BitDepth 502 - December 06

Gift giving for the tech-savvy; iPod accessories and game consoles...
Genius gift giving for geeks

Griffin's Air Click allows iPod users to be couch potatoes too. Photo courtesy Griffin Technology.

Last week's contemplation of the challenges of finding the right gift for the tech savvy left some readers a little unsatisfied. "That's all well and good," you noted en masse, "but what do I buy?"
Setting aside my rather liberal and obscurantist use of French to infer a largely illusory reader response, you'll find that strategies for technology gift giving need to be as individual as the tech user they target.
Serious technology users divide loosely into three broad groups, computer gurus, gamers and music lovers. Among the truly geeky, you'll find much bleed and crossover in these areas of interest.

The leading edge gaming platforms are Nintendo's Game Cube, Sony's Playstation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox 360. Many of the most popular games are available for at least two of these platforms but the clueless buyer needs to be careful, since games must be programmed specifically for each device and won't play on any of the others.
The most popular Nintendo games according to Amazon's "Delight-o-meter," which tracks the most wished for items available on the website, tend to be targeted for younger children and feature Nintendo's best-known character, Mario, the adventuring plumber.

The hot pick for both the Playstation and Xbox is the Star Wars strategy game Battlefront II, which allows players to improve on the experience of the films by engaging the familiar characters and worlds of Mr Lucas' universe in a tougher sequel to the first Battlefront game.
In hardware, the number one accessory for the Playstation 2 user is Sony's 8MB memory card, which speeds up saving game positions and controller settings (Sony claims by a factor of 200). It won't work on the PS 1 or with PS1 games on the new console, but for cutting edge PS2 gamers who need space and speed for their gaming settings, this is a useful and affordable add-on.

Music lovers will probably already own an MP3 player, a small device that stores their songs, and unless they have a beef with Apple Computer, that device is likely to be an iPod. The catch is that the brand isn't the specific device. There have been many different models, and five revisions of the original cigarette packet sized player that redefined the market in October 2001.
Today's buyer can choose from the iPod Shuffle, a tiny player barely larger than two sticks of gum, the iPod Nano, an only slighly chuffier sliver of plastic and chrome with a bright full-colour screen and the iPod with video, the newest, video enabled version of the original player with a bright colourful screen and a huge 60GB hard disk that will satisfy all but the fussiest of music aficionados.

For the iPod owner in your life, there is a huge selection of add-ons that range from the outrageously silly to the incredibly useful.
Visit to download their slick 106 page guide, an Acrobat PDF of pretty much everything you might want to hook up to an iPod, whether it's a custom built Bose speaker system or a remote control for switching songs and reducing the volume when you're working away from your desk.
This is hardly an exhaustive guide to all the gift possibilities for mobile music and gaming but before you buy any specific item or make a choice between possibilities, take a look at the user reviews at, a site that offers valuable personal perspective on much hyped products.
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