Byte Me Article 393 – Christmas Ideas

Christmas is coming upon us quicker than I can ever remember and like myself, I am sure there will be many that are yet to purchase presents.  An IT based present can light up the eyes of the recipient but can also be a flop.  There are an endless number of new gadgets around just vying for your Christmas dollar – but not everything on a sales counter is good and there are many devices that you will think are handy, but the recipient may not share the same opinion.

We will look at some useful devices starting with what I believe will be the most popular.  At the top of my IT shopping list I would be a portable Bluetooth speaker.  These devices have proliferated most recently and are great gift idea.  Like a mobile phone, they have built-in batteries that can last between 6 to 30 hours.  Many of these devices are also waterproof, dustproof and shockproof and you can even throw them in the pool – while playing music.

While on the cordless bandwagon – what normal computer user would not appreciate a nice Logitech or Microsoft cordless keyboard & mouse kit?  Advancements in technology have continued to occur in this field – so they are becoming more energy efficient while becoming more accurate (mouse) and nicer to type on (keyboards).  The newer models have just the one USB dongle for both devices and battery life can now be at least a year.

Most computer users will average over 2 hours a day in front of a screen – so shouldn’t this screen be a pleasure to use?  Again, technology keeps moving forward so the latest IPS LED LCD screens have beautiful vibrant true to life colours as well as flicker free and eye strain reducing properties.  You may think your 8-year-old screen is fine – but put one of these new models next to it and the comparison is chalk and cheese.

I am going to mention the name SSD (solid-state drives) again because installing one of these in any desktop or laptop built in the last 6 years will have a dramatic effect on speed if they don’t already have one.  90% of current computers still have a mechanical drive which are both slow and far less reliable in comparison.  This Christmas idea is not just a simple add-on like the suggestions above but is has the most potential to bring about a positive change in the recipient’s computer usage.

For a great Christmas gift, we should also look at portable hard drives.  If you know someone that is using a laptop or desktop without any form of backup, you could be saving them from a future disaster with one of these offerings.  Just remember the definition of “backup” is to create a duplicate copy of the original.  Don’t ever pace all your digital data eggs in one basket.

Still looking for Christmas ideas?  Smart phone users (which nowadays is nearly everyone over 14) are always concerned about running low on battery power when away from their charger and a power point.  Portable power bricks / portable power banks, whichever you wish to call them, can be the most valuable gift that you can give someone – next time they are running low on battery and need their phone to be available. 

The above gifts should prove very useful to the average computer users and some have dual purposes.  For instance, if you don’t want to take your portable speaker out to the pool or bar-b-q area – you will find a son or daughter, niece or nephew who does.  Plus, you could always use them as a permanent desktop computer speaker!  Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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