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Back