Tech reviews for the holidays

Pour yourself some eggnog and curl up with a year's worth of Test Center wisdom

Even IT takes a holiday now and then. Same goes for the InfoWorld staff, which chills out by taking a one-week break following the publication of this, our 51st and final issue of the year.

But before we bid adieu to 2005, we’d like to leave you with a stocking stuffer, a memento of the year, if you will. I’m talking, of course, about our annual “Review of Reviews” -- a compendium of all the hardware and software the InfoWorld Test Center evaluated in 2005. With 309 product reviews, divvied into eight categories, this 32-page section can help guide your IT strategy and purchases for 2006.

Robert X. Cringely also has a holiday gift for you: the third annual GUI Awards, recognizing “Greed, Underhandedness, and Imbecility” in the world of high tech. Carping suits Cringely well, and he’s certainly in fine form here -- perfect if you want a steaming pot of vitriol under your Festivus pole.

Finally, last month I asked for your feedback on InfoWorld’s two newest columns, From the Analysts and Off the Record. Specifically, I wanted to know whether we should keep them or dump them. Based on your e-mails, as well as a major online survey of subscribers, both columns are hits. Of the two, passions ran particularly high on Off the Record. Many readers cited it as their favorite part of the magazine, offering valuable lessons and wise observations, while a vocal minority described it as negative and divisive. The short and sweet of it: Both are here to stay. Thanks for your input.

By the way, this week’s Off the Record is likely to strike a nerve. It’s a holiday tale with a twist. I don’t want to ruin the story, but I can guarantee that it’s unlike anything InfoWorld has ever published before.