My Father’s Day Top Tech Gifts for 2012

As always, I encourage you to peruse my last few lists for additional ideas, but here are my latest favorite tech toys–any of which should make a semi-nerdy dad smile.

The Sonos Play:5 is an elegant all-in-one that packs a wallop.
1. Sonos

I included the Sonos Play 3 on my Christmas list. Since then, I have had more time to play with different configurations. I have come to the conclusion that this is currently the best system for music in the home. My brother recently replaced his multi-zone home audio system with six Sonos amps. The result is a system that you control with well-designed iPhone, iPad or Android apps. It’s ridiculously easy to group zones together to play the same music, or you can have every zone play something different.

The Sonos family of products.
The Sonos system offers four primary components: 1) CONNECT hooks up to your home network and outputs audio to your stereo or home audio system; 2) CONNECT:AMP includes an amplifier and can power speakers directly; 3) PLAY:3 is an all in one system including speakers; and 4) PLAY:5 is the big brother to the PLAY:3. They have also recently announced SUB, a $699 subwoofer that connects wirelessly to the system, which is due to ship in late July 2012.

You need only connect one Sonos component to your home network (if there is not an ethernet connection where a Sonos component will go, you can employ the $49 SONOS BRIDGE). Once a unit is connected, it creates a proprietary wireless mesh network to which all other SONOS units can connect.

The Sonos system is easily controlled by computer, iPhone, iPad and Android.

Once you’ve connected your SONOS components, you can listen to all music in your iTunes library, or you can access myriad other popular sources like Pandora, SiriusXM, Spotify, Rhapsody, MOG,, Rdio and much more.

The Sonos system is excellent for it’s simplicity of set-up and use. If he’s a music lover, start him off with the Play:3 and a Bridge. That will allow him to easily take his music the porch, the backyard or the garage. And right now, you can get the $49 Bridge for free at

The Big Jambox improves on a good thing.
2. Jawbone Big Jambox

Jawbone’s original Jambox topped my Christmas list by providing great quality sound streamed via bluetooth from my iPhone or iPad. But if he likes a bigger sound and doesn’t mind a bit more weight, the new Big Jambox is for him. At $299 it’s a little pricey, but the technology and components are great, and the ease of use is wonderful. (Buy it at

Still one of my favorite pieces of technology, and only $95.
3. Apple TV

I have used the Apple TV as my primary music source for over five years, and there is still no more beautiful way to view your pictures and home movies.  This little device is about the size of a few decks of cards, but once plugged into your TV or home entertainment system (via an HDMI cable) offers you access to all your iTunes content, movies and photos. It also allows you to purchase or rent content directly from the iTunes store. Or you can watch YouTube, Netflix, and much more. And now with AirPlay technology, you can easily stream audio and video from any iPhone, iPad or Mac. At $95, the only reason you should not have one is if you have an older TV without an HDMI port.  (Buy it at

4. The New iPad

While the New iPad is merely an iteration of the iPad 2 without a major overhaul, it is an amazing piece of technology. The new retina display shows pictures and HD movies in stunning quality. I use my iPad more than any other piece of technology these days–for e-mail, reading, games, controlling my DirecTV and Apple TV and much more. And when iOS 6.0 ships in the fall, you’ll get Siri to do your evil bidding. There is a reason that the iPad product line has gone from nothing to 25% of Apple’s $160 billion in annual revenues–it is worth it. ($499 at

16GB of storage and about as big as a dime.
5. Verbatim Thumbdrive

More and more, automobiles come with a USB port in the stereo. If your car will play music from a USB device, this little thumb drive is a great addition. It’s little more than the size of the USB port itself, but it packs 16GB of storage for only $15–less than a buck a gigabyte! That’s enough for about 4,000 songs. And you barely notice it. (Buy it at

6. iPad Camera Connection Kit

I love taking a sharing photos. And now when I am on the road with my camera, I bring my iPad and camera connection kit along. It allows you to connect a USB cable from camera to iPad, or insert an SD memory card into the bottom of the iPad to transfer your photos. And with the new iPhoto app, its easy to create a great slideshow on the fly.  (Buy it at

7. The new Macbook Pro with Retina Display
The new MacBook Pro is a major rework of Apple’s professional notebook computer line. It thinner, lighter and stronger. And it’s the first Mac with a high-resolution retina display. So if he’s been very good, and you have $2,200 burning a whole in your pocket, go check it out at the Apple Store.

