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TECH GIFT GUIDE: STOCKING STUFFERS

Please your techie and your wallet

November 22, 2009

The recession appears to be over, but this holiday season it's still tough to find a household not feeling its effects. In that spirit, here are some bargain gift suggestions for the techies on your list.

Gift cards -- The perennial cop-out choice, but still much appreciated. A couple of suggested online vendors: Amazon.com ( www.amazon.com) for all manner of gadgets, and iTunes ( www.apple.com) for music, movies and iPhone apps.

TV calibration -- Even if your digital television is brand-new, it could probably be helped by a calibration to optimize the image quality. Joe Kane Productions ( www.jkpi.net) sells an instructional DVD for about $20 that takes you through the process step by step.

Laptop cleaning kit -- Cleaning your tech gear doesn't sound like fun, but neither is working on a grungy keyboard or viewing a dust-covered screen. Several little kits consisting of a spray liquid and microfiber cloth are available for about $10 to $20. A couple of sample brand names: iKlear (www.klearscreen.com) and Fellows ( www.fellows.com).

TuneUp -- If you have a dedicated iTunes user on your list -- perhaps the nephew or niece who never takes the earphones out -- this downloadable software ( www.tuneupmedia.com) might be much appreciated. It cleans up the text data on song listings, displays artist videos and even lets the user know when a favorite performer is coming to town. Cost is about $30.

Transistor radio -- Long before hand-held media players, the pocket AM/FM radio was king for portable listening. And there are still some around. The Sony ICF-S10MK2 can be found at Amazon.com and other e-commerce sites for about $10. It's perfect for taking in a game at Dodger Stadium while simultaneously listening to Vince Scully. Just like in the pre-digital era.

david.colker@latimes.com

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