The Christmas season is upon use. To me that means family and friends, festive meals and celebration, church festivals and winter vacation. Every year I try to take off the week of Christmas and the first week of New Year to be with my family, enjoy their company, and recharge my batteries. This year we have a little bit more to celebrate and be thankful for since my wife will be done with her radiation treatments and, with that, her treatment for breast cancer.
It hasn’t come yet, but soon the snow will be here. Winter is one of my favorite times, with the white snow blanketing the ground and frosting the trees. Although I still want to live in a location more tropical location, I think I would greatly miss the snow. It always seems to have an effect like that of an eraser on a chalkboard, preparing the world for the new spring to come.
It is also a time to reflect back on the past year and gauge how well I have done on my own personal goals for the past year, and plan what my goals are to be for the upcoming year.
Also on the vacation agenda: watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Again. As I am currently reading the series again as well, it will be interesting seeing the differences and adaptations that were made for the movie.
Finally, I would like to submit to the reader a list of the top five techie gadgets for this holiday season:
5) The Boxee Box – While Apple TV and Google TV are strong contenders in the streaming video market, the Boxee box combines style, functionality, and flexibility in a unique package that, in my humble opinion, makes it the current standout in this market.
4) Apple’s new iPod Nano with touch screen. While other products in the Apple line up have gotten much glory over the past few months, the new iPod Nano has been mostly overlooked. Gone is the video camera from this latest version, but it’s small size and touch screen more than make up for that. And at 4-8 times the holding capacity of the ipod shuffle, it’s sure to make any techie a happy camper.
3) Like a sucker punch in the e-book reader world, Barnes and Noble has release its Nook Color, a color seven inch touch screen running android 2.1. While not directly competing with the iPad per se, it certainly closes the gap between ereader and tablet. And for those so inclined, it looks like that gap will be even narrower once the Nook Color is rooted.
2) The Microsoft Xbox Kinect is going to be the big “must have” video gaming item this season and I suspect will put Microsoft in the leader position for sales in 2011. Sony and Wii don’t have anything nearly as sexy as the kinect in their line up. This season, they are just going to have to sit back and take their lumps. Meanwhile, any techie worth their salt would be happy to find a Microsoft Kinect under the tree.
1) The number one techie gift his year is, of course, the iPad. While there are other alternatives currently available (Archos 5, 7, and 9, Asus EeePad, Dell Slate, Samsung Galaxy Tab, etc.) and a whole slew on the horizon, one thing is clear: Apple’s iPad is still king of the hill, and will be for some time. While Google’s Android OS has made a good showing, it has an up hill battle against the iPad. IPad has the user base, the available apps, and a single stable OS to operate on. Easy and fun to use, the iPad is a great gift for anyone, techie or non-techie.
One other thing I would like to mention. At this time there are many suffering and going without. While all these trinkets and such are nice and fun to have, please remember those that are struggling to make ends meet, are without employment or housing, or are hungry. Please remember them at both this time of year and all year long.
Also please remember you local charities.