That’s it for this year. If you have any questions, just post a comment below.

My Top Tech Gifts for Christmas 2011

Much of my Top Ten Tech Gifts for Father’s Day 2011 post remains true, though some have had nice price reductions (the Canon Rebel T3i with lens dropped from $916 to $720). I thought I’d add a few more thoughts for Christmas.

1. Jawbone Jambox

A friend brought this little gizmo on a recent camping trip and I was amazed. It connects to a multitude of devices via bluetooth and pumps out thumping sound for it’s size (6″L x 2.2″W x 1.6″H; 12 oz.).  It is rechargeable and lasts about 10 hours. It also works well as a speakerphone. The Jambox retails for $199, but you can get the red model shown above for much less with no tax and free shipping using the following link. (, $163)

2. Sonos Play 3

Sonos has long been a provider of whole-home wireless music solutions, but the recent release of the Play 3 and Play 5 remote speakers have brought rave reviews. Easily control your music from an iPhone, iPad, computer or Android device–playing the same song everywhere or a different one from each speaker.  In addition to your iTunes library, Sonos has built-in support for Pandora, Last FM, Spotify, Napster, Sirius XM, and many other offerings from the Internet. The speakers are well built, crank out great sound, and adding another zone means simply buying another speaker. If you don’t have a wired network connection where the speaker will be placed, you’ll need the $49 Sonos Bridge–you only need one for all the Sonos speakers in your home. ( Play 3, $299; Wireless Bridge, $49)

3. Epson MegaPlex Projector

Epson recently released these turnkey projectors, but Amazon has already lopped the price dramatically in time for the holidays. The 720p model is HD, though not full 1080P HD, but it should be fine for showing the kids the latest Pixar movie on the side of your house. And the built-in speakers are loud enough to handle that rehearsal dinner slideshow. The iPhone/iPad dock is just gravy. ( 720p, $680; 520p, $549)

4. iPhone 4S

It’s silly not to upgrade to the latest iPhone if your contract allows it. You can sell that old phone on eBay for about as much as the new one costs you. And the new iPhone 4S offers increased speed, Siri, and an amazing camera upgrade. Dealing with the phone companies makes this a difficult gift to give, so the link takes you to the iPhone gift card page. (, $199 with contract)

5. MacBook Air

If you need an extra computer around the house, the entry level Apple laptop is a great choice. Shoehorning this much power in such a small and light package is amazing. And the recent upgrades make this laptop even more of a bargain. ( 11.6″ Display, $940; 13.3″ Display, $1,280)

6. Fujitsu SCANSNAP S1100 Portable Scanner

I have used this line of scanners for five years now. The combination of build quality, performance and ease of use are unparalleled. Turning that pile of bills on your text into digital copies (now acceptable to the IRS) is much better than filing them all. And it folds up so small, you’ll barely notice it. (, $190)

Just a few ideas. I know they are a little expensive in these difficult times. Check my Father’s Day post for some less expensive options. Or just get him some Thorlo socks. Those are quite nice.

Incidentally, while the iPad is still one of my favorite gadgets (I rarely use a computer at home anymore), the rumor is that they will update it sometime around next March. So I would leave that for a Fathers Day gift.

How to upgrade to new iPhone for Free

Apple announced the new iPhone 4S yesterday, and there are many reasons you should get it. My favorites:

1. The A5 processor. Keep those speed bumps coming. The iPhone 3GS was an incredible leap over the iPhone 3. I think this new dual-core processor will provide a similar leap in snappiness.

