This is a look back at seven of my favourite technology related items I used in 2021.
Please note: I’m not stating these items were released in 2021! I just happened to be using the items during last year.
As 2021 came near to its end I began to reflect on my favourite tech related items during the year and wrote a draft blog post that I’m now publishing. What a year 2021 was! It was stressful at times and technology definitely helped me a lot during that period.
From taking time out to play games with my fiancée and a friend, to strolling around with a camera and lenses and plenty of other tech activity.
There are some items that I found myself using and enjoying more than others, which I cover below.
No.1 – Fresh ‘n Rebel Headphones
I own numerous items from this brand and my favourites are the wired CAPS headphones.
I think the sound quality is good and I use the headphones most days at home. When outside I often use the lace earphones instead for listening to podcasts and music.
No.2 – Canon PowerShot A640 Camera
This camera reminds me of the Canon PowerShot G6 due to the screen that can be moved around, which I find helpful for low level photography. I like the fact I was able to install CHDK on this old camera. Plus the camera uses AA batteries and I’m able to use rechargeable AA batteries.
I think the camera was released in 2006! Sure it’s not feature rich compared to modern digital cameras, but I enjoy using this old camera.
No.3 – HP Compaq dx7500 computer
It’s 2021 and I’m blogging about a PC that I think was built in 2009! I’ve replaced the PSU, CPU, installed a SSD, replaced the mechanical hard drive, added a graphics card and installed 8GB RAM.
It’s running Windows 10 and I still use it for personal and work. It’s old technology and whilst a faster machine would be nice, I’m able to get my work done and enjoy playing games on it.
I’ve long thought about replacing the PC and was going to switch over to my Dell Optiplex 380 MT as my main PC, but never got round to it.
I now can see myself using the dx7500 throughout 2022 as my main PC, but slightly less often than I currently do as I’m now using tablets more often. I’m going to see if I can use lower powered technology more often and start to plan for a different main PC in 2023.
No.4 – BenQ GW2270 monitors
Okay this one sounds very boring! It’s a couple of monitors that I have on my desk, raised on a wooden raiser that I built. The two monitors are variants of the same model and I use one as my secondary display. However I also have a test bed connected to one and a thin client to the other! I also at times use a docking station with one the monitors, which I tend to connect to Android devices.
I used technology when if you wanted a large display you had to put up with a chunky monitor that took up a lot of desk space! These days it has changed and I find a two monitor setup useful.
I often find myself using my test bed, whilst making notes on another computer using both monitors side by side. Other times I will be editing photos using one display and referring to a blog post draft on another.
When I’m playing co-op games via Steam, I will often have a chat window open on one display, whilst playing a game on another.
I find a two monitor setup useful and I’ve settled on BenQ monitors for my main use. If one of my monitors was to break shortly, I would consider buying the same model again as a replacement.
Here is a link to the H variant of the monitor.
No.5 – Camera holder
I’ve got numerous lenses and adapters that I use with a Canon EOS M camera, but I’ve found it was a cheap purchase that has made the most difference to my photography. The item that has helped me a lot is an old holder that I got as part of a job lot. I wish I had purchased one of these sooner!
Along with using a neck strap, the vintage folding flash bracket camera holder to hold the camera has made a huge difference, especially as I have a slight shake. I make sure I’m using the neck strap at the same time, even if it is wrapped around my wrist and not neck, so I don’t just rely on the old holder.
I find it isn’t easy to hold the Canon EOS M without the holder. I think the hand grip on the bracket, along with the strap has made the photography experience more enjoyable.
No.6 – Kindle 4th Generation D01100
I read most days and I mainly use an eBook reader. I own a lot of eReaders and for many years my favourite was a Kindle 3. My Kindle 3 just kept going and going and whilst the battery isn’t that good now, it still works and that’s after considerable use.
I also own a Kindle 2016 8th generation eReader, but I prefer the older Kindle 4th generation D01100! Like the 3, the 4th gen still has the side buttons and whilst not as light as the 2016 model, I enjoy using the 4 because of the buttons.
I think the 4th generation might’ve come out in 2011, so ten years on and I still think it’s a good eReader.
No.7 – WRT54G v2
Almost twenty years on and I still own a couple of these routers, both using third party firmware!
In the past I’ve setup and given away a WRT54G to help family. I’ve used them as switches with the WiFi turned off. One of these routers I’m using almost daily in the bedroom and it does what I need it to.
The router in my bedroom is only turned on when needed and is connected to my main router via a powerline connection. I’m not advising you do this, but I’ve used cable ties to secure the router under a desk.
The router supplies WiFi and via ethernet connects to a docking station on a desk, which either my partner or I use with laptops. I’ve got another one of my old WRT54G routers nearby, ready to be updated and configured yet again, for short term use in my lounge.
I’ve not truly maximised the capabilities of the old WRT54G router, but I’ve used them at four different locations over twenty years and I like them. The ability to customise the device with a third-party firmware has extended my use of it.
What I’m looking forward to in 2022
Already into April 2022, I’ve shifted a lot of my focus on more low powered, mobile and adaptable setups mainly using second-hand technology.
Also photography and video is a big focus and I’ve purchased more lenses and adapters. Plus I’ve got a lot of old pocket cameras that I’m going to use for the last time and then give to people locally.
It’s also likely 2022 will be the last year of using a Samsung S5 G900T as my main phone, but that doesn’t mean I’m not planning on still using it for various projects. I’ve already purchased a replacement second-hand, but it’s got a problem I need to fix first before I hopefully start to use my replacement phone.
I also want to focus more on maintenance as well as making sure the technology I wish to use throughout the remainder of the year is ready when I need it, with a backup option available in some cases. i.e. If a tablet breaks, then I have another already setup.
I’ve purchased a lot of old tablets this year, many of which had issues, which I’ve been fixing and then looking at what I can do with some of them. I will blog about this at some stage.
If all the above is of interest to you, please subscribe to my blog and expect related posts over the coming months.