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December 18, 2006
Making a List … Checking it Twice
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on EDACafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor

by Peggy Aycinena - Contributing Editor
Posted anew every four weeks or so, the EDA WEEKLY delivers to its readers information concerning the latest happenings in the EDA industry, covering vendors, products, finances and new developments. Frequently, feature articles on selected public or private EDA companies are presented. Brought to you by EDACafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

This is an article about gifts for our parents or grandparents. It features electronic gift suggestions from 12 graduate students, and 18 people beyond grad school, that work in and around high-tech. Based on their suggestions, I took my mother out to Best Buy and had her take a look at some of the items on their lists to evaluate her ability to understand how to use them. It was a lot of fun and I'm grateful for her help. Of course, I'm also grateful to everyone who contributed feedback for this article.

We hear so much about the consumer electronics market (and are so inundated with ads at this time of year), yet we rarely hear about how middle-aged or senior-citizen users might interface with those products.

Grandma Jones …

My mother is 84 years old and, although my father passed away several years ago, she continues to live on her own. She still drives, is extremely active in the community, and uses her cell phone to stay in contact with friends and family, including 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Three years ago, Grandma Jones cancelled her long-distance phone service and since that time has relied solely on her cell phone for long-distance and international calling.

Grandma Jones learned to use a computer at a community college in her late 60's before attending UC Irvine to complete her BA at the age of 72. She continues to use a computer for word processing, and is online 3-to-4 hours a day communicating with a host of like-minded individuals trying to save the world by promoting dialog between the major faith traditions around the globe. She maintains a spreadsheet with the names, addresses, phones numbers, and email addresses of friends and relatives. She also uses a spreadsheet to keep track of an annual scholarship contest that she and her church orchestrate to award local high school students based on their essays on how to promote world peace
through religious tolerance.

Grandma Jones has a DVD player and a VHS player hooked up to her TV, and multiple remote controls to manage it all. Although she didn't do the initial hooking up, she is currently the only one who seems to know in which order the various remote controls have to be activated in order to show a movie or tune into her favorite late-night show, Charlie Rose on PBS.

My mother is a somewhat atypical senior citizen, but she is far from unique. Many of her friends and cohorts in their 80's and early 90's are also on email, use digital cameras, and access photos of grandchildren and great-grandchildren through the Internet. Not surprisingly, however, the majority of her friends are completely flummoxed by the whole idea of being online or using a computer in the first place.

As far as gifts are concerned, the one thing Grandma Jones could really use is faster Internet access. She thought about getting DSL several years ago, but was concerned she would have to give up her AOL email, so she got a second land line instead. Now she has one line for receiving phone calls and for her LifeLine access, and one dedicated to her dial-up Internet access.

After talking with her at length about all of this, and based on our 'market research' at Best Buy, she has agreed that the one gift we could give her this Holiday Season is to help her negotiate high-speed Internet access linked to her cable TV subscription. She's now willing to get higher performance even at the risk of having to relearn how to access her AOL email account.

She may also upgrade from Windows 95 to a new computer that has the oomph to store and manipulate digital photos. To date, she's been unable to see any photos sent to her by anyone at any time, and she knows she's missing out on something there. There will be some serious learning to do if she does get a new computer, however, so she may hold off on that for a while.

Now that you know something about Grandma Jones, please read what some really smart technology folks think they might like to buy for their own parents or grandparents. Following the feedback, there are some brief notes on our trip to Best Buy to find out what the average 84-year-old consumer might find intriguing. There are also a couple of Bah Humbug sentiments about everything electronic, and some gift suggestions for the grad students in your own life.

Gift ideas from grad students …

This year was the 5th annual CADathlon, held in conjunction with ICCAD. Per the organizers, "The CADathlon is a challenging, all-day programming competition focused on practical problems at the forefront of CAD and EDA."

The 2006 event included 18 two-person teams of graduate students from a range of universities working from 8 to 5 on banks of workstations in a hotel ballroom in San Jose on Sunday, November 5th. Winners included a first place team from U.C. Berkeley (they shared a $2000 prize) and a second place team from University of Michigan (they shared a $1000 prize).

Professor Marc Riedel from the University of Minnesota is part of the CADathlon organizing committee. He helped put me in contact with the 2006 CADathletes, and I'm grateful to those in the group who were able to take the time to respond. My question to them was, what electronic gift would they like to give to a parent or grandparent, and did they think the recipients would know how to set it up and/or use it?

