The Linux Magazine 2007 Holiday Shopping Guide

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means it's swag time, and this year there's plenty of tech goodies and geekish gifts to put on your list or buy for your friends and family. From inexpensive, but nifty, gadgets to high-dollar top-of-the-line tech, we've got a shopping list that will satisfy the most discriminating shopper.

Embiggen Your Desktop

Friends don’t let friends stare at tiny desktops. So, if you or someone on your gift list is still making do with a tiny monitor– or, heaven forbid, a CRT monitor– super-size your screen with a new LCD. We’d recommend the Dell E248WFP UltraSharp Widescreen LCD as a good compromise between cost and quality.

The E248WFP gives you 1920×1200 resolution, High Definition (HD), 5ms response time, DVI or VGA input, and a VESA-compliant mount so you can slap it up on the wall or into any VESA-compatible bracket if its default stand doesn’t fit the bill. It lacks some of the frills of higher-dollar monitors, like USB ports and built-in speakers, but it’s a nice monitor that won’t break the bank.

You can put a E248WFP under the tree for $469, though Dell often has coupons and deals that reduce the price quite a bit. Check the Dell Web site (http://www.dell.com/) for the full scoop.

Audiophiles Rejoice

The folks at Olive know how to put Linux to good use. Olive makes Linux-based digital audio systems that fit right in with the rest of your high-quality sound system. The newest system from Olive, the Opus No5 is a high-end component that holds up to 750GB of your music and delivers it through a fully balanced differential DAC for the best sound quality.

The Olive has a built-in CDR, DVD-ROM, 10/100 Ethernet and wireless connectivity, and a high-precision power supply to keep out interference. The Opus No5 plays MP3s, AIFF, WAV, Ogg/Vorbis, FLAC, and AAC (MPEG4) formats, as well as a selection of Internet radio stations for your listening pleasure. You can copy music over the CD/DVD drive, over the network, or via the Olive’s USB ports.


The Opus No5

If you’re too busy to be bothered, Olive offers a service to load up to 300 of your CDs onto the No5 for free. With FLAC, the 750GB model will hold up to 2,176 CDs, or up to 13,599 CDs in 128KB MP3.

You can manage the Olive through a Web-based interface, so you never need to worry about where you left the remote again! (You will, however, need to be able to find your computer…) This kind of luxury doesn’t come cheap, though. The Opus starts with a retail price of $2,999 with 400GB of storage.

Have a gift suggestion for other Penguinistas? Send Santa a note in the comments.

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