My 2009 list of things

By NikPakvasa

My 2009 list of things:

It is December 31. Another year and a decade is gone by. 2009 was very eventful year but I am not here to dwell on it. I am here to share things I enjoyed.

Books I enjoyed:

1.  In Other Room, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin – Wonderful short stories based in Pakistan that weaves old traditions with the modern times.

2.  A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore – Beautiful novel about coming of age of a mid-western girl after 9/11. It is tender, funny, and poignant.

3.  Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout – Pulitzer prize winning fiction based in rural Maine is a series of linked short stories. The story revolves around a teacher and her family and her connections.

What books did you enjoy? What would you recommend?

One book I can’t wait to get my hands on!

The Help by Kathryn Stocket – “….Told from three different points of view, The Help takes place in Jackson, Miss., in the early 1960s, when the Deep South was beginning its immersion into the civil rights movement. Stockett masterfully captures both black and white voices with astonishing believability, and all three main characters — renegade debutante Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, and housekeepers Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson — are complex, admirable women….” (from NPR)

Movies that I enjoyed

1.  The Hangover – stupid but thoroughly enjoyable. Fun. Fun Fun.

2.  Precious – very sad but also uplifting. It’s all about the human spirit and perseverance.

Movies I still want to see before the new year (but have to wait for dvd release because I prefer to watch at home: convenient and cheaper than going out. I will have to make an exception for Avatar which must be experienced in IMAX 3D))

1.  Up in the air

2.  Crazy Heart

3..  Inglorious basterds

4.  Avatar

What movies would you recommend?

Gadgets I wish I had but can’t afford right now, with 1 kid in college and other starting in 2010. So you know where my priorities are!!

1.  Sony 40” OLED TV…wow it is 1 CM thin!

2.  Smartphone….love iPhone but my life would be misery trying to manage and decide how and when to use 90,000 apps. I would be worried it would take over my life.

3.  Canon 7D or Nikon D90 DSLR…I was happy to get rid of my SLR when point and shoot came. I like the point shoot. It fits in my pocket and besides I have no artistic bone in my body.

4.  Bose Quiet Comfort 15…this I could use but seems bit pricey.

5.  Livescribe’s Pulse smartpen…. very useful for jotting notes during travels,  meetings , observations, etc. Unfortunately forgot to sms my wish list to Santa this year..

6.  E-Reader like Kindle, Nook or Sony Reader ( 3 more e-readers will be announced at 2010 CES in a few weeks And there is always Apple. Rumors abound about Apples’ new hybrid gadget- e-reader, tablet, etc. ). E-reader must be wonderful: to have all my books, journals and newspapers in my shirt pocket! But I still prefer feel of book. I could see e-readers being very useful for people spending too much time at airports, taxis, and hotels.


This is only partial list. My list is too long and continues to grow!  I have promised myself to do more with less.. What gadgets you can’t live without?

New internet tools that I love:

1. “Readability” – It makes world of difference to read online documents with it. No more clutter. Give it a spin.

2. Evernote – This is the coolest tool. I love it.  And it is free! There are many uses of it but for me just the ability to save any part of the web page instantly with one click and tag it is just very handy. With Evernote you can Remember, Tag and Find everything, anywhere , anytime! Read 100 Different Evernote uses and decide how you can use it.  Read Give it a try.

What technology/products I think will have impact in 2010 and beyond

1.  Google Goggles – Ability to recognize images and search and find information. Implications are far reaching not in the short term but in the long term.

2.  Google Chrome OS & Google Chrome OS Netbook ? – Since I spend so much time on Internet it seems my sole purpose in using my PC is to get to the web as fast as possible. With my PC it takes me almost 3-4 minutes (depending on wifi connection). How cool would it be to be able to fire up OS and be on the internet in 7 seconds or even 20 seconds!!! Plus this new Chrome OS device would weigh and cost a lot less.

3.  Google Wave – Without getting caught into all the hype around it I believe Wave is about collaborative distributed computing. 

4.   Microsoft Office 2010 version on “cloud”

5.   Apple – iTablet? iSlate? A hybrid gadget – e-reader, iTouch, tablet? Whatever it is it will be cool and I will want it!

6.   Cloud computing – there is raging debate but I think it is here to stay and grow. Cable connection will be as good as our old landline telephone. We expect them to never go down. And as for security I trust my data with Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft,, etc. They do this for living. It is in their interest to provide highest level security. They will invest in best computer science that money can buy. I seriously doubt corporate, especially mid-to-small, can afford IT investment to compete with them.

Another thing Cloud computing apps have shown is that it has to be easy.  That is where the future battle ground will be for even enterprise software.. Easy to deploy, maintain, train, integrate and use, and at the same time secure and less costly. It may take few more years to reach there but I have no doubt where we will end up.

I am hooked to ‘cloud’ computing. Here’s how:

A. My local library – reserving books online

B. Banking

C. Netflix – I love Instant watching! Have you tried the Roku player?

D. Apple TV – Stream your digital photos to your lcd/plasma tv and buy or rent movies instantly. Netflix and Apple TV is our entertainment since we don’t have live TV (we disconnected TV cable 12 years ago when my children were 6 and 8 and never turned it back on)

E. Shopping

F. G-mail

G. Google documents

H. Google voice


J. Rotten Tomatoes

K. NY Times


M. Social networking (Twitter, blogging)

N. Wikipedia

Wish you Happy , Healthy and Prosperous 2010.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at