2. The Camera. The camera in the iPhone 4 made the iPhone the most used camera in the world. The leap to 1080P video, faster time to first picture, and using the volume up button to take the picture will only add to that lead.

3. Siri. This is the big Wow. Siri is your new intelligent assistant that truly ushers in the robot age. It reads texts and e-mails to you, dictates responses, sets appointments, tells you the weather, finds a great local Indian restaurant, and more. So I can say, “Remind me to call my wife and buy milk when I leave work”. Since my iPhone knows where I am, the moment I leave work Siri will ask me if I would like to place a call to my wife and reminds me to buy milk on the way home. Sick.

But how do you get the new phone for free, you ask? Well, first of all you need to be eligible for a new, subsidized phone. Apple has set up the ability to check eligibility through AT&T or Verizon (Sprint, which is finally getting to sell the iPhone, will be on the page soon). If you are eligible, you can order the new iPhone this Friday (October 7, 2011) for delivery on October 14 for only $199.

Once you transition to your new iPhone 4S, go ahead and sell the old iPhone on eBay. My brother just sold his old iPhone 3GS for $265. That price might come down with the new phone coming out, but my guess is that you still come out positive. And if you are selling an iPhone 4, you should fare much better.

My Father’s Day Top Ten Tech Gifts for 2011

Here is my annual look at great technology gifts for dads. These are all gadgets that I use personally and love. And I go through a lot of gadgets. Got a question? Just e-mail me.
1. Apple TV 2 ($98) 
The Apple TV headed last year’s list because it has long been my favorite piece of tech. And now they have released the Apple TV 2, lopping $170 and the hard drive from the original model. I was originally reluctant to rely so much on streaming over the network versus an internal hard drive. But now that I have used it, I like it. And with the advent of iCloud this fall, the new Apple TV will be even better. The device only has an HDMI output for video, though. So make sure you have a recent TV with HDMI inputs. (
2. Apple iPad 2 ($499)
I probably would have slotted the iPad in the number one spot if it were a little cheaper. But if he’s worth it, I can’t imagine a man who would not love this device. I have a laptop, a desktop and an iPhone, but I do most of my “computing” on my iPad. It’s the perfect size for e-mail, reading, watching videos and playing games. And with the upcoming iOS 5 and iCloud, it will be even more useful. Just the $499 base model is good enough. Order early! (

3. MLB.TV Subscription ($99)

If he is a baseball fan, especially a fan of a team in another city, then he will love this. I’m a Giants fan and recently got hooked. Previously, I very rarely got to watch my team. Now I have every game available live or recorded on my iPad, Computer or iPhone. They also support Apple TV 2, iPod Touch, Android, and some newer TVs. (MLB.TV)

4. Canon EOS Rebel T3i ($916)
I fully expect senility to start setting in soon, and I know I will want a little help remembering. My pictures are a key reason that I love my iPad and Apple TV, because there has never been a better way to view and share pictures. The T3i is the annual release of Canon’s wildly popular digital camera line. This year’s model adds even better picture quality and a swiveling display, which makes the built-in HD video camera easier to use. If he has been a very good boy, this is a gift that will benefit you as well. (


5. Thermapen Instant-read Thermometer ($93)
Two of my six brothers are chefs, but all six eat rather well and swear by the Thermapen. When grilling, I know exactly when my steak is medium rare. And it’s high quality with great service. My display stopped working after five years, and the company fixed it and sent it right back for $25. (

6. Apple Airport Express ($99)

While I have had an Airport Express for years, since it’s great for setting up quick wi-fi networks in hotels or at a friends’ house, the recent version’s inclusion of AirPlay earned the device a spot in my top 10. Plug it into the wall, run an audio cable to your stereo, and you’re soon able to stream music directly from your iPhone, iPad or computer at the touch of a button. And anyone on your network can do the same, which will wow your friends when you let them play their own music. We have one hooked up at the office so that anyone can dish music whilst we sip ales on our sundeck and watch the sun set over the Pacific. Mmmm. That sounds nice. (

