MozillaQuest Christmas and Winter Holiday Gift Guide - 2005
Santa's 2005 Picks for Linux and Windows Computer Gifts
Mike Angelo -- 24 December 2005 (C) -- Page 1
If you are a Microsoft Windows user, try to select items that work with both the Linux and MS Windows operating systems. That goes for both hardware and software items. That way when you are ready to move up to Linux, the stuff you have will work with Linux. Please see the Linux Note in the right sidebar,
Today we take a very quick look at live CDs, flash memory, digital music players, open source software, some books, and a digital camera that make nice Christmas gifts, Winter holiday gifts, and gifts for almost any occasion.
All of today's gift suggestions work with both the GNU-Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems. Most likely they work with the Apple Macintosh too, but we have not checked them on a Mac.
Digital Music Players
Digital music players make great gifts. Last year at this time, we took a close look at the 512-MB SanDisk Digital Audio Player ($150 MSRP). In November this year, we took a close look at the 256-MB Lexar LDP-200 Digital Music Player and SD Card Reader ($90 MSRP). Both are designed for the Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms and we have tested them with Linux and Windows.
Both the Lexar LDP-200 Digital Music Player and the SanDisk Digital Audio Player plug into you computer via the USB (Universal Serial Port). That let's you download your music files to the digital player. Then you can detach your USB digital music player.
Detached, the digital music and audio players use batteries to power earphones so that you can play the music on them and listen to the music. However, you also can use the digital audio and music players to play the music on your PC. Doing that can save wear and tear on your hard drive or CD drive and likely saves electricity too.
The Lexar LDP-200 Digital Music Player and the SanDisk Digital Audio Player make great gifts for anyone who likes music -- isn't that just about everyone?
Removable USB Flash Memory Drives (USB Keys)
Last year at this time we published a review of the 64-MB Lexar USB JumpDrive ($30 MSRP). We shortly will publish reviews of the 4-GB Kingston Data Traveler Elite ($365 MSRP) and the 1-GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro ($99 MSRP). We liked the Lexar JumpDrive and we like both the Kingston Data Traveler Elite and the SanDisk Cruzer Micro. (Links in the Resources section at the end of this article.)
The Kingston Data Traveler Elite, Lexar USB JumpDrive, and SanDisk Cruzer Micro all generically are known as USB flash memory drives and also are known generically as USB keys. Once plugged into your PC, the USB flash drives make themselves look like a standard, (USB) removable hard drive to your computer's operating system.
These USB flash drives have so many uses and are just so handy. That makes them really great gifts.
They are great for sneaker-netting. Sneaker-net is a term from the days before computer networking was widespread. If you wanted to take files from one computer to another you had to copy the files to a 1.4-MB or smaller floppy disk and then walk (that's where the sneakers come in) the floppy disk from one computer to another in order to copy the files.
Today's larger capacity removable USB flash drives let you sneaker-net up to 1-GB of files with the 1-GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro or up to 4-GB of files with the 4-GB Kingston Data Traveler Elite. That makes it easy to keep your data files on the USB key so that you have all your files with you wherever you go and wherever you are. Moreover, the 1-GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro and 4-GB Kingston Data Traveler Elite are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket or coin purse.
Thus when you are using computers at home, school, office, or wherever you are, simply plug your 1-GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro or 4-GB Kingston Data Traveler Elite into the computer where you are. And voila', all your files are right there with you.
When you are done, simply unplug your 1-GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro or 4-GB Kingston Data Traveler Elite and take your files with you. By the way, if you are concerned about computer security and privacy, no one can hack your files when they are in your shirt pocket, coin purse, or otherwise out of a computer.
We are not talking about merely data files (as in documents and boring stuff like that) here. You can put your MP3s, video clips, game data, photos, and all sorts of neat stuff like that on your USB keys. Thus the larger the capacity of the USB key, the better.
In Pursuit of Good Desktop Linux:
KMail -- One of the Best E-Mail Clients (Editor's Choice)
Getting Started with Wireless Network Technology
Impact of the Mandrake-Conectiva Acquisition on the Linux Landscape
Is Netscape Losing the Browser Wars?