Annual 12 Suggested Xmas Techie Toy Gifts for the last minute shopper.
Dec. 7th, 2005, by Angel Lee and Keith Benicek - Editor
It’s December and you like most others, are just
beginning to shop for your Holiday gifts for your favorite techie.
The market is
flooded with great new gadgets and serious goodies that you would want
and will make someone special very happy to receive.
We’ve been very busy checking out a lot of new technologies from
the hottest market segments, where sales and media visibility has been
at its highest. While we have in the past included a small amount of
coverage for the gamer enthusiast, this year we have decided to look
at personal digital music devices instead. The new Microsoft XBox 360
has had some controversial coverage after it’s release and the
Sony PSP has been covered already to death. The PSP is certainly a
great choice as it continues to evolve into more than a gaming device
So then, lets reach into our Santa’s bag of goodies for our Annual
12 Suggested Xmas Techie Toys, for you or someone else.
Oh, you can click on most images for Zoomed versions
Toy of Xmas - everyone
2.5-inches, it carries
a fixed 24-140mm (equivalent) Schneider-Kreuznach 5.8x optical zoom lens
and internally is a 8 MegaPixel 1/1.8-inch CCD and Kodak Color Science
Chip. Kodak has always been a leader in the design and manufacture of
high-end commercial and consumer CCD’s used in science, industry
and consumer electronics.
Price: $599.99 Retail
EasyShare P880 is the top of the line digital for Kodak’s “P” model
series. It is an Electronic ViewFinder type SLR and an exceptionally
well endowed camera for the price.
The review LCD is giant
Physically, the Kodak P880 is impressive to hold and placed next to a
Nikon S70, it looks like a _ scale version. Image quality is quite good
in most lighting conditions, although we saw slight AEC compensation
issues in overcast outdoor lighting. Color recording is excellent, with
reds represented quite accurately. The Kodak P880 has added RAW file
support, as well as TIFF and JPG.
Kodak P880 uses conventional SD/MMC digital flash card devices and as
common now with digital camera these days, the very long life LiON
battery is proprietary. Also available for the P880 is the Kodak
P20 Zoom Flash ($149. List) which can automatically match its zoomed flash
zone to the zoomed setting of the camera. In tests, it lit up a 25 ft
wide by 45 ft deep room completely and evenly, very cool.
weather info with
this inexpensive and wireless indicator. While it’s “Forecast” mode
may not be long range or even that accurate, the other indicators let
you make your own “Eye Witless News and Weather” guesses
for the immediate future. Features include:
Toy of Xmas -
Oregon Scientific BAA182HG Digital Weather Forecaster Price:
Are you sick and tired of the local
person” never having the local forecast for your area right?
But they do always have a great tan or nifty clothes!
Be your on
weather department for up-to-date local
Temperature, humidity, and pressure trend indicators. Accepts readings
from up to 3 remote thermo-hygrometers. Digital clock with dual alarms;
12-month warranty. Shows 24-hour weather forecast with graphical icons.
Displays indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity; records minimum/maximum
the same as
Toast 6, new features such as better backup capabilities that include
Spanning and Roxio Restore, Roxio’s
Popcorn for Dual-Layer DVD copying, a new MPEG-2 encoder, DV file to
DivX formatting and numerous
Audio burning capabilities that includes native support for open-source
Ogg Vorbis and lossless FLAC.A very neat slide-out draw allows access
to all your saved media files from one location.
Toy(s) of Xmas -
Mac audio/video software that’s crucial. We have a grab
bag of software that Mac OS X users should not be without, depending
on your interests of course.
Roxio’s brand new Toast 7 Titanium (Price
$78.99 street) which is a feature upgrade
from the benchmark creation and burning application for
Mac. While Toast
7 for the most part looks
technology gives you the flexibility to copy even the largest 9 GB dual-layer
movies to a single DVD disc.
supports multi-channel audio, such as Dolby Digital 5.1.
||Roxio Popcorn (Price:
$42.99 Street), helps you easily make high quality copies
of your non-encrypted DVD movies.
|Roxio’s The Boom Box (Price: $29.99 Street), is a suite of applications from
Roxio that is aimed towards
iPod or iTunes users. It includes MusicMagic Mixer for building "intelligent" mixes,Audio
will capture any streaming
audio while acting sort of like a TiVo, CD Spin Doctor for converting
those old discs and tapes to MP3, iPodderX which is a Podcast browser,
and iSpeak It for turning text-based news and documents into spoken-word
MP3, bookmarkable AAC, WAV, AIFF, or Apple Lossless audio files. We think
it is a very cool package to have, even it you don’t have an iPod.
