Mari’s Gadget-Giving Post-Mortem, Part 1


I realize that even among the people that celebrate Christmas, few celebrate it the way my family does. We have a particular gene in our DNA that leads to obscene levels of spending on Christmas presents. Yes, you could view it as rampant commercialism, but we prefer to think of it as extreme generosity.

Below is Part 1 of a list of gadgets that made it under our tree and the current status of each one:

Wheee… The Wii!

Verdict – Thumbs Up


A family friend kindly stood in line till 3 AM so my parents could provide my brother with a Nintendo Wii for Christmas. It didn’t get set up till the 26th, but it has since provided non-stop entertainment. (Too bad we don’t have a Roomba…) I’ll limit my comments to saying how much I like the feature that lets you create an avatar in your own image for Wii Sports. Here’s a thankfully-not-true-to-life rendering of my brother’s girlfriend:


Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick

Survived the Set-Up


I’ll admit, the set-up for the Pro Stick took a very long time. This was a Woot daily special and I think they were giving away old ones because the device needed several software updates. Nonetheless, the Pro Stick is awesome. I don’t have an HDTV, but I can now get free, over-the-air HD on my laptop. Plus DVR functionality. Way cool. Look for a full product review in a future post.


Still in the Box


The iRecord was a present for my husband. Think we’re into video this year? The idea here is that the iRecord will transfer video from your set-top to a portable device, like a Neuros. According to iRecord’s site, the gadget is the “world’s first H.264/AVC recorder for iPod & PSP.” I’ll let you know how it works when we get it back home.

Stay tuned for Part 2… highlighting the Dash, Squeezebox, eStarling digital photo frame, and DigiMemo.

4 thoughts on “Mari’s Gadget-Giving Post-Mortem, Part 1”

  1. Does your over the air-HD work? I bought one at Woot and couldn’t get it to work correctly for some reason. It might be my HD signal is weak? It took a ton of processing time. If you haven’t done so, check out as they offer a daily deal. got a good deal on a CF memory card today!

  2. My family had a pretty tech xmas this year as well.

    My dad got a laptop that almost made me want to go back to Windows, my mom got a 30GB iPod with an iHome, my husband and I got the HD-DVD addon for the Xbox 360 plus about six Hd-DVDs and enough gift cards that enabled me to get the PS3 today. That’s not even taking into account all the iTunes gift cards that were flying around. I’m just happy that whenever I visit my parents there are enough gadgets and HDTVs around that I’ll feel right at home!

  3. Yup. My over-the-air HD works. I haven’t spent enough time to figure out how many channels come in consistently, but I watched Letterman in HD right after getting the Pro Stick set up.

    Thanks for the Tanga tip!

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