Gadgets For Christmas with KCLR

KCLR 96 FMTwo or three years ago I was doing a regular stint in the afternoon on KCLR 96FM talking gadgets and technology. That time has long since gone but this morning I was asked back into studio (handy, given it’s only across the road) for some thoughts on gadgets for Christmas, tech suggestions for kids and adults alike.

For those asking for the list in full of everything that was mentioned on air this morning, along with links for where you can buy them, here you go. Check out the video too, I’d mentioned TikTok in relation to the iPod Nano (thanks to Paul Watson for the tip) but there’s straps already on the market as well from Griffin. (links after the video)

Consoles & Games

  • Kinect for Xbox 360 (available in most gaming retails, some high street shops and supermarkets). Expect to pay in the region of €140-€150 to get you started.
  • Playstation Move – Starter packs including motion controller and camera run from €70, again, gaming shops and high street stores (like Argos) will stock.
  • Game suggestions for Christmas: Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fifa 11, Just Dance 2, Assassins Creed Brotherhood, Gran Turismo (links to

Tablets, Cameras, Video

  • Apple iPad (available from 499)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tablet (available from €650)
  • Dell Streak (available from €499)
  • Apple TV (available from €119)
  • iPods – new iPod Nano available from €159. When talking about the watch straps, look for the Griffin Slap as a starting point)
  • Digital Cameras – Nikon Coolpix 1100pj (digital camera with built in projector)
  • Video Cameras – Flip Mino (available from Argos, prices start around the €90 mark)
  • DVDs – DVDs mentioned on the show this morning included Inception, the Toy Story Box set (movies 1-3), The Wire (big seller last Christmas), complete 24 and Lost box sets and The Pacific. All have been seen recently in HMV, Xtravision and are sure to be available in most good DVD retail outlets.

Also Mentioned…

Also mentioned this morning were

  • Digital Photo Frames – depending on where you buy, expect to pay from €20 upwards, have come down in cost something fierce in the last year or two
  • Limited Edition Streets of Rage Megadrive Handheld Console – 18 games for the retro gamer including Sonic The Hedgehog, Streets Of Rage, Golden Axe 2 and more. Clocks in around the €32 mark via
  • Polyscience Food Smoker aka “The Smoking Gun” – Tipped from @avillagepantry this morning, this kitchen gadget lets you smoke your own food – chicken, spinach, drinks, anything goes. Handheld food smoker for those who don’t cook over flame or have wanted to try woodchip flavours like hickory, maple, apple wood, cherry etc in your cooking. Retails online from US$99.

The links above go out to Argos,, Pixmania and though you may find items mentioned above cheaper at other local / national stores. No affiliate links are included.

This Was My Winter Wonderland (And Camera)

Christmas Day at Lough Talt, Co. Sligo
Christmas Day at Lough Talt, lake frozen for the first time in “many a year”

FOR THE past three years I reckon I’ve told myself I’d get out, get some more photos, actually start pushing them out online as well.

On holiday in October I picked myself up a Canon IXUS 120IS and it’s gone a long way to re-invigorate the hobby photographer in me. I’m still using the D70 for commercial work but having the small one in the pocket made such a difference over the Christmas and has left me with a great stack of photos to sift through and upload in the next day or two.

Though not jinxing things for myself, it might be high time turned some attention on my neglected photoblog.

These (above and below) are from my winter wonderland, or Lough Talt, Co. Sligo, where I’d made the longer-than-usual-thanks-to-the-weather drive to be with the family for Christmas.

When I’d first picked up the D70, I was genuinely amazed and impressed by the technology within the camera. Flash forward a few years and skip over to the Canon compact and I’ve been left incredibly impressed all over again. In the whole of Christmas, and the two months or so that I’ve had the camera, I don’t think I’ve taken it off the automatic setting – the camera literally doing all the work for you and producing a fantastic quality image at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as happy behind a full SLR in crafting a photograph as I am in whipping a compact out of my jacket to catch a snap there-and-then but there’s a lot to be said for the marriage of technology, quality and convenience in this case.

Whether it’s enough to egg me towards revisiting my photoblogging, we’ll have to see. It could be fun though…

Christmas Eve at Lough Talt, Co. Sligo
Christmas Eve at Lough Talt, Co. Sligo

Merry Christmas To All

Lough Talt

It’s Christmas at the lake, and unlike other years (and two weekends ago) there’s no sign of snow. In fact, all things considered, it’s quite mild.

I was going to schedule a blog post full of Christmas cheer for everyone but figured it would be nicer to type one up overlooking the lake, the O2 dongle firmly nailed to the edge of the window for better reception.

Christmas Day has arrived, the ham is done since last night (tastes great), turkey going into the oven about 11:30am, champagne for breakfast and all the family around – can’t ask for much more than that really.

I get to tinker with some new gadgets, immerse myself in a good book and generally flake out for the next few days, something I hope all of you get to do.

So from myself (and everyone at the lake), merry Christmas and I’ll see all of you (hopefully) in the New Year.