Ricoh offers digital camera for the serious hobbyist
If Santa's feeling both flush and photogenic this year, a new digital camera by Ricoh is worth a look.
The Caplio RR1 costs $699, but given the functionality it's a good deal, says one reviewer.
First, the camera is shirt-pocket-friendly at roughly 5 inches wide, 3 inches high and an inch deep. Despite its size, it offers 4-megapixel resolution, equivalent to the resolution of the newer digital cameras used by Associated Press news photographers.
For still photographs, the shutter options include time-delay and continuous shooting for stop-action series. There's a built-in flash and a 10.8 digital zoom effect. (The optical zoom is 3x.)
Storage is on an included 64-megabyte SmartMedia card, and the camera adds an additional 8 megabytes in hardware memory. You can view your shots through a traditional optical viewfinder or a pop-up LCD display that you can twist 180 degrees for the best viewing angle.
Interface to the PC or Macintosh (software for both is included) is by USB cable.
The camera also functions as a video recorder, able to shoot about five minutes of QuickTime video on the standard storage card, 11 minutes if you go for the optional 128-megabyte card.
There's even a Web site for that loud guy on his cell
Attention cell-phone addicts and show-offs: Mobile-phone etiquette lessons are now available on the Web. The site www.cellmanners.com is dedicated to getting users to "mind our manners and use our cell phones responsibly now before we find ourselves outside in the cold sneaking a cell-phone call the way smokers" must.
There are plenty of gifts for the geeks on your list
What can you give a geek who likes to cook? Try the Oster In2itive, the definitive digital blender.
A liquid crystal display on the base of this sleek $130 counter appliance provides a menu for 11 buttons that give you access to pre-timed blender routines for a variety of food and drinks.
You also can punch up step-by-step instructions for 40 recipes that range from margaritas to salsa verde all complete with blending cycles.
Inside the tube, the In2itive's powerful motor turns a reversible, multifunction blade designed for food processing and blending. For more information, call (800) 334-0759.
Fancy blenders aren't your style? Try a $25 Messaging Cap from Hammacher Schlemmer. It has a programmable liquid crystal display that can flash up to 10 messages of your choice, such as "Go Ravens!" or "Beat Amherst!" or "The Giants are Wimps!" Lucky you, it's available in khaki or black.
For more information, go to www.hammacher.com or call (800) 543-3366.