By Bob LeVitus
With the number of shopping days dwindling, if you’re
still stuck on what to buy the Mac enthusiast in your life,
here are a few mostly inexpensive gifts, most of which can
still be ordered via their Web sites and received in time
for the holiday.
Let’s start with a tip:
The Apple Store online is offering free 2-3 day shipping
on all qualifying orders until December 27th. So you can
order just about anything they sell and have it in time
for Christmas or Chanukah. The Apple Store carries a lot
of cool stuff, including all of the items in today’s
So let’s start with a biggie—if you really love
that special someone, you’re going to want them to
have the very best: A Power Mac G5 Dual
2GHz with a 23-inch Apple Cinema HD Display. Who
wouldn’t love that?
Another drool-worthy Apple gift is the iSight
video camera and iChat AV software,
so you can teleconference with other Mac users any time
If you really love them, but not to the tune of five grand,
there’s always an iPod,
a fine gift any rational human will adore. With prices starting
at $229 (for a refurbished 10GB model), it won’t decimate
your budget, either.
What’s that you say? Your loved one already has an
iPod? Well then, you’re in luck, because there is
no shortage of excellent accessories and add-ons for iPods.
iPods and automobiles go together like peanut butter and
Nutella™, but for maximum mobile listening enjoyment,
you’ll need a few additional items.
For one thing, you need a way to listen to your iPod through
your car stereo system. If the car has a cassette player,
the Sony CPA-9C Car Cassette Adaptor
is probably the best (and certainly the cheapest) way to
go. If your ride is cassette-less, you’ll have to
opt Griffin Technology’s iTrip,
which lets you play your iPod through any FM radio. I’ve
tried ‘em all and I still think the C. Crane
Digital FM Transmitter (www.ccrane.com)
is the best one out there. But it’s twice the price
($79.99) of the iTrip, and requires batteries or a cigarette
lighter adapter. The elegant little iTrip, on the other
hand, uses power supplied by the iPod, so it never runs
out of juice (though your iPod might…).
You’ll need a place for that iPod in the car, and
the best thing I’ve tried so far is the Belkin TuneDok,
which cradles your iPod gently with an Air-Grip suction
cup, and mounts in any available cup holder in your car.
Finally, consider the XtremeMac iPod
Car Charger, for times when 8 to 10 hours of battery
life just isn’t enough.
There are a ton of other wonderful accessories for the iPod—so
many, in fact, I’m planning another whole column about
them soon—but since I’m running out of space,
here is one last idea for poor souls without an iPod.
If your loved one loves to have fun, there’s nothing
quite like the just-released Halo, from
MacSoft. We were beta testers; my 11 year-old son,
who mastered the XBox version of Halo in days and still
plays it often, says the Mac version’s multiplayer
modes (which include free Internet game matching) “kick
butt.” Needless to say, I like it pretty well, too.
Apple Power Mac G5 Dual
2GHz: From $2,999.
Apple Cinema HD Display: $1,999
Apple iSight: $149
Apple iChat AV: $29.95 (free with
OS X 10.3 Panther)
Apple iPod: From $229 (refurb) and from $299 (new)
Sony CPA-9C Car Cassette Adaptor: $19.99
Griffin iTrip: $34.95
XtremeMac iPod Car Charger: $19.95.
Halo, from MacSoft: $49.95
is a leading authority on Mac OS and the author of 41 books,
Little iTunes Book and
Mac OS X for Dummies, 2nd Edition. E-mail comments to
Copyright © 2003 Bob LeVitus
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