...While Visions of Gadgetry Dances In Their Heads


Five days ’til Christmas, 12 days ’til a New Year, 18 days ’til the Consumer Electronics Show.

No wonder this year’s techie wish lists are so … long - and informed.

In our sometimes-annual query of the technical community, to see what they seek to give or get, one thing came up over and over: tablets.

Not just any tablet, though. Bob Zitter, CTO of HBO, and several others, wants an iPad that will play Flash video; Pragash Pillai, CTO of Bresnan Communications, looks forward to an Android-based tablet, “since my iPad does not support Flash.”

Both Mike Hayashi, executive VP of Advanced Engineering for Time Warner Cable, and Alexander Brock, VP, emerging technologies and Innovation for Rogers Communications, are hot on the “GoPro” line of HD cameras; Hayashi, because “it attaches to your helmet, your dog’s collar, or your own head … especially good if you take a major spill and break something.” Brock prefers the “Hero 960″ helmet version, because “if you know what it is, you know you want one.”

Also on Brock’s 21-item list: A 320-Megabyte PlayStation3, loaded with Gran Turismo 5 and a Logitech MomoForce steering wheel, “because one, in HD it can make you sick, and two, it’s as close as one can get to Nurburgring without actually being there.”

ITV architect Christy Martin seeks two domestic gadgets: A SousVide Supreme Water Oven (”It vacuum seals meats and cooks them to a perfect pinkness throughout - juicy, and no gray ring on the outside”); and the FEIN MultiMaster (”A must-have tool for any serious remodeler - it lets you saw, grind, sand, cut off pipes and handle all those other annoying, real-world situations they never talk about on the do-it-yourself shows”).

As for practicality, this from CableLabs director of business services and Colorado outdoorsman Glenn Russell: “The rule of the back country is to treat your feet right, and never get separated from your lunch.” His list ranges from high-end socks to telemark gear.

If only we could all find this handy elixir under the tree: “A common sense pill for management,” sent in by “Anonymous, in Management.” We’ll take a case, please.

Merry everything to all of you, from all of us!