The Road Warrior
Gary, an XM Radio executive, found out his wife was pregnant via BlackBerry message. During recent business trips to New York to oversee a new commercial, he and his wife exchanged BlackBerry notes about possible names for the latest addition to their family, a boy due in April.
Yes, he's one of those BlackBerry guys, perhaps even the ultimate BlackBerry guy. He has a reputation at the office for walking the corridors, talking on his cell phone while punching away at the mobile e-mail device. He dressed up as a BlackBerry for Halloween one year. When he lost his beloved device outside XM headquarters one day, people he didn't even know at the company sent him consoling notes and offered their regrets at the in-house cafe.
When a conversation starts to drag, he finds his eyes pulling toward the device. "I look at it before I go to sleep, and it's the first thing I look at when I wake up in the morning," he said.
Though he's practically attached to the gadget, Gary doesn't like technology for its own sake. "The irony is, I'm not known for being an early adopter," he said.
Gary just got a new car, an Acura that has built-in wireless Bluetooth technology that links his phone to the car's built-in speaker system. Being an XM executive, he picked a car that also has his company's satellite radio service built in. But it doesn't sound as if he has much time to listen to music, as he's on the phone for most of his commute from Potomac to XM's headquarters in Northeast Washington.
Though he loves his new ride, it's equally as important to him as a communications device: "It's the most expensive XM radio-slash-cell phone speaker system you could buy," he joked.
Now, if only the system could read his e-mails to him.
Gift suggestions for the road warrior on your list
$ T-Mobile HotSpot gift cards -- A quick connection to the Web can be found at almost any Starbucks via the T-Mobile WiFi HotSpot connection. A $10 one-day card (or several of them) or $20 seven-day card will come in handy for the frenzied road warrior.
$$ Portable speakers -- Great for the traveler, a set of portable speakers -- powered by batteries, electricity or both -- can enhance the hotel experience when you plug an MP3 player or laptop into a sound system that folds up to fit nicely in a suitcase. There are many brands to choose from. $50 and up.
$$$ Bluetooth headset -- Bluetooth is a wireless technology designed for close distances, such as the phone on your hip (or in your bag) and the earpiece on the side of your face. The headsets come in many sizes and shapes (designed for comfort in your ear) and brands. From $50 to $150.
$$$$ BlackBerry -- The BlackBerry 7105t may look more like a phone than the traditional BlackBerry. It's both -- and much sleeker than the older versions of the e-mail device. $300. Also consider: Palm Treo 650. It's a smart phone that checks e-mail, surfs the Web, plays games, shoots pictures and video and, of course, keeps a calendar and address book handy. $250 and up.