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Tech Gifts 2009

Posted in Apple-Mac, Electronics, Entertainment-Movies, Gadgets, Hi-Tech, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Lifestyles with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2009 by shutterbuggeek

I almost  titled this post Geek Gifts 2009, but now that technology has infiltrated the masses, does it mean that most of us are geeks, and we’ll eventually eliminate the label all together, or will geeks mutate into a higher form? Yes, I did say higher. Geeks will always be ahead of the pack, but for now just by one step. These days, 10 year olds have iPhones, and 5 year olds own laptops. Even my parents who tend to resist technology have a cell phone, PC, and DVD player. I know you’re thinking these are the bare necessities, but believe me when I say it’s a BIG thing for them to own these items. Now if I can only get my dad to buy an HDTV. He’s well overdue! Um. Was I adopted?

So now that you realize you’re a closet geek, let me tell you what I think are cool techie gifts to give (or receive) this holiday season.

It is said, once you go Mac, you’ll never go back. Either convert your PC frustrated loved one, or upgrade that special Mac mini owner in your life to a beautiful 27″ iMac. This large size is not just for photographers, filmmakers and graphic designers, the average Joe can appreciate streaming Netflix movies or podcasts on this. Even better, pop in a DVD, and watch your favorite flick on this beautiful screen. The pixel density is amazing at 1440p, yes well BEYOND the high definition of 1080p! That gives you awesome clarity in HD, tack sharp text, and brilliant details of photos. The LED backlit display gives you the uniform brightness. It also comes with a wireless keyboard and multi-touch wireless mouse. The design alone should give you heart palpitations, but what’s inside will blow you away. You didn’t just see me drooling, did you?

Sticking with Apple for a moment, it’s hard to deny the market share they have in the mp3 arena, and their phones aren’t  too shabby either. If you know someone who doesn’t want AT&T service, but loves the iPhone, the solution is to give them an iPod Touch. It was revamped in September, bumping up the gigs from 16 to 32 and 32 to 64, and the price remained the same. What? That’s sheer madness! Actually, it’s a brilliant move on Apple’s part, especially in this economy. This is a PDA on steroids! It has wi-fi & bluetooth, allowing you to retrieve e-mail from several pop & imap accounts, you can surf the web, watch videos, listen to music, and the list goes on. With the inclusion of bluetooth, you can challenge a friend  to a car race or a game of tic-tac-toe on a plane or in a car. With the proper apps, you can watch streaming video from your Mac in bed, and then remotely put it in sleep mode or it shut down for the night. Need I say more?

Chances are high that you know someone who owns an iPod/iPhone, Zune or portable DVD player. The Cinemin Swivel is a pocket size multimedia pico projector, which once connected to your device will allow you to watch a movie, YouTube, podcasts, etc. projected on a screen or wall. You can project it as close as the back of an airplane seat, or if you have a room where you have at least 8 feet distance, you can get up to a 60-inch image.  It has a rechargeable battery which lasts over 2 hours, enabling you to watch most movies in full. I have got to stop drooling.

This is a BIG ticket item, and most guys would love to receive this one. The 82″ Mitushishi 3-D ready 1080p DLP. I had a demo of this with the required shutter glasses to view a movie in 3-D and WOW, it’s just like in the theaters. You must connect a PC (Macs not compatible) with the installed software to playback the DVD. An emitter is connected to the HDTV, and the glasses pick up the infra red signal to give you accurate 3 dimensional images. Of course, DLPs are not as bright as an LCD or a plasma display, but it is a lot more energy efficient. Guys, do you have your 12-pack and nachos ready for the game? When you get this EVERY friend you know will be over to watch the game. And who said size doesn’t matter?

I’m on my second model of this next item. I love these products! Universal remotes from Logitech-Harmony. Using the software provided, you select your A/V equipment, connect the remote to your computer via a USB cable, and all the info is transferred onto the device. Sweet! The beauty of these remotes is not only do they operate one piece of equipment, like turning on your TV, if you select “choose an activity”, i.e. Watch DVD, it will turn on all devices necessary to watch a DVD, including switching the TV and amp/receiver to the appropriate settings. I do have to manually turn on my old powered subwoofer, but besides that, click 2 buttons and everything is ready. Well, you do have to put in the DVD. The new Logitech Harmony 1100 is amazing. It has a big touch screen, and a big price to match, somewhere in the $350 range. You probably need two hands to operate it, since it’s in tablet form. I bought the 880 that’s Mac compatible a couple of years ago, and is operational with one hand. This is down to $125 in the meanwhile, which makes it a great deal if you don’t mind not having a touch screen. The One and 900 models also offer touch screens, and are priced in between the 880 and 1100.

