The Top Nonenterprise Products of 2001

Surprisingly, writing this column never gets old. I tirelessly examine interesting enterprise architectures; match them to the vendors' hyperbolic claims; compare them with what I believe readers actually need; and, once in a while, take potshots at unsus

Surprisingly, writing this column never gets old. I tirelessly examine interesting enterprise architectures; match them to the vendors hyperbolic claims; compare them with what I believe readers actually need; and, once in a while, take potshots at unsuspecting vendors, just to break out of writers block. Well, maybe the last part is right.

What I typically dont do is write about the nonenterprise stuff I actually use and like. Until today, that is.

Expertcitys Gotomypc is the most useful tool of 2001. Whether Im at a public terminal or borrowed PC, Im never disconnected from my desktop. Gotomypc is a remote desktop system that is much like a hosted version of PC Anywhere, except you dont need the fat-client software. Its like Windows XP Remote Desktop, except it works on operating systems besides XP. Its more convenient than VPN technologies and at least as secure.

Pinnacles Studio 7 is my hobby tool of the year. Ive dabbled in video for years and used early versions of Studio DV with little success. I still use Adobe Premier for heavy-duty video editing, but Studio 7 is a lot more fun. By the way, serious video enthusiasts should get a Mac or, better yet, a specialized OS-based solution. I use Windows for video because I like pain.

Logitechs cordless Freedom Pro is my unnecessary luxury. You dont get rid of all the wires, and you have to replace the batteries often, but theres something special about a wireless keyboard and mouse. The keyboard has a great tactile feel.

Windows XP is the best story of 2001. I like most of the new features in it, and Microsofts missteps regarding security will keep the computer press (and me) busy until at least 2003.

Evergreens processors are my timesaving, cheap upgrade of the year. My PC was chugging, so I popped an Evergreen processor in, and it cut my video rendering time in half. No new PC needed. What a bargain.

Pioneers DVR-A03 is the coolest consumer device of the year. Pioneer has been a pioneer at delivering low-cost, high-quality DVD-RW and DVD-R. But Pioneer pays attention to detail, too. This is a nice unit, which, of course, will be upgraded momentarily.

What fun stuff has been getting you through the recession? Write to me at john_taschek@ziffdavis.com.