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24 December, 2005
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MozillaQuest Christmas and Winter Holiday Gift Guide - 2005

Santa's 2005 Picks for Linux and Windows Computer Gifts

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.

Mike Angelo -- 24 December 2005 (C) -- Page 1

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Article Index

Introduction

Digital Music Players

Removable USB Flash Memory Drives (USB Keys)

Put Your Computer on USB Key and Live CD/DVD

The Pentax Optio S6 Digital Camera

Resources

Linux Note: Of course there are more Windows-based computer systems than there are Linux-based systems -- now. But that could be changing.

The GNU-Linux operating system (OS) is superior to the Microsoft Windows operating systems. The underlying operating system architecture of the GNU-Linux OS is better than the underlying architecture of the MS Windows OSs.

Linux is more secure. And perhaps even more important, Linux is Free and Open Source Software. Please see our article Gaël Duval Tells Why Mandrake Linux Is Better Than MS Windows

Chances are that if you already are not a Linux user, sooner or later you will want to try Linux. So, if you buy computers and computer-related items that are compatible with both Linux and Windows you will be all set when you decide to try Linux.

Office on the Linux Desktop

OpenOffice 1.1 -- A Complete Office/Productivity Software Suite for GNU-Linux, FreeBSD, MAC, MS-Windows, Unix, and more

About the Author

Mike Angelo has written hundreds of published newspaper and magazine computer and technology articles. He has more than 40 years experience using solid-state, digital computers.

Mike has written lots of computer programs in assembly, BASIC, FORTRAN, machine, and several other languages -- on a variety of mainframe and desktop machines. He has designed and built some special purpose computers, and does PC upgrading and building. Mike also creates, designs, and maintains Web sites.

In 1993, Mike Angelo started writing a print newspaper computer column, About Computers. He has written articles for top-tier magazines including Byte, Computer Buyer's Guide & Handbook, DOS World, I-Way, Laptop Buyer's Guide & Handbook, Linux Journal, Maximize, MozillaQuest Magazine, PC Novice, and PC Today.

Despite Mike Angelo's extensive computer experience he has a real life and uses computers as tools. Therefore, he approaches his computer writing from the user's interest and point of view.

Are you looking for some Christmas or holiday gifts -- or gifts or any occasion for that matter? Take a look at computers and computer related items. You will find everything from nice, inexpensive stocking stuffers to some really great, yet expensive, under-the-tree items.

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.

You also can use the Lexar LDP-200 Digital Music Player and the SanDisk Digital Audio Player as removable USB drives.

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.


  • See Put Your Computer on USB Key and Live CD/DVD on Page 2 ----->
  • See The Pentax Optio S6 Digital Camera on Page 2 ----->


  • Article Index

    Introduction

    Digital Music Players

    Removable USB Flash Memory Drives (USB Keys)

    Put Your Computer on USB Key and Live CD/DVD

    The Pentax Optio S6 Digital Camera

    Resources


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