Hubzilla Meets Macintosh -- Okay, this is just too funny. Charismac Engineering has introduced a 4-port FireWire hub embedded into an 8-inch (20 cm) tall plastic Godzilla toy. The ports are in his scaly back, his eyes are red LEDs, and there's a blue LED in his mouth (the LEDs all light up whenever Hubzilla is connected to your Mac). No drivers are necessary, though an optional power adapter (sold separately) provides external power if needed. Hubzilla costs $75 (which doesn't seem like an unreasonable markup over a boring old FireWire hub), and Charismac is taking pre-orders now. Normally we wouldn't write about a product that wasn't available, but Tony Overbay of Charismac told me the response has been great and he fully expects to sell out of the initial shipment (due to arrive in early November) on pre-orders alone. Hubzilla will remain available, but the second large shipment likely won't be available in time for the holiday shopping frenzy, though it might make it to Macworld Expo in January. Who knows, Charismac might be starting the next big design movement in computer hardware - disguising it as retro toys from yesteryear. [ACE]
Beware Country-Specific iTunes Stores
If you buy an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and you happen to be a user of the iTunes Store in more than one country, take note which country's store you're viewing in iTunes when you plug in the device for the first time. This will be the country the device will register with, and you will be forever barred from purchasing or even updating free apps from anywhere else. The only way out is to delete everything on the device and do a full restore.
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- 2002 Hardware Gift Ideas (12 Dec 02)