It’s that time again.  Time to fuss and fret about what to get dear ol’ dad.  No, not another tie, or some other practical doodad.  How about some really neat electronic goodies ‘n gadgets!  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  Let me make it easy for you.  Here are the featured picks from my Father’s Day national media tour this year, and info about more for you to consider.  Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Buying a great cordless phone now made easy!  Dad will be so proud.

Choosing a cordless phone just got a lot easier, thanks to Conexant, the company responsible for the core technology in the best cordless phones on the market today.  Conexant supplies the computer chips that are the brains of those phones for more companies than any other company in the world.  Though some others make the claim as best of the best, the fact is, the best cordless phones are Conexant chip-based 900 MHz Digital Spread Spectrum, and come from major brands including AT&T, Casio PhoneMate, CIDCO, GE, Northwestern Bell, Sanyo, Sony, and Uniden.  To help identify these products, choose from among these brands and watch for a small sticker with a unique logo and the name diSSTance to indicate they’re part of “the group” with this core technology from Conexant.  The logo will most likely be on the demo phones on display at the retailer.

All diSSTance phones offer clarity that rivals the best traditional corded phones. DiSSTance phones offer the best range in the business, far superior to that of other popular 900 MHz phones and 25-channel cordless phones.  They’re great not just in the house, but around the neighborhood, offering a range that is typically 7 – 8 times that of common 25-channel cordless phones.

Finally, there’s privacy, an important consideration for any user. Calls from cordless phones with diSSTance can’t be intercepted or listened in upon, and won’t suffer interference from garage doors, baby monitors and other devices.

The AT&T model 9400, which is typically priced from $99 – $130, is an excellent example of what to look for when you shop for a cordless phone.  (Click here for info about the AT&T 9400 cordless phone.  Click here for the AT&T Website with all their phone products.) Once you find the diSSTance logo, begin looking for features you want and need from suppliers offering diSSTance technology in their cordless phones.  Features like CallerID and those with integrated answering machines and headset capability are also increasing in popularity and might be features you will want in a cordless phone for your home or home office.  Digital Spread Spectrum cordless phones with diSSTance technology are priced from $69 to just over $200.  You’ll find them at major retailers everywhere!

These watches and clocks are magic.  Well, they act as if they are magical.  These are the SyncTime receiver watches (and travel, wall and desk clocks).  Digital watch, about $80, analog from $150 to $350.  Each is a unique gift idea. Its built-in radio receiver listens nightly to the US government’s atomic clock radio signal and automatically maintains accuracy to a tiny fraction of a second, year round, and it’s circuitry constantly adjusts to make it more and more accurate as time goes on — to within a millisecond (That’s 1/1,000 of a second!). All you set is the time zone.  Compact travel alarm, $50, with large display and backlight.

Call 1-800-985-TIME (8463) or visit them at http://www.amcisnyctime.com.  I own some of these and they’re great!

Dad will love their simplicity and elegance.  Maybe he’ll never be late again!

Here’s the best performance and value in an all-digital telephone answering machine I’ve found.  I use one and love it.  You’ll be a hero in dad’s eyes if you give him one of these.  The new Casio PhoneMate TA-105 is probably all the answering machine you need or want, and it’s only $19.95.  No tricks – it really IS $19.95 and it really IS that good.  (Click here for info from Casio PhoneMate)  Included in its long feature list are: 18 minutes of digital recording, voice/time/day stamp, voice assisted operation, remote operation, selective save or erase messages, power failure protection with battery back-up battery, auto extension disconnect.  These and the many other features of this truly awesome answering machine are reviewed in detail on this Website.  Click here to jump to the review. Widely available at retailers nationwide.

Stuck for a gift?  It doesn’t get any easier that this.  Jump on the ‘Net to 911gifts.com and let them do the work.  Specialty gifts, many of which are exclusive to them, are only a click away.  Go, browse, and shop by occasion, recipient or department. Buy from them and they do the rest.  911gifts.com makes it quick and easy, and offers overnight delivery for most Father’s Day items and monogramming in two days or less for selected items.

