Remember when the critics went nuts on the iPad?

Yeah, it was just last Jan. 27, when the critics came out of the woodwork — it’s too big for a phone, it’s too small for a computer, it’s got no camera, it’s got no USB port, it won’t multitask, and it’s got a name that once was a punchline on a Saturday Night Live skit.

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Well, Paul Hillman of the IT consulting firm C/D/H was the first of many to point out that the iPad is the top national tech story of 2010. Because all Apple did was sell more than eight million of those awful things at $500 each, a cool $4.5 billion or so… as Hillman said, “Not bad for a product that was compared to a rock when it first came out.”

Nationally, the top tech story of the year selected by the Associated Press was the surge in Wikileaks, and its continuing release of secret documents from governments around the world, along with the Stuxnet worm that appeared to be targeted against Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

In terms of local stories, well, I’m an accentuate-the-positive guy, and from among several mentions, I’m picking the growth of GalaxE Solutions, a New Jersey-based IT consultant that is gradually taking over the 1001 Woodward building across the street from Compuware Corp. in Detroit for a health care IT hub. It’s up to 40,000 square feet in the building so far.

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As GalaxE’s Chanelle N. Manus said in an e-mail, it’s one more step on the road to turning Woodward into Webward.

GalaxE led a hit parade of several companies providing welcome tech job additions in 2010, including Comcast’s call centers, Nexteer in Saginaw, General Motors’ electric vehicle operations, Strategic Staffing Solutions in Detroit, Roush Industries in Livonia, and if I missed any others I’m sure I’ll hear about it.

The rollout of advanced battery technologies was another major Michigan story for 2010, with literally thousands of jobs created. Not to mention the increasing reality of the electric car, and the growth of the LED lighting industry in Michigan, and the development of more cool software and apps by Michigan companies than you can shake an iPad at.

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Also a big deal is the rollout of so-called fourth generation, or 4G, wireless data speeds in the Detroit area. But that might be more of a story for 2011, which we’ll read about tomorrow.