20 Dec Last-minute stocking stuffers
Santa arrived a little early this year, and I’ve been playing with some new toys that you might find to be perfect last-minute stocking stuffers for the geeks on your list.
You know Kensington as a purveyor of computing accessories, and the good people there were kind enough to send me some of their latest products to try. One of their nicely designed Contour Pro Notebook Carrying Cases was stuffed with surprises. All of the products are very nicely designed, rugged and compact. Here were a few of my favorites:
• FlyLight 2.0. The FlyLight is for laptop users what the Itty Bitty Night Light is for book lovers. This compact, flexible light plugs into the USB port and provides illumination for the keyboard. It will be perfect on an overnight flight, providing just enough light for you to work without bothering your seatmate.
• Travel Plug Adapter. It may seem odd to get excited about a plug adapter, but this product is a home run for anyone who travels abroad regularly. Over the years, I’ve bought dozens of plug adapters for specific outlet types, and they rattle around in my suitcase until I lose them and have to buy another. Kensington’s solution is an all-in-one device that converts any U.S., U.K., European, or Australian plug into any other plug type. It’s very slick and will not be easily forgotten or lost.
• FM Transmitter/Auto Charger. iPod users will love this accessory, which plugs into the car cigarette lighter to power the iPod and transmit tunes from the iPod to the car’s FM radio.
Kensington makes dozens of well designed, highly useful computing accessories, all competitively priced and with warranties from one to five years.
Online Shopping: Early reports suggest this will be the biggest Christmas yet for online retailers. If you’re like me, you’ve done enough Web-based shopping to memorize your Visa card number. If you’ve grown tired of entering and re-entering your credit card, billing and shipping information, then take a look at RoboForm. RoboForm brings together the best of a lot of form-filler tools in an easy and convenient interface that saves you the hassle of repetitive typing. The company also offers the companion product, Pass2Go, which puts passwords and identity information on a secure removable USB key or other removable storage. Your personal information remains on the key and is completely removed from the computer when you remove the key. This handy time saver offers maximum security and mobility of your personal data.
Speaking of mobile: When we launched the first DEMOmobile conference in September 1999, we knew that it was only a matter of time before mobile became mainstream. Rather than a modality of computing, mobility and consistent connectivity would be part and parcel in every aspect of personal computing. Well, my friends, that time has arrived.
We took a long, hard look at the mobile “market” and realized that it was time to bring DEMOmobile back into the fold. So, beginning next fall, DEMOmobile becomes DEMOfall. We’ll still put a keen eye to the standards, issues, and concerns of the wireless, mobile world, but we will do so in the larger context of enterprise and consumer computing and the core technologies that enable them. Keep an eye on the DEMOfall web site.
And to all a good night: This is the last column from me this year, so until Jan. 3, may you have a very happy holiday.
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