TR’s Christmas gift guide

It’s that time of year again. You know, the non-denominational holiday gift-giving season that has most of us begrudgingly making a pilgrimage to worship in the one church that seems to unite us all: the mall. I’ll do anything to avoid malls this time of year—seeing throngs of beleaguered shoppers aimlessly wandering through aisles of over-bright retail hell slowly erodes my will to live. But sometimes that’s the only way to find something unique for those notoriously hard-to-shop-for people who seem to be on everyone’s list.

As it happens, PC enthusiasts can be particularly difficult to shop for. We’re a picky lot, and for the uninitiated, finding the perfect gift in a market teeming with options can be a daunting task. To those not in the know, a 16MB USB keychain with a built-in LED flashlight probably seems like a good gift idea, especially when an always-helpful salesperson working on commission insists that it’s the latest hip thing for “people into computers.”

In an attempt to save PC enthusiasts from unwrapping disappointment, we’ve whipped up a holiday gift guide outlining what we think are the best gifts of the season. Read on to see what TR’s staffers think should be under the tree this year.

Cyril Kowaliski

D-Link’s DIR-655 router

After giddily signing up for a shiny new 100Mbit cable/FTTLA Internet connection last month, I decided to get myself an(other) early Christmas present: a router to go with it. Problem is, few routers seem to be fast enough to handle that kind of data throughput. Following a cursory look through this comparison of router performance, I settled on D-Link’s DIR-655.

As Xtreme as an Internet router can possibly be

This is a premium piece of equipment with just about everything you’d want from a consumer router: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n Wi-Fi, packet prioritization (to ensure file sharing doesn’t interfere with web browsing or games), quick boot times, and a fantastic web interface. Best of all, D-Link backs it with an 11-year warranty, so I fully expect to be using it with my 5Gbit GoogleNet connection in 2018. The only downside is the router’s hefty $130 street price, but considering the features and warranty, I’d say it’s worth every penny.

AMD’s Radeon HD 3870

My trusty Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTO has served me well for the past year or so, but its inability to run Crysis even remotely well with the detail turned up has put me in the market for a replacement. Now, I know what you’re going to say: “But Cyril, the GeForce 8800 GT is faster than the Radeon HD 3870, why not get that?” Well, I’d love to. Unfortunately, my computer upgrade budget isn’t huge, and I like quiet components. Really quiet components.

Diamond’s Radeon HD 3870

Call me irrational—I know Scott’s noise level tests show the 8800 GT performing admirably—but I just don’t trust tiny fans to stay quiet for any extended period of time. And if I throw on an aftermarket cooler, the already-expensive 8800 GT will end up costing a good deal more (especially if it breaks down after I void the warranty by changing the cooler). The Radeon is cheap, more than fast enough for my needs, and it has a big, quiet fan with a sensible cooler that exhausts hot air out the back of the case, so it gets my vote.

Another 2GB of RAM

Right now, my main system is outfitted with 2GB of DDR2-667 memory. 90% of the time, that’s more than enough for my needs. The other 10%, I curse [insert new game name here] for taking so long to page out and making my computer all choppy and unresponsive. I could definitely live with the odd bout of choppiness every few days, but with 2GB DDR2-667 memory kits now going for around $40, an upgrade is hard to resist.

Of course, properly taking advantage of all that memory would require me to jump from Vista x86 to Vista x64, and I’m far too lazy for that right now. I guess that’s another item for my list of New Year’s resolutions.

Western Digital’s Caviar SE16 750GB

My current hard drive setup—dual 320GB Caviar SE16s—is rapidly filling up, so I could use some additional storage capacity. For that purpose, I really can’t think of a better deal than Western Digital’s Caviar SE16 750GB. This drive can be had for less than $160 online, and as we saw in our review, it combines delightfully low noise levels with excellent performance.

WD’s three-year warranty is somewhat of a downside, but personally, I find it difficult to care all that much. By 2010-2011, the latest hard drives should have several terabytes of capacity, so I’ll be more than happy to upgrade if this one kicks the bucket.

