As the years go by, Christmas gets more and more commercial, and I get older and greyer. But there is an upside to the passing of time: technology gets cooler and cooler. Here, then, are my top five technology moments of Christmas '07.
Top legacy technology
"Guitar Hero II" on the PlayStation 2. Turns out technical editors "do got rhythm" after all. Admittedly, though, the end product isn't helped much by having fits of giggles at your two-player-mode partner when he keeps hitting bum notes when playing the lead on "Jessica".
Top wireless technology
Wireless guitar for the PS2. No more near-fatal tripping accidents when getting carried away on GH-II and/or under the influence of London Pride. (Aside: real rock guitarists drink real ale).
Top mobile technology
Calling Tunes on Orange, which I discovered when I upgraded my handset in mid-December. For those who don't know, a calling tune is something that gets played along with the ringing tone when someone calls your mobile. So instead of them just hearing "ring ring", people who phoned me over Christmas were treated to "Fairytale of New York" instead. And it didn't cost me a bean because Orange was giving it away as a special-offer trial. And EVERYBODY wanted to know what it was and how I'd done it. (Let's see if Orange now sends me a bottle of something nice for being their Number One Calling Tune Fan).
Least popular technology move
Setting "Fairytale of New York" as my Calling Tune, since my missus can't stand the late Kirsty MacColl's voice. I was told at an early stage: "If your phone rings and it's my number, you'd better bl***y pick it up quick".
Stop fiddling and it'll work
Being a techie, you're at the mercy of friends and family members who have bought themselves new gadgets over Christmas, and who think that just because you're a technological genius (and a modest one at that) you will automatically know how to set up/reset/fix whatever bonkers bits of electronics they've acquired over the festive period. Over the phone. With them giving helpful feedback like: "Oh, it's just done something odd". On New Year's Eve I found myself on the phone to a relative who bought himself a new PC - which, three days previously, I'd helped him get connected to his AOL broadband Internet link, but which had decided to stop working. After half an hour's fiddling I decided that the settings were right after all, and started to consider things like an intermittent fault in the phone cable ... at which point the green light on the router came on. Seems that something had been broken at AOL's end, and someone fixed it just as we stopped fiddling.
Incidentally, I also made a useful non-technology discovery. Having been working in St Helier (Jersey) since early November, flying out at the start of the week and back at the end, I've had the best-stocked drinks cabinet I can ever remember. Jersey's not in the EU, you see, so you get a proper Duty Free allowance. And you get paid for doing the work. Can't be bad ...