Cool Tech Mid-Year Update issue 4

This is my 4th and final mid-year Cool Tech category post. I have covered 1-9 in my three previous posts and you can find links to those below.

First post with categories 1-3

Second post with categories 4-6

Third post with categories 7-9

10. Navigation Tech

First off the category is changing faster than any other I’ve seen in a long time. There was a time, now more than 15 years ago, when I carried a portable GPS with me when I was traveling. The first version of the product was Co-Pilot and it required my laptop and an external antenna. That meant I also had to have a DC to AC power supply because back then my laptop had at most 1 hour of battery and often landing at the airport was the start of a 2 hour or more commute. That moved to a Pocket PC sleeve that allowed me to leave my laptop off and use that device. Then it became/was integrated into the cell phone and the handheld, portable GPS world changed forever. Now it is all about the software.

Products I use today include Tom Tom, Copilot, Mbrace, Apple Maps and Google Maps. From time to time I also use Waze and Inrix. But the primary tool I use remains Co-Pilot and MBrace. I trust both of them because so far they have never led me to the wrong place.

11. Headsets

Now, this is an interesting category. I actually find that headsets have evolved and what you need them for is vastly different. Which means that that category continues to evolve. But the capabilities within the category are tremendous.

The products I use today include Hololens, Glyph, Parrot Noise Cancelling Headphones and the Jabra Evolve 80. Each of them has a specific function, Hololens I use during conference calls where I need to look things up. The Jabra is my primary go-to conference call setup when I am in a loud environment. The Glyph is great for watching training videos and well movies and TV. Finally, I have my reliable Parrot Noise Cancelling headsets for when I want to listen to music and not hear the world around me!

12. Storage

The last category and most likely the broadest. In part because this category represents a lot of moving pieces. Storage in and of itself can be integrated with the computer or device you are using. Like the headsets, it can also connect to the device you are using. Unlike headsets, however, storage can also be remote or “cloud” or network based. The what and why of storage involves a lot of questions.

The products I use in this category are in three buckets including direct attached storage (Or DASD), network attached storage (or NAS) and finally Cloud storage. The three are Western Digital USB drives directly attached to my computers. A WD My Cloud device sitting on my network (one is always on, the other is always off but they are full backups of each other). Finally, i use Carbonite to backup my PC.

All of this said for storage I do have one thing to save beyond the what I am using statements. That is if you have digital copies of your family memories, have multiple copies of them. Disk drives only fail when they are on. They are even more likely to fail right after you put the only copies of all your digital pictures on them! Make multiple copies of your family memories!!!

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Technologist

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