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For grads, bio drives, digital tablets good gifts

Tech talk


Tucson Citizen

Family, friends and loved ones of soon-to-be high school and college graduates want to give them gifts that will aid them in the next chapter of their lives.

For some that chapter will include furthering their education. For others it will entail entering the job market. Regardless of the road ahead for these graduates, there are many affordable tech gifts to make that road a little smoother.

Whether on campus or in the corporate jungle, USB flash drives seem to be commonplace. A particular flavor of USB flash drives that don’t seem to be everywhere are biometric or fingerprint scanning USB flash drives.

These drives have been around for a few years, but haven’t really caught on in mass numbers. But the fact remains that these are among the best USB drives to own. Biometric USB flash drives allow access to the drive only after a user has been authenticated by running a fingerprint over a biometric scanner embedded on the drive.

The benefits of biometric USB drives are numerous, but among the top reasons for considering them as a gift for graduates is their security features. The information stored on them is not only secure, but the fact that the information cannot be accessed acts as a theft deterrent and may even serve to increase the odds of the drive being returned if it where lost. Biometric USB drives are more expensive than regular USB drives of equal storage capacity, but there are plenty of lower capacity biometric drives priced below $50.

If your graduate is heading into the work force, you may want to consider paying for a professional subscription as a gift. Careerstrides.com is one of many Web sites that offer a professional résumé service to people new to the job market. Popular employment Web sites such as Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com offer upgraded résumé posting, a feature that is supposed to give placement preference so employers will view them before the non-upgraded résumés. This, too, could help recent grads looking to test the job market. In the current employment environment, every advantage helps.

For those who are leaving the high school campus for the larger and much greener college campus, the Digimemo may be ideal. The Digimemo is a digital tablet that allows users to write notes, draw or doodle and save it all to the device. Having a device that can save 999 individual pages of notes without the need for special paper that some other devices require will lighten the backpack of any college student. At a cost of $99, it won’t lighten the gift giver’s wallet too much, either.

Quincey Hobbs is a team member at the University of Arizona’s Center for Computing and Information Technology and an instructor at Pima Community College. Send questions to quinceyresponds @yahoo.com.

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