TECH NOUS Dear Santa…

The countdown to Christmas is on once again, and as children everywhere send their wish lists off to the jolly fat fellow at the North Pole, our thoughts begin to dwell on that ultimate Christmas gift for adults.
Santa’s budget doesn’t exactly stretch to high-tech goodies, but imagine if it did. What sorts of technological wonders would he have in that bottomless sack of his?
Perhaps it might contain one of those new Zen Touch portable audio players – 20GB, 1.8-inch hard drive-based portable audio player that holds up to 10,000 songs in WMA format or 5000 MP3 songs. This cool device is an absolute must for music fans, with its Touch Pad control, and extended battery life ranging from 24 to 32 hours, depending on the format you’re playing.
If in-car entertainment is high on your list for Santa, he might be able to squeeze one of Sony’s new XVMR90 Overhead Monitor and DVD players down your chimney. The nine-inch TFT LCD non-glare widescreen overhead monitor swivels and tilts, offers PlayStation2 or Handycam playback, and optional cordless headphones. It’s the perfect companion for families on long road trip.
Sony, master of the camcorder, has new model out just in time for Christmas, and it’s little beauty. The three megapixel DCR-PC350E MiniDV Handycam delivers the highest quality combination of video and still camera optics, and comes with Handycam Station which, similar to cellphone or PDA cradle, charges the camcorder and connects it to TV or PC.
From Australian company Targus come couple of neat stocking fillers – the Bluetooth Mini-mouse, and USB Bluetooth Adaptor – both catering for the wireless business world.
The silver/blue wireless Mini-mouse is designed for the mobile user and provides one-touch connection of empowered devices to the PC. Its bundled adaptor converts PC to Bluetooth enabled system and allows it to work with up to seven Bluetooth devices at the same time.
Meanwhile the Targus USB Bluetooth Adaptor is an easy way to add Bluetooth capability to your desktop PC or notebook. Plug it into USB port for full synchronisation between your PC and the calendars and address books in your PDA or mobile phone. It also integrates PC and mobile phone technologies so you can use your PC to receive and respond to text messages (sent to Bluetooth cellphone) – plus you can send faxes through smartphone using the phone as wireless modem.
Now, to match your new digital camera, no doubt you’ll want photo printer all wrapped up for Christmas? Why not opt for one of Epson’s new multifunctional inkjet printers, which offer PC-free operation and suit everyone from beginners to sophisticated photo enthusiasts?
Still shoot on film? Not problem, the Epson Stylus Photo RX630 has six-colour ink-set in individual cartridges and built-in Transparency Unit, making it capable of producing prints directly from film without PC. It also has 600mm colour LCD viewer, and of course it handles printing from digital cameras no problem.
Epson has also just released two new projectors that feature internal 802.11g WiFi technology. This means the EMP-745 and EMP-835 take wireless presenting to new level – frame display rates are up to two to five times faster than the old 802.11b standard. The projectors also accept high-res jpeg images or streaming mpeg video content wirelessly or from USB memory devices.
Then again, if your home theatre is the main priority, check out Sony’s GX series of DVD recorders, priced from just $1199. Time is well and truly up for the old VCR!
Merry Christmas dear reader, and may all your Christmases be widescreen!

Glenn Baker is regular contributor to
Email: [email protected]

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