* Andrey Mokhov is a 2nd-year grad student at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in the U.K., working in the area of algorithmic design for asynchronous systems. Andrey was a CADathlete at the CADathlon at ICCAD, and says, "I think my parents would prefer to receive a digital camera or an iPod."

* Ashma Sethi is a 2nd-year grad student in EE at Syracuse University working in the area of digital design and verification of digital systems and submicron chips. Ashma was a CADathlete in November and says, "I am going to be working for a while after finishing my MSEE, although I might do a PhD or an MBA later. Currently I'm interviewing for jobs with some of my dream companies."

As far as gift giving is concerned, Ashma says, "I would buy a digital camera or camcorder [as gifts for my parents]. I would have to help them a little bit to learn to use it initially, and I guess I would look for a user-friendly interface when purchasing those."

* Ashutosh Chakraborty is a 1st-year grad student in ECE at the University of Texas, Austin, doing work on nanometer design closure and placement algorithms. Ashu was a CADathlete in November and says, "I am currently doing my MS at UT Austin. I will follow it up with a PhD and then a faculty position either in India or in the U.S. I worked with Mentor Graphics for 2 years, however, I have always envied the job of my professors."

As far as gift giving is concerned, Ashu says, "I would like to buy a digital camera for my father and an advanced cell phone for my mother. If I were to present a digital camera to my parents, they would know how to download/upload photos. However, I think that if I present an advanced cell phone with you-name-it features, they would not know, and would rather not know (lack of real applicability), all the features. I would blame it less on their interest to learn, and more on the unrelated fancy features in gadgets, and lack of their applicability for general users. For example, how many people use Bluetooth to send a
PDF attachment from mobile to a Bluetooth-enabled printer?"

* Han Liang is a PhD grad student in ECE at the University of Illinois in Chicago, studying computer-aided design, high-performance power-efficient and fault-tolerant VLSI systems, and high-speed hardware architectures of cryptographic protocols and algorithms. Han says, "I might buy a new kind of cell phone, or a new multifunctional cordless phone for my parents."

* Jin Hu is a 1st-year grad student at the University of Michigan working in the area of VLSI system design, SAT and LP, and placement and routing. Jin was a CADathlete in November and says, "I'm currently a pre-PhD candidate and plan on doing a PhD in 5 or 6 years. I would like to eventually become a research professor at a credible university (preferably in California, where it's warm :)"

As far as gift giving is concerned, Jin says, "I would like to buy a CD/MP3 player or plasma/HDTV for my parents. As far as I know, my dad keeps up with how to use most of the gadgetry out there. My mom's not really that interested, but will use them so long as my dad uses them first. Thus, I don't think it'll be too big of a problem, so long as it's something that comes with a nicely written instruction manual."

* Kai-hui Chang is a 3rd-year grad student in EECS at the University of Michigan, focusing on logic verification and physical synthesis. Kai-hui was a CADathlete winner in November and says, "After I finish my PhD, I plan to find a job in an EDA company such as Cadence or Synopsys. I am interested in joining a start up, too."

As far as gift giving is concerned, Kai-hui says, "I might buy a GPS or portable DVD player for my parents. I think they can operate the DVD player themselves. For the GPS, I will need to learn how to use it first and then teach my parents."

* Kun Yuan is a 1st-year grad student at the University of Texas, Austin, working in VLSI in the areas of physical and circuit design. He was a CADathlete in November and says, "I want to get my PhD and go into industry to work for such companies as IBM, Intel, or AMD."

As far as gift giving is concerned, Kun says, "I would buy a digital camera, and will teach my dad and mom how to use it and how to download and upload photos. Also, my parents sometimes ask people to print the photos out." Kun would help them with that as well.

* Mosin Mondal is a 3rd-year ECE grad student in the Rice University Automated Nanoscale Design Group, and working in the areas of modeling and extraction of interconnect and timing, noise and power analysis. Mosin was a CADathlete in November and says, "I am currently pursuing my PhD and after I graduate I would like to work for some EDA company (Cadence/Synopsys/Mentor etc.), or some design company having an in-house CAD group (IBM/Intel/Freescale, etc.)."

As far as gift giving is concerned, Mosin says, "For my mother, I'd like to buy a nice, cute cell phone. For my father, I prefer a user-friendly PDA which he'll be able to handle. [However], I think I will have to help my parents to learn how to use the gadgets."

