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Jewish World Review
Dec. 7, 2007
/ 27 Kislev 5768
More gifting ideas
Oh the weather outside is frightful, compared, at least, with what we
had in the Washington, D.C., area about five weeks ago. And the
presence of Salvation Army bell-ringers tells what time of year this
is! More gift ideas are in order, I believe:
DESKTOP COMPUTER CHOICES: Apple Inc.'s IMac desktops, the new, sleek,
shiny ones, are excellent gifts. I'm used the next-latest version at
home, but the more recent versions, out several months without reports
of major hassles, are slimmer, more powerful, and feature a very nice,
compact keyboard and the Apple mouse. Starting at $1,199 for a 20-inch
display-sized model, 1 Gigabyte of RAM and a 250 GB hard disk drive,
even the "low-end" model might be all some users need.
And, of course, the IMac now comes with the Mac OS X Leopard operating
system, and is built on an Intel Corp. processor. That means you can,
if you want or need to, run Microsoft's Windows using Apple's Boot
Camp software. In other words, it's like getting two computers for the
price of one.
If you must get a Windows-based PC, there are some excellent models
from Hewlett-Packard Co. at area stores such as Costco. The models
I've seen tend towards nice-sized screens (19- and 20-inch LCD
displays) included in the package. Frankly, HP is my preferred brand
for desktop computers these days. (Dell, after more than a year of
promises, hasn't delivered anything to review, which makes me wonder,
to say the least.)
THE SOUND OF MUSIC has rarely been easier to attain, either on your
computer or via Apple's super-popular IPod. Two products from Bose
Corporation will come in handy. The Bose Computer MusicMonitor
speakers, for example, will connect to either an IPod's headphone jack
or a computer's sound output jack. The music you'll hear is nothing
short of astonishing. The sound, as mentioned here not too long ago,
is full and vibrant. I'm thrilled with it.
Equally impressive, and connectable to both a computer and an IPod, is
the Bose SoundDock , a portable speaker system that boasts a
rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Its main purpose is to both connect
and charge an IPod, through a docking station, which flips out from
the SoundDock's base. Room-filling sound is the result, with enough
power to handle a small party, if needed. The handy remote control
handles the basic functions of moving through an IPod's playlist, but
it would be better to create and download such a list to an IPod
before putting it on the SoundDock unit, since the remote's doesn't
duplicate every IPod directory function.
Overall these Bose products, each list-priced at $399, are wonderful
gift items for a highly deserving soul.
IPOD-PEDIA is the title of a very useful book by tech writer
Michael Miller from Que Publishing. For a list price just under $30,
you'll learn more than most people know about IPods, Apple's ITunes
software and online music service, as well as more bling and
accessories to trick out your 'Pod than you ever imagined. No, not
every item that exists is in the book, and, no, it doesn't cover the
released-this-fall range of IPods. But Mr. Miller does a superb job of
covering the basics, and then some, of Apples' portable music players
and the world they've spawned. If you need to get educated on these
devices, this is, without a doubt, your book.
SKINNING A COMPACT DISC might sound like a form of torture, but
according to Norazza Inc. of West Seneca, N.Y., D_SKIN is a
product that'll help protect the "read" side of a CD or DVD from
scratches and other damage. The snap-on "skin" will still let the disc
be used in a computer or CD/DVD player, the firm claims. Price is
$12.95 for a five-pack, which would suggest that such items are best
used on highly valued discs.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.
© 2007, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com