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TMO Gift Guide - Gifts For The Technarian In Your Life

by , 7:00 AM EST, December 6th, 2004

This holiday season, don't call the gadget lovers on your shopping list 'Geeks', the word is so passé, and 'techie' sounds like a Bill Gates groupie. Instead, give them a name that sounds more sophisticated, cooler. Maybe call them 'Technarians'; the name denotes a grouping of technically savvy folks, and it attributes an off-world feel to them; afterall, no matter how you dress them up, Technarians always manage to let their love of gadgets show. If you are puzzled over what to buy your Technarian this holiday season, don't worry; we've put together a small list of gift giving suggestions that any Technarian will go ga-ga over.

A Photo Opportunity

Manufacturer: Casio
Model: EX-S100
Price: US$499 ($399 - Amazon)

No lifestyle, digital or otherwise, is complete without photos that document the moments we want to remember; and you can't takes photos without a camera. While there are more cameras on the market than fleas on a Texas hound, few epitomizes the qualities that any Technarian worth his find valuable, those are: small size, easy to use, feature full. Those qualities aptly describe the Casio EX-S100, a true techno-wonder. Offering 3.2 megapixels, 2.8 optical zoom, and an amazing 2 inch LCD screen in a sturdy, yet tiny stainless steel body, the EX-S100 would look just perfect under any Technarian's tree.

Casio EX-S100

Speaking The iLingo

Manufacturer: XtremeMac
Title: iLingo 4-Pack
Price: $39.95 ($39.95 - Amazon)

Know of a savvy world traveler who may be less than savvy when ordering a cup of java or getting directions to the nearest privy in Spain, Brazil, Taiwan, or Texas? If said traveller gets around with an iPod then you might consider putting iLingo under his or her tree. iLingo is a extremely cool application that offers a list of commonly used words and phrases in one language on the display of your iPod, and the translation on another screen. Better yet, you can "Click to play" and hear it properly spoken.

Pick "Where's the nearest men's room?" from the list, for instance, and hear it spoken in any one of a dozen different tongues, which you can then either repeat, or let a local listen. It's makes your iPod a Babel-fish that plays music on the side.


A Groovy Pad

Manufacturer: FrogPad
Product: FrogPad
Price (right-handed): $195.99 ($195 - Amazon)
Price (left-handed):
$195.99 ($195 - Amazon)

Got a Technarian who has a Bluetooth capable phone, Mac, or PDA? If he or she uses instant messaging or types in notes on the aforementioned devices we bet they would leap for joy if they got a Bluetooth FrogPad for Christmas. While its name may suggest a tropical carnivorous plant, the Bluetooth FrogPad is actually a small and very handy input device that allows the user to easily type in text quickly and conveniently, with one hand! FrogPad offers all the functionality of a fullsize QWERTY keyboard in a wireless 5 and a half inch by 4 inch pad.

Bluetooth FrogPad

Travel Hound's Friend

Manufacturer: Shaun Jackson Design
Product: Lapdog
Price: $99.95 ($79.95 - Amazon)

PowerBook and iBook users are a mobile bunch, you can find them setting up office in airports, train stations, libraries, and coffee shops. But an office is more than a computer, you often need the paraphernalia that accompany any office setup; notepads, pens, phones, a stapler, and other stuff can be a pain to carry around unless you carry it all in a Lapdog, one of several mobile office cases from Shaun Jackson Design. Like any good desk, Lapdog has a place for everything, with the possible exception of a holder for you coffee cup.


Star Gazing

Manufacturer: Orion
Product: StarMax 90mm Telescope
Price: $289 ($289 - Amazon)

Manufacturer: Chris Laurel
Product: Celestia
Price: Free!

Space, the final frontier, or so it's been said. This passed October, the privately funded, built, and piloted spacecraft, Spaceship One, achieved the suborbital altitude of 354,200 feet, crossed over the threshold of space for the second time in 14 days, and paved the way to offer anyone with enough money to buy a ticket a chance to become an astronaut.

You may able to buy your favorite Technarians a ticket just yet, but it will be a few years yet before commercial flights into space becomes a reality. While they wait, however, they can enjoy the heavens with a StarMax 90mm Telescope from Orion Telescopes, and view the heavens virtually via Celestia 1.3.1, the latest version of the free space simulator.

Orion Telescope's StarMax 90mm is an ideal telescope for both young and the more experienced astronauts in waiting. It is compact, lightweight, sturdy, and is a great value.

StarMax 90mm from Orion Telescope

Celestia's View Of Mars

The value of Celestia can readily realized when you learn of its cost: $0, but don't let the price tag fool you: Celestia is extremely capable, offering you views of the skies that you likely never thought possible. There is also a mountain of add-ons available to satisfy nearly any space-bound interest: Plot a course to Alpha Centauri, watch a solar eclipse on Deimos, or check out the night skies on your birthday in the year 3382. Download Celestia and the add-ons and put them on a CD as a stocking stuffer. All of this from a free program? Far out!

Check out our other 2004 Gift Guide's, too!

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