7. Apple Magic Trackpad ($69)
While I use this trackpad for my desktop at home and like it very much, it would not have made the top ten list until earlier this week when Apple previewed the next version of the Mac operating system. Being able to swipe different ways with different numbers of fingers will be very important starting next month (July 2011) when Mac OS X Lion is released. So if he has a desktop Mac, or uses his laptop with an external mouse, he’ll appreciate this soon. (


8. Ooma ($200)
I keep this device on from last year’s list. Just plug it into your broadband Internet connection, then plug a wireless phone system into Ooma, and enjoy free calls nationwide for the rest of your life. Upgrade to Ooma premier for $10 and get cool additional features like having your voicemails e-mailed to you. (

9. iPod Nano ($149) and Lunatik watch band ($80)
I love watches, and being able to wear a watch made by Apple struck a chord with me. The Lunatik also protects your iPod from accidental bumps. I run with it every morning, first listening to music, then the business report on NPR with the Nano’s built-in radio. But it’s most fun out in the evening when it gets noticed. With a few swipes on my “watch” I can share the latest pics of the kids, and a fingertip twist rotates them toward the viewer. Seriously. How cool am I? ( iPod and Lunatik)

10. Slingbox Pro-HD ($259)
This funny little box works with your cable or DirecTV system to feed your TV, including recorded shows, to your laptop or mobile device anywhere in the world. So with the $30 iPad app, you have all your TV anywhere there is a WiFi connection. Great for sports fans and travelers. (

Oh, and don’t buy him an iPhone now.

The new iPhone 5 (or perhaps 4s) should arrive this fall. So wait on that one.

What are your thoughts?

Malware hits the Mac

Malware is targeting Macs. But only if you are duped. It’s a problem that has effected major sites such as A user visiting an infected site will see a pop-up that looks like it came from the Mac Operating system rather than the website. If the user is tricked into entering their computer password, the software will install itself and act like a virus protection program called Mac Defender (it can also go by other names). It claims the users computer has been infected and tries to get the user to register the software by entering credit card information. An elaborate fishing scam, but all you need to know is that you should shut down your browser if you see it, and be wary of the last website your were viewing. Read this article and be careful out there – CNET News via @cnet.

So you want to buy an iPad?

The iPad hit store shelves on April 3rd, 2010. In Apple’s December quarter, the company sold $4.6 billion worth of them. Not that the number needs perspective, but consider that the computer company sold $5.4 billion worth of computers in the quarter. They sold their first computer 138 quarters ago.

So you’re not alone in wanting an iPad. But which iPad? And what are you going to do with it?

I waited in line last April 3rd with my nerdy eight-year-old and was one of the first on my block to have one–a 16G Wi-Fi model. I have been entirely happy with it. My biggest gripe is that I keep coming close to having it smacking me in the nose when I fall asleep. But I assume it will shed weight as it evolves.

Wi-Fi or 3G?
I have Fios at home and at the office, and rarely take the iPad anywhere else, so I am usually OK with my Wi-Fi iPad. But the few times I have ventured off the grid–a doctor appointment, a business trip, road trips up to the mountains–using my iPad is an entirely different experience. Except for a few functions, like reading a book or playing Angry Birds (and, yes, you should play Angry Birds), the iPad is meant to be connected to the Internet.

The 3G version of the iPad costs $130 more. But you are not forced to pay for the service until you want to use it. So if you are heading out of town for a week, you can pay $14.99 for 250MB, or $25.00 for 2GB of data over the next month. Friends who use the 3G version tell me that $14.99 typically handles casual data use while away from Wi-Fi (just make sure to turn 3G off when you are not using it so that you’re not downloading large e-mail attachments as you drive around town).

16GB, 32GB or 64GB
As with iPhones, I land on the low end where memory is concerned. Why not put that $200 toward the next version of the device when it comes out? But if you really need to carry around your entire music collection (I use an iPod for that) or a large collection of videos (an HD movie is around 1.5GB), then decide if the extra cash is worth it for you. Otherwise,just sync more often to refresh your content. But your 16GB won’t be overwhelmed by books, apps or e-mails.

