Despair to the World — A few suggestions were interesting enough to include even though they weren’t Macintosh-specific (think of them as appropriate for the sort of person who would use a Mac). For instance, Jeff Carlson <[email protected]> found this hilarious product. "Sick of staring at the photo of a golf course at sunset that your boss hung in your office? Do you consider ‘motivation’ and ‘confidence’ to be expletives? Despair, Inc. offers Demotivators, a line of lithographic prints which humorously mock the feel-good industry that produces beautiful photographs emblazoned with inspirational corporate messages. Choose from posters such as Mediocrity (‘It takes a lot less time and most people won’t notice the difference until it’s too late.’) and Stupidity (‘Quitters never win, winners never quit, but those that never win and never quit are idiots.’). Each print measures 24 inches by 30 inches, and costs $15."
Smart Videotape Labels — Michael O’Hara <[email protected]> suggests: "I’m quite enamored of Sony’s new smart label system. It stores information about what programs are on any tape (and how much time remains) on a label containing an embedded microchip, affixed to each tape. Simply hold the tape in front of the VCR and the contents of the tape pop up on the television screen. It does require a new VCR with a sensor on the front: you swipe the tape across the sensor, and it reads the label so you can find a particular tape, a tape with a particular amount of recording time available, and so on. Of course, the label is accessible when the tape is playing in the VCR as well."
Continue Your Education — If you know people who want to expand their computer knowledge, Tom Gewecke <[email protected]> recommends "a year’s membership in ZD University, which has several dozen online courses on computer subjects of all sorts."
The Ultimate Remote — Mike Cohen <[email protected]> writes: "If you have several remote controls for your TV, VCR, stereo, and so on, you may be thinking of a universal remote. I tried several and found none could replace all my remotes since they were missing functions. A few days ago, I found one at Brookstone that can do anything – Tune In. It has a built-in modem, which appealed to a techno-geek like me. When I found Tune In wouldn’t work with my stereo, I called the support line and a support technician helped with setting up new, downloaded code. When our first try didn’t work, the support technician had to look further for a code, so he called back a few minutes later with a code which did work. He also helped me re-map some of the keys for the CD player."
Ruby Radio Stories — Finally, Christian Smith <[email protected]> offers an unusual suggestion. "The ZBS Foundation is a non-profit organization which produces some of the finest radio stories I have ever heard. Their Ruby series chronicling the adventures of Ruby the galactic gumshoe is great; I’ve also heard wonderful things about the Jack Flanders series. I just ordered a complete set of the third Ruby adventure: ten hours of audio on ten CDs for $55. The ZBS Web site (which is built on a Mac) has QuickTime and RealAudio examples. These folks produce high-quality work at a good price."