Select from gadgets like a self-powered radio/flashlight, to de-stressing items (full body massager, Zen fountain) to personal care items (Tough Guy soaps).  911gifts.com makes it easy with their 100% satisfaction, no questions asked guarantee.  Be sure to read about the terms of the guarantee on their Website.

Imagine having the New York Times or a hot new bestseller read to you while you drive to work — now it’s possible.  Just go to www.audible.com.  Read carefully and learn about it.  This is really cool.  Have a look.  I first saw this at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, ’99, and was so impressed I started telling everyone about it.  Dad and everyone else will love it as I do.  Call 1-888-283-5051 for more info.

There are three ways to listen to and fall in love with Audible.  Download and listen on your PC.  Download to your PC and transfer files to the Audible MobilePlayer with up to eight hours of playback (click here for more info on the $299 Audible MobilePlayer Plus.  The third method is with one of the new, color-screen palm-size PCs from Casio, Compaq, Philips, and Everex, which are all “AudibleReady” — they’re capable of playing Audible audio and every owner gets to choose a free and substantial listening package of audio.  By comparison, as nice as the PalmPilots are, they are not Audible-enabled!

Audible is an Internet audio service that has more than 15,000 hours of premium spoken audio (no music) at www.audible.com. For example, audio files are downloaded to the PCs of Casio Cassiopeia users and automatically put on their Cassiopeias. Play customized audio when the in the car, on an airplane, exercising, or whenever one’s eyes are busy but the mind is free.  Click here to see the new, Audible-enabled Casio E-100, $499.  Costs for Audible content vary according to content purchased and downloaded.  Some users spend just a few dollars per month, while others become happily addicted to the convenience and exciting programming content and spend $30 or more in a month’s time.  It’s up to the user.

What can I listen to on Audible?

The Wall Street Journal on Audible, The New York Times Audio Digest on Audible, and The Economist Audio Digest. Best-sellers from Stephen King, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, Jon Krakauer, Scott Adams, Sue Grafton, John Gray, Sidney Sheldon, James Redfield, and James Patterson and many others. Audio newspapers, audio magazines, audio books, on-demand radio (including Marketplace, Nightly Business Report, Fresh Air, Car Talk), speeches, lectures, and language learning; 11 subject categories and 81 sub-categories. The online magazine Slate has joined Audible’s roster of over 100 content providers. Now you can listen to Slate features “Today’s Newspapers” and “Moneybox, Chatterbox and Culture” away from your PC.  Don’t flinch, there’s more to come!

Here are some representative prices for content: Subscriptions to audio digests of Wall St. Journal & NY Times are $6.95 for one month, $35.95 for 6 months, $49.95 for 12 months.  Audiobooks, across the board, are  about 50% less than cassette versions: Stephen King’s Bag of Bones is $18.00 for the 21.5 hour unabridged version. This retails at Amazon.com for $41.97 plus shipping, and is about $60 at Barnes & Noble superstores.  In general, abridged (3-hour) audiobooks at Audible.com are $6.95 compared to $18-22 at bookstores.  Things like The Economist Audio Digest and Harvard Business Review Audio Digests range from $1.95 to $4.95 depending on length and if it’s a collection of 4 thematically grouped articles.

What is the special offer to Cassiopeia owners?

Anyone who buys a Cassiopeia can receive from Audible at least 50 hours of Audible audio worth at least $50. Owners choose from the following audio packages (all free):

Daily News and Radio Favorites

Business, Leadership and Management

Investment Insights

Best-selling Fiction, Non-fiction and Classics

• You want more?  Here are some quickies to consider

•  I know you’ll find something dad will like at the C.Crane Co.

•  Buying a computer?  Yeah, it’s a high-ticket item, but buy the one I think is best for the family, so easy even dad can use it!  Buy an iMac!  Read all about the newest models here.

Have a look at the rest of the articles under the reviews area on mrgadget.com.  I know you’ll get ideas there.

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