High Tech Stocking Stuffers
of the online companies we like is the famous Amazon.com,
which in addition to books now sells music CDs and other gifts over the Net. Using it is a
snap. Once you've established an account it's easy to choose the book or gift that you
want. Amazon also provides commentary by readers and reviews if youre having trouble
deciding what to purchase. The thing we appreciate about Amazon are their value-added
services that include providing a card with a note, gift-wrapping, and the capacity to
send it anywhere in the world for you. That means no waiting in line at the post office.
It's a great time saver for delivering gifts to friends, relatives or clients on the
For middle school or high school kids we think Britannica CD 99 Multimedia Edition, produced by the venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica, is a terrific gift. The multi-media edition, which works with Windows 95 or 98, comes in a two-disk format that has the text of the Encyclopedia and much more. It delivers thousands of images, maps, videos and numerous Internet links that allows a student to explore topics in a detailed fashion. In addition, there are numerous cool features such as reports, tables and graphs that enable the user to compare 191 countries demographics, national economy and other areas. There is also a timeline that allows you to see what was happening contemporaneously in the fields of architecture, literature, medicine, religion, etc, from 90,000 BC to the present. The price is $119 for the full blown Multimedia version or $59.00 for the standard edition which still has the entire text of the 32-volume print set, the last five Britannica Yearbooks, images and interactive maps on one CD-ROM. Call 1-800-747-8503 or more info or see http://www.eb.com.
the businessman or woman that has everything you might consider the CardScan 300 from a
Cambridge, Massachusetts company called Corex. This has got to be one of the coolest
business tools we've ever seen. It allows you to take all those business cards that are
probably cluttering up your drawer or wallet and easily scan the data into a database on
your desktop computer. Modeled after an actual Rolodex, the software is full-featured,
well-designed and easy to use. CardScan 300 has a very effective scanner that sucks up all
those fax numbers, e-mail addresses, Web sites and the like that we are all too busy to
enter in manually. This little gem also works with a Palm Pilot and is worth considering
if you want to help that special someone organize his or her life electronically. Price is
around $300. Call 800-942-6739 or order online by logging onto http://www.cardscan.com.
Another great gift for that special erudite person on your shopping list is the CD version of the Oxford English Dictionary. The OED is the most complete, scholarly dictionary of the English language and has over a half million words in common use from 1150 AD to the present. The dictionary utilizes only one CD and is linked to Microsoft Word. Thus when youre using the word processor all you do is click on the icon on the control bar and voilą you have a definition. The format is a bit clunky compared to other works but you can't have a better reference at your fingertips. It's available for a mere $395 or you can get the shorter OED on CDROM for $95. The shorter OED is newer, slicker, better designed and a good value if you don't need or want the full bore OED. Check out the Oxford University Press web site at http://www.oed.com for ordering information.
|Finally, if you're interested in the latest electronic gadgetry, you might consider a digital camera. Prices are coming down, the quality is getting much better and these items are getting easier to use. We scoured the Internet for price/value and found one camera that seems to stand head and shoulders above the rest in the under $300 category. The Epson PhotoPC 550, priced as low as $182, is a real bargain. Well engineered, it takes excellent quality images that you would expect of a higher priced item and effectively sets the standard for pocket-sized cameras. At 4.2 by 2.6 by 1.5 inches and 5.4 ounces, the 550 can fit into your shirt pocket and can snap 1,000 photos without draining the three AA batteries. See http://www.epson.com for more information. If you're willing to spend around $400 you might want to check out Kodak's DC210 Plus which has gotten rave reviews as well. It has a zoom lens and plenty of other nifty features.|
Pacific Business News - Friday December 11, 1998
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