Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Turbo’s Crazy Christmas Gifts

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Now that things are slowing down a bit here in IBM-land, but recognizing there are still a few shopping days left before Christmas, I thought it might be constructive for you, and psychologically assuaging to me, for me to sit down and make a list for Santa.

You know, a kind of “Technology Gifts For The Geek Who Already Has (Almost) Everything.”

In so doing, I decided to identify those gadgets, thingamabobs, widgets, and other tech wizardry that, were I not to have to worry about price constraints, would inevitably wind their way into my gadget portfolio.

Which, being nicknamed “Turbo,” I can assure you, is already vast and expansive.  I could also open a small personal technology history museum with devices gathering dust in my various closets, but hey, this is about the future, not the past!  Stop dwelling on dollars spent previously in the great expense of being an early adopter and look into the holiday electronics abyss for the next new thing!

1) Video glasses.  I’m not yet sold on which brand or SKU, as there’s still some controversy, it seems, in the area of video glasses, as to whether they’re worth the investment or not.

iTV Googles new WideViewXL model provides a 72" virtual display, so while all the other suckers in coach are watching that runty TV, you're back in the exit row watching "Avatar" in full steroscopical, HD bliss -- and looking like the geek you truly are while you're watching it!

But, remembering this is a wish list of stuff I don’t necessarily need but would like to have, and assuming the moolah’s not coming from my pocket, it seems to me no self-respecting technology geek in the 2010s should be without a good pair of video glasses so that I can ignore people on airplanes while I watch the latest version of “Jackass” in 3D or play “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” all up close and personal.

And I mean REALLY up close.  So for now, I’m going with the ITG-WideView XL Edition.  Amazon cost: $369.99

 2) Kindle Fire.  Let’s face it: I don’t need anything else to read.  I subscribe to more print magazines than I care to admit to (yes, me, “Dr. Digital,” still traffics in parchment), I have an iPad with more books I’ve downloaded than I can read, and my MacBook Air serves in a pinch for watching content on the road as well.

But hey, you can’t ignore how big that frickin’ Amazon Cloud is, and there’s a reason they’re selling the Fire for a mere $199 (and apparently at a loss).

What they lose in volume they expect to make up in razor blade margins — content razor blades, I mean to say.  And with 19 million movies, TV shows, magazines, and books, with the Kindle Fire, the flames won’t go out in Amazon’s content cloud anytime soon! Amazon cost: $199

According to Panasonic "the VIERA ST Series Full HD 3D Plasmas create an all new viewing experience by putting you inside the action and creating a new world of TV viewing realism." The really cool fish are sold separately.

3) An Internet-Ready TV.  It’s pretty obvious to me where TV-land is headed: Straight for an interstellar crash with all things IP.  Which means the more Internet-ready my next TV is, the more TV-ready I’ll be for the coming Internet content wars.

Not that I need a new big TV, mind you: My 6-year old Sony Bravia 55”-inch is still working just fine, and with the recent addition of a Roku box, combined with an Apple TV, a WII, cable, and a Sony Playstation hooked to the thing, I’ve got more content than I can keep up with.  But this is about conspicuous-consumption, and the next big thing is Internet-ready TV, and I’m simply not ready!

So, enter the Panasonic Viera TC-P50S30 50-inch 1080p plasma HDTV. When I get bored with that Kindle Fire small fry screen, I can rev the Viera up on the Panasonic and grab me a content smorgasbord, built-in, including Amazon Prime, Netflix, Pandora, Napster, and Facebook integration.

Could the Panasonic be my next new computer??  At $799.99, it could be the TV-top deal of the century! Amazon cost: $799.99

4) A Portable Hard Drive.  I cannot tell a lie: I have too much digital stuff.  And it’s all over the place. On multiple computers.  Multiple clouds.  In multiple universes.  Or was that meta-verses?

In any case, I’m well into digital overload, particularly now that I’ve learned how to make iMovies on my MacBook Air.  I need an overflow valve, so-to-speak.  And the Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive could be a step in the right storage direction for helping me pack away all those exciting skateboarding bulldog videos.

The upside: It has up to 3X transfer rates via USB 3.0  The downside: It’s saying it only supports USB 2.0 on Snow Leopard (nothing about Lion!).  And that’s assuming the floods in Thailand haven’t put a damper on supply.  Amazon cost: $169.00

5) A Gaming Laptop.  Let’s face it, with a nickname like “Turbo,” I can’t ever have TOO much processing power in any of my computing devices.  The more horsepower, the better, I say.

The Battalion 101 X7200 from iBuypower says it will "give you an absolutely amazing gaming experience every time. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M graphics card, 6GB of DDR3 memory and Intel Core i7 760QM processor give this computer plenty of power to handle even the most demanding games on the market. " Yes, I know, you're just waiting to ask: It will handle any variety of "Angry Birds" just fine!

And now that I’m trying to learn to fly via my computer, just any old laptop won’t do.  My poor Dell laptop is chugging along, and I fear I may crash into somebody else’s airplane in virtual space due to limited computing horsepower.  I did a little checking, and the Battaliion 101 X7200 seems to be a very highly rated, and somewhat affordable (remembering we don’t care about money in this list!) portable gaming maachine.

It comes with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560M graphics card, 6GB of DDR3 memory, and an Intel Core i7 760QM processor — all of which ought to get me off the ground from the virtual Austin Bergstrom International and off to Charles DeGaulle for evening cocktails at Harry’s New York Bar in no time at all. iBuypower cost: $1,959

Of course, it took some serious restraint not for this list to go on and on and on and on.  There are so many gadgets across so many galaxies far, far away that I could have included, and yet, so little time. And, even affording myself the luxury of no cap on spending for my gift list, it still feels wrong, like we’re having ourselves a very merry but still austere holiday season.

So, Mr. Klaus, I hereby respectfully request that you deliver my coal this year in the form of some multi-carat eco-diamonds — manmade, no labor issues, easy to transact.  If I’m going to take my coal, I’m going to take it in style, thank you very much.

But I also wouldn’t argue if you just dropped me off an iPad 2, Santa.  I’ll even sit on your lap, if I must.

I’m already a generation behind with this first run iPad and I’m starting to get paranoid that I won’t be able to keep up with the virtual Joneses!

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