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Toplikar - Tech Check

Toplikar: Ultimate wish list
These gifts will make any technophile happy this holiday season
November 26, 2006
It was perfect timing. I was drooling over the newspaper advertising inserts for electronic items when Bonnie asked my favorite question of the year. “Dad, what do you want for Christmas?” A big-screen plasma HDTV was the first thing that came to mind. It has been at the top of my wish list for about six years. But before blurting it out, I decided to take a look at some electronic gifts that a college student might be able to afford.
Wireless wizardry
It’s magic: Network devices transmit music, data without cords
November 5, 2006
One of Katy’s party guests looked surprised at my outdoor stereo setup. “How?” he asked me. He pointed at the iBook laptop computer sitting on a desk inside the house, which had iTunes running.
Third-generation devices on way
October 22, 2006
Nine-hundred eighteen? I looked up from the newspaper at my wife, and learned that I’d heard right: According to our bill, our teenage daughter, Julie, had sent 918 text messages on her cell phone last month. “We pay for the first 200,” my wife told me, referring to our regular monthly charge.
Bright future
Toplikar: LEDs, silicon offer options for efficient high-tech illumination
October 8, 2006
Flipping the switch, I got a surprise - did something explode? Glass shards, thick and jagged, were everywhere, emanating from the center of the kitchen. For no apparent reason, the overhead bowl-shaped light cover had crashed to the floor.
Eyes on the future
Toplikar: New specs might let you say bye-bye to bifocals
September 24, 2006
I look up, squinting across the room. “Katy, what did he get?” That’s right: My daughter and I are watching ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars.” And as I work on my laptop, I overhear the announcer say Emmitt Smith, the legendary NFL running back, had just performed a “quick step” routine. Emmitt Smith, dancing? I’ve got to see this.
Backing up isn’t hard to do
Toplikar: Preserving data can be a lifesaver
September 10, 2006
As the “doctor” began his examination, I felt a little embarrassed. I didn’t want to admit my total lack of discipline. “How often do you back up?” Dave Greenbaum asked.
Toplikar: Students steering clear of e-books
But electronic versions are cheaper, and technology is improving
August 27, 2006
I was helping haul a minifridge to the second floor of my daughter’s dorm at the University of Iowa when a voice called out. “Bonnie! I just got my books! It cost me, like, $560!”
Lawrence school district using mix of electronic, old-fashioned books
August 27, 2006
Officials in the Lawrence school district have been checking into electronic textbooks for at least a decade and for now, at least, the best solution they can see is using a mixture of digital materials and good, old-fashioned textbooks.
Toplikar: Shoemakers off and running
Companies introduce high-tech footwear
August 10, 2006
Bonnie seemed a little upset with me as I watched TV. “Look at his shoes. Dad, you need new shoes! Go get new shoes. Mom?” No, I couldn’t remember how old they were. OK. Yes, part of the heel tread was missing on my right sole.
Red hot gadget
Toplikar: Laser-sighted gun tells temperature of surfaces
July 30, 2006
Kansas University’s Memorial Stadium seemed like an oven as I struggled through what seemed like a never-ending final lap. The last I had heard it was 106 degrees - the hottest day of the year so far.