* Roma Patel is a 2nd-year grad student in EECS at Syracuse University, working on the development of CAD tools for physical design, placement methods for cell-based layouts to minimize wire length, and high-level synthesis tools. Roma was a CADathlete in November and says, "I will be graduating in December '06. I plan to move to industry and am looking for jobs currently. I am targeting EDA industries, specifically ASIC design, VLSI synthesis, and CAD."

As far as gift giving is concerned, Roma says, "I would buy the best and most complete set of body massagers available in the market! I think my parents (my dad for sure) will read the instructions before use, and then both of them should be comfortable using the massager. But, if I would be with my parents when they open it for the first time, I will read the instructions with my dad. We will together assemble it, and get started with my mom first."

* Sonia Singhal is a 2nd-year grad student in ECE at Carnegie Mellon University, working in the area of VLSI physical design. She says, "I have worked for 4 years in the industry (Cadence India) and wanted to do my PhD to pursue a career in the academia. But looking at the way professors need to slog for grants/tenure, I am having second thoughts. But I love to teach and learn new things, so I really don't know where I will head after this."

As far as gift giving is concerned, Sonia says, "I recently saw a digital photo frame at Circuit City. It got me really excited as I recalled my mother's constant complaints of us not getting hardcopies of digital photos to her. The Wi-Fi enabled photo frame is the best, as I can upload my photos from here on Flickr and the photo frame at my parent's place would automatically download them and display the photos as a slideshow. I am just waiting for a good size Wi-Fi frame to come out in the market."

"My parents are not that comfortable with getting used to new technology anymore. With all the problems that keep coming up in a PC they try to avoid it as much as possible. The fact that they check emails and use a digital camera and send me pictures is out of their sheer need to be in touch with their children. (My sister is in Australia and my parents are in India.) That's one of the reasons I am waiting for the Wi-Fi digital frames to become a little more reasonably priced to buy for them so that I can operate it from here. And they have to do the least amount of work. Even asking them to burn a CD and take it to the photo-printing shop is a big deal and my mom cribs about not having
accessible photos of her grandchild to show to her friends. I am sure this will excite her to no end."

* Zhiyang Ong is a 2nd-year grad student in EE at the University of Southern California, whose research interests include formal hardware verification, test automation, and physical synthesis. Zhiyang is a cross-country athlete, and was a CADathlete as well in November. He says, "I am currently working on improving test coverage with automatic test pattern generation for high-level test synthesis." As far as gift giving is concerned, Zhiyang would like to buy a MacBook Pro for his relatives.

Gift ideas from the beyond-grad school crowd …

* Abbie Kendall, Principal at Armstrong Kendall PR, says, "We are buying my parents (72 and 73 years old) a flat screen TV. We will install it and review with them the instructions for using it. Mom doesn't use the PC, but dad does, mainly to find news stories and send emails and photos back and forth to all of us kids and the grandkids."

* Chris Burke, President of BtB Marketing Communications, is giving an email machine to an elderly friend who he hopes will be able to use it because little computer knowledge is required for the device.

* Chris Rowen, President and CEO at Tensilica, says his father is a fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. Rowen says both of his parents are still very active and frequently travel internationally for both business and pleasure. He says they don't need electronic devices for entertainment, DVD players, TVs, etc., but he thinks a quality GPS device is something they could definitely use when they are in the car traveling locally.

* Dave Kelf, EDA Industry Consultant, says, "Well, I have a specific situation which might be interesting to think about. I am contributing this year for my Mum to have a Stairmaster device put in her home. This is basically a seat, which travels up the side of the stairs and makes it easier for her to get up and down. You might point out that, while a valuable thing for a lady getting on in years, this is not particularly interesting from the point of view of a device full of leading electronic components or the latest processors. Well, think again."

"These devices are filled with all kinds of systems to ensure safety and ease of use. It includes gadgets to slow down the lift to go around curves, to check that a person is in the seat and all safety systems engaged, and to stop the elevator running away. My point is that modern electronics touches everything, in a far broader fashion than may first be thought. Making a complex device easy to use is sometimes harder than loading it up with features. [Initially, she will not know how to use the device], and there is a lot of training involved. I probably will be quite involved in helping her get the hang of it. A gadget like this has to be completely useable by someone who has no idea
about modern electronics."

* Dave Orecchio, President and CEO at GateRocket, says, "As our parents age, it is great to see how electronic products aid them as their senses fade. We will be purchasing my father a portable GPS navigation system to help make up for his diminishing sense of direction. The companies that make these devices have made great strides in ease of use over the years, and now they are true consumer devices that are easy to use for the technology impaired among us. Even though I am sure my dad will need a brief tutorial to take the edge off of the mystique of his new toy. He is computer literate, but calls his favorite
technologist (me) when technology stops working."

