HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR THE TECH ADEPT, OR OBSESSED

In Business & Technology, Editorial /

By Stacey Askew

Biz & Tech Editor

I‘ve been faking it.

For the last four months, I’ve been in charge of this section, the technology part of which I had very limited knowledge. But that has changed.

The fruits of my labour into the tech world have yielded these Christmas/Hanukkah/Eid electronic gift ideas — with a little help from those who are closer to being experts.

In no particular order — I’m indecisive like that — here are my top picks: For the gamer wannabe, Wii. As Globe and Mail technology editor, Michael Snider, put it, “Families love it. You know how families used to huddle around the kitchen table with board games, now they huddle around Wii.”

My family doesn’t have one. I played it once (I want one, if a secret admire feels like splurging). If you’ve got $270 to $490, I recommend it for, well, anyone. This advice is so worth my pay.

For the digital artist. Get a digital Single lense reflex cameras (SLR’s). A decent one is under $1,000 — one of our photo editors recommended Rebel XTI or D40X, both go for $799.99. And unlike those ‘normal’ digital cameras, a SLR’s got timelessness.

“People look at digital SLR’s like they’re going to last for five or 10 years, compared to a digital with 5MB [which is old in a years time],” Snider said.

For the couch potatoes — HDTV flat panel television screens. According to Rob Pegoraro, Washington Posts personal technology columnist, “[they’ve] gotten so much cheaper than a year ago … and they’re kinda neat.”

Final recommendation: the Amazon Kindle. It’s an electronic book, or, in laymans terms, an iPod for books.

Unfortunately it’s looking like a repeat of the iPhone debacle — and may not reach Canada for a little while.

With a price close to that of a video iPod, $399, it’s up to you whether paying half price for an electronic novel that’ll come to you on a square piece of plastic is worth it.

New releases cost $10 and older novels, magazines, blogs and newspapers can also be purchased.

All are available wirelessly or can be added to your systtem via a computer connection. A call to Amazon to inquire about its Canadian potential garnered no response.

In the United States the console can also be used to search the web, receive e-mails to an address supplied with the console and receive free “trial” paper and magazine subscriptions. Surprise, surprise — it’s sold out.

But orders are being taken. When I first read about it — it seemed like a stupid idea. I normally get eyestrain from a computer in a matter of hours, I wasn’t looking for that added joy in novels. But it uses a screen that is supposedly not like a computers. It’s even shaped to feel like a folded novel. They’ve thought of everything. If there is one thing about technology I’ve learned, it’s that it is possibly the least predictable field out there.

Technology is full of twists — which kind of sucks when you don’t know all the basics — but I’m getting there. Btw, I’m not biz and tech editor next semester. Thanks for reading.

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