The 2012 Network World Holiday Gift Guide Is Ready – Are You?

Lots of great gifts this year – whether you’re comatose on Thanksgiving evening or not.

Are you as shocked as I am that at least a few major stores will be open on Thanksgiving evening? This is nuts - is shopping so important that we are no longer willing (or perhaps even able) to relax with friends and family, finishing off the last of a great Beaujolais and watching movies (or, if you must, football)? What is wrong with our culture?

Now, I'm not against shopping altogether. Indeed, it was my pleasure again this year to take part in the product review for the annual (and much-awaited) Network World Holiday Gift Guide - a/k/a, Cool Yule Tools. And there were a couple out of the 20 or so that I put though their paces that I'd highly recommend.

First, the Google Nexus 7 tablet. I'm writing a more complete review, but this is one of biggest and best bargains ever. Get one. Or several.

Addonics CA256USB CipherUSB. This is a simple $30 USB pass through that encrypts the contents of the USB drive attached to it. And it's really simple - just set a security key, and never touch the unit again. But don't store it with the target drive or the security will be moot.

StarTech S2510BU3PW Encrypted Hard Drive Enclosure. On the other hand, how about a drive enclosure with a keypad that requires the user to enter the security code before the PC even sees the drive? Don't forget that code, though...

And the D-Link DIR-505 All-in-One Mobile Companion. This is a tiny router/AP/repeater/hot spot that is one of the coolest travel routers ever. It's amazing how much functionality they've packed into something that can literally fit in a pocket.

There's lots more, but you now know what's under my tree this year.

Wow, what a busy month this has been - a busy year, in fact. I'm actually looking forward to some downtime between Christmas and New Year's Day to work on the network, with this year's activity being limited, I think, to computer upgrades, just one new Mac, just one new server, continuing work on our electrosmog problem and lots and lots of cleanup - and plenty of time to try all those apps I've been meaning to get to...

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