There are afew viruses that trickle
into the world each month, nothing compared to numbers for Windows and
pure UNIX, but the real threat is that
your Mac can and will become a PC Virus/Trojan/Worm Typhoid Mary.
Toy of Xmas
Norton AntiVirus 10.0 for Mac – Mac
OS X software that is Critical! (Price:
$55.95 Street) Don’t you believe
all the Mac media people that say you don’t need an AV package
for your Mac!
Virus and Malware writers have become very smart and they’re learned
that a great way to spread some nasties is through friends and family members
that use naively use unprotected Macs. The Viruses are written to be carried
harmlessly on a Mac and then when you trade files, music or even video,
you pass along the Virus or other Trojan like malware. Be a good computer
user and have safe computing.
Norton AntiVirus 10.0 for Mac OS X is all-new and still the best choice
for the careful Mac user. See our full review
Toy(s) of Xmas
Windows Software for the Pro and Prosumer. We
out our two new favorites for the media-creation savvy Windows user.
Whether you are just simply backing up data and making simple music
CD’s to a professional that is creating multimedia and video
productions, everyone is familiar with the names Sonic and Roxio. They
are now the same company and it has turned out to be the best company
Easy Media Creator 8 Suite (Price: $87.95 Street) is a complete
user interface redesign from the recent previous versions. “EMC” versions
7 and 7.5 weren’t bad, in fact quite good; but perhaps a bit
confusing for the
new or lite Windows user. Some of the many component applications
7 and 7.5 started
and ran a little too slow for our tastes. However, this new version
has eliminated all of our speed concerns and the new interface is
wonderfully easy to navigate. It really leaves Nero’s latest
version in the dust.
EMC 8 has all of what was included in v7.5 plus some new goodies
that include - DVD Compilation, Pocket Photo Editor, Plug and Burn
for digital video camcorders right to disk and an updated Music Disc
Creator. The original components, which are plentiful, have also
gone over some major refit and refinement. This is the very best
version in the evolution of Easy CD Creator since Roxio was spun-off
from Adaptec years ago. It is very fast now, we could find no bugs
and it is a delight to use. This suite is for home to professional
Powerful Studio-caliber DVD
authoring with an intuitive, customizable user interface and Sonic's
eDVD web content integrator”.
DVDit Pro 6 (Price: $ $399.99) We
say it better than the Sonic web site states: “DVDit
Pro 6 is professional DVD authoring software from
Sonic Solutions - - the world's leading provider of DVD
DVDit Pro 6
is clearly the most advanced version of this professional users
DVD creation application yet and the market is raving about it.
With Hollywood level quality production of video navigation,
professional menu creation and effects, none is better.
Sonic has also added eDVD® 4, for rich studio DVD inspired web-linked interactivity
for the viewer. Sonics eDVD® 4 has won many richly deserved accolades from
the media and it’s included with the package. DVDit Pro supports essential
professional mastering features such as VBR transcoding; 5.1 Dolby Digital;
output to DVD, DVD-9 and DLT; region coding and copy protection.
If you’re on a budget and perhaps just interested in a more consumer
version, Sonic also has DVDit 6 for $279.95. It has a “limited edition” of
Seventh & Eighth Toys
another trifecta or goodies for the Windows crowd that will make any
custom system builder very happy
MX64-3500+ / 512KB Cache / 2000 MHz FSB / Socket 939 / Processor
($272.99 Street) Increase your
performance by up to 80% with the AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 dual core
processor. Built on the AMD 64-bit
the AMD Athlon™ 64 processor is
designed to deliver outstanding levels of performance and customer-focused
innovation to home and business users alike.
AMD64 technology is AMD’s approach to 64-bit computing which
doubles the number of processor registers and increases the addressable
memory space well beyond 4GB for increased performance and new, cinematic-computing
experiences. Processors with AMD64 technology offer leading-edge
performance on today’s software applications while enabling
a seamless migration to future 64-bit computing.
GeForce 7800 GTX PCI Express x16 Video Card (Price: $ 520.27) -
The very hot ASUS
EN7800GTX version NVIDIA’s GeForce 7800 GTX
engine, features the world's most powerful graphic processor in its
class. Equipped with the newest generation GeForce 7800 GTX GPU and
fastest 1.6ns DDR3 , users can fully exploit innovative graphics
technologies such as NVIDIA CineFX 4.0 engine, nView, UltraShadow
II technologies from NVIDIA; and bring today's hottest new games
to a whole new sensual level.
7800 GTX includes on-chip video processor to meet today's demanding
top-notch DVD playback, television encoding and decoding, and support
for high-definition television formats from your PC. We like the reliability
and cost of the ASUS version of this NVIDIA monster graphics engine.
ATI has nothing, we fell, that is comparable at this time.
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