* Gary Dagastine, PR Consultant & Media Relations Director at IEDM, says he has an elderly friend who finally got a computer in order to do email. After she was all set up and he thought things were ready to go, he sent her an email but he never heard back from her. Finally Dagastine called her and asked why she hadn't responded. She said she had indeed received the email, but hadn't written back because she didn't have his email address.

* Gloria Nichols of Launch Marketing says, "I personally like the idea of a 'talking watch'. It is low-tech in terms of the skills needed to use it, yet easier to tell the time rather than reading small print. Plus it is a good conversation piece to boot."

* Holly Stump, Vice President of Marketing at Sequence Design, says, "My father, at the start of Hunting Season, is very liable to disappear into the forest for a week at a time and return with venison, wild turkey, pheasant or even a bearskin! So, in choosing a cell phone for him, battery life was quite important! Waterproof would also have been nice. A former EE himself, he is so proud of what we have done in electronics to make the fantasy of 'Dick Tracy Communication Watches' real. Since both he and my mother are computer literate and online, I don't worry about needing to help them figure out the features. BUT if
they want to 'Rip, Snaffle and Burn' some MP3 files, or whatever, they will need to ask a grandchild, not me! Happy Holidays!"

* Jean Armstrong, Principal at Armstrong Kendall, says she is thinking of buying a cell phone for her senior-citizen relative, but admits she would have to be heavily involved in training the gift recipient to use the phone. She says this relative is not very computer literate, but does do email and Google searches.

* Kaisad Mistry, General Chair of IEDM 2006 and Process Development Manager at Intel, says the question of electronic gifts for senior-citizen parents is not relevant in his case, as his father is a retired professor of electrical engineering from a university in Naroda. In fact, Mistry says his father's version of retirement was to spend countless hours wiring up the entire campus to have access to the Internet. Nonetheless, Mistry plans to buy a TREO for his father because he thinks his father will enjoy using all of its functionality.

* Lauro Rizzatti, General Manager of EVE-USA, says, "I'm definitely [thinking about buying] a nice flat-panel TV with a straightforward and simple remote control, the fewer the buttons the better. All other gadgets would frighten them and get stored in the attic within a day. With very few exceptions, elderly people are not technology oriented (certainly not my relatives). On the other hand, all elderly persons spend most of the day watching TV. A large screen TV would be the most welcome addition to the household. None of [my senior-citizen relatives are computer literate], but having said that, the elderly women in
the house are more willing to give a try to a new high-tech than the elderly men."

* Leigh Anderson, Product Marketing Manager at Ambric, says, "I am going to buy for my mother an HDTV, because they are relatively simple to set up and use. Plus with diminished eyesight, a bigger, sharper picture is a plus. Ease of use is the main thing, or the gift just wouldn't get used. My brother bought our mother a PC and diligently tried to train her to use email so she could get email and pictures from her nine grandchildren, but as someone born in the 2nd decade of the last century, she just isn't capable of learning to use a mouse and windowing GUIs. [However], a TV remote is just fine."

* Muhammad Alam, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue and 2006 recipient of the IEEE Kiyo Omiyasu Award for outstanding contributions to technology, says he hopes to get a cell phone for his senior-citizen relatives. Alam says he hopes the phone will be intuitive to use, but acknowledges he'll have to spend some time at the beginning programming the various features on the device because his relatives may not understand how to do that on their own.

* Sang Wang, retired CEO of Nassda, says, "If my parents were still alive, I would buy them digital cameras, a plasma digital TV, and a Direct TV subscription. These devices are easy to use, so they would be able to enjoy these new high-tech holiday gifts."

* Thomas Lee, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford and founder of the Stanford Microwave Integrated Circuits Lab, says his parents have been resisting technology for years. After repeated attempts by the family to foist PCs on them, to get them to use email, etc., this year he says he's not taking no for an answer. This year, Lee is buying MACs for them and although he expects to be heavily involved in the training phase, he anticipates they'll eventually embrace the technology and run with it.

* Trent Poltronetti, Vice President of Marketing at IPextreme, says, "Both Mom and Dad are over 65 and online and pretty computer literate. [I'm thinking about buying] a Garmin or TomTom GPS car navigation device [for them]. It's a replacement for one that got stolen. The interesting thing is my dad has lived in the same moderate-size city, Winnipeg in Canada, his entire life so really doesn't need it, but he likes the gadget."

