I could have been a better geek in 2012. When it comes down to it, there just aren't enough hours in a day to do all the gaming, social networking, rooting, modding, and general geekery we'd like to. When forced to make the choice between a family vacation or staying home to indulge in nerdy pleasures like crunching the data generated by the newly flashed firmware on my Wi-Fi router, that trusty old Linksys model and my other devices tend to be the ones that get scorned.
But I resolve that this New Year will be different.
With the advent of some new developments on the home front, like kindergarten for my daughter, I may have a little more time to devote to some nerdier and neglected pursuits. With that in mind, here's my personal list of geeky New Year's resolutions for 2013:
The Windows 8 plunge Because of some international travel and a fairly recent major Windows 7 system purchase, I've yet to take the Windows 8 plunge. Pathetic, I realize. Yes, I know I could easily upgrade my existing system for relatively cheap, and I'm typically an early adopter with these sorts of things, but so far I've been too freaked to try the upgrade while out of the country without sufficient backups or other support. I also justify my waiting with the promise of a possible hardware upgrade in the next month or two. I'm eagerly waiting to see how Microsoft's Surface Pro performs, and I'm also pondering Lenovo's Yoga, as I look for possible ways to dive into Windows 8 headfirst, even if I will be a bit late to get my feet wet.
Go-go Google+ As Google's social network has added cool features and Facebook has grown increasingly creepy and annoying, I've been ever more tempted to move more of my life onto Google's platform, but it's ever so hard to neglect the massive user base on Facebook or the zeitgeist-in-action that is Twitter. But now's the time to give it my best shot. I'm not pulling up stakes on the other major social networks just yet. In fact, I'd also like to spend more time on Reddit, and I continue to pull for App.net, but Google+ to me is clearly the most powerful and versatile platform out there, especially for an Android user such as myself. Please help hold me to my promise by finding my Google+ page and Circling me.
Giving gaming another chance At some point in 2003 I found myself neglecting friends and work commitments to spend afternoons playing hours of Halo with a buddy's 11-year-old son after school. This episode came just five years after spending most of a whole spring break in college playing Quake with four friends in separate rooms in an otherwise empty dorm somewhere in Oregon (that was in '98). In other words, I tend to have problems gaming in moderation, so I quit cold turkey in 2004 and have seldom touched a controller since. But last year I added a few apps to my Nexus 7 and have managed to keep my Hill Climb Racing, Temple Running, and Fruit Ninja-ing under control. With the promise of more next-generation consoles joining the Wii U in 2013, this will be the year that I get reacquainted with that old flame and make another attempt at a healthy relationship. Check back here next year to see if I still have my job (or any remaining friends).
Better Bluetooth My first job in tech journalism went poof with the dot-com crash of 2000 and I fled into the arms of mainstream radio for almost a decade. As such, I still love radio and podcasts just as much as tech, and there's almost always something in my ear as I go through my day. This tends to lead to lots of cords, carrying devices around, and a collection of Bluetooth earpieces that might be good for one situation, but few others. This year I'll be on the lookout for the perfect wireless listening solution that makes it easy to listen seamlessly between home, outside, in the car, at the gym, and everywhere.
Those are the big projects. I'm also hoping to be a better device owner, spending some time actually organizing my apps and home screens and taking advantage of the time that I put into rooting them. I'd also like to actually 3D print something useful and get my hands on some Google Glass or something similar, if only briefly.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to spend some overdue quality time with my Wi-Fi router.