Last Minute Holiday Gifts

The holidays are upon us. Hanukkah has begun, and Christmas is just a few short weeks away. Is your holiday shopping done? If not, here are some gift suggestions for techie (and even not-so-techie) friends and family.

● Flip Video Camcorder. This is a great video camera that easily stashes in a purse, backpack, or pocket, so it’s available to record those special events at a moment’s notice. There are five varieties of the Flip, with recording time ranging from 60-120 minutes. Prices vary; check online retailers for the best prices. While the quality and features do not rival a full size video camera, the convenience more than makes up for it.

● iTunes gift card. Who wouldn’t love to find an iTunes gift card in their stocking? Available in various amounts and easily found at many retailers, the happy recipient can purchase music, movies, TV shows and apps, maybe to help fill their new iPod?

● iPod/iPhone headphones/earbuds. We all know the earbuds Apple supplies with the iPod/iPhones are just okay. How about splurging on a nice pair of headphones or earbuds for your music-loving gift recipient? Prices are as low as $10, and can go as high as the hundreds of dollars. MyMac has reviewed dozens of varieties.

● iPod/iPhone car charger. I love my car charger! I bought one just before I went on a trip to California. As soon as we picked up our rental car I plugged in the car charger, and it stayed plugged in for our entire trip. Every time I was in the car, my iPhone was charging. Never did I worry about running out of battery. If you know anyone who takes long car trips, or who even drives, a car charger will be a much appreciated gift.

● USB Flash drive. How many people do you know say something along the lines of, “Yeah, I forget to back up my hard drive, but it’s no big deal. I only want my pictures anyway. And pulling out the external hard drive is a hassle.” For those people, may I suggest a flash drive? Flash drives are available in a wide range of sizes, as small as 1GB, going up to 16GB, and even larger. Using a USB flash drive is very simple, quick, and easy. No more excuses to not back up those precious pictures.

● Digital camera. Digital cameras have come way down in price, and their specs keep getting better and better. A nice digital camera can be had for under $100. My favorite cameras are Canon—my current camera is a Canon PowerShot SD770 IS. I’ve had it just over a year, and I’m very pleased with the results. It’s small enough to slip into a pocket, yet it takes beautiful, crisp pictures. I purchased an 8GB memory card, so I can take thousands of pictures without worrying about storage space.

● iPod/iPhone speakers. Yes, the newer generations iPods/iPhones have built-in speakers, and that’s fine if you’re all alone in a very quiet room. To really be able to hear your music, attach your iPod/iPhone to speakers. There are many brands and styles of speakers—you can get speakers that are just speakers, or you can get a speaker system that’s also an alarm clock or clock radio. The online Apple Store has a guide to help you choose which type of speaker is best for your needs, and our MyMac Reviews Archive has many potential choices.

● DVD’s. Everyone loves DVD’s. Many popular movies of 2009 have been released and are ready for purchase at your local big box store or online retailer. Best sellers include “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” “Star Trek,” “Up,” “Julie and Julia,” “Twilight,” and “Lost: The Complete Seasons 1-5.”

● Kindle. Another tech gadget I absolutely love! Every night before bed I read a chapter or two, and I hate to put it down. Even though I’m not a teenage girl, I’m currently reading book three of the “Twilight” series: “Eclipse.” If vampires aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of reading material to choose from: non-fiction, romance, historical fiction, biographies, newspapers, magazines, and many more categories. Some books are free; the rest are reasonably priced.

This is just a short list of gift ideas; the possibilities are endless. Think about your recipients’ lifestyle—could they use a laptop case, wireless mouse or keyboard, blank DVD’s or CD’s, video game controller. Check gift guides on web sites like Amazon or Best Buy. Be creative, and whatever holiday you celebrate, have a happy one.

Flip Video Camcorder
iTunes Gift Card
Canon PowerShot SD770 IS
Apple Store Speaker Guide
Amazon Gift Guide
Best Buy Gift Guide

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