What will I use it for?
This is the first thing I ask a new iPad owner. And the answers vary greatly. For most, it’s e-mail and surfing the Internet. I bought a laptop three years ago thinking I would use it when I jumped into bed at night. But I never did that much because of the form factor. A laptop is meant for sitting at a desk or table. The iPad is great on the couch or in bed. You typically hold it with one hand and operate it with the index finger of your other hand.

So I take it everywhere I used to take a book, magazine or newspaper. But it delivers so much more because of its connectivity. I read books in Kindle or iBooks. I get my news from New York Times and USA today. ESPN and Yahoo! Sportacular provide my sports news and scores. I access my e-mail, contacts and calendar–all synced over the cloud. Angry Birds and Word with Friends provide entertainment.

But that’s just a start. Go to the App Store and browse the Top Paid Apps or Top Free Apps and you’re sure to discover a few new gems.

When to Buy?
Typically with Apple products, pricing is set on release and then does not change until a new model is released (or it may not even change then). So to get the best deal, you’ll want to buy toward the beginning of the product cycle. You don’t want to pay $499 for an iPad, only to have a new version released the following month for $499.

My best guess is that the iPad will follow the same annual update schedule as the iPhone. With the anniversary of the original release looming, rumors of a new iPad abound. It will likely have a camera for video chatting, a faster processor, and a thinner form factor among other improvements. So if you can stand waiting a few months, I recommend you do so.

My favorite iPhone apps

A dear old friend suggested that I share my favorite iPhone apps.  I tend to stay on top of the latest well reviewed apps, but an iPhone is a personal device, and my favorite apps obviously reflect my interests. These might not appeal to you, but don’t be like my wife and use your iPhone primarily as a phone. If you have a need, there’s an app for that.

These are all my favorites in no particular order. Click the link on the name to go to the iTunes store page for each app. Leave a comment to let me know your favorite that I missed.

iMovie ($4.99): Easily create great videos with titles and transitions, right on your iPhone!

Adobe Photoshop Express (Free): Quickly edit and share photos on your phone.

Remote (Free): I use this app to control my Apple TV, but it will also control iTunes on any Mac, as well. It is the fastest way to browse to the album I want to hear.

NetNewsWire (Free): I use this app constantly to check up on the RSS feeds I follow, such as all that news on the Pac-10 Champion California Golden Bears.

Indigo Touch (Free, but requires Indigo software on a Mac): This is the remote application for a Mac home automation app called Indigo, by Perceptive Automation. With it, I can control lights, sprinklers, and even my espresso maker (so I don’t have to wait for it to warm up).

Google Mobile (Free): Lift your iPhone to your ear with this app and you’ll hear a tone that tells you to speak your search entry. Google uploads your voice query to its servers, translates it, and gives you surprisingly accurate results based on your current location.

Sportacular (Free): Purchased recently by Yahoo!, this app is the fastest way to check scores for your favorite teams. A recent update to version 2.0 adds more functionality, like checking in so that your friends know where you are watching the game.

USA Today (Free): A quick and attractive way to get the latest headlines.

Dropbox (Free): Dropbox gives you 2GB of online storage and allows you to access it from any PC, Mac, Linux PC, or most mobile devices. Drag and drop that PDF or JPG on your computer, and it will be available on your iPhone or iPad in seconds.

Evernote (Free): A great way to remember things. Like a bottle of wine? Snap a picture in Evernote. Can’t remember that light bulb size? Jot a quick note. Evernote uses optical character recognition, too, so if you only remember that it was a Chateauneuf you’ll still be able to find the wine by searching.

Dragon Dictation (Free): Need to jot a quick e-mail while you’re driving? Want to write a long e-mail but can’t type fast enough? Dragon Dictation sends spoken words to their servers and returns text that you can easily paste in any app. And if you speak clearly, the accuracy is amazing.

