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Wrapped Christmas gift

Christmas Gift Ideas for 2008

From the CUGG Board

November 8, 2008

At the November 2008 general meeting of CUGG, the members of CUGG's board of directors gave their suggested gift ideas for Christmas. Their suggestions along with information and links are provided below.


Jim Conant, Program Coordinator FitBall Exercise Ball Chair
Get into physical shape with the FitBall exercise ball chair.
Tina Ektermanis, Technical Adviser External Hard Drives from TigerDirect
Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini external hard drive External hard drives of various capacities offer  inexpensive solutions for backing up your important data.
Milbern Goetz, Audio Engineer Smart Computing Magazine
Smart Computing magazine Smart Computing is a magazine that provides information on computer viruses, computer security, and home networks.  Check out their 10 Great Reasons to Subscribe.
Jamie Leben, President Aliph Jawbone 2 Bluetooth headset
After using it for a week, my initial impressions are good.

Good:  Great noise cancellation.  Responds to answer/hangup actions faster and has better voice quality than prior two ~$70 Motorola Bluetooth headsets.

Bad:  It is pricey and uses a proprietary charger plug instead of mini USB.

Mike Minton Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 scanner
The Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 is a general purpose color document scanner with an automatic document feeder.  Click here to see a demo of the scanner.
Mike Minton Netbook Laptops
Lenovo IdeaPad S10 Netbook laptops offer the benefits of portable computing with a smaller, lighter size than traditional laptops.
Eric Moore, Treasurer Canon PowerShot A710 IS digital camera
I purchased my Canon PowerShot A710 IS digital camera in December 2006.  I have been pleased with the quality of the photographs it takes and its ease of use, as well as the image stabilizer (IS).  It requires only two AA batteries and gets good battery life from 2500 mAh rechargeables.

This particular model is discontinued, but other compact cameras in the Canon PowerShot line have received good reviews.  Digital Photography Review and Steve's Digicams are good places to read detailed reviews on the latest digital cameras.
Don Peterson, Secretary Apple iPod Nano
The Apple iPod Nano is very small and easy to carry.  It stores 1000 songs, which are easily downloaded.  The sound quality is very good, especially if the ear bud which comes with it is replaced by noise-canceling earphones.
Bill Popejoy, Photography Enthusiast Amazon Kindle
The Amazon Kindle reader is for reading e-books (electronic books).  Most books cost $9.95 to read.
Martha VanDriel, Vice President Converting cassette tapes and LP's to CD
Hardware and software for coverting music to CD DAK's automated programs and Interface Mixer let you make digital copies of your cassette tapes and LP's to your hard drive and to CD.
Frank Whiteley, Technical Adviser Oregon Scientific water-proof action camera
I don't have one, but have been tempted.  This video was taken by a friend.

640x480 (NTSC TV), fixed focus, weather resistant
Don Wiegel, Newsletter Publisher Creative ZEN Stone MP3 player
The Creative ZEN Stone is a 1 GB MP3 player has storage space for up to 250 songs for under $50.  Unlike many MP3 players, it sports a built-in speaker so you can share your tunes with your friends and family.
Don Wiegel, Newsletter Publisher Sansa Fuze MP3 player
Since last month's meeting I found a Portable Media player (on sale) that does EVERYTHING I always wanted a portable device to do.  It can currently be bought at Best Buy for about $60.
I have a video card that records TV to a computer from Comcast cable.  The SANSA Fuze has excellent software that converts the Windows Media file format to the format that this device uses.  I record Interview and News shows and view them as time allows on this device. When I am interrupted I just turn it off...  When I start it up again, it continues from where it was stopped.  Most inexpensive devices do not do this.  This pause/restart feature the main selling point, in my view.
It uses microSD cards...I also found a 2 GB card for sale (they go up to 16 GB).
With a total of 6 GB available...I have 500 songs...20 hours of Podcasts and 6 hours of TV available from my shirt pocket.  The battery is very long lived, I have not gone below 1/2 charge yet.
All of this for under $100.