Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 12th 2013 Contents DECEMBER 2013 • WEEK TWO www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
Christmas gift lists are a whim-
sical thing, but they can be
useful in focusing your think-
ing on purchases that may
actually end up being useful
for the recipient.
What follows are suggestions for the most
impressive gifts that one might consider giving
to a person who depends on technology for
business. Some are practical, some are sensible
and some are, well, let s just call them inter-
The Ultimate USB Drive
What would constitute the perfect USB
flash drive for a business person? It should
be clippable, so that it can be attached to
something larger or even to its user, since the
number one hazard of these drives is that they
are so easily lost.
The perfect drive would be rugged, so that
stepping on it or rolling over it with a car or
even dropping it into liquid, perhaps framed
by a porcelain bowl or powdered sugar,
wouldn t mean the end of it.
It should include encryption, so that some-
one who finds it doesn t have access to your
personal information and finally, it should be
spacious, for those truly nerdy folks who walk
around with a bootable system dangling from
The one product that I found that meets
all these criteria doesn t seem to exist anymore.
It s called an Iron Drive and all leads to its
Web site now turn up blank.
So the next step down is the Corsair Flash
Survivor (http://ow.ly/rDeK1), a ruggedized
USB 3 drive that s rated for dunking as deep
as 200 metres. That s a deep Mai Tai.
You ll have to roll your own encryption, but
you should just be able to fit a Windows 8
installation onto the 32GB model. Enterprise
customers, who shouldn t be expecting gifts
at all, should investigate ironkey.com.
The Ultimate Stapler
Everybody sitting at a desk eventually has
to attach two or three pieces of paper together.
What if you could do that without using little
bits of metal that are just begging to find their
way into your fingers or having to prise said
bits of metal out of paper constantly?
The EcoStapler (http://ow.ly/rDgJd) punches
and deftly folds a tiny bit of your documents
so that up to five sheets are effectively bound.
Definitely not for use in offices that bind
huge wads of paper together, but just the thing
for small offices and homes that need to keep
paper together without messing around with
fine bits of wire.
The Ultimate Bag
Everybody needs a bag to shove all their
stuff into. What nobody needs is another
cheaply made, poorly designed and generally
useless container that s just like the ones every-
one else has.
Saddleback Leather makes bags unlike any
you ve ever seen. There are no fancy partitions,
hardly any pockets and no fussy zips and velcro
snaps. What the company sells is a bag that s
designed to last a lifetime and look good long
after you re worn out.
The company also promises to honour its
warranties with your heirs if they survive the
fight after the reading of the will. This is one
product that I can personally endorse, mine
is now two years old.
A Saddleback Leather bag is a container. If
you want a padded sleeve for your laptop, buy
one that fits it and put it in there. I kitted my
bag out with a sleeve and padded partitions
for camera gear. Twenty-four months later,
the bag looks exactly it did the day it arrived.
I suspect that the break-in period for these
bags is measured in decades, not weeks.
The Ultimate Keyboard
I m old enough to have learned to type on
an old and very tall Remington typewriter
while working my way through a worn copy
of the Pitman s course handbook.
There s a part of my brain that s still wired
to swoon at the sight of those noble keys,
each atop their own metal lever, which swung
a letter like a wrecking ball at the captive
sheet of paper stretched across a rubber roller.
Looking back at that sentence, I really have
to wonder about the fetishism of old school
There is a whole movement around reviving
the mechanical actuators of old school IBM
keyboards, which were also used to great
effect on old school Macintosh keyboards as
If you want to go really old school and gift
a professional writer with the present of a
lifetime, though, there is nothing to match
the USB Typewriter (http://ow.ly/rDjRi).
This is exactly what it sounds like. An arti-
san project that turns a typewriter into a USB
keyboard. I cannot possibly think of anything
to add to that statement that might be cooler
than saying it again, so here: turns a type-
writer into a USB keyboard.
You can send in a typewriter of your own
or buy one of the ready made devices that
the company offers for sale.
The artist/craftsman/geek/behind the proj-
ect, Jack Zylkin also offers a DIY kit and pub-
lishes all the technical resource information
that a tinkerer would need to undertake the
project on their own.
Saddleback Leather's classic briefcase model is one of several bags from the company.
PHOTO COURTESY SADDLEBACK LEATHER
The Corsair Flash Survivor drive.
PHOTO COURTESY CORSAIR
Sold under a range of names and in different
styles, the staple-less stapler punches and
bends paper to bind them together.
PHOTO COURTESY FANCY
Build your own or buy one
ready-made, but this device is
a writer's dream come true.
Ultimate gifts for ultimate
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