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January 14, 2010

Took A Study Break, But Now I am Back....

Whenever I stop posting for awhile it is usually either because I am away at a conference (and busy covering it live via Twitter) or taking a study break. The holidays came about at the same time a fabulous opportunity to join the Traveling Geeks trip to Paris. So I went to Paris. I mean come on, Paris and hanging with a top notch group of Geeks all in one trip?

I still gathered information for a holiday tech guide but decided to hold off posting for some very good reasons. While reviewing the vast amount of technology options open to families I realized there was lots of terminology and features that I needed to better understand before I shared my favorites with anyone. I wondered what is the difference between an ultra-portable and thin & light PC. What are the advantages of a SSD (solid state drive) versus a regular hard drive? How do I choose a processor when choosing a computer? What do I need to know about video graphics cards? What other features are most relevant when choosing a computer? What other technology is not only new but relevant/useful for families versus a luxury item?

I realize many don't spend time pondering those questions, but I did. To my families dismay I spent every free moment when I was not playing with my kids during winter break scouring the web for buying guides, information, buying relevant tech magazines, reading about the new technology coming out and understanding better the technology that is already here.

With over 40 pages of data gathered, I decided to put it all together in one big cheat sheet. I realized after CES that my research only covered the best of 2009 - so some of it is already out of date. But I also realized that while many of the technology discussed at CES is available now - there is also an equal amount that has not launched yet.

To make things even more complicated, some of the technologies coming out will take some time to be adopted in the mainstream by families. An example of that is 3D Televisions. While I think anyone buying a new TV should think about buying one that has the "option" to run programs/movies that are 3D compatible (many new 3D TV's have controls that turn the 3D on or off) - I don't think consumers that were not shopping for a new TV will do so because of 3D. Not yet of course...

I decided to not look for any sponsors for this CES so I could just set my own schedule to take it all in (my trip was paid for all by TechMama herself). Starting next week I will post with what I learned about technology features from my obsessive study break and the exciting, bizarre, cool, relevant and downright "so thankful they finally invented that" technology from CES.


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