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From Rearview Mirror to the Horizon Ahead

As I write, we are on the verge of a brand-new year. Christmas has passed and our new socks have found their home in the drawer with our holey (as opposed to holy) old friends (my socks definitely aren’t holy!!!). This is the time to reflect on the year that was and look ahead to the year to come.

As I look back, my thoughts go to the tech news-makers of the year. This is, after all, a tech blog. So, who made news in 2011? Well, once again, there was much attention focused on Apple at the release of the iPad 2 in March. Throughout the summer, rumors and imaginations grew at the anticipated fall release of the iPhone 5. Instead, we were introduced to the 4S. Initial disappointment turned once again to excitement as the world had its first conversation with Siri; the voice recognition app that came standard with the iPhone 4S. I say “conversation” because Siri is much more than the voice recognition of the past. “She” is intelligent. So much so that MacLife magazine featured an interview with Siri in their latest issue (http://www.maclife.com/article/features/chat_siri). Siri is quite amazing.

In the midst of all of the Apple excitement, the world lost one of its truly innovative minds when Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011. We will never forget Jobs’ keynotes, wearing his signature jeans and black turtleneck as he casually walked the stage, revealing to the world the next big thing.

While there were many innovations in 2011, we saw one thing remain a constant; Facebook users continued to be moved to uproar over the occasional random changes that are forced upon them. Many of our “friends” threaten to kiss Facebook goodbye every time the change comes, but yet they remain. Why? Well, although there have been competitors rise up, none can compare to the connectivity of the giant. It seems that everyone is on Facebook!

As we consider the pivotal time of year at which we now stand, I have two questions for your comment. Here’s question number one: What was your favorite tech news of 2011?

Now, let us turn our attention toward 2012. Put on your special future-seeing glasses and let’s gaze into the months to come. What do you see? One of my Twitter followers, Cinnamon, says, “I think the iPad 3 is going to take the world by storm… I know I am waiting for its launch in spring 2012.” I’m with her on that one! While the iPad 2 was thinner and lighter than the first generation, I believe that the third offering of this tablet will be another forward leap. Some of the buzz is in anticipation for a smaller, perhaps 7” model. Fellow-blog-writer Chrissy is hoping that the next generation iPad will finally get the Retina display that iPhone and iPod Touch users enjoy. One thing is for sure; we techies will be on the edge of our seats the day of the spring Apple event.

I am feeling that 2012 will also be the year of Microsoft as the much-scrutinized Windows 8 is released. Some are excited to get their hands on this new tiled version of Windows and others are dreading its release. As I mentioned in a previous article, I also think we will see a major wave in the tablet market as the mobile version of Windows 8 leads the way for greater convergence between desktop and mobile computing.

This all leads me to my second question for your consideration: What tech advances do you see coming in 2012? What’s the next big gadget that we won’t be able to live without? Let’s dream a little.

It will be interesting to look back on this article at the end of 2012 to see if our predictions came true and perhaps laugh about those big things that we never saw coming. Just remember to take off those funny-looking future-seeing glasses after you finish dreaming. You really shouldn’t wear them out in public.

Randy Kightlinger

Computer Service Technician

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