* Yatin Trivedi, Director of Product Marketing at Magma, says, "[I would buy a] Digital Photoframe for my mother who is not computer-literate and as 'push-button' as one can get. Family pictures keep relatives happy and smiling. Each photo has memories associated with it, and that gives them something to think about and smile. I plan to download several pictures weekly to keep my mother smiling. She doesn't need to do anything herself other than watch and smile."

Grandma Jones goes shopping …

Grandma Jones is nothing if not a good sport, so off we went to Best Buy in the middle of a heart-stopping rainstorm. Once inside the store, the conditions were heart stopping for her, as well. The noise and overwhelming sensory overload were unbelievable, but she soldiered on.

Once we got our bearings, we found our way to the GPS section where an extremely courteous young clerk (happily, they don't work on commission at Best Buy!) walked my mother through the mysteries of using a GPS device. Grandma Jones caught on quickly and was fully able to key in her home address and the address of a friend, push go, and see that the devices responded beautifully.

Unfortunately, she had to lean down closely to hear the synthesized GPS voice that was attempting to direct her from Point A to Point B. I wasn't thrilled at the specter of her leaning close to the dashboard of her car while driving to try to hear what a GPS device might be trying to tell her. Of course, with the sound blasting our way from the nearby Best Buy gaming section, it wasn't a surprise she couldn't hear. Nonetheless, if there was a sound-control button on the GPS devices, she had difficulty locating it.

I asked her if she would like to have a GPS system for her own car and she was definite in her answer, "No!"

"But wouldn't it help if you were lost at some point?" I asked.

She responded, "If I were ever lost, I'd do what I always do. I'd pull over and look at a map!"

Since the GPS systems ranged in price from $400 to $900, I conceded that her point was well taken, at least for now.

Next, we went to the camera section. As mentioned earlier, Grandma Jones' computer limitations are such that unless she upgrades to a fancier system, she is currently unable to take advantage of a digital camera. She was fascinated, nonetheless, by a close examination of the products. She definitely gravitated towards the cameras with the biggest digital screens, but the buttons on most of the products were distressingly small, as far as she was concerned. Again, a patient Best Buy clerk showed her how to remove the memory card, and then walked us over to look at the digital photo frames.

At first, Grandma Jones dismissed the photo frames as just more electronic gimmickry. But after the clerk showed her how the card from a digital camera could be inserted, and a series of photos scrolled across the screen, she warmed to the idea. She also fully understood that the frames could be connected to a computer, which she thought was very neat.

The 4"x6" frames ran about $100, and the larger frames closer to $200. More than she would be willing to spend today, but if she were to buy a new computer and subsequently a digital camera, and the prices on the frames were to come down, she said she might consider owning a digital photo frame at some point in the future.

From cameras, we went to see the TVs and the computer systems. As we all know, in the age of convergence these products are being shown side-by-side. Yet another thoughtful, knowledgeable Best Buy clerk spent a great deal of time explaining all of the various products to my mother.

She was not confused at first, but was a tad overwhelmed by the options. She could get a fast, expensive laptop or a fast, less-expensive desktop system, with a whole range of different types of computer screens to go with those systems, and everything, laptop or desktop, in one way or another could be configured to function as a TV, or of course a movie theater. She thought it all quite interesting.

The TVs themselves, however, were quite confusing. Between plasma and LCD options, emerging HDTV standards, a host of form factors, various recording options, and home entertainment center upgrades with ear-splitting surround-sound, it quickly became incomprehensible to her. Grandma Jones is no stranger to electronic devices, but the options were overwhelming and almost off-putting.

After upwards of an hour-long computer and TV tour from the clerk, my mother finally decided that she would buy a new computer soon, probably a laptop, but would wait for a while before plunging into a new TV of any kind. She felt the image quality on many of the new flat-screen TVs was a bit odd - perhaps the sharpness of the digital image was startling, plus oftentimes she could see the individual pixels - and she decided to hold off until a later date. She says she is quite content with her current flat-screen CRT TV and does not feel compelled to be watching TV on her computer.

All told, Grandma Jones' trip to Best Buy was fascinating to observe and serves as a morality tale. If anyone who makes or markets digital products fails to remember that senior citizens comprise a huge and growing population of alert, intelligent consumers, they do so at their own risk.

