Well, we've done it. After reading and re-reading hundreds of essays and arguing until the wee hours, our judges have chosen the winners of The Great Tech Call-'Em-Like-You-See-'Em Contest.
Believe us, it wasn't easy. The entries we received from our readers were thoughtful, opinionated, witty, heartfelt, and entertaining. (Well, most of them were, anyway. Some of them were downright scary. You know who you are.) We're very impressed. (For more gushing about our readers' entries, see Features Editor Valerie Potter's column You Wow Us With Your Prose.)
Our contestants weighed in on one or more of these four categories:
The Software Hall Of Fame: You wrote fervently and eloquently about the best software you've come across in the past 10 years. We thought more of you would choose Firefox. Instead, we were treated to a vast array of products from high-end graphics software to free utilities to Linux distros that inspire the kind of loyalty usually reserved for sports teams and Macs. It's good to know there are programs out there that make a real difference in their users' lives, and we thank you for sharing them with us.
The Hardware Hall Of Fame: You told us your picks for the best hardware that's come down the pike in the last 10 years. Cell phones, handhelds, storage media, mice, hard drives, and more even the gone-but-not-forgotten Commodore Amiga made your lists, and many of you shared anecdotes about how your favorite gear has saved the day. Well done.