Being a techie, there are so many tech gadgets, toys and tools I'd love for Christmas this year. Here are my top five:
- Smart watch - for fitness tracking, but also to keep my phone out of my hand a bit more. The watch can give you alerts and control of music and podcasts. It's really a second screen for the phone.
- Google home - we're an Android family and our 4 year old is always wanting to "Ok Google..." for questions, music and other things. Though she did say to me "Dad, when I grow up I'll be your OK Google". We don't have much in the way of home automation, but it's only a matter of time.
- GoPro - sure my phone is waterproof and has a great camera, but there are times when we're going places or doing things that I don't want to risk my phone e.g. scuba diving, snorkelling and kayaking. GoPro's are quite indestructible so I'd feel better about giving it to the 4 year old for a photo shoot than my phone.
- Drone - there are places I'd like to take photos from that I can't even get to, let alone take my phone there to capture. Views from above, shots of and from an inaccessible place. Fast video tours of the surrounds. Even get one that can carry the GoPro so the quality is good.
- Nintendo Switch - I'm not a much of a gamer but everything I see about this is exciting: portable, dock-able and great games. Seems like a wonder device.
But out of all the tech gifts I could get, the one that would give me the most improvement in my quality of life would be…
Tech Support - for my family.
Like most techies I'm the one my family calls when they have computer trouble.
"I know you said not to install anything but I just needed this one thing"…
"The email looked real…"
"The guy on the phone said he was from Microsoft…"
"The guy in the repair shop said he installed some antivirus for free…"
Then I have to spend hours rebuilding, cleaning, recovering data, reinstalling ("you really want all those tool bars?!?")
Then there's the "I dropped my phone" and time spent with iFixit.com guides and eBay orders.
Finally there's "How do I do x?" walking someone through some software over the phone trying to workout what they want to do and how to do it in unseen software. The pinnacle of this was me, a windows guy, helping my brother to sort out a table of contents and pagination for his wife's PHd Thesis, over the phone. He was using Microsoft Word for Mac, in German(!) unsurprisingly the menus are completely different. Glad he was paying for that call ??
Don't get me wrong, I love my family and friends, but sometimes I wish I wasn't the one they called.
[As written by one of our Senior Technical Consultants]