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The best investment in a piece of hardware is without a doubt my Cybex SwitchView device to hook up two or more computers (base units) with just one monitor, keyboard and mouse. I have a 2- and 4-base unit, and I can't tell you how easy my life is now that I no longer have four keyboards (not to mention three monitors) on my desk. The thing I noticed is that I seem unable to mix serial and PS/2 mice, so I now still have two mice on my desk (but only one keyboard and monitor - all connected to four different machines: running Win95, WinNT, Win2000 and Linux).
The best investment I've made in software last year is VMWare Workstation (I run the Windows edition on WinNT), which is able to "host" guest operating systems like Windows 95, 98 and even Linux. Great for testing (an install on a "clean machine" for example), simulation and debugging (both the host and guest operating system are active at the same time). You only needs lots of memory, since each operating system takes a chunk (and the host operating system needs some as well), so I have 256 MB in my WinNT laptop, with VMWare using 96 MB for any of my guest operating systems. And I just upgraded my desktop to 448 MB (256+128+64), so I can open two VMWare clients at the same time (and have my own mini-network on a single machine - great for simulations).
The best book I've seen in the past year is the one that I wrote a number of chapters for (yes, I'm very biased here). Of course, I'm talking about C++Builder 5 Developer's Guide, but I can assure you that this book is very helpful for C++Builder 5 developers (and Delphi 5 developers, since many of the chapters are applicable to Delphi as well - like the MIDAS 3 and InternetExpress chapters, for example).
As a professional IT consultant, I read more than a dozen computing magazines - most are related to programming. As a free-lance technical author, I also write for a number of them, like the UK-BUG NewsLetter, Developers Review, Delphi Developer, C++Builder Developer's Journal, SDGN Magazine (Dutch), Blaise (Dutch) and my personal favorite The Delphi Magazine.
My favorite event has long been the Annual Borland (Developers) Conference in the USA - where I've been a speaker since 1993 in San Diego. However, this year, there was one event which was in my personal experience even better and more enjoyable, namely the Delphi Conference 2000, in Reading (UK) organised by UK-BUG Borland User Group and The Delphi Magazine.
Favorite User Group
There are probably over 100 Delphi User Groups worldwide, but there is one that is my personal favorite, and that's the UK-BUG Borland User Group. And just the fact that they're from the UK doesn't mean you need to be from the UK to become a member: Marco Cantù and I are both members, and I'm from The Netherlands while Marco is from Italy (and there are far more "non-UK" members of the UK-BUG).
Favorite Web Site
There's one website - apart from my own :-) - that I visited most often last year, and that was the Borland Community website. I expect this site to grow, both in content and features in the next year, so I expect to come back at least once a day...
And now for a more relaxing item: my favortite movie/DVD of the year. I'm a big Star Trek fan, and have always been impressed by Patrick Stewart as an actor (his Christmas Carol from 1999 is the best version of all - brings a tear to my eye every time I see it).
The best movie of 2000 that I've seen is X-Men (available on DVD), featuring Patrick Stewart as Professor X.
Favorite Upcoming Release
Well, that's an easy one: Kylix, the Linux-edition of Delphi, is my most wanted upcoming release for 2001. Closely followed by Delphi 6 - with the Windows version of CLX that makes cross-platform development using Delphi/Kylix a reality..
My last favorite is just best wishes to you all; especially good health and the very best in 2001. See you in the next millennium...