Intridea’s Favorite Things 2012

In the spirit of the holidays, we decided put together a list of our favorite things from 2012. As product junkies, we Intrideans are always on the lookout for things that make our lives simpler, smarter, easier, and all round better, and we love to spread the word.

From tech gadgets and software products to functional clothing and quirky books, below are some top picks from our team.

Amelia Saletan

Text your friends in other countries for free

Foam Rollers
If you do, or don’t do, any type of exercise, you need a foam roller. Good for warming up or cooling down the muscles. Or for muscle pain/soreness.

Anthony Nystrom

VueZone Wireless Cams
VueZone wireless cameras allow me to check in with my family no matter where I am and anytime. Makes me feel like I am there when traveling.

Chamberlain Wireless Intercom
Love these units. Simple communication throughout the entire house.

Bioinformatics – The ML Approach
Best book I have read to date on bioinformatics with ML. I am always rereading parts of it.

Ben Markowitz

Thunderbolt Display
I gave up waiting for Apple to refresh their display and bit the bullet on their 27″ Thunderbolt Display. It’s bright, huge, and has a built in camera, speakers, USB and Firewire ports that I can hook up to my laptop with one cable.

Chris Tate

Corcoran 10 In. Historic Leather Military Brown Jump Boot
They were designed for WWII paratroopers and haven’t changed since. They’re rugged, super tough looking, and crazy comfortable after broken in. I’ve had mine for 3 years and hope to rock them for the next 3. My uncle, Al Saguto, is Colonial Williamsburg’s master shoemaker and he recommended these to me a few years back.

MacBook Air
My other fav thing is my MBAir. Light, powerful, perfect for what I do—I can’t imagine a better laptop. It’s been perfect for me while I’ve been on the road for the last few months. Seriously, amazing, I love it.

Insiya Hussain

This year AwayFind helped me (partially) cure the incessant need to check email every 5 mins. I actually feel like I can step away without missing something important.

Jurgen Altziebler

Innovative award from me. Clever, cute, fun.

I have to give Evernote a thumbs up – the newest desktop version is great.

Kathleen Selmer

Garmin Forerunner 405CX
This running watch keeps track of mileage, pace, elevation changes and so much more. No more guessing at how far I ran!

Knuckle Lights
So much better than a headlamp! These were really useful on the AT where they worked like “low beams” in the heavy fog.

Maggie Lubberts

Windows. So many people use it, and I DON’T as a rule of thumb. This is great right up until it comes time to test. With Browserstack I don’t have to install cumbersome virtual machines in order to test my sites in Windows browsers. Browserstack spins up a machine for me to use in the cloud, and it works perfectly!

If you don’t do fab, you’re missing out. We all need things; sunglasses, clothes, bags, cookware, furniture, suitcases. Fab has it. But not ALL the sunglasses, or ALL the luggage, only the slickest. Every item is accepted into the Fab store for being beautifully designed. The iphone app rocks, and I did a large portion of my holiday shopping there (much to my family’s delight.)

Marc Garrett

The Lonely Planet Book of Everything
Recognizing animal poop, making your hotel room burglar proof, carrying an injured friend from a remote location, understanding why the TGV is so darn fast: these are critical skills in the daily life of an engineer and the “Book of Everything” covers them all.

Mike Tierney

Palomino Blackwing Pencils
These are incredible pencils, creating a rich dark line without getting nasty and smudgy. They’re a revival of the classic pencil of the same name, used by authors and artists like John Steinbeck and Chuck Jones.

Brooks PureConnect Running Shoes
I spend more time thinking about shoes than I care to admit, but when I’m running I want something that’s going to take care of my feet and make the experience as enjoyable as possible. Of all the shoes I have tried, the Brooks PureConnect do live up to their marketing up making running a purely enjoyable experience. They’re light and have great airflow, but I never feel like my foot is vulnerable (which is remarkable, given how minimal of a running shoe they are); I hardly even realize they’re there.

Patti Chan

The only thing I need besides my Macbook to do work, is TEA. And nothing brews tea more beautifully than my Sorapot, a gift I got 5 years ago. Except when I catch myself gazing at it instead of answering emails.

Tom Zeng

FitBit Zip
Great little device to keep me motivated to excise, it has helped me keeping up with the 10k steps/day goal and making me healthier and more productive both at work and home.

Yoshi Maisami

Google Translate
It’s been around for a while… but keeps getting better and better.