Adam Eiberger

Samsung’s SyncMaster 22″ LCD

Every day I stare at a huge Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 200 CRT monitor that is way past its prime. I have the brightness, contrast, and color settings cranked way beyond what they should be in order to make it bright enough to use. At these settings, the colors aren’t quite right, so it’s about time to admit that a Samsung SyncMaster 22″ LCD might be a “need.” Of course, if we’re talking “wants,” then I’d rather see Geoff’s pick, a Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP-HC, sitting in front of me.

Abit’s iDome speakers

What good are great visuals, though, if I can’t hear anything? I gave up a nice set of Logitech Z-540 speakers for the new kitchen PC, and still haven’t gotten replacements for the office system. Tiring of listening on headphones all the time, I’d much rather enjoy my Pandora stations on Abit iDome DS500s, including the SW510 Subwoofer. I’m sure there are other great options, but man I loved the sound of those when they spent a short layover in my office. Our iDome review was positive, as well, and prices are now quite reasonable.

Abit’s iDome speakers, all glossy-like

The audio stylings of Christopher Parkening

But if that big sponsorship deal from a previously unheard-of Taiwanese motherboard manufacturer that’s supposed to pay so handsomely doesn’t come through… then I’m probably stuck with this dim screen and mini tinny earphones for another year. And in that case my stocking will be more than content stuffed with Christopher Parkening’s duet with David Brandon, Virtuoso Duets, or his recent Jubilation, a collaboration with Jubilant Sykes.

Amazing Grace

Although I’m not one to acquire movies, in any format, I do occasionally pick up titles I regard as having potential to become classics and that I’d like my child(ren) to eventually view, preferably multiple times. Amazing Grace, the Michael Apted film of 18th century abolitionist William Wilberforce’s unrelenting, life-long effort to abolish first the slave trade and eventually legalized slavery in the UK, is precisely one of those movies. If you haven’t seen it, you’re really missing something.

Geoff Gasior

Corsair’s Survivor flash drive

Everyone and their mother has a USB flash drive these days, but most offer relatively low capacities wrapped in flimsy plastic enclosures. Corsair’s Survivor line of flash drives is a little different, boasting four, eight, or 16 gigabytes encased in aircraft-grade aluminum shells that are, for practical purposes, indestructible. I’ve run my Survivor over with a car, sent it off a high diving board into the deep end, and even put it through the wash with barely a scratch to the casing. Survivors aren’t cheap, of course—they run from $37 for the 4GB model up to $160 for 16GB, with a high-performance 8GB Survivor GT selling for $142—but their bombproof excess puts a unique spin on an otherwise practical gift.

The Survivor at its best: taking abuse

Apple’s iPod

The iPod is arguably the most popular gadget ever—a cultural icon whose market domination has endured for years with no signs of weakening. Just about everyone wants one, and among those who have already joined the iMasses, I’m betting most wouldn’t mind an upgrade to one of Apple’s latest models. That alone should validate the iPod’s gift potential. The new nano is easily the most compelling, offering up to 8GB of flash-based storage for as little as $180 online. With that you get support for audio and video playback, games, and compatibility with programs like Winamp if you’d like to avoid iTunes. If the geek on your shopping list has a larger media library, try the 80GB classic, or if you want to ride the bleeding edge, the multi-touch-enabled, er, touch.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Premium

I’m a long-time PC gamer, and while I still prefer the platform for some genres, it’s hard to argue with the ease of use, unique games, and overall value offered by the latest generation of consoles. Among them, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is my favorite. Not only does it have the horsepower to produce impressive—and more importantly immersive—visuals, it also benefits from a deep lineup of quality titles, a handful of excellent exclusives, and the best online service in the business. New “Premium” consoles are also equipped with HDMI output, and if you dig around, you can find plenty of interesting bundles with the latest games. If you’re looking for a console for your mother, go with a Wii. For real gamers, however, an Xbox 360 should be under the tree.