If I ran the zoo -- or Best Buy -- I wouldn't just be selling to people like Grandma Jones, I would be hiring people like Grandma Jones to assist, explain, and reassure a type of customer who probably has the money to spend in the complex, noisy universe of consumer electronics, but is too intimidated or too dismissive of what all of those products can do towards increasing quality of life to want to plunge into the shopping experience in the first place. That needs to be fixed, pronto!

Bah Humbug …

* Tets Maniwa, Contributing Editor at EETimes and EDA Confidential, says, "I'm not buying anything electronic for elderly relatives. I try not to overly complicate my life any more than it already is. Consumer electronics are getting more user-unfriendly all the time. My brother just got a Slingbox and it took me over an hour to set it and the associated computer up. My elderly aunt calls me all the time to talk her through some basic functions on her computer. My mother-in-law can take digital pictures, but cannot download them or even remember to carry the spare (charged) battery and extra memory cards. Anything electronic
has to pass the 3-year old test. If a toddler can operate it, it's okay to give to anyone. The reason for a 3-year old is that most kids of that age cannot read, so they must figure out the functions by feel. If a gadget's functions are very non-intuitive, then any user will have problems. Bah humbug!"

* Meg Aycinena is a 4th-year CS grad student at MIT working in artificial intelligence, and is Grandma Jones' granddaughter. Meg says, "Grandma Jones already has so many gadgets, it's hard to buy for her. But maybe she could use a digital camera plus PhotoShop. Then she could doctor up her photos on her computer instead of the way she's been doing it for years -- cutting people out of pictures with scissors and gluing them into other pictures because they couldn't be at some family event. Why buy her electronic gadgets that force her to do tasks she has no interest in doing? Instead, buy her something that will help her
with something she's already doing."

Meg adds, "For myself, I would prefer to receive a book as a gift, because I don't need any more computers in my life! I don't want any more digital complexity than I already have unless it provides some critical functionality. I listen to music all day while I'm working, so I don't want headphones to carry music around. Same thing with e-mail. I prefer to have some time when I'm not on e-mail although I'm sure there are many professionals who can't afford to be away from it. Maybe if I had some extra money, I would buy a good digital camera and one of those little printers that allow you to print out the images. I don't want to look at any more pictures on my computer, because I already
spend lots of time thinking about digital images and algorithms. What's relaxing for me is to just sit and look at photo albums!"

Making a list, checking it twice …

So, about those graduate students. Surely you want to know what they themselves would like to receive by way of a Holiday Gift.

If you're shopping for Andrey Mokhov, he says, "If selecting from electronic gifts, I'd like to receive an iPod, a PDA, or any other portable media device."

If you're shopping for Ashma Sethi, she says, "My list is actually endless! A MAC laptop, or an Xbox 360, or a camcorder, or noise cancelling earphones!"

If you're shopping for Ashu Chakraborty, he would like a black 15" MacBook.

If you're shopping for Han Liang, he says, "I would like to receive a fancy iPod with video playing functions, or a new fashionable laptop."

If you're shopping for Jin Hu, she would like a Wii (Nintendo Gaming Console), an iPod (portable MP3/video player), a laptop (high-end), or a desktop computer (high-end).

If you're shopping for Kau-hui Chang, he says, "I would have liked an iPod/GPS if I did not already have them, but I just bought them this month. So, I would like iPod/GPS accessories. A new cell phone/PDA is also great."

If you're shopping for Kun Yuan, he says he would like an iPod because it's very cool.

If you're shopping for Mosin Mondal, he says, "Since I am a zealous music lover, I'd like to receive an iPod of very large capacity (say, 80GB) that can hold my entire collection of music."

If you're shopping for Roma Patel, she says, "I would like to receive a GPS for my car!!! I love to travel and explore new places, and a GPS is something on the top of my 'To Buy' list."

If you're shopping for Sonia Singhal, she says, "I recently bought myself a digital camera (P&S), but would prefer a high-end digital SLR if someone else were able to spare the finances."

If you're shopping for Zhiyang Ong, he says, "I would like a PDA with standard compilers for Java and GNU GCC installed so that I can install, run, and/or develop mobile applications with it during a bus/train ride."

If you're shopping for Meg Aycinena, she would like a gift card for Barnes & Noble.


"What I cannot create, I do not understand."
- Richard Feynman, Physicist

"Of course I don't understand all of this technology, but I'm definitely intrigued!"
- Grandma Jones, Consumer


Peggy Aycinena is Editor of EDA Confidential and a Contributing Editor to EDA Weekly. She wishes all of you a very Happy Holidays!

You can find the full EDACafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.

-- Peggy Aycinena, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.

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