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Gadget Crazy

Holiday gift guide for the techie
Steve Morgenstern
From the Print Edition:
Kevin Costner, Nov/Dec 00

What are the Santas in your life planning to buy you for the holidays this year? Maybe a beautiful cashmere sweater? A rare old first-edition? A bottle of 30-year-old Port?  

Bah, humbug! Anybody knows that the gifts that really send your gratitude meter to 11 run on electrons. Plug it in, fill it with batteries, charge it up and flip the "on" switch--those are the presents that count for those of us living in the digital present. So grab a yellow highlighter, mark off the items that really get you where you live, and leave the magazine conspicuously, but casually, open where the family can't miss it. And while you're at it, why not photocopy your favorite pages and send them up to the North Pole. Those elves are doing amazing things with microprocessors nowadays.  

CREATIVE LABS NOMAD JUKEBOX

The Nomad Jukebox looks like an ordinary portable CD player, but it's actually a digital music system on steroids. The device houses a high-capacity hard drive with room for roughly 150 CDs' worth of music--you can carry your entire music collection wherever you wander. To cram all that music into a 14-ounce gizmo, you first convert the CD audio tracks into MP3 files on your PC or Mac (a simple process, and the software's included), then connect the two via cable and start pumping music into the portable. Of course, the legally nebulous process of downloading music from the Net is another practical way to fill Nomad's capacious memory. $499  

BOSE QUIETCOMFORT NOISE REDUCTION HEADPHONES

You're flying in coach. Your stomach is complaining, your knees are aching and your bladder's prodding you to climb over the enormous sleeping salesman next to you. At least you can make your ears happy with these incredibly comfortable headphones that filter out the rumbling, droning sound of planes in flight, leaving only crystal-clear movie soundtracks and audio CD playback. Using Acoustic Noise Cancelling technology developed for aircraft pilots, the QuietComfort headphones also work well in trains, cars and even noisy urban environments. If you crank up the audio loud enough, they'll even drown out that screaming kid across the aisle. Well, at least they'll come close. $299  

NOKIA 7100 SERIES MOBILE PHONE

The handsome Nokia 7100 is the company's first WAP-enabled phone, designed to put the wireless Web at your fingertips. The LCD display screen is big, bright and nicely backlit, and the roller controller located beneath it makes scrolling through screens a whole lot easier than the constant button-pecking needed to work your way through Web content on other cell phones. Additional features include voice-controlled dialing, an extensive built-in calendar and phonebook, and, to make it practical, cable and software are included to synchronize the telephone with your PC-based PIM software. $300   SUUNTO

METRON WRISTOP COMPUTER

Granted, you may only be checking your watch and wondering why the waiter's taking so long to bring the Cabernet, but isn't it more fun doing it on a great-looking timepiece that combines an altimeter, barometer, digital compass, dual-time readout, stopwatch and heart-rate monitor? And, oh yes, if you do happen to climb a mountain any time soon, you'll also have easy access to daily total vertical ascent/descent data. $339  


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