American McGee’s Alice Soundtrack

Looking for a unique stocking stuffer? Try the haunting soundtrack to American McGee’s Alice. Composed by ex-Nine Inch Nails programmer Chris Vrenna, the Alice soundtrack is thick with atmospheric tracks as beautifully bizarre as the game itself. Even if you’ve never played Alice—and if you haven’t, you really should—the soundtrack stands on its own as one of my favorite albums of all time. And hey, this isn’t just the Alice soundtrack; it’s American McGee’s Alice, which, uh, adds something, apparently.

Warning: young children may have no idea what an audio CD actually is

Valve’s The Orange Box

While I’m not crazy about having to pay for Half-Life 2 all over again with The Orange Box, the bundle offers value unparalleled by PC games released in recent memory. Just $45 gets you not only Half-Life 2 with both episodic expansions, but also Team Fortress 2 and Portal. There’s a little something for everyone, whether you’re looking for an engaging single-player experience, fast-paced multiplayer mayhem, or a first-person take on more cerebral puzzles. And unlike some of this season’s AAA titles—I’m looking at you, Crysis—the Source engine’s modest system requirements ensure that you don’t need a bleeding-edge PC to enjoy The Orange Box‘s payload in all its glory.

Dell’s UltraSharp 2407WFP-HC

If there’s one thing I lust after this holiday season, it’s Dell’s UltraSharp 2407WFP-HC LCD monitor. Well, more specifically, two of them. Sure, Dell’s 30″ panel gets more attention, but I’d much rather have a pair of 2407s side by side—a setup that costs less than a single 3007WFP, I might add. With a 1920×1200 native resolution, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 6 ms response time, true 8-bit panel, and HDCP support, it’s hard to argue with the 2407’s credentials. Heck, it even has an integrated card reader, integrated USB hub, component input options, and support for picture-in-picture. Yeah, I’ll take two. Please.

Scott Wasson

Toshiba’s Portege R500 ultraportable laptop

As a guy who runs a website, I have a keen interest in mobile devices that will let me work from anywhere other than my office. A couple of years ago, my search for the ultimate ultraportable led me to the Sharp M4000 WideNote, which I purchased sight-unseen on the basis of a juicy specs list and strong reviews. These days, I’m starting to get the itch to upgrade, and my current favorite ultraportable is Toshiba’s Portege R500. Again, I’ve not seen this system in person, but the specs tell a wondrous tale. The ultra-thin 12.1″ display has an LED backlight, and when outdoors, its transreflective screen uses sunlight as illumination. One configuration of the R500 has a 64GB solid state drive with no moving parts and no noise, and that config weighs in at just 1.72 lbs. Another configuration includes a DVD RW drive, which is uncommon in a laptop this small. How small? 11″ wide, 8.5″ deep, and just 0.77″ tall. Toshiba bills the R500 as having the world’s longest battery life in this form factor, too.

Pant, pant.

Oh yeah, and it has a dual-core processor and all of that jazz. The big catch with a fancy Japanese laptop, of course, is price. The R500’s cheapest config weighs in at $1999 direct from Toshiba. If you’re constantly on the go, though, this looks like one heck of a way to stay connected.

Apple’s iPhone

Seems like everyone these days is jaded about nearly everything. All I can say is that when it comes to the iPhone, you should believe the hype. This is not just a phone; it’s a little mobile computer that’s a more-than-competent web client and media playback device. The multi-touch user interface is incredibly easy to use, a true revolution in mobile UI design. No other “smart phone” or anything else comes close, in my view. If you don’t believe me, spend ten minutes playing with one. You’ll be a convert.

Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

Several years ago, I was plagued by a number of health problems. I was overweight, on medication for acid reflux disease, suffering debilitating bouts of fatigue at the end of each day, and facing more serious potential health problems that worried my doctor. I was also planning to quit my job in order to work at TR full time, and I knew I had to improve my health if I was going to succeed. I decided to give the Atkins diet a try, and it worked incredibly well for me. Within days, my fatigue was gone, replaced by incredible reserves of energy. Shortly thereafter, my acid reflux problems ceased, and I was able to quit taking the medication. And the pounds started melting off—about 40 of them over the next six months. After that, my waistline shrunk even when my weight didn’t, as I added muscle in place of fat. My doctor was very pleased. To this day, I stick to the basic tenets of the diet. The weight remains off, and my health is much improved.

