Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas 2009 is almost here

The 2009 holiday season is almost here. Time for gift giving and gift getting, I suppose. As the semester draws to a close let's take a short look back at what's hot in in tech on campus.

The Flip camera or other small video camera is hot. The HD version of the Flip is now about $150. The standard definition version is about $100. Both are very effective as cameras which create web ready video. The quality is much better than your phone and they are probably worth putting on your Christmas list. There are other makers of these little cams. Kodak and Panasonic offer options. We are seeing students majoring in marketing, social work, education and physical education stop in to borrow these almost every day.

Smart phones (Blackberry or iPhones) are not making a huge splash yet. Only about 10% of our students own them, but as these models become cheaper and a part of base phone plans you will see more of them. In the next 3-4 years you will see phone apps that are designed to present campus level services, not just movie listings and sports scores. Keep an eye on a Smart phone option when it's time to renew your cell phone contract.

In an earlier post I talked a little about Music services. We have seen a large increase in the use of the streaming service Pandora.com . This is free for the first 40 hour per month. You can then pay 99 cents to finish out the month. This customizable "personal" radio station has really taken off. You can buy and extended Panadora service and take the music with you on your phone or MP3 player. This costs $36 a year. We really want students to "stay leagal" so we suggest you look at Pandora, Imeem, or some other music service.

Windows 7 is out, as you may have heard. About 90% of SU students are running Windows. Microsoft is really making this new operating system attractive to college students. Students can by it for $29. This offer runs out on January 3rd, so jump on it. You can look at the Microsoft site, but here is another option http://www.win741.com . The early reviews are very good. Since most students are using the now "old" Windows Vista, they might want to make the move.

Two stocking stuffers that you never have enough is are iTunes cards (again, stay legal) and Flash drives. The iTunes cards are everywhere. The Flash drives can be found almost anywhere. You can now by an 8GB drive for about $12 and a 16GB for about $25. These will hold almost every digital thing you will every own, except movies.

For movies, look at a BluRay player for your room. These have dropped way down in price. Most laptops will show HD now. Look for an HDMI slot on you laptop. You can buy a Bluray player for around $125.

Just some ideas for Christmas. Enjoy.

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