Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

STEMs toy ideas

Amazon’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math gift toy ‘category’ might be of interest to a few of you. If you are, click here

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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December 4, 2016 Posted by | shopping for | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tech Paul’s Top Lists List

In this, the retailer’s make-or-break shopping period, you have no doubt seen at least one shopping gift idea ‘guide’.. or ‘Top Gift’s For 2009’ list.
(I have already lost track of how many of these I’ve seen..)

And you’ve probably been reminded — at least once — that there is ONLY x SHOPPING DAYS ‘TILL CHRISTMAS.

So I won’t remind you how many days you have left, but I will simply be unable to prevent myself from showing you a list– my list of the best lists.

Tech Paul’s Top Lists List

This being a Tech site, it is only natural that my list of lists should include some distinctly tech-oriented lists.. lists with names like “Gift Ideas For The Gadget Freak” (note, if this really is somebody’s list title.. I apologize)

* PC Magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide is divided into categories, and starts with Desktop computers. The editors at PC Mag use several criteria for determining their top picks; including value, performance.. and the all-important “kewl factor”.

* Tom’s Guide has the Shopping Guide: Black Friday and Beyond : Getting Bang For Your Buck which is also divided into categories; TVs, Cameras & camcorders, Game consoles, peripherals, etc.

* For those on a budget (and, who isn’t?) has some interesting ideas that might very well spark an idea for those hard-to-shop-for folks on your list (not exclusively X-mas-oriented ideas found here too).

* A site on my Blogroll, MyTechTalk, has posted some nifty gift ideas here, 8 Gift Ideas from Amazon – for any budget- for the Tech Lover on your List, and here Consider Online Gifts for the Web Surfer on your List.

* Sometimes, it is important to know what NOT to buy, and so I recommend a visit to the Consumer Product Safety Commission site, where you can check to make sure the item you’re considering is not on a recall list.

* Toms Hardware: actually, I don’t need to go much further than Tom’s.

  • Part 1: Tom’s Hardware—No Hassle Hardware Gifts, Good To Go
  • Part 2: Tom’s Guide—Top Kid Tech Gifts For 2008
  • Part 3: Tom’s Guide—Great Gifts For Tech Gurus
  • Part 4: Tom’s Hardware—Hardware For The System Builder In Your Life
  • Today’s free link: Rick Robinette over on has found and posted a geek video that may just replace White & Nerdy as the Geek Music Video. Click here and check it out.

    Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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    December 7, 2008 Posted by | advice, shopping for, tech | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

    Pen Scanners– A Back-to-School Must

    There are some technologies that really do make me say, “gee, I wish they had that when I was a kid”, and one of them is the hand-held document scanner.

    A hand-held document scanner is pretty much exactly what it sounds like it is; a portable device that allows you to “scan” text and images into digital form so you can store them on your computer… and thus access them for later study.
    It’s kind of like having your very own pocket Xerox machine.

    pen scanner

    This is simply a “must have” if you are a researcher, or a student, as it replaces hand-writing out your notes, or carrying pockets full of coins to feed into the library’s copy machine.

    When you find a relevant passage in a book, or other document, you simply pass the device over the text, much like you would use a highlighter. Later, you attach the device to your PC via a USB cord, and thanks to OCR, you can open your scanned passages in a text editor, like Word.

    Hand-held document scanners (generally) come in two flavors; a true “pen” style — as pictured above — and a “wand” style.

    The “pen” style makes it easier to capture just the lines of text that you are interested in. However, you must pass it in a fairly straight line, and wobbling it high or low may cause you to have to rescan the sentence (most have a preview window).. and some people use a plastic ruler as a guide.

    I prefer the “wand” style, even though it (usually) means capturing a whole page. The color versions of these devices are pretty good at scanning images. Another advantage of the wand is if you are scanning tables and charts– the included software allows you to open the scanned tables in Excel.

    Tip of the day: A simply fantastic Back To School gift (either for yourself, or someone you love) is a hand-held digital note taker. They’re quite reasonably priced.
    My personal reco is to go with the slightly pricier wand scanner, and to go with the pricier-yet color model.

    I won’t say which one’s “best”, but I will say that I agree with this PC Magazine review (read it here).

    Today’s free link: SyncBack is a backup program that also functions as a file synchronizer, such as keeping your thumbdrive files and desktop files updated. From ZDNet:”Easily backup, synchronize, or restore your files to another drive, FTP server, ZIP file, networked drive, or removable media.

    Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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    July 26, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, Digital Images, gadgets, hardware, Portable Computing, shopping for, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments