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Posted by Mark Hine at 2:45PM   |  Add a comment

Last year my shopping adventures landed me in mid-town Manhattan - arguably the center of East coast commerce. This year, my adventures took me to the mid-west and the city of Indianapolis. Like most cities, Black Friday in Indi was a bustling free-for-all at the mall but with a mid-western politeness, charm and just a hint of southern drawl. 

I love to hit the pavement to see what others are picking up, discussing with their significant others and, of course, listening to the highly fluent sales pitches of the Best Buy and Radio Shack floor staff. Say it with me... N-E-T B-O-O-K.  Even Sears had a netbook on offer. Sales abound. The cash...fleeting. Netbooks flying off the shelves. And for good reason. The right price and the right configuration for what many people fire up their laptops for - e-mail and social networking, e.g. the Internet. Next on the list of popular conversation were conversion devices. LP to computer devices for transferring records to files fit for the iPod. Digital dongles for converting home movies to YouTube and slide scanning mechanisms for those of us with caches of 35mm slides. Buyer beware. The quality of these devices varies CONSIDERABLY. Check reviews on-line. Try Amazon and for price comparison and user reviews. is also another great resource for price comparison and editorials.

On-line there was the Barnes & Noble Nook -sold out until 2010. Consider Amazon's Kindle. Fully reviewed and vetted it really is something to note. The price: $259. Read the review and decide for yourself of course. Competitors include the a fore mentioned Nook and SONY's e-reader ($299) also worthy of consideration. Like the iPhone and BlackBerry you'll be asking yourself how you spent those cold winter nights without it.

Other great deals under the brick-and-mortar and on-line are this year's line-up of LCD TVs. In my opinion, prices have never been better: $659 for a 50" LCD from a respected manufacturer...well let's just say it...sweet.

Digital cameras and camcorders are also edging in on the reasonably priced wave. Don't skimp if you can. Consider storage medium, battery life, facial recognition technology, lens and most importantly ergonomics.

Happy Holidays!





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