There are tons of cool tech items to add to your wish list this year. Do you like the Sonos music system, a Shiatsu full body massage chair, or the Droid cell phone. Dare to share! What’s your favorite tech toy of 2009?


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Holiday Wish List 2009

Posted in Accesories, Electronics, Gadgets, Hi-Tech, Lifestyles, Photography, Travel, Watches with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2009 by shutterbuggeek

The holiday season is upon us, and you might have already started compiling your wish list. I have one ready to go. Actually, it’s quite extensive, but in order not to look too materialistic, I have shortened it to 10 items. It’s just a list, which means I won’t get everything from it, and I might not get anything. Someone told me it reminds her of Oprah’s Favorite Things list, so let’s pretend I’m on Oprah’s show, and she’s giving away gifts. Knowing what type of goodies she gives away, this is what I would hope would be on the list:

1. 3-D DLP liquid crystal shutter glasses (4) with IR emitter & software. We are about to order a 3-D ready HDTV for my husband for his birthday. In order to watch movies in 3-D, you need wear these shutter glasses, and play back the DVD on a PC running the software included with them. The glasses are synced up to the monitor via the emitter, so when a left eye view is presented, the left eye can see the image, while the right eye can’t. The result is an amazing 3-D experience, as seen in the theaters.

2. LG BD390 Blu-Ray disc player has an integrated 802.11n Wi-Fi, and streams Netflix, YouTube, and CinemaNow. It also plays music, videos, and pictures off a connected USB drive or streaming video from your networked connected PC. The player has audio outputs for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio for playback on almost any HDMI-capable AV receiver. It also has decoding for  legacy DTS formats, i.e. DTS 96/24, ES, ES Matrix, and Neo:6. This is LG’s flagship Blu-Ray disc player, jam packed with features, blazing fast load times, and outstanding video quality. A must!

3. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Lady Duetto in 18K pink gold with a total of 73 diamonds (front and back bezels, plus stem). The front dial shows the date and a day/night dial. The reverse shows a stunning face contrasting in black with white numerals. The Reverso is an Art-Deco classic that was created for British officers stationed in India to use in polo matches. The swivel system allowed the face to be reversed to a solid metal finish. The Duetto adds another face to the reverse side, giving you two faces per watch. Jaeger-LeCoultre are one of the few manufacturers that continue to make movements for themselves, as well as for others, including Patek Phillipe, Cartier, and Audemars Piguet.

4. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue for Women. I know it’s been around for years, but I still love it.

5. Canon EOS 7D. Their latest camera sets a new standard! It has 18MP, dual DIGIC 4 image processors, up to ISO 12800 and speeds of up to 8 fps. It also captures full HD video at 30p, 24p and 25p with an array of manual controls that would make filmmakers drool. This is an awesome camera, just waiting for me to use it. Come to mama!

6. EF 24-70/2.8L lens would compliment my current glass, in between my 11-16/2.8 mm & 17-40/4L mm wide angle lenses and my 70-200/2.8L mm telephoto, and will work well with my new 7D (hint, hint). This would make a perfect walk around lens, which is great in low lighting.

7. Dooney & Burke Commemorative All-Weather Leather Satchel – It’s nothing fancy, but I just love a classic look for an everyday bag. Plain and simple works well for me.

8. Frescobaldi Laudemio Extra Virgin Olive Oil – A good bottle of olive oil is like a bottle of fine wine for me! I prefer Tuscan oils, and I’m not tied down to one brand, but it has to be excellent!

9. All Clad 4-Square Waffle Maker – The manufacturer says it all. This is a high quality machine built to make crisp Belgian waffles. This would make my ultimate batter, which I MIGHT share with you one day, transform into the best waffles ever! It has great features like an overflow trough to avoid countertop spillage, and a steam release system to insure crispiness on the outside while the inside remains soft.

10. An 18K rose gold chain link bracelet. It doesn’t matter if it’s from Cartier, Pomellato, Tiffany, Wempe…surprise me!

So Oprah, or anyone else who is extremely generous, if you’re reading this and feel compelled to send me an item from this list, leave a comment and I will contact you! Everyone else, list the top 5 items from your list in the comment box. I’d love to see what you’re interested in this year.

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