Hello, my name is Jason Yang. It's a pleasure to meet you. Born and raised in sunny Maryland, I run a small media company - Digital Studios - as my day job. I've been a contributing writer with Unplggd for almost a year and it's been a fun experience with a great community of writers and readers. Unplggd epitomizes the perfect blend of tech and design, and it's important to find that balance between the two. Find out what tech makes me tick in my tech top 10, and thanks for reading!
Pioneer KRP-500M 'Kuro' 50" Plasma TV:
It's funny how brothers can grow up so similar and yet be polar opposites. While my younger sibling Ken (whose modern high rise apartment was featured in an Unplggd Tech Tour earlier this year, as well as the model for many of my Test Lab product reviews) is the musician and aural aficionado, I'm tirelessly unsatisfied and bothered by defects and compression artifacts in video. While the Pioneer Elite line has always been a step out of reach, when these Kuros went on sale a couple of years back I jumped on it, no matter that it was still twice as expensive as generic 50" plasma TVs. It's featured in my last apartment's A/V setup, the focal point in my Unplggd Blogger Tryout post which launched my time here with Apartment Therapy. I wonder if our editor Gregory Han noticed the Apartment Therapy Big Book of Small, Cool Places that I planted in the above picture from the original submission.
Movies on Blu-ray:
There's no attachment to my particular player (a Sony BDP-S360), but as a movie fanatic I absolutely love watching movies in Blu-ray. It's a huge step up from DVD (my old collection partially shown here, unceremoniously shoved un-alphabetized onto a shelf at the office) and while I'm game to watch a crappy movie on Netflix streaming now and again, there's nothing like seeing it in as high quality as possible (until 4k or the next big thing) while lounging in the comfort of your own living room.
I'm the type of person who has to watch everything, and while my habits in the past might have been to buy every single possible DVD even if only watched once, that's not economically "smart" shall we say. With my DVR I simply scan the days ahead to see what movies I haven't seen and just hit the record button. All of our favorite TV shows are set to automatically record (White Collar, House, Income Property).
Logitech Harmony 900:
Controlling all the action is a Logitech Harmony 900. The programmable touchscreen remote lets me one-touch control all of my equipment. It has built-in RF which means I don't have to point it at any of my devices which are tucked away, hidden from view. Expensive, but worth it!
Apple Cinema Display:
Though I'm a PC/Windows guy through and through, I'm a sucker for the look of Apple's Cinema Display monitors. While I used to run four 24" Dell monitors, it was high time I classed up the joint during client meetings at my web design company, Digital Studios
, and got rid of the industrial look which was a bit dorm room / Bat Cave
-ish. I now use a dual set of the aluminum models in my office
and one of the original acrylic models at home
Logitech Performance MX:
Absolutely awesome mouse, and I've gone through plenty. Works directly on glass, lots of buttons, adjustable scroll wheel, and comfortable in the hand. What's next for a mouse, multi-touch? But really, it's a great mouse, as fellow contributor Kevin Whipps will attest. If only I could remember to plug it when the on-mouse battery sensor shows red, but that's only after weeks and weeks of use.
Apple iPhone 4S:
I know it's rude but I just can't help it. Walking down the street with my head down playing with my smartphone. Playing Words with Friends at the bar. Checking a text message during dinner. Browsing the web during a call while on speakerphone (oh Verizon, can you hear me now?). The above photo was included in our holiday card for fun, shot by my girlfriend's amazing photographer brother, but it really isn't far from the truth how we're both on our phones all of the time.
Microsoft Outlook: It's got a lot of quirks, but I couldn't live without it. I'm one of those guys with a hundred folders, organized into groups and subgroups upon subgroups. My contacts list and calendar are chock full of thousands of people, places, and events - which made me the only one that knew everyone's birthday prior to Facebook diminishing the value of a happy birthday note.
2002 Dodge Viper RT/10
Not so much your traditional tech toy but rather a grown man's real live Hot Wheels toy car. Mourning the recent loss of my beloved Audi A8L as my traditional set of wheels, I'm currently in the hunt for a more practical car for a daily driver. It seems silly to hang on to the Viper - it's brutishly crude/overkill and an easy target for vandalism, theft, jokes... but I just can't let it go. I had wanted one all my growing years and just finally decided as an adult, hey, why not.
2007 Ducati Monster 695
Somewhere in between a ricer and a cruiser lies the beauty of a standard naked motorcycle. I can ride for hours on end, whether or not there's a destination in mind. Short errands are made enjoyable and D.C. traffic is actually quite bearable on a bike. The Ducati is actually a whole lot more fun as a go-fast toy than the Viper and just as useless in inclement weather, so why both? Not quite sure. A boy's gotta have his toys.
Technology/device I'm most looking forward to in 2012:
Perhaps it won't quite be ready in 2012 but the pieces are starting to slowly come together for convergence. High definition streaming across devices across wireless connectivity (home and away), all talking and playing nice together. That last part is the key.
Tech or tech organizational tip:
Nowadays with technology getting more and more complex it's especially important to plan out your tech in its entirety rather than just buy random gear at whim. In the long run it will all work together much better and you will be much happier to have spent the time to figure it out in advance. I also highly advocate fine tuning and tweaking your tech and processes so that you're taking advantage to the highest degree. Even one second time savers such as a learning a shortcut or having your cables and plugs in the perfect spots around your house and office all add up to less wasted time.
I never leave home without: my smartphone (see iPhone 4S, above). It's really nice and convenient to have with me all of the time, but a bad habit to constantly use (also see iPhone 4S, above). If only I could resist the constant urge to pull it out of my pocket to see if anything, anything at all has been updated for me to look at.
Happy Holidays everyone and best wishes for a fantastic 2012!