Friday, December 12, 2008

Gifts for Cool Dads! (2nd of 3 BONUS listings)

Dads are always tough to shop for, aren't they? And actually trying to get them to tell you what they want can be like pulling teeth ("Oh, anything is fine!").

Don't worry, though! I've got you covered. All the cool Dads will be grinning from ear-to-ear on Christmas morning if you pick them up a little something from our list.

Are the kids getting new PC games this Christmas? Have you purchased any new software, or saved that annual Christmas letter to all the relatives on the hard drive?

If Dad's the man the whole house turns to when the computer breaks down, cut down on his stress (and yours!) by making backing up all that valuable info easier on all of you. Consider Clickfree, the one-step backup solution that lets the whole family breathe easy.

With Clickfree, all you do is plug the (small, lightweight) unit right into your USB drive, and it automatically backs up everything on your computer. There's no special software to install and configuration to set up as long as you have a PC running Microsoft Windows Vista or XP. Clickfree backs up any new data on your hard drive automatically. Just detach it when you're done, and all your data is safe! (Clickfree comes in several varieties, from a 120Gig portable backup drive that retails for 89.99 all the way up to a 500Gig backup drive that will run you 219.99)

Next up, for the shutterbug Dad that loves to take pictures every holiday season, but occasionally end up with less-than-stellar results: the NEW Flip Mino HD, "the world's smallest HD camcorder," is just what Dad needs to take his game up a notch.

I have a standard Flip video recorder myself, and I LOVE it. It's really easy to use, and it's as portable as my iPhone. I can take great videos to share with the family, or push a button and SNAP! I have the perfect picture, taken right from the video.

The new Flip Mino HD goes one better than my version and gives you that HD quality that makes Dads drool. Plus, the Flip Mino HD gets the seal of approval of FixYa, a DIY repair community of 10 million members and visitors that has already declared the Flip Mino HD THE hottest camera of the holiday season (Flip Mino HD Video Recorder, $299).

But even if, somehow, Dad is still having trouble with those still images, Adobe comes to the rescue. If you still think of little mud-brick houses when you hear "Adobe", you are living in the last century. Every blogger, graphic designer, website developer, techie, geek or just plain camera guy I know has Adobe products and swears by them for editing their images. And let's face it, we all need to edit sometimes, even if it's just taking out the red eyes that make our kids look demonic in the family photo albums.

This holiday season, Adobe is bundling together two of their most popular offerings, Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, that together can make an amateur photographer get results like the pros.

With Scene Cleaner, Dad can actually take objects (or your sister's embarrassing ex) out of his photos, while Toothbrush lets him whiten teeth. Blue Sky turns drab skies into a postcard-perfect azure blue. He can even use Movie Theme to create his own cinematic masterpiece!

Add in a Plus membership for more storage space, ideas and templates, and Dad is good to go for a whole year (Adobe Elements and Premiere Elements holiday bundle with PLUS Membership ( PLUS Membership available only to Windows users), 179.99) .

Where to put all those perfect pictures? Consider the sleek and stylish Wedge Digital Frame for Dad's den. It doesn't even require a PC to get going--the frame comes with three images already pre-loaded, and all you do is plug it in and turn it on to display them. Then Dad can just insert a memory card from the family camera, or play music or even movies (made with Dad's Adobe software!) right on the Wedge. It even comes with a mini-USB port for connecting to Macs or PCs (Wedge Digital Frame, ~$80, at and Target stores).

For all of his gadgets, Dad will need this attractive Spinning Charging Station to keep the power going all holiday season. He can plug in his new camera, his cell phone and yours and still have room left over, and you won't have to worry about messy counters or tangled cords taking up all your spare counter space. There's even a lid on top for extra storage space inside (Spinning Charging Station Organizer with Power Strip, $43.68).

After Christmas dinner, Dad will enjoy relaxing from all the holiday hubbub (isn't hubbub a great word?) in front of the TV, with a favorite movie on DVD. Make it really easy on yourself and pick up this fantastic gift idea from Paramount Home Entertainment: pre-wrapped DVD bestsellers! Choose from summer blockbusters Ironman, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull or Kung Fu Panda, already packaged in holiday gift wrap so you can duck in and out of the store and be home for the holidays in record time. Just slide off the outer sleeve and place Dad's wrapped gift under the tree (Pre-Wrapped DVDs, 19.99).

You know what else would make a great gift for Dad for the holidays? The Lands' End Wheeled Duffel, one of the three prizes offered in our AMAZING Lands' End giveaway! Winners had a chance to choose their favorite of three Lands' End prizes, and we will be announcing the winner, and which prize was picked, in the next post!

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