…and since you might be looking to use some money from your business account before the year ends, here are some items that have caught my eye lately.
A little computer. It seems that the Asus Eee PC (from $329 on Amazon) is one of this year’s hottest devices; at 2.5 pounds and with 7 hours of battery life off one charge, it’s definitely tempting. But wait… there’s also the XO laptop “give one, get one” program through which you can donate an XO laptop to a the One Laptop per Child program and get one for yourself too. My daughter has one of these laptops and it’s an amazing piece of machinery; water-resistant, shock-resistant, built-in WiFi, although the keyboard is really small for an adult unless you have very tiny hands. Or, if you’re looking for a way to actually get some work done (imagine!), how about the AlphaSmart distraction-free word processor which is also 2 pounds but has a full size keyboard, runs for 700 hours on 3 AA batteries (not a typo) and is 100% free of celebrity gossip websites and Facebook.
A digital voice recorder. We translators do so much reading and writing, sometimes it’s good to use a different sensory mode. With a digital voice recorder (from $31 on Amazon), you could take a walk during the day and dictate your thoughts about your business goals for 2009, or your to-do list for the next week.
An MP3 player with WiFi. The iPod touch is running at $229 on Amazon, and you can use it to check your e-mail anywhere there’s a WiFi hotspot. This could be useful even around the house, if you have your main computer turned off, or you could combine this type of device with a tiny computer to make a little mobile office. It seems to me that the size of the iPod touch’s screen would dramatically reduce the appeal of browsing the web unnecessarily.
A portable hard drive. Admittedly this lacks the glam factor of a laptop that fits in your pocket, but a portable hard drive (you can get a 320 gig USB drive for about $100 from outlets such as NewEgg) is a good way to back up your laptop, take large amounts of data on the road or create an off-site backup system for your main computer (by storing the drive outside your house).