Washington Apple Pi’s Power User SIG (Special Interest Group) had a brain storming session in October, and came up with the following ideas for low-cost gifts for a Macintosh – your old Macintosh, your new Macintosh, or someone else’s Macintosh.
The PowerMate is a rotating button that plugs into the USB port, with a glowing blue ring around the base when it is on. Even not doing a thing, it looks cool, but it comes with software allowing it to be added as a control for games, Web browsers, word processing software, and dozens of other uses.
This low-cost version of the most commonly used functions in Photoshop is also easier to use than the full version.
Memory prices have continued to drop. When the Apple II was first released, memory was close to $1,000 for 1K of RAM. Now you can get a 512 MB DIMM for a Power Mac G5 for under $90 – 500,000 times as much memory for 9% of the price.
For $29.99, you can upgrade from the regular version of QuickTime to QuickTime Pro, which allows you to play movies using your full screen, prepare clips for streaming, import and export a vast variety of still and video formats, create slide shows, edit QuickTime clips, save QuickTime clips from the Web, and create MPEG-4 clips.
Apple’s .Mac service gives you 100 megabytes (or more) of on-line storage for Web pages, photos, music, calendars, backup and other purposes, plus access to a wide variety of utilities to make your Mac happier, plus IMAP-based E-mail and Web mail, and other goodies. The new, seamless integration with Mac OS X 10.3 makes it even more attractive.
A massive, well-indexed and well-organized book that tells you not only how to recover from Mac OS X disasters, but how to avoid them, too.
Available from http://www.cafeshops.com/wap/, there are a wide variety of shirts, caps, clocks and other items that not only have a functional purpose but also help support a wonderful computer user group.
This clever little device allows the iPod to store photos from your digital camera on your iPod, which is much easier (and lighter) than carting around a laptop computer to “burp” your camera.
Another clever iPod accessory, this gizmo allows an iPod to be a portable voice recorder for storing brainstorms, memos, notes and interviews.
Available in amounts ranging from $10 to $200, you can offer the gift of music in a whole new way.
The Missing Bite (http://missingbite.com/) offers clothing, watches, pens and other stuff with the famed Apple logo. (Technically, this is not a Macintosh gift since your computer probably can’t use most of these items.)
One of the best bargain gifts is a Washington Apple Pi membership. Of course.