Everything that worked so well for me flew in the face of conventional wisdom about diet, nutrition, and health, which raised some big questions. Science reporter Gary Taubes has now asked and answered some of those questions in his impressive book, Good Calories, Bad Calories. Taubes recounts how the conventional wisdom formed on a range of topics related to diet and weight loss, including saturated fat, cholesterol, salt, exercise, and disease. The story he tells chronicles a sad history of incomplete science, sloppy interpretations of data, and study results being misinterpreted to fit preconceptions.

It’s a gripping story, but this is not light reading. The book’s 400-plus pages are packed with dissections of study results and technical explanations of metabolic processes. Taubes’ goal was obviously to present a well-researched and convincing antidote to the conventional wisdom, and doing so doesn’t make for breezy prose. This is, however, an important book, especially if your health depends on it.


Crysis in all its system-crippling gorgeousness

Crytek’s Crysis

Lately, too many folks have decided that a gorgeous-looking game like this one can’t possibly be any fun to play. They seem to think that great graphics and good gameplay exist in some kind of opposing, polar relationship. From the first time you sneak up over a ridge and gaze down into a cove at sunrise, Crysis demonstrates why that’s so wrong-headed. Watch a bullet splash into the water 400 yards behind your intended target’s noggin, and you’ll be hooked. The realistic graphics and excellent physics modeling in the game make for an amazingly immersive world, and surprise—that’s fun! The nano-suit stuff works much better than I expected, too. You’ll have to get over the fact that your graphics card won’t run the game at “Very High” or probably even “High” settings, but so what? Crytek pulls all of the elements together into a first-class shooter that advances the genre.

Comments closed
    • JdL
    • 12 years ago

    Totally agree on Amazing Grace. Loved the movie. 🙂

    • Twobztwop
    • 12 years ago

    I gave myself an early Christmas gift this year and bumped up my system memory to 4 gig (2x2g sticks) from 2 gig — but that was the easy part. I upgraded Vista 32bit to Vista 64bit in order to utilize all four gigs of memory (32 bit will only see ~3 gigs). All my devices/periphrals worked except — the iPhone.

    So FYI, at this time you can’t sync the iPhone with itunes on Vista 64. Itunes will tell you to uninstall and install 64 bit itunes. However, there isn’t a 64 bit windows itunes yet. s-o-l for now on that I guess.

    • WaltC
    • 12 years ago

    I just bought something I had to add to this list!…;) Even if you aren’t in the market for a monitor–and especially if you are–if you’ve got an extra $600 you can part with this Xmas then you do *not* want to avoid looking at this:

    HannsG – 27.5″ Widescreen Flat-Panel TFT-LCD Monitor
    Model: HG-281DJB –$599 at Best Buys (no I’m not partial to BB’s–it’s just that it’s the only place I’ve seen them in my neck of the woods…;))

    I originally bought the monitor off the shelf at BB because of the convenient no-questions-asked return policy sans restocking fee–I simply couldn’t believe that a 27.5″ viewable area TFT active matrix with a genuine 3ms response time, a .309 dot pitch with HDMI capability capable of 1900×1200 could possibly sell for only $599, so I had my doubts when I brought it home and was taking no chances on a hassle-free return. Forget that! Wow. It blew me away and I’ve run through a lot of monitors in 22 years. The Samsung 226BW it replaced is going with me to the office where it will be suitably retired for spread sheets and word processing…;)

    The output of this thing is simply drop-dead gorgeous–not one dead pixel, and the color fidelity is simply the deepest and fullest I’ve ever seen on a flat-screen LCD. I really do *believe* the 3ms claim, btw. Honestly, I now see what I’ve been missing in terms of the old eye balls. Whew. I really, really did not know 3d games could look like this. Talk about immersive, for me this monitor has completely revised my future expectations in this department. IE, if they aren’t this good they won’t measure up from now on.

