Cool stuff: Your 2007 holiday gift guide

More than 50 amazing gifts for the technology lovers in your life

GooBall

You're an alien stuck inside a transparent ball, and you roll around various landscapes collecting gems. The difference between this and similar rolling-marble games is that you can make your ball sticky to climb up walls or stop short of a cliff. GooBall is just one of Ambrosia's lineup of creative arcade and strategy games -- check out Bubble Trouble and Apeiron (like Centipede) as well.

Diner Dash

Seat customers, take their orders and deliver their food. Sound easy? Ever been a waitress? Start with the original game or jump to the latest Hometown Hero version. Once you're hooked, join the dinerdash.com community.

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords (for Windows) Price: US$19.99
Summary: Puzzle-solving meets epic adventure -- and jewels!

Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull for Windows Price: US$19.99
Summary: Track the clues to solve the mystery.

Viva Pinata for Windows Price: US$39.99
Summary: A strategy/management game with an ecological twist.

Bee Movie Game for Windows Price: US$19-US$20
Summary: A bee's-eye-view adventure game.

GooBall for Mac Price: US$25
Summary: A rolling ball game with a sticky twist.

Diner Dash for Mac and Windows Price: $19.95
Summary: See if you can manage a restaurant full of hungry customers.
Ken Gagne and Jake Widman

Weird and wacky

Get silly with these fun-loving gifts.

WowWee Alive Elvis

If Elvis were assimilated by the Borg, he might look like this. WowWee's animatronic Alive Elvis captures the King's classic facial expressions and moves as the Borg bust belts out eight songs and issues famous monologues.

The robotic, life-sized talking head uses 10 precision motors to get facial expressions such as Elvis' famous lip curl down pat. (See it for yourself by watching the video.) You can get a microphone to sing along and add extra memory cards to expand the repertoire of songs and monologues.

The cyborg Elvis, which comes dressed in a simulated leather jacket, includes an "automonous" mode in which the head uses infrared sensor "eyes" to track and follow your movement and issues occasional Elvis sound bites ("I get lonely sometimes"). While Alive Elvis' lip-syncing won't fool anyone, some of the facial expressions are fascinatingly lifelike.

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Computerworld Staff

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Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

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I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

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