My Tech Top 10: Vivian Kim

Hi, I'm Vivian, a musician and graphic designer. Most nights you can find me either playing some first-person shooter on my Xbox 360 or sitting at my iMac working on music. I love miniature toys, colorful tech, and have an obsession for all things cute.

Top Row:

  • iMac - I absolutely cannot live without my iMac. There is something about a desktop computer that a laptop could just never replace. For the most part my work space serves as a DIY home studio/recording space. I've got my iMac setup with a 20" Dell monitor, M-Audio BX5a studio monitors, an M-Audio Profire audio interface, and an M-Audio Axiom 25 midi keyboard.
  • Urbanears Plattan Headphones - It took me a while to purchase these headphones even though I had it on my wishlist for a while. I loved all the awesome bright colors they came in but wasn't sure if they were worth the hype and price tag ($75 with shipping). A friend of mine recently bought a pair and after testing them out, I decided they were definitely worth the purchase (especially when keeping in mind that a good pair of headphones are typically $300). The sound is great and the bass has punch. Even though they aren't noise-canceling, the headphones still manage to block out a considerable amount of outside noise. I love the design and the plattans look great on just about anybody.
  • Moog Little Phatty Stage II Analog Synthesizer - I've wanted a Moog ever since I was in high school and I finally managed to save up enough money to get one this year. I love collecting synthesizers and just hearing those warm buzzing synth sounds makes my Moog worth every penny.
  • iPhone 4 - Rarely does a gadget that does so much do everything so well. This little gadget is my GPS, music player, point-and-shoot, video camera, alarm clock, TV remote, and of course, my phone. The quality of apps have been getting better and better and overall my iPhone has changed the way I communicate with friends and family. Instagram, Navigon, Harmony Remote and Pano 360 have been my most used apps this year.
  • Korg Electribe ESX-1 - Although I primarily use my iMac setup with Ableton Live for making music, my Electribe ESX-1 sampler is the perfect alternative for when I have writer's block. I usually lay down drums in Ableton using my midi keyboard, but sometimes it's nice to have a physical step sequencer when I want to be a little more creative.

Bottom Row:

  • Nabaztag/tag - My Nabaztag/tag is probably the cutest tech I own. I've had this little WiFi rabbit for years now and it notifies me whenever I have new emails by glowing its belly and moving its ears. It's fun to have a piece of hardware that reacts to what's going on online.
  • Amazon Kindle - After trying to read books on an iPad, I've found that having a single use eReader is the way to go if you want to get some major reading done without getting distracted. I purchased this Kindle only a few months ago to upgrade from my 1st generation Kindle. I usually have two books that I switch reading back and forth from, plus I read a lot of articles I've saved on Instapaper. If you have a Kindle, Instapaper is a must.
  • Olympus Pen E-P1 - Once I tried out micro 4/3, I never looked back. Great picture quality in a compact size. I end up taking more pictures these days since I can take my Pen with me wherever I go and it's definitely less noticeable than a bulky DSLR. I still keep my Nikon D80 around but I use my Pen a lot more often.
  • Turtle Beach Earforce x41 Gaming Headphones - I play a whole lot of Modern Warfare 2 on my Xbox 360 and I don't know what I'd do without these 7.1 wireless headphones. You can hear every little detail in whatever game you're playing and the sound quality is awesome. They're also perfect for gaming quietly so I don't disturb my boyfriend while he's napping.
  • Logitech Harmony One - A home entertainment system isn't complete without a good universal remote. I use my Harmony One every single day and it has perfect ergonomics and looks. I control just about everything with it, from browsing Netflix on my Xbox to navigating Boxee running on my Mac Mini.


Technology/device I'm most looking forward to in 2011: In 2011 I'm pretty excited to see what happens in the set top box space. It'd be cool to see what developers come up with when Google opens up the app marketplace on Google TV. I'm also hoping that HP/Palm comes out with a new phone and tablet hardware. The iPad has some amazing music creation apps too so it'd be awesome to see more of those.

Tech or tech organizational tip: Back up frequently! I've got a 1TB LaCie external hard drive that I use with Time Machine and I back everything up monthly. After accidentally deleting important files on more than one occasion this year, Time Machine saved my life. An external hard drive is definitely worth investing in and 1TB is pretty cheap these days. Just keep in mind that it doesn't matter what happens to your computer as long as you've got everything backed up somewhere.

I never leave home without: My iPhone--it's definitely the most important thing to keep in my bag at all times. I can take a photo to capture/share any moment or even read a product review for something I'm thinking about purchasing while I'm out shopping. It also makes me feel safe knowing that I can always find a way to get somewhere whenever I'm lost and don't know where I am. I like staying updated with all of my friends via Twitter too.

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