I Hate Christmas Shopping

I don’t have anything against Christmas.  Far from it in fact.  I also don’t have any problem with exchanging gifts, especially when I’m able to come up with a gift that really hits the spot for that particular person.

The problem comes in when trying to figure out just what those gifts should be.  You see, in spite of the fact that 99.9999999% of any gift giving I do involves family members that I’ve known for all of my life or, in most cases, all of their lives you’d think that I would have a pretty good idea of what the perfect gift would be.  In actual fact there’s times when I’m sorely tempted to go out and buy a bunch of different colored MP3 players, personalized coffee mugs or a box of each person’s favorite Christmas candy and leave it at that.

Part of the reason is that obviously I’m not the only one that doing any giving.  This means there’s the need to coordinate with others to make sure that there isn’t any duplication (you’d be surprised just how often and how real that hazard is).  I mean, sure, an MP3 player can be a fine gift but who needs four of them?  I’ve seen times when that sort of thing has actually happened.  Talk about your basic awkward moment!

In the end though it’s worth it, I just wish there was some kind of an easier way to figure out the perfect item without having to spend months ahead of time trying to ask what they want without actually asking and giving away the surprise.

Technorati Tags: gift giving, holidays, christmas, duplicate gifts, awkward moments

When somebody asks me what I want for Christmas, the first thing that I think of is almost inevitably software.  The problem with that is that, as I suppose is to be expected, the system requirements for most software is setting the bar higher and higher these days.

Think about it.  There was a time, not all that long ago, when a 200mhz Pentium computer with a 10gb hard drive and 512mb of RAM would run just about every software package out there.  Of course in those days I only had a 120mhz machine with a puny 1gb hard drive and 16mb of RAM at the time.

Since then the bar has gone much higher.  These days I’m running a 1.6ghz Athlon Sempron 2400+ with 2gb of RAM and a 250gb hard drive.  This is the most powerful machine I’ve ever had and it took me almost two years to buy all the parts to build it myself.  Yet when I look at the software packages on sale these days, I find that once again I’m sitting in front of a computer that is not capable of running more than 90% of it.

Hell, I’ve even run into some things that will even refuse to install because they can’t detect certain features they need to run.  Talk about infuriating!  This means that anytime I talk about wanting a certain software package, like say Adobe After Effects, I have to include the qualifier; “and a computer capable of running it”.

hp pavilion elite desktopThat’s why I think that this year I’m going to be focusing more on getting a computer that is capable of running today’s software.  From what I’ve seen, something like this HP Desktop ought to keep me current in terms of what it can run for at least a couple of years or until they start building CPU’s with 32 cores on them.

That way I could go ahead and get some of that software I’ve been wanting and actually be able to run it at more than a snail’s pace!

If for no other reason that I’ve never been in that situation, Just once in my life I want to have a totally “state of the art” system that could handle everything I could throw at it for more than just a few months before it started falling into obsolescence.  Or worse, be obsolete long before I even ordered (or built) it!

Technorati Tags: requirements, behind the times, software, capabilities, computer

Thanksgiving is Over, NOW it’s Time To Gear Up For Christmas

Well, now that the Thanksgiving holiday is past, NOW it’s ok to start gearing up for Christmas.  I used to ask why it was that everybody had this crazy need to start Christmas preparations so much earlier every year and then I realized that the only reason for all that was pure and simple… Greed.  The idea is that if the pressure to do something about the holiday starts sooner businesses will sell more stuff and profit more on the holiday trade.

Pretty much gone are the days of home made pinecone decorations and stuff like that.  Now there are some companies that will start pushing Christmas purchases as early as September.

Christmas Shopping and www.techbargains.com

As Christmas approaches it’s once again time to start hunting and searching to find gift ideas.  In addition to finding the right things to get for people, I think most people want to save some money at the same time.  Techbargains.com is a site that helps you find what you’re looking for when it comes to the tech type gifts.

There is Email newsletters with bargain news and consolidate all of the best deals of the week in one place.  The site itself features bargain news in the center column where new deals are added throughout the day.

Of course, no bargain site would be complete without Coupons and rebates.  Their coupon listings make it pretty easy to find things like dell coupons in the positively huge list of coupon codes.  Add to that the ability to subscribe to deal alerts customized to your interests and you’ve got a lot of shopping potential

Their product database is loaded with reviews that help you make comparisons between products and deals. They’ve got a great tool in the “Find Lowest Price” link.  There you can find the lowest prices on anything they’ve got.  You can also sort the listings by popularity and rating as well as by price.

I spent some time looking over their laptop offerings and they’ve got a lot to offer.  Not only is there complete specs on everything there, but all of the listings I looked at also had at least one review from somebody who had bought one before.  That kind of review is really valuable because that gives you the real experience of users to help make your decision.  If something has bad reviews, you can reconsider buying it and look elsewhere, saving yourself aggravation as well as money.

Home For Christmas?

If Senator John Warner gets his way, at least some soldiers would be home in time for Christmas.  Of course, we all also know that president Bush has been adamant about not withdrawing any troops until the mission is complete and faced with this demand, It wouldn’t be a great surprize if we were to hear about an increase in the troop surge long before we’ll hear about troops being pulled out of Iraq and given new orders.

GOP SENATOR: WITHDRAW SOME TROOPS BY XMAS

Sen. John Warner, former chairman of the Armed Services Committee and a former
Secretary of the Navy, says withdrawing even 5,000 of the 160,000 troops in Iraq
would send an important and powerful message.

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