What Technology Gift do you Want for the Holiday?

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Bill Loguidice
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I was wondering what everyone wanted to receive from their loved ones technology-wise for the December holiday of their choice? Mine is Christmas, and the main gift I'll be getting (actually, I have it, I just need to convince Christina to let me open it already!) is the Logitech Driving Force GT, which works with PS3, PS2 and PC. Though I've had various wheels since way back on the ColecoVision, this will be my first serious wheel, and first wheel with true force feedback (and in fact my first controller with true force feedback since my little supported Microsoft Sidewinder force feedback joystick). Naturally, I love racing games in general, but I got this primarily for Gran Turismo 5. I'm not the biggest fan of the Gran Turismo series (though I've been mostly onboard since the first game on the PS1), but considering how feature packed 5 is, it was hard to resist the combination. Of course I would have liked to get a wheel that worked with the Xbox 360 as well, particularly since I have most of my racing games on that, but there's really only the official - and now hard to find - Microsoft wheel and that only works with the 360 and PC, so my choice for something relatively low cost and feature packed was clear (I would have LOVED the Logitech G27, but I don't love the extreme price). It would be nice if I could get this to work on some of the racing games in MAME on my gaming laptop, but I'm not sure that will be possible. In any case, I'm very excited for the possibilities. I'll likely attach it to a portable table and hunker down in front of my big TV and see how much fun first person Gran Turismo 5 can really be...

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Matt Barton
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I got one of those 27 inch

I got one of those 27 inch ones at work now. It's amazing. I plan to bring it home during the holidays and will probably end up using it more than my current PC. The monitor I have (HP w2408h) looks good, but it doesn't do blacks very well at all.

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Catatonic
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I'm lucky to work at a

I'm lucky to work at a startup, we are lean and mean, mostly we stick with MacBooks with an external monitor (so you get 2 screens), they are pretty much trouble free. We have some artists who get the big ass 27-inch iMacs.

As you can imagine I get my fill of computer stuff during the day so I'm only trying to guess what other people in my family will want. And that's not easy!

Thank you Mark for suggesting the new Oliver Sacks! I heard him on radio a few months ago & forgot when his new book was coming out!

Bill Loguidice
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NAS options - so many
Mark Vergeer wrote:

 TandyModel3 32x32 pixels Well I recently suffered a harddrive crash of a Samsung 5400rpm 1Tb harddrive which contained a lot of games/videos etc. I am looking for a speedy NAT solution that offers proper RAID configuration allowing me to HOT-swap HDs with redundancy so that if one of the drives fails the other can be used to restore all data. This halves the amount of storage but I need a secure solution. Any tips?

No real tips, but there are a LOT of solutions out there, so you shouldn't have an issue. I have two devices, one a 500GB Raid 0 NAS from Linksys and the other a 1TB Raid 0 NAS from Buffalo. The only major issue I have is when I try and move large amounts of data over wireless--it really doesn't work that well and will often fail at a critical juncture (at least on the Linksys device, which is slow over the network). That's why I'm hoping too that by putting a powerline network solution near my main desktop (the one I'm getting for the Xbox 360, PS3 and OnLive), I will have sufficient throughput to be able to move huge amounts of data consistently on the NAS devices in the basement.

Of course if you don't have a network setup like mine, then simply attaching a proper drive to your desktop via USB 2.0/3.0 or eSATA would certainly mean you wouldn't have any throughput issues since you wouldn't be dependent on the network for connectivity.

It actually amazes me at the features of NAS boxes these days. Some act as iTunes servers, some act as media servers (accessible by Xbox 360 and PS3), some do automatic backups, etc.

Personally, my main source of backup is using Dropbox, where all of my systems (even my work system) can all access the same files (my My Documents is mapped there, my iTunes is there, etc.), meaning if there was a disaster, I would not lose anything important. Further, I have an Evernote account and a huge Evernote file, where I have tons of information archived and searchable (lots of PDF's, passwords, serial numbers, etc.). I also use Firefox sync to keep my browser experience the same everywhere. Finally, I use Acronis True Image home to clone my various system's hard drives on occasion. The NAS drives are just for the same type of mass photo (which I also have on Flickr starting from several years back), video, media and True Image Home image archives/backups that I assume you'd be using yours for.

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Mark Vergeer
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HD Crash -> NAT backup facilities

TandyModel3: TandyModel3 32x32 pixels Well I recently suffered a harddrive crash of a Samsung 5400rpm 1Tb harddrive which contained a lot of games/videos etc. I am looking for a speedy NAT solution that offers proper RAID configuration allowing me to HOT-swap HDs with redundancy so that if one of the drives fails the other can be used to restore all data. This halves the amount of storage but I need a secure solution. Any tips?

