Gargoyles — Mason Loring Bliss <[email protected]> suggested, "Monitor gargoyles seem to be quite fashionable lately. They’re neat, and they’re typically not made out of plastic, which is a good thing. Specialty gift catalogs often have them, and I’ve seen them in local pagan-oriented shops. They’re good for warding off software conflicts, I hear."
Make T-Shirts — Jeffrey K <[email protected]> pointed out that, "Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and Hayes make inkjet printer t-shirt transfers. If you can imagine it, you can print it on a t-shirt. And on multiple shirts. How about mail-merge shirts? Become a cottage industrialist! Note that StyleWriter inkjet printers have the Apple name, but Canon and Hewlett-Packard guts. StyleWriters can use Canon and Hewlett-Packard (and Hayes) t-shirt kits."
Buy an Evangelista Shirt — Richard Fortnum <[email protected]> noted that The Apple EvangeList Web site is selling Evangelista t-shirts. The $41.25 shirt pictured on the Web site is a black polo shirt with an Evangelista logo on the front and an Apple logo on the back.
Headset — John Nemerovski <[email protected]> suggested a telephone headset as a gift, and I heartily second the idea. I’ve found a telephone headset to be a great help at my computer desk: it frees my hands so I can type or mouse while speaking (or waiting on hold) and prevents my body from tiring in an effort to hold the receiver during long calls. The headset I use at my desk attaches to the phone with a cord, and that works well for sitting at the desk. However, last Christmas, Adam gave me a VTECH 900 MHz cordless phone with a headset. This phone is fabulous, because it turns a long conversation into a way to complete useful but mindless tasks (such as peeling vegetables, folding laundry, and dusting) instead of a massive time sink. Adam likes to use it for talking to his parents on weekend mornings while watering our increasingly large collection of house plants.
Computer Cuisine — If your gift list includes a cook who owns FileMaker and has been wanting to try a recipe database, check out Inaka Software’s $10 shareware Computer Cuisine recipe template for FileMaker Pro. Mike McGee <[email protected]> from Inaka commented, "Computer Cuisine comes with over 1,000 recipes entered. It has simple-to-use menus, and a slick interface." Inaka also has a compact disk database available from its home page:
BibleViewer — For the biblically inclined Jim Cana’s <[email protected]> notes, "I’m buying copies of BibleViewer 1.3 from HolyMac Software for clients and friends. It’s a superb resource, well-designed, fast, and uses the original (and best) King James translation." BibleViewer is $10 shareware.
Digital Cameras — Kai Niggemann suggested the Kodak DC-120 camera, "This digital camera stores images on a PC Card (with a resolution of up to 1,280 by 1,024). The camera comes with a Photoshop plug-in that allows you to access the camera via a serial cable and grab the images directly from inside the application." To learn more about digital cameras, check out the just-published digital camera articles in TidBITS-407 and TidBITS-408.
AlphaSmart 2000 — Richard Wanderman <[email protected]> wrote: "My gift suggestion is the $250 AlphaSmart 2000, a small, solid state, super-sturdy, electronic keyboard that runs for 300 hours on 3 AA batteries. It’s compatible with Mac OS or Windows machines (and even the Apple IIgs) and is a no-brainer to use: turn it on, write, turn it off. On airplanes it sure beats thinking about batteries running out."
Palm Pilot — Everyone I know who has a PalmPilot likes it, and Doug Thomas <ma[email protected]> is no exception. He wrote, "For those expensive gifts I must say the Palm Pilot has changed my life. It improves access to needed information. It’s the first electronic gadget I have bought that my wife feels is useful ."
Pivot A PowerBook — We recently tried a Pivot 360, a small $19.95 device made of two connected pieces of plastic with rubber feet. The two pieces rotate; the idea is that you put the Pivot 360 on the table and your PowerBook (or any laptop) on the Pivot 360. You can then quickly swivel the PowerBook so different people can see it, or so you can flip it back and forth between people sitting on opposite sides of a desk. If you do small group presentations with a PowerBook, you might find the Pivot 360 useful as an alternative to an expensive and heavy LCD projector; it’s small, light, cheap, and the rubber feet grip tenaciously, which could prevent your costly PowerBook from sliding off a slanted podium.
Flowers — Steve Rittner <[email protected]> suggested taking advantage of instructions on his Web site for converting a worn out classic Mac into a base for a flower arrangement, and learning a bit about flower arranging in the process: "When I started playing with computers I was fascinated when someone in the Macintosh community suggested recycling older, non-functioning computers as aquariums. As a floral designer, I have a slightly different perspective."