Buying a holiday gift for a computer order is terribly ease, as everyone always needs some of the same things over and over!
A new keyboard, for example. Everyone can use a spare and you can get these priced from $15 at stores everywhere. Keyboards breakdown every two years and having one boxed up in the closet left over from Christmas last year will be remembered with gratitude when the current one dies! Try and find one with both the PS/2 (round) and old-style (square) connectors included.
An optical mouse for those still using the mechanical version. These are great. The use the same mouse pad and work just like a mechanical mouse, except you don’t have to open up the bottom and clean the junk out of the rollers every two months! Priced from $25 at stores everywhere!
A core of CD-R disk for those people who have burners in their computers (and most have them today). You can find a core of store brand disks (which work very well) priced from $15 for 50 or you can impress them with a name brand (Maxell, TDK, Memorex, Sony, etc.) priced from $25. The ones with the light silver or pure white tops work best for those who label their disk.
Disk label machine and refill paper. I have the CD STOMPER and I love it! Priced from $15 at most stores. Refill paper (matte labels) are priced from $10 a package.
If they don’t have a burner maybe they’d like one! You can buy CD-R burners starting at $70 today, must make sure you get one that comes with software and connects using a standard exterior USB (for remote style units) or the internal ATAPI cord.
Photo quality paper. Get a good brand. Comes in medium weight (for everyday use) and heavy weight (for photo lab quality prints) priced from $10 a package.
Titanium white ink jet paper. This is usually too expensive for people to use on a daily basis, but it’s great paper! Priced from about $10 a ream. It’s coated on both sides, weighs more than traditional 20 lb. Paper and makes for a great stocking stuffer (although at 8 x 11 you need big socks for this one)!
Printer cartridges! All you need to know is the brand and model number of their printer (e.g. Canon S520). These run dry every month or two and generally cost $30 to $50 to replace. You can also get very good quality “remanufactured” cartridges for most machines at 60% of the retail price. Some companies even have clubs so maybe you can buy them a years supply for about $150 if you want to splurge. They’ll be shipped to their home once a month.
For high ticket gift giving, if you know someone still using a normal monitor at a normal size (15”) you might want to give them a flat screen LCD style monitor. These are new, small, light and very popular. Priced from $250.
An alternative is to get the owner or a small monitor a larger traditional unit. You can find 17” or 19” monitors priced from $200 today and for someone who does a lot of graphics this is a terrific gift!
Scanners are still popular items with people. If the computer owner has a relatively new unit (1999 or later) it more than likely has a USB port. Any scanner with a USB should work for them! We’ve seen flat bed scanners with slide copiers included priced from $70.
USB hubs. If the computer own your know has a lot of gismos, like web cams, digital cams, printers, scanners, they might just need a USB hub. Get one that is USB 2.0 compatible. Priced from $20.
If you know someone into video making, be it home videos or professional inclinations, and they don’t already have a capture card that might be a nice high end gift. One of the most popular is the Pinnacle Studio DeLuxe cards. It comes with software and has connectors for composite, S-Video and FireWire. These three types of connectors are important so if you buy into a unit look for these. Priced from $150.
For the pro-oriented video person with a capture card who doesn’t yet have a DVD burner, this can be a great gift! The DVD-R burners are the most universal and are priced from $130.
Sealed cup headphones might work great, especially for teens who like to listen to a lot of loud music. This lets them listen late at night without disturbing anyone. It fits into the same socket as their speakers. Sony and Koss are two good brands, priced from $25. Just make sure they have fully sealed cups and a long cord (6 to 9 feet).
You might even want to get them a stereo mini-plug “Y” cord to go with the above. That will let them run both speakers and headphones from the same jack on the computer. At Radio Shack, priced from $5.
Anti-Virus Software. Every computer owner who is on the internet can use this item. If they already have software they like, you can buy them a subscription to updates for the next year for as little as $20 or a whole new software disk starting at $50. The two most popular are Norton Anti-Virus from Symmantec and McAfee.
Most of these items are found at stores like Office Depot, Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, CompuUSA or any large computer retailer.
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