your RSS reader of choice.

2. Keep PC virus/spam/spyware-free.
It was a bit scary to see 157 pieces of spyware residing on my PC when I last rinsed it out with the free anti-spyware app, Spybot - Search & Destroy. Recently, Microsoft launched its AntiSpyware tool (still in Beta test phase) and using it I managed to find another eight pieces of spyware on top of this. This year, I vow to keep a spyware-free PC while also training Thunderbird's built-in spam filter, ensuring virus definitions are updated automatically each night, and occasionally cleaning out the Windows registry.

3. Take better photos and keep them organised.
Unless a review model is floating around the office, my outdated 2-megapixel camera takes care capturing all those special moments. However, looking over a 2GB collection of photos can prove quite an arduous task when all pictures taken in the past two years have been mindlessly dumped in a folder called "New". Remembering basic photography tips might also help produce more inspiring photos, so friends won't fall asleep come slideshow time.

4. Tag all MP3 files correctly.
Barely a waking moment has gone by since Christmas that my new iPod Photo hasn't been by my side. However, it became glaringly obvious how unorganised music can get when iTunes tried to synchronise the chaotic mess of MP3s on my PC with the device. The iPod made me realise the importance of ID3 tags, the metadata associated with each music file with information such as artist, title, album, genre and year. Aside from not having 20 songs called "Track 1" it's a good idea to ensure you have flawless ID3 tags to help search and to create dynamic playlists. In this regard, the Gracenote online database and Tag&Rename are invaluable tools to assist with tagging music files. A freeware app called iArt does a great job of automatically adding album art to MP3s once you have correct tags on all your songs.

5. Buy a STB/DVR/PVR/DVDR.
Set top box, digital video recorder, personal video recorder or DVD recorder. With only a few years to go before analogue broadcasts cease, coupling digital broadcasts with a digital recorder gives you outstanding visual pictures and makes TV more efficient. When you do choose to be a couch potato, instead of watching bland re-runs and reality shows, a world of pre-recorded quality shows are at the ready.

6. Open eyes to open source.
Having dabbled a little in popular applications for Windows like Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird and Azureus, this year I'll be trying out more open source alternatives from sites such as SourceForge.

7. Get rid of useless components.
It's time for the 19-inch CRT that's been sitting on the bedroom floor for the past year and a half to find a new home. Old disk drives, sound cards, PC cases and miscellaneous junk stuffed away in cupboards are also to be turfed. I don't know where that serial-to-parallel converter came from, nor the hundreds of A/V cables, but it's time to say goodbye. If you need help getting rid of old IT equipment, you might want to try Green PC or IT Recyclers.

8. Find a decent Australian online store.
Not only do I crave an Amazon.com.au, but it would be nice to find a good range of local online stores catering for clothes, electronic goods and of course, music. Unfortunately at the Macworld media event in Sydney today, Apple was still tight-lipped about a local iTunes music store. When will Aussie iPod users be able to purchase music online?

9. Read more books.
This might not be directly tech related but if you want to read a classic text online, take a look at what the Gutenberg project has to offer for free (although we're not sure how comfortable it would be reading The Iliad on a PC). An alternative would be to download audiobooks and listen to them on an MP3 player.

10. Go wireless.
There are far too many cables in this world. Wireless broadband, wireless home networking, and wireless home theatre speakers have been available for a while. My dream for this year is to lose the phone line and use VoIP instead, get a wireless ISP, set up a Wi-Fi network at home and have music and video streaming from PC to living room. Perhaps that's a deluded resolution... when is Christmas again?

What do you plan to do with technology in 2005? Send your thoughts to edit@zdnet.com.au.

Topic: Emerging Tech

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