Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Going early for Christmas

15 September 2021

Just before Christmas every year I write a column inviting gift suggestions for your average (and not so average) geek.

This year I'm writing that column three months early. In fact, this is it.

Why the time-shift for 2021?

There are two reasons.

Firstly, I've seen nothing in the news worth writing about today but more importantly, the effect of CV19 in supply lines to NZ has become quite dramatic so if you're planning on buying a geek a gift from one of the many overseas Sino-retailers then it might pay to act now to ensure delivery by December.

Possibly due to issues with chip fabrication delays, there's not a hell of a lot that looks exciting or new this year.

I guess Apple fanbois will be queuing for the new iPhone 13, albeit not from Ali Express. Apple keeps churning these phones out and their loyal fan-base keeps lapping them up so I guess nothing will change there.

Even the recently announced FORCEDENTRY zero-day vulnerability doesn't seem to have dampened the demand for Apple's devices.

To be honest, although I've not been looking, there's been nothing else in the way of new product launches that has reached out and grabbed me by the short and curlies of late.

Oh, the 55 inch 4K Veon "uber-budget" dumb TV I bought a while back is still working well but now I'm on the hunt for a 4K device for the wife to use when watching Amazon Prime, Netflix etc. The old Google Chromecast is only HD and the new Google TV Chromecast isn't officially available in NZ yet.

I did look at the NVidia Shield and was very impressed, until I saw the price (gasp!).

There are ways to use a Raspberry Pi for this so maybe I'll play around a little until the Google device hits our shelves... if it ever does.

The "cobbled-together" alternative for a sound-bar setup is working surprisingly well on this TV set. Faced with prices that equal what I paid for the TV set, I simply got myself a DAC with optical input and connected the output to a set of Logitech speakers with subwoofer. Sounds pretty damned good for around $150, a fraction the price of those fancy alternatives.

Howver, unlike previous years, there's nothing really new in home entertainment. 3D is dead, HDR requires a very expensive display panel, Atmos is old-school and everything seems to be just like 2020 to me.

So, get to the forums and tell me what has happened while I've been sleeping for the past 12 months. Also tell me what kind of geek-tech *you* would like to find in your Christmas stocking this year (you never know, Santa may be reading Aardvark).

Or maybe it's time for a low-tech Christmas... just a lump of coal and a BBQ in which to burn it?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column

Rank This Aardvark Page


Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines



The EZ Battery Reconditioning scam

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam


Recent Columns

The vexing issue of tourism
Covid 19 is here to stay and even NZ has moved from a strategy of elimination to one of attempted management...

A lifetime of change
In less than two years time, I will start my eighth decade on the planet...

A resource for entrepreneurs?
Last week a new resource for entrepreneurs was opened right here in Tokoroa...

Feel the burn from 5G
5G communications is the future, or so we're told...

EVs for the win!
When Tesla first brought out its Lotus Elise-based Roadster EV back in 2008 I have to admit that I was openly skeptical...

Is KiwiCoin coming?
Apparently the Reseve Bank is thinking of launching a digital currency that will be one to one linked to the NZ dollar...

Best Monday morning ever!
When, yesterday morning at about 4:30am, I went to check and make sure...

Why Appliance Plus (now) sucks
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool...

Now I am getting worried (a little)
The world is going to hell in a handbasket...

Should we be worried?
The New Zealand parliament has just passed some worrying new counter-terrorism laws...

Terminator Nano is coming
The dystopian future predicted by the Terminator series of movies seems to be more likely by the day...