My Favorite Things of 2008

I have an annual tradition in the Sun-Times: I rip off a terrific idea from Oprah and do a column that’s all about my favorite things from 2008. It’s a neat premise. Throughout the year, I talk about hardware and software that’s interesting, or significant, or marks the arrival of an Important Change, or is…

The Great Google Phone Brain Dump: Part One

I’ve had the Google Phone (aka the T-Mobile G1, the first phone to ship with Google’s new Android phone OS) for nearly two weeks now. And frustratingly, only today, just some 9 hours before I was allowed to start talking about it, did someone go wide-eyed after spotting me using it in public. “Is that…

Sun-Times: “How To Succeed In Online Publishing Without Really Syndicating”

This column was originally published in The Chicago Sun-Times on April 24, 2008. These are interesting times for folks in my line of work. By “my line of work” I mean people who write and draw things and publish them…and by “interesting times” I mean that I’ve added weight training to my workout regimen, so…

Sun-Times – “The Microsoft/Yahoo! Deal”

This column was originally published in the Sun-Times on February 7, 2008. For the past couple of years now, everyone here in Geek World has been hearing rumors about about Microsoft’s desire to buy Yahoo!. It’s uncannily like when one of your friends keeps honking on about wanting to get the entire original cast of…

Sun-Times: “Logitech Harmony One Remote”

This column was originally published in the Sun-Times on January 31, 2008. I had no idea how badly my home entertainment system here in the living room had gotten out of hand until a recent afternoon when I picked up the requisite basket of remotes and issued the usual sequence of baffling commands. But instead…

Kindle: It’s About More Than Just Waffles.

An edited version of this column first appeared in The Chicago Sun-Times on November 29, 2007. So here’s what Amazon went and did. Metaphorically, they invented a humanoid robot capable of autonomous action. Every morning at 4 AM, it gets in your car and drives all over the state, buying fruit, milk, butter, eggs, and…

Standing Firm

An edited version of this column was first published in The Chicago Sun-Times on October 4, 2007. How tragic. What was once thought of as America’s sweetheart of the cellphone industry, a fresh, charming piece of technology with a bright and exciting future, is starting to become more famous for making headline-grabbing stumbles and sprawls.…

Jazz Odyssey

Oddly enough, I like it when a computer screws up and the reason turns out to be “Andy Ihnatko is a moron.” Because I’ve been dealing with Andy’s bonehead mistakes for years now and I’m usually pretty good at unraveling them. Fixing a piece of boneheaded hardware or software is the sort of task that…