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Bill Loguidice
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$99 OnLive Gaming System

It looks like I'll also be getting from other family members a Western Digital WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit, which will allow my Xbox 360, PS3 and likely my desktop PC (all in the family room) to connect at better than wireless-N speeds to my main router in the basement. And oh yes, this will also be sharing in the fun thanks to other family members: http://www.onlive.com/game-system . Crazy, I know, but I've decided that it's now an attractive proposition for the price even though my laptop could do pretty much the same thing...

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clok1966
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IT

Amazing how many of us are in the IT field here.. I work with about 600 laptops in the field (this number fluxuates alot) and many more desktops in house. I work for a CROP insurance provider. Most of our laptops are used by older generation and have almost zero computer knowledge. So it can be daunting sometimes, thankfully in the years i been doing it i have only ran into 2-3 "bad eggs". I also handle the hardware for the Software devolper part of company (we do all software inhouse) its about 40 devs... This is exciting, as tech people all like to compare e-penis .. We have the problem of one guy justifiying 3 monitors.. soon everybody needs um (nobody did untill they seen somebody else with um).. One guy gets a cordless mouse, now everybody has a reason for one.. One guy gets a laptop, they all need um (drew the line there). Our company is growing very fast so we add new people all the time and our suppliers change alot. We used to use DELL for evrything (and as far as srevice contracts and such they are great) but we ran into the problem of getting machines timely from them. Generic machines, easy, build to order.. we never got the turn around times we needed in the quanity we needed (most of the time it was over a month+ from order to recived). We are now using HP, quick turn aroung time (but no, I prefer the dell stuff).. Warrenty work with HP is much more anal, no where near as fast.. just poor compared to Dell (case of "you dont know what you got untill you lose it"... wow I thought Dell was pretty poor till i uesd others).

We dont use much standard spec... XP on all machines (except Dev), we are currenlty looking at a move to Win7 (this comming year i think) we cycle all our equipmetn every 3 years (inhouse) and every 4 (in field-laptops). that "standar" thing is wonderfull but we find it very hard to keep up with. We just move to much hardware around to often and suppliers are to flakey. We do use softare to control and monitor every machien to standarize software, but hardware.. nope.. I would think ordereing 2-500 machineas ta time would get us better support and speed, but while it seems big to me, we are small time I'm sure to most large companies.. I know most companies time is an issue,b ut i think we may be even more restricted as adjusting on crops is very time restricted, damaged crops wont look the same the 1 day after the damage as they do 3 days even.. and total losses, need to be adjusted so the farmer can replant or do other things.. and time is very esential when it comes to crops. So when I order machiens and dont get them timely I have guys sitting on ther thumbs and farmer who will drop us as a provider....just cant do it..

As i say Dell was great in all respects, except delivering new machines.. (well prices, thats a whole other debate)

Bill Loguidice
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Yeah, I worked as an IT Admin

Yeah, I worked as an IT Admin for a few years and there's good reason why it takes so long for new technologies to get approved. If something messes up, the business messes up, plain and simple. The bigger the company, the bigger the challenges. It's particularly challenging on roll-outs of new software when you're trying to get people on say the new version of Office when there's still people on the old version, particularly when there are new file formats that are incompatible with the old one. There's also an issue of cost. Unlike home users who can get by with overusing a single license without getting caught, businesses have to have every i dotted and every t crossed. It's not cheap and if something works, it just better to stick with it. That's why so many companies (including the one I presently work at) still run XP machines. They were smart to skip Vista, but it looks like most of these XP companies will have to go to 7 at some point for a variety of reasons. At least it's stable.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
Depending on the work that

Depending on the work that you are doing, you can't blame the IT guys for taking a long time before approving anything. Being in that field and having to work under the FDA's 21CFR, compliance with the rules takes precedence, and before anything new gets rolled out, that new item has to be tested in a contained environment and confirmed that it will not damage, or change the way the documented systems work, and then to top it off, the update has to be documented as well, not just the installation, but everything that update does. This makes keeping Windows up to date a serious issue. You may also adhere to the Sarbanes Oxley compliance, or HIPAA compliance, and each one has a specification that must be followed to maintain compliance, and this vastly slows down the IT department.

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forcefield58
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Multiple Monitors and Update Tech Wish For Item

We also have dual 21" monitors at work and now when I go to a telework location with only 1 monitor, its like going back in time. I just wish we'd use more modern software to do our job. It takes forever for our LAN folks to approve a new version of anything.

One other thing I'm wanting for Xmas is a ham radio receiver. I always wanted a good one just to mess around with. I've got long-wire antennas that I could use that are left-overs from a previous job. It's pretty cool to scan the airwaves and see how far your reach is.

Cheers

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
I won't deny that

I won't deny that multi-monitor set ups are great for work. We use dual monitor setups on the desktops at work and the Servers have 4 monitors each. The ability to flip to different screens for different routines and programs just cannot be beat. What I wish Eyefinity would really let me do, is game on one monitor while running something like a movie on the other, but I haven't ever been able to get that to work. Any ideas without hacking drivers?

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