    I’m guessing, but I think that some of this goodness may stem from the fact that the monitor doesn’t provide the standard DVI input we’re used to. Instead, all you get digitally is an HDMI input—*but*….this monitor ships with its own DVI-to-HDMI adaptor cord that plugs right into the DVI on my HD3870 and into the HDMI connector on the monitor (the HD3870 ships with a DVI-to-HDMI adapter, which I’d imagine would work just as well with a quality HDMI cable, but since this custom cable is included with the monitor and the IQ is spectacular I’ve seen no reason to try that approach.) Of course, there’s an obligatory VGA connector input provided as well, and a couple of other adapters included with the monitor, but I think you’d be missing a lot by using them with this monitor. The DVI-to HDMI cable provided works wonderfully well, and I think the extra bandwidth supported by the cabling scheme must be what makes at least *some* of the difference between this monitor’s output and my 226bw’s DVI-to_DVI connection.

    It’s kind of strange, on paper the monitor’s specs don’t look as good as some smaller, more expense monitors look on paper– the HG’s contrast is 800:1, but the candle power is very good. I had to lower the brightness to 40 (out of 100) and lower the contrast to 70 (out of 100) but the resulting image is quite simply the best I have ever seen bar none. Not only is this monitor a keeper, it’s the best buy for the money I’ve seen this year. If I was giving out a “monitor of the year” award this baby would get it, hands down, pretty much regardless of what the competition costs, I might add–which is *a lot* more in some cases.

    If you’re in the market for a monitor this year then please do yourself a favor and check it out. Merry Christmas!…;)

    • crazybus
    • 12 years ago

    I see I’m not the only one who’s been lusting after the Toshiba Portege R500.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 12 years ago

    I’m getting a t61p that will hopefully be here before Christmas, although it looks like it might not get here till after.

    • Covert7
    • 12 years ago

    Question about the memory upgrade. I understand that to make “full” use of more than 2gb of memory you need the 64bit version of Windows but Cyril indicates he’s going ahead with the extra even without it.

    So does this mean that sometimes the extra memory comes in handy and isn’t a total waste?

      • 5150
      • 12 years ago

      I’d also like to hear a final answer on this. I’ve got Vista Ultimate 32-bit and have been wondering if going from 2GB to 4GB would help in my new laptop.

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      Any memory beyond 3 gigabytes is totally wasted on a 32-bit OS and, if I understand the situation correctly, there are no tricks that can mitigate that.
      If anyone tells you otherwise, ask them if they know the difference between virtual address space and physical memory. Some tricks can be done to increase virtual address space on 32 bit operating systems, but that doesn’t do anything towards using more than 3 gigabytes of RAM.

      Having said all of that, as cheap as RAM is you may as well get 4 gigs and just let some sit there unused until, per chance, you install a 64-bit OS.

        • crazybus
        • 12 years ago

        Well I’m seeing 3.5gb so not all the memory above 3gb has gone to waste. That being said, you need to keep in mind that 32-bit programs are usually limited to 2gb of memory.

        BTW, the 32-bit Enterprise and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2003 support 32 and 64 GB of ram respectively. 64GB being the limit of the 36bits PAE gives you on supporting hardware.

        • Krogoth
        • 12 years ago

        IHMO, there really isn’t any reason to get a 32-bit OS for a new system build.

        3.5GB is absolute maximum that a 32bit OS can utilize. The missing 512MB is reserved for device addressing. This problem can occur in a 64-bit OS. The most practical and common solutions is to remap the memory, so that 512MB that normally gets reserved moves into 4GB+ range.

        Here are some graphs to make it easier to understand.

