Advice for a Chronically Late Adopter?

I’m a notoriously late adopter of technologies. It is not a conscious decision, and I don’t take any pride in it. I just do not have enough imagination to figure out ahead of time how much I will like things once I actually have them. E-mail is a good example. I couldn’t see how e-mail would be of much use to me when it first became popular. It wasn’t until my last year in graduate school that I got an e-mail account, and that was only because I liked a girl and she was on e-mail. I didn’t have a laptop until three years ago. We didn’t get Wi-Fi in the house until this year. The list goes on and on: an IPass for my car (just this year); an iPod (two years ago); Tivo (last year).

In every case, when I look back, I wish I had adopted sooner. I can only think of one technology I adopted too early: voice recognition software. Back in grad school, I had carpal tunnel problems from entering too much data, so I bought voice recognition software that would supposedly eliminate the need to type so much. No matter how much I trained it, it couldn’t figure out what I was saying. Somehow, when my wife would talk to it, the software understood every word.

As such, I need some advice from blog readers: what are some technologies I need the most that I’ve been slow to adopt?

We’ll send a signed copy of Freakonomics , a Freakonomics yo-yo, or a Freakonomics fact-a-day calendar to the suggestion I like best.

Addendum: The winners of the contest are named here.