While audiophile gear can be quite expensive, picking out a selection of terrific gift ideas that won't break the bank is still doable. Here you'll find books, music, gear, and even a free download that will put a smile on any audiophile's, or music lover's, face. The Audiophiliac had a self-imposed price limit of $100 max and easily met that goal. Seven of the 10 gift ideas are under $50!
Every day this week, a different CNET writer or editor is recalling a tech or geek-centric present that left a mark. Read past stories by Eric Mack, Jeff Sparkman, Jay Greene, and Dan Ackerman, and look for another installment tomorrow at midnight PT.
On a chilly autumn day in 1997, I came home from school to find that my mom had a brand-new IBM PC 350 in her office. It was an astonishing computer, especially considering our previous machine was a DOS/Windows 3.1 slowpoke that could barely run Wolfenstein 3D.
For its time, the PC 350 had it all -- a screaming Pentium 133MHz processor, a 1.6GB hard drive, 64MB of RAM, and 4MB of video memory. Though my mom bought it for the household and not for me exclusively, it was the best tech gift I ever got, as it truly turned me into a geek and gamer (and therefore the person I am today). … Read more
Every day this week, a different CNET writer or editor will recall a tech or geek-centric present that left a mark. Read past stories by Eric Mack, Jeff Sparkman, and Jay Greene, and look for another installment tomorrow at midnight PT.
Maybe it's because I'm surrounded by this stuff every day, but traditional technology gifts tend to leave me cold. Even the memories of unwrapping game consoles or that first yellow Sports model Sony Walkman don't stand out in a best-gift-ever sort of way.
Instead, I turn to a more recent holiday gift, one that combines technology … Read more
It's easy to set personal goals and then let them slide into the abyss of good intentions. The tech gift that really stands out for me is the one that's helped me prevent that from happening.
It's Garmin's Edge 500 bicycle computer, which my wife gave me for my birthday in 2010 (though honestly, I asked her for it). This summer, near the end of a soul-sucking, endurance-testing ride, the Edge 500 came through for me once again.
I had set a goal to finish a ride called Ramrod (Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day) in less than 10 hours. But 7 hours into the ride, it was looking bleak. I'd covered 104 miles and done most of the 9,000 feet of climbing. To attain my goal, I needed to cover the final 45 miles in three hours. Certainly doable, but I was pretty cooked. … Read more
It was hard picking the greatest tech gift I ever got -- we got a lot of tech as gifts for the whole family. Should I pick the Atari 2600 or the Sega Genesis? Should I pick the Texas Instruments TI99/4A, the Commodore 128, or the Magnavox HeadStart 500 (the first computer we owned with a CD-ROM drive)? I … Read more
Today I help my mother find her way around Skype and Facebook, so it is to her enormous credit that she was able to see the potential all the way back in the late '80s in something called Prodigy.
If you're under 30, you almost certainly have no idea what this product was, and I don't think my mother did either at the time. Yet it showed up in a box one Christmas in suburban Denver and changed my life.
Prodigy was a pioneering online service that came after CompuServe but before America Online. At the time it offered a new, more graphical user interface with more mainstream content from partners like Zagat and CBS that made the tiny bulletin board systems I'd been dialing into seem bush league. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent company of CNET.) … Read more
Every now and then, I like to report on the best new discs that have come my way. Let's get started!
Amy Winehouse: "At the BBC" (CD/DVD) Fourteen stunning performances from 2004 to 2009 showcase aspects of her talent that the studio recordings gloss over. The DVD, "The Day She Came to Dingle," is a documentary featuring Winehouse at the height of her powers in December 2006 in a tiny church in Ireland. She's backed up with just guitar and bass, so her voice, in all its glory, is upfront and clear. Awesome!… Read more
One unadvertised feature in Apple's just-released iTunes 11 lets users tap into their built-in video camera to redeem gift cards and other promotional codes.
The feature, which Apple did not demonstrate at the software's unveiling in September or in subsequent marketing materials, can pull out the alphanumeric codes and submit them. This means you can redeem a code without having to type it in, though that option remains if the software is unable to pick it up.
In order to use the feature, the promotional code must be from gift cards that place the code within a square … Read more
Facebook and Apple are joining their massive forces again, this time encouraging Facebook users to send iTunes gifts to their friends directly within the social network.
Facebook added iTunes digital gifts to Facebook Gifts gifting service today, letting users send iTunes recommendations along with cash credit for purchases.
A user can search for a specific song, album, movie, game, or apps to recommend along with gifts in denominations of $10, $15, $25, or $50.
The social network's move to add Apple to its retail partner list for Facebook Gifts comes shortly after it announced the inclusion of more than… Read more
Holiday shoppers looking for iTunes gift cards can save a bit of change via Best Buy.
The retail outlet is offering 15 percent off the full cost of cards ranging in price from $15 to $100. So a $15 card will cost you $12.75, a $25 card $21.25, a $50 card $42.50, and a $100 card $85. A 3-pack of $10 iTunes gift cards will run you $25.50.
Beyond opting for an iTunes card, you can choose an App Store card or a iBookstore card, giving you the full gamut of Apple's offerings for iOS … Read more