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I’m sitting in the car right now on my way to Arizona, and I’m thinking

about how great technology is.  Something is plugged into every lighter

outlet; I even have a “Y” adaptor if I need to plug in another piece of

my digital junk.  So right now I’m typing an article on my laptop, doing

Internet research on my iPhone and listening to an audio book from my

wife’s iPod sent wirelessly to the car radio.  I was telling my wife how

great it is to be so productive in what five years ago was just dead time,

and she suggested that since I love my “toys” so much, (I refer to them

as “tools” since I do my work with them, I should create a “What to get

your geek for Christmas list.”  She’s so smart.  So here we go, it’s time

for the 2009 gotta have it gadget list.

Do you have an avid reader in your life?  The hot new gift for them is

an e-book reader.  There are three main players in this market:  Sony,

Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Our first entry is the Sony Reader

Digital Book.  Starting at $199.00 Sony’s offering is at the bottom of

the price scale.  It’s a fine product, but it does have one drawback, if

you want to purchase new books you must fire up your computer,

purchase and download that hot new novel then plug in and sync your

reader.  If that’s not a deal breaker you can save about $60.00, but if

you’re on vacation and didn’t take your laptop you would be stuck if

you finished or hated the book.  Amazon makes the most popular series

of readers, the Kindle.  The Kindle is more expensive, starting at

$259.00.  What you get for that extra money is an always-on

connection to the Internet.  You can get a new book anywhere you can

get a cell phone signal, I like that.  Barnes & Noble has created what

they hope will be the “Kindle Killer” in the poorly named Nook e-Book

Reader.  In spite of the name this device has some great features. 

Instead of the little physical “chicklet” buttons that the Kindle has, the

Nook has a strip under the main screen that has a virtual keyboard and

color icons.  Like the Kindle the Nook has an Internet connection.  It’s

also an MP3 player and you can share purchased books with friends for

up to two weeks, much like you can with an old school printed book. 

How much better are our kid’s backs going to feel when all their books

are in an ereader instead of a 75 lb backpack?

We’re still on our way to Arizona and my wife is looking for an AM

PM so she can get a coffee.  I think we missed our turn.  We wouldn’t

have if we had a GPS in the car, or if I was paying attention to the road

and not this darn computer.  If I were to purchase a GPS there are two

main providers:  Tom Tom and Garmin.  Both companies have similar

products that are roughly in the same price range, but Garmin has a

feature that would push me over the edge.  Instead of a computerized

voice barking out directions you can be told where to go by a celebrity. 

I know, it’s kinda stupid, but it is a little bit fun, go on admit it.

I just complained to my wife about my butt falling asleep and that made

her think of the next gift suggestion, she’s a keeper.  Do you worry

about that geek you love as you watch their butt grow ever wider while

sitting on the couch playing that game consol?  Then get them a Wii

system.  Many of the games require you to stand up and wave your

arms around like a nut.  If you want to take it to the next level there are

all kinds of exercise games that you can buy.  They keep track of your

weight, suggest sensible eating plans and encourage you, and their lots

of fun as well.  Who knows, you may see how much fun your geek is

having and want to join in, let’s face it moving around a little more

wouldn’t kill ya.

Please email me with your computer or technology questions at: