SANDY BERGER: High-Tech Gadgets and Gizmos Make Life Much Easier and Fun
A trip over to Best Buy or any electronic store will have you longing for the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos.
There are certainly plenty to choose from.
From hi-definition television sets to digital music players and cell phones, there are high-tech toys for everyone. The question that I am often asked is, "Does anyone really need all those gadgets and gizmos?"
In my case, the answer is a resounding yes. Many of these high-tech "toys" have become so much a part of my life that I wouldn't want to be without them. They have gone from playthings to essential aids. Today I'll share with you a few of my "must haves."
First on the list is my cell phone. It offers the wonderful convenience of being able to make and receive calls no matter where I travel. It makes meeting up with friends and family at a mall or sporting event easier than ever before.
This past year, a call to 911 from my cell phone saved the life of a loved one. I carry a small and thin Motorola Razr. For me, it is truly indispensable.
Then there is my trusty Dell laptop computer. Since I travel a lot, my laptop is often on the go with me.
I spent the holidays this year with my daughter and her family in Sweden. My laptop allowed me to write my columns for The Pilot and send them in over the Internet without anyone realizing that I was out of the country.
Even when I am at home my laptop gets a workout when I want to surf the Web on my patio or read the news on the Internet while munching on a sandwich at Panera.
My digital camera has also become an indispensable companion. My little Canon PowerShot fits in my purse or pocket and is always available for taking a quick picture. It got a real workout over the holidays, taking photos of the grandchildren.
Someday, when I have more time, I'd love to have a digital SLR camera to take some more serious photos. In the mean-time, my little point-and-shoot camera is a gadget that I wouldn't want to be without.
The small portable hard drive that I use to backup my files and transport them from computer to computer has also become an important gadget for me.
This drive is fully self-contained. It is about five inches by three inches. It plugs into the USB port of my computer and holds 100 GB of information.
Last month, when my hard drive crashed, I was able to retrieve all my data from the portable hard drive. What a life-saver!
Since I work on a computer all day, I also find that having two monitors is a wonderful help. I have this type of setup at home as well as the office. Once you work with two monitors, you never want to go back to having just one.
You can keep two programs visible at once without having to resize windows. You can drag and drop or copy information from one program to another much more easily with two monitors.
All it takes is installing an additional video card or purchasing a dual-head video card and hooking it up to any spare monitor. This can be done very easily on both PCs and Macs.
Two of my most indispensable gadgets are ones that keep me more comfortable when using the computer.
First is the Quill Aerobic mouse that I use every day. It is an ergonomic mouse that keeps my wrist in a handshake position while using it, alleviating the pressure that comes with using a regular mouse. The other is my OTT-LITE lamp, which provides natural light that eases my eye strain for computer work as well as for reading and other detail work. (More information on both of these products can be found at www.compukiss.com.)
Last but not least on my list of very important gadgets that I use everyday is my iPod. Although it is not indispensable, it does offer me a lot of pleasure. I listen to music, technology podcasts, and audiobooks. My iPod has proven itself a valuable travel companion, helping to whittle away the time at the airport and on the plane.
With the addition of a lanyard that lets it hang around my neck, it makes working out at the gym much more pleasurable. I also have a Griffin iTrip, which is an FM transmitter and charger that lets me listen to my iPod over the car radio.
Yes, I've become hooked on high tech gadgets and gizmos, and I'm loving every minute!
Sandy Berger welcomes all of your questions and comments on today's column. Please post them on the Compu-Kiss Message Board at www.compukiss.com/ckmessageboard.
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