01 Dec Holiday Tech Gizmo's to Give and Get
As if on cue, fluffy snow fell over Pittsburgh as I returned from Thanksgiving celebrations. That can only mean one thing: the Holidays are upon us and gift giving cannot be far away. This season, the tech industry has a sack full of goodies for the giving. Here are a few of my favorites.
FOR THE NETWORKED HOME THAT HAS (ALMOST) EVERYTHING. Introduced at DEMOmobile in September and shipping this week, the Mirra Personal Server is among the most elegant and useful new products I’ve had the pleasure of adding to my home office setup. Add this appliance to your network and never worry about losing a file again. Mirra maintains a current backup and past versions of files and folders, then makes them available for easy sharing and remote access. It could not be more simple to use and, in just a few weeks, has saved my bacon on several occasions in which I left home without the files I needed on the road. Mirra Personal Server, $399, Mirra, Inc., http://www.mirra.com.
FOR THE FREQUENT FLIER. It’s uncanny how I seem to get the airline seat surrounded by crying babies. These days, I don’t mind because I wear the ER*6 Isolator noise-eliminating earphones. These small, lightweight ear buds fit snuggly into the ear, cutting out external noise and delivering beautiful stereo sound. At a fraction of the size and about half the price of the more well-known Bose noise cancellation headsets, the ER*6 is an outstanding value and a great stocking stuffer. ER*6 Stereo ear buds, $139 Etymotic, Inc., http://www.etymotic.com.
FOR THE SECRET AGENT WANNABE. I love capturing photos at gatherings of friends and family, but I find no joy in lugging around a bulky camera. So I was delighted to find the Logitech Pocket Digital 130, a lightweight, compact digital camera about the size of deck of playing cards with the face cards removed. Aside from the sliding camera cover, there are no moving parts or removable memory cards to lose. The 1.3 megapixel camera goes forever on a single charge, and holds up to 150 images in solid state memory. A simple USB cable connects camera to PC where images can be downloaded and stored. Best of all, this camera is nearly impervious to drops and bumps, making it a great digital camera for kids. Logitech Pocket Digital 130. $149.95, Logitech, Inc. http://www.logitech.com.
FOR THE GAME ENTHUSIAST. Another DEMOmobile product is hitting the shelves this holiday season and makes a great alternative to a Nintendo Game Boy or consumer-focused Palm OS devices. The TapWave Zodiac offers the organizational components of a Palm device and kicks it up a notch with outstanding multimedia capabilities. The 3D graphics are unbelievable on a device of this profile and the stereo sound is fantastic. If you’d like to give your teenager a gift that points him or her toward responsible time management yet satisfies the itch for entertainment, this is an excellent choice. Zodiac, $299.99, TapWave, Inc., http://www.tapwave.com.
These are just a few of the products that make great gifts. As the holidays near and I get the inevitable barrage of product pitches a gift guide column generates, I’ll pass along other tips for your gift list.
A couple of weeks back, however, I asked what you would give or like to receive. The most frequently mentioned gifts to get, among the requests for digital camera and home theatre systems, were ThinkPad T-41, Sierra Wireless VOQ SmartPhone, and XM Radio. What will you be giving? The Apple iPod topped the list.
Chris Shipley is the executive producer of NetworkWorld’s DEMO Conferences, Editor of DEMOletter and a technology industry analyst for nearly 20 years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shipley, has covered the personal technology business since 1984 and is regarded as one of the top analysts covering the technology industry today. Shipley has worked as a writer and editor for variety of technology consumer magazines, including PC Week, PC Magazine, PC/Computing, and InfoWorld, US Magazine and Working Woman. She has written two books on communications and Internet technology, has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence, and was named the #1 newsletter editor by Marketing Computers for two years in a row. To subscribe to DEMOletter please visit: http://www.idgexecforums.com/demoletter/index.html.
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