GorillaPod is the ugliest camera-and-work tripod you ever saw, but one you'll never leave home without.
Al Fasoldt's reviews and commentaries, continuously available online since 1983


Holiday gifts for technophiles

Nov. 22, 2009

By Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2009, Al Fasoldt
Copyright © 2009, The Post-Standard

   Looking for an unusual present for that geek on your gift list? Here are some suggestions. * A sale-priced Mac or iPod from Apple's online store. Apple refurbishes slightly used models, giving them new packaging, new software and a new warranty. From http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals. Prices vary. * SwiMP3.1G waterproof MP3 player with waterproof headphones. Great for jogging in the rain -- as long as you watch out for traffc. Plays WMA and MP3 music files. From www.finisinc.com. $150. * iLuv iMM153 shake-to-wake iPod-and-clock radio. Vibrates the pillow (or a specific area of the mattress) to wake up the soundest sleeper. From www.i-luv.com. $60. * Windows 7. If you have someone on your gift list who uses Windows Vista (check to make sure it's Vista), an upgrade to Windows 7 is a great gift. From http://tinyurl.com/ycxlorf. $115. (Note: You'll see a few "tinyurl" addresses here. They're fully functioning but shortened versions of the original address.) * GorillaPod. This is the ugliest camera-and-work tripod you ever saw, but one you'll never leave home without. Small legs can be bent and wrapped around objects such as rocks or branches, and one model, the Torch, has a built-in spotlight and magnetic feet to stick to things like cars. Available in many sizes. From www.joby.com. $22 to $100, depending on size. * NPR Radio. Table radio that plugs into your home Internet connection (or to your wireless network) and tunes into any of the 600 NPR stations that broadcast on the Internet, using special NPR-station controls. No computer is needed, and the radio can also tune into any of the 16,000 non-NPR Internet stations. From www.livioradio.com. $200. * For a geek who loves man's best friend, a pet's eye view camera. See what your dog has been looking at all this time. From http://tinyurl.com/ygbe3qt. $33. * Pogo capacitive stylus for iPhone and iPod Touch. Easier than using your fingers, especially if you're wearing gloves or have long fingernails. From www.tenondesign.com. $15. * Solio solar charger for iPods, cameras and cell phones. From http://tinyurl.com/yh2oyvo. * TrickleStar power saver for PC peripherals. Senses when a PC is off or on and switches power off or on to all peripherals accordingly. From www.tricklestar.com. $16.