OpenTable (Free): I like to eat. And more and more, restaurants are using OpenTable to handle their reservations. This app lets you quickly reserve a table without having to speak to that snarky hostess.

Southwest Airlines (Free): A great, simple app for booking air travel and more. The best use is being able to check in to get in the “A” boarding group no matter where you happen to be 24 hours before your flight.

Shazam (Free): This app still amazes me more than any other. Launch it, then hold you iPhone up to a song playing on the radio. Shazam will record a small piece of the song, upload it to its server, then tell you the name of the song and the artist. It even provides a link to let you easily go buy the song in the iTunes store.

RedLaser (Free): This app is a great use of you camera and the web. Take a picture of almost any barcode, and RedLaser will scour the web to find the best price and additional product info. Then you can see how much that immediate gratification is costing you.

Chase Mobile (Free): Truly the brave new world. Along with the usual functionality of a banking iPhone app, Chase blows you away buy allowing you to take a picture of the front and back of a check with your iPhone, and deposit it remotely. No more trips to the bank because your dumb friend doesn’t use PayPal. I hate checks. It’s like a note from my mom saying its OK to take my money.

Angry Birds (a very worth it $0.99): First it was DoodleJump, then Strategery, but now my best time killer is the most popular mobile game ever. Even my wife, who abhors games on her iPhone, picked it up during a long car ride and played for three hours straight.

DIRECTV (Free): If you subscribe to DIRECTV, you have to get this. It requires a newer model receiver hooked up to the interwebs, but it provides the fastest way to find and record shows. And it works from anywhere. Even China. Crazy.

That’s all for now. Let me know about favorites I’ve missed in the comments below.

iPhone 4, you complete me.

I was one of the lucky few able to get the AT&T servers to work for me the day the iPhone 4 was available for pre-order. As such, my phone arrived by FedEx the day before they were available at the stores. Apple allowed FedEx to deliver some phones early because even FedEx could not ramp up to deliver 600,000 phones on one day. And tracking my iPhone’s delivery that day proved that, like AT&T two weeks before, FedEx had a server melt down at the hands of a half million geeks clicking reload to see when their tracking number would return “Out for Delivery”.

So I have had a week with my new little friend, and I love it. I feel sorry for my iPad. Jilted after only a few months in the top spot. But the iPhone 4 sets a new standard for gadgets. It is a beautiful thing to hold in your hand. It’s smaller than its predecessor, but ways the same, which gives it a very solid feel.

The top five reasons to upgrade (you do already have an iPhone, right?):

1. Speed. Speed. Speed. I had not upgraded to the iPhone 3Gs, and the 3G was just too pokey, especially after the upgrade to iOS 4.0. The new A4 processor makes every swipe of the finger send the phone zipping along.

2. The screen. Sick. Apple’s new term is “Retina Display”, which means that the display on the phone is beyond the capability of the human eye when the iPhone is held at a reasonable distance. It is amazing. Pictures and video on the phone are crisp and more lifelike.

3. Your new camera. Don’t ever buy a “point-and-shoot” camera again. Just get this phone. While the camera is only 5-Megapixels, it is the quality of the sensor (the digital film) that gives pictures more stunning than most cameras on the market.

4. Videos in a jiffy. I have stopped carrying around my HD video camera, too. The iPhone now take beautiful HD movies. And with the $4.99 iMovie app, I can produce a quality film with titles and transitions right on my phone within a few minutes.

5. Facetime. While I initially thought this feature would be as gimmicky as video chats on the computer, I have found it far easier to use and, since you always have your phone with you, more useful in a variety of applications. The kids videochatting with their grandparents and cousins is great, but you can also use the camera on the back of the phone to make your friend envious of the concert your taking in or the sunset from your ocean-front deck.

