As I take a day off tomorrow from all my projects, and turn my attention toward the yearly tradition of turkey, family and giving thanks, I thought I would take a moment to give thanks here, but as this site is focused on technology I will focus my thanks on the same, though not before taking a personal moment to mention the most important things I’m thankful for in my life, which are: the freedom to support myself with capitalistic endeavors, freedom of religion, the opportunities available in this country thanks to those who’ve sacrificed over the years, my home, my job, my friends, my immediate and extended family (of which I’ll be eating with 16 of them tomorrow), my wife, and my two amazing kids.
Now for the technologies I’m most thankful for in 2008, which combined are allowing me to reach my personal and family goals like never before (in no particular order):
1. Ruby on Rails
Not in ten years have I enjoyed web development as much as I do now thanks to Rails. Thank you Yukihiro Matsumoto, DHH, and the entire Rails community.
Doesn’t do much good to create great web sites if you can’t host them reliably and affordably. I love to concept, design, develop, and tweak web applications, but system administration is something I’ve never cared for. I tried many hosts, and not until I found slicehost did I find a company that could help me with all my needs and do it so well. Thanks slicehost.
3. MacBook Pro
Thanks to my Mac, I now focus all my time on being productive and little time on getting my computer to do what I want it to. Thanks Apple and all my friends who talked me into getting a Mac.
4. Broadband Internet
What did I use a computer for before broadband Internet? Can’t even remember now. So much information available. So many opportunities and…
5. Online Media
Last year the Tivo would have been on my list. But these days, with Hulu, bit torrents, my blockbuster online subscription, iTunes, and all the TV sites that stream their own shows, my Tivo sits idle. Thanks to Boxee as well for providing a great way to bring all this media together and use from one common interface.
6. Fujitsu ScanSnap 300M
My office is 90% paperless thanks to this incredible, two-sided, speedy and portable scanner. Makes staying organized easier and helps with my goals of a more simplistic lifestyle.
I tried so many financial software packages before and never stuck with them…too much work. But thanks to Mint, I can keep tabs on all my accounts, my expenses and all related trends. Great for the mobile office.
8. Remember the Milk
It’s simply the easiest task management web app there is.
9. Internet Cafes
Maybe not exactly a technology, but there’s little I enjoy more than a fresh ice tea, free wifi, a pastry, and my laptop.
10. Social Media (FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
Last year I didn’t have a single account at any of these sites. I didn’t understand how they could be of help. Now I can keep in touch with clients, potential clients, old friends, current friends, extended family, and new friends. Some worry that Internet usage gets in the way of communicating with real people, but thanks to these sites, I have time to keep in touch with 10x more people than ever before.
11. Online Shopping (Amazon, Zappos, Newegg)
Busy roads, expensive gas, large crowds and long lines, all work together to waste massive amounts of time when engaged in traditional shopping. But with the wide product selection, ease of ordering and excellent customer service of some of these online shops, why bother?
12. Favorite Mac Apps
The reliability of the Mac OS is only equaled by the productivity gains of some of its software. My most used apps currently are: TextMate, Firefox, NetNewsWire, Boxee, iTunes, and Vuze. Almost everything I do is done in one of these pieces of software.
13. Entrepreneur leaders in the Web Services Industry
There are so many great companies now doing some fantastic work in providing web services and most of them are more than willing to share their experiences, thereby helping the rest of us to get to our own goals even faster. Special thanks to 37 signals, ADS, Rails Envy, Railscasts, Slicehost, Web Worker Daily, and ReadWriteWeb.