        Any 32bit OS’s Memory map (4GB Maxmium)
        |<<=======3.5G========><=512MB=>]
        Reserved Block

        Any 64bit OS’s Memory map without memory remapping

        |<<===3.5G====><=512MB=>|<======2^64B-4GB=======>]
        32bit Reserved Block 64bit
        Any 64 OS’s Memory map with memory remapping

        [|<<===4.0G====><======0MB======>|<==512MB==><============2^64B-4GB=======>]
        32bit Reserved Block 64bit Relocated from Reserve Block

          • Flying Fox
          • 12 years ago

          If you want to practise self-torture, you /[

      • Moe_Szyslak
      • 12 years ago

      On a 32 bit OS almost anything over 3GB is lost. It can get even worse. If you install 4GB on a 32 bits system, windows will start to set aside memory. You have to substract your video memory from that 4GB. If you have a 1GB gfx card you’re left with 3GB of RAM. But thats not all windows will set aside. There are a number of things that will reduce the available amount of ram. You can be left with as little as 2,7GB out of the 4GB you installed. It can also be as much as 3,5GB depending on other hardware in your PC.

      If you want to take advantage of the full 4GB, or more, you will have to make the jump to a 64-bits OS. If you’re planning on using Vista with 4GB I strongly advise you use the 64 bits version. With today’s RAM prices it should be too expensive to get 4GB.

    • SpotTheCat
    • 12 years ago

    I’m hoping for a sony SZ 680 this year.

    • Vrock
    • 12 years ago

    q[

      • Dissonance
      • 12 years ago

      If you just flick it in my general direction, the game should register a hit 😉

      • 5150
      • 12 years ago

      Wii = The only console even my father has played, let alone enjoyed.

        • SpotTheCat
        • 12 years ago

        What does that even mean?

          • crazybus
          • 12 years ago

          I’m still trying to parse it. I’ll let you know when I’m done. 😛

            • 5150
            • 12 years ago

            Either I’m retarded, it’s a Montana thing, or more likely both.

    • Damage
    • 12 years ago

    I’ve modded the religion thread to off-topic. Change your options if you can’t see it and care to. Take it to the R&P forum if you’d like to continue, please.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 12 years ago

      Wow. Thread nuked! That’s the power of… Damage.

        • danny e.
        • 12 years ago

        off topic != nuked.

    • danny e.
    • 12 years ago

    Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes

    is that a joke? sounds like a cut and paste job from every other diet testimony i’ve bothered to skim.

    yuck.
    my solution to all overweight. take a 3 month vacation to Kuala Randau, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia and live at a tribal persons home.
    you will return thinner… possibly lifeless.. but definitely thinner.

      • eitje
      • 12 years ago

      that’s hardly a solution. 😛

    • Dposcorp
    • 12 years ago

    Who the hell brought all the friggin grinchs into this Christmas Gift Guide?
    WTF?

    • Dposcorp
    • 12 years ago

    I think the Orange Box is a must have for any gamer, even if you arent a FPS lover.

    Playing a medic or engineer is a lot of fun, as is Portal.

    Good call Diss.

    • Dagwood
    • 12 years ago

    I’ll second the vote for the ATI 3870, it has a duel slot, a 512MB buffer, it’s near the magic 200 dollar mark, is frugal with power needs, and its not that much slower than a 8800GT.

    However, a 14 or 15 inch laptop is on the top of my list. With the duel core processors the norm and running cooler, integrated graphics not nearly as bad as they used to be, and prices down below a grand, laptops are looking more practical now.

      • provoko
      • 12 years ago

      I would have thought the 3850 is a better choice. Being more available and cheaper, even the 512mb version plus a single slot cooler.

      EDIT: Ohhh I see, the dual slot cooler is actually a plus. Go figure. I’d rather have single slot anyways and something much cheaper.

    • liquidsquid
    • 12 years ago

    Please tell me this was a static-free stocking! Arg! This is like fingernails screeching on a chalkboard to me to see this card in a nice woolly stocking.

    -LS

      • b4b2
      • 12 years ago

      lol, good call. 🙂

    • pani_alex
    • 12 years ago

    dont realy understand, i make my wish list and some one will send it for me 😛
    seriusly, is only a wish list or i can have chance to get any of the items?