My Father’s Day Top Ten Tech Gifts

I started this blog because a friend asked me to send him my top ten list for technology. I have updated that list in time for Father’s Day. Most of the items can be purchase from with no sales tax and free shipping using the links to the right. Got a question? Just e-mail me.
  1. Apple TV ($230) 
    • The Apple TV has long been my favorite piece of tech. My wife loves it too. And of the dozens of friends who have seen mine and bought their own, every single one has been blown away. Think of it as another stereo component that lets you listen to all your music, see all your pictures in stunning high definition, watch all your movies and much more. Rumor has it that Apple is working on a new version that will cost only $99 but do away with the hard drive, leaving streaming from a networked computer or the Internet as the only option. I like the fact that all my music is so easily accessible, whether I am connected or not. Go ahead and upgrade his CD player. 
  2. Apple iPad ($499+)
    • I’ve had mine since day one and love it. The only question is memory size and whether to pay the extra $130 for the version that can access the cellular data network, rather than the basic Wi-Fi only model. I opted for the smallest memory and Wi-Fi only. I could have spent the extra $200 for 64G of memory versus 16G, but I would still have to decide which of my content to leave off, and 16G is plenty of music and video to carry with me. And I don’t listen to music much on the device anyway. As for the extra $130 for the ability to access the cellular data network, you have to pay an additional $15/mo for 250MB of data, or $30/mo for unlimited data, and I don’t travel enough to justify the additional costs. I always have my iPhone in a pinch.
  3. Any new Mac computer ($999+)
    • If he is still on a PC, save him. If he is on a Mac that is more than three years old, he’ll love the blazing new speed.
  4. Canon EOS Rebel T2i ($800)
    • This is the newer version of the camera body that I use. Amazing pictures, easy to use, and HD video capabilities just added.
  5. Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM Standard and Medium Telephoto Lens ($345)
    • The lens that comes with the Canon Rebel kit costs you $100. Leave that one behind, buy the body alone, and spend another $245 to get the most stunning photos an amateur can take.
  6. Apple iPhone 4 ($199)
    • The fourth generation iPhone was just announced and it is amazing. It’s 24% thinner, has 40% more battery life and let’s you video chat with other iPhone 4’s. Pre-order it on June 15 and give him a gift certificate on Father’s Day. His phone will be ready on June 24.
  7. Samsung Blu-ray DVD Player ($200)
    • $200 will get you a Blu-ray player disc player that also streams Netflix, YouTube and Pandora. 
  8. Ooma ($200)
    • It’s time to dropkick your telephone company. Pay $200 for this slick device, plug it into your broadband Internet connection, then plug a wireless phone system into Ooma, and enjoy free calls nationwide for the rest of your life. Upgrade to Ooma premier for $10 and get cool additional features like having your voicemails e-mailed to you.
  9. Time Capsule ($279)
    • It’s not much to pay for seamless backup of all your photos, music, movies and data (every hard drive will eventually die, you know). And you get the best wifi router as well!
  10. Nike Plus ($29)
    • Got a fat husband, like my wife? Get him into running with this cool add on for compatible iPods and iPhones.

Hello, I’m a Mac.

As personal computers invaded our lives in the 1980’s and 1990’s, there began a geometric rise in intrafamily tech support calls. Only a gifted few could sit on the phone with a 60-something, divine what was actually taking place on the screen of the remote PC based on exceedingly inadequate descriptions and a certain penchant for clicking the mouse when no click was requested, and eventually come to a graceful conclusion to the problem prior to slamming the phone down in frustration. Sadly, I am gifted.

So when Steve Jobs returned to Apple around the turn of the century, and brought with him the bones of what would become OS X, the new Mac operating system, I was intrigued. Now what the new Macs could do was cool, but it was more what they didn’t do that led me to buy an iMac for me on my birthday in 2002. I bought it in 2002. And it is still sitting, working, in my guest house eight years later.

Since that day, now almost eight years ago, when I bought my first Mac, I have directly influenced over 100 purchases of Macs. Indirectly, who knows. The reason: I stopped supporting PC’s four years ago.

Yep. Cold. Well, I gave my family a few weeks notice, but that was about it.

It was what they didn’t do.