      • gratuitous
      • 12 years ago

      Es una “guía,” pani. Se piensa ‘ para dirigirle ‘ en los regalos que compran para el personal del Tech Report. No, usted no puede conseguir cualquier cosa enumerada aquí. 🙂

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 12 years ago

        q[

        • pani_alex
        • 12 years ago

        waaaaaaaaaa 🙁
        quiero llorar, ya estaba armando mi lista 😛
        y TR no sortea nada por fin de año?

          • gratuitous
          • 12 years ago

          Sí, soy seguro que habrá una lotería o una competencia de una cierta clase. Esto apenas no es él… todavía. 🙂

    • fpsduck
    • 12 years ago

    r[

    • Deli
    • 12 years ago

    LOL

    i love the survivor pic!

      • VILLAIN_xx
      • 12 years ago

      Ya, youll never know when your flash drive will come in handy up in the mountains or scuba diving. After a nuclear fall out you’ll be glad you saved all those torrents and incriminating pictures of your ex.

      • Moe_Szyslak
      • 12 years ago

      I wonder where he keeps his laptop if he has no room for the survivor in a bag 😛

    • gratuitous
    • 12 years ago

    I might be mistaken, but I could almost swear this should have begun “Dear Santa,” and mailed to some address north of the Arctic Circle…

    But seriously, all this “nondemoninational” politically correct BS has just gone way too far. If there’s one thing (among many, almost all bad) that 9/11 brought us, it’s pandering to Islamists and Atheists and every other -ist out there. How in the hell did we go from being attacked to having to take down Nativity scenes and the Ten Commandments. It just boggles my mind.

    OK… I return you to your regularly scheduled tech drooling…

      • Pax-UX
      • 12 years ago

      @gratuitous

      You need to understand this is all a plan of the Dark Lord to remove our Saviour from the world…..

      …Mmm…. on seconds thoughts I better not post this as it will only offend too many people.

        • vdreadz
        • 12 years ago

        Yea it will lol….The touchy topic of religion hmmmm….

      • echo_seven
      • 12 years ago

      Isn’t Damage a preacher by training?

      • VILLAIN_xx
      • 12 years ago

      what the hell did i miss?

      sorry is hell a bad time to bring up?

      • Nitrodist
      • 12 years ago

      WTF are you talking about!??!?! What does your post have to do with anything!?!??

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 12 years ago

      q[< I might be mistaken, but I could almost swear this should have begun "Dear Santa," and mailed to some address north of the Arctic Circle... But seriously, all this "nondemoninational" politically correct BS has just gone way too far. If there's one thing (among many, almost all bad) that 9/11 brought us, it's pandering to Islamists and Atheists and every other -ist out there. How in the hell did we go from being attacked to having to take down Nativity scenes and the Ten Commandments. It just boggles my mind. OK... I return you to your regularly scheduled tech drooling... <]q Christmas, in many ways, has become a secular holiday in the U.S. By the way, you missed Hannukah and Kwanza in your bashing...

      • Krogoth
      • 12 years ago

      Hate to break it to you, but Chirstmas was never really an original Christian holiday. It is adopted from previous traditions that Romans held during the twilight years of their empire. They were pagan holidays that had celebrated the victory of their sun deity against the darkness and upcoming renewal of nature.

      The church just streamlined some of those elements to fit Christian doctrine. Birth of Jesus = Victory of Sun Deity over darkness. Upcoming renewal of nature = Jesus will saved the world of sinners by bring them forgiveness and the promise of eternal life.

        • d2brothe
        • 12 years ago

        While true, thats hardly the point. The point is we shouldn’t have to go on tiptoes to avoid offending people of different religions. Many religions exist, if your religion is offended by that…get a new religion. That may sound brash and offensive, but honestly, tolerance is the only way we’ll survive in the world. Political correctness is a terrible thing.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 12 years ago

      Hey a-hole. I’m an atheist and I celebrate Christmas like all of my other /[

      • 5150
      • 12 years ago

      Why not goldfish left Lincoln logs in your sock drawer? As long as you’re making stuff up, you know, go hog-wild. At least the goldfish with a Lincoln log on its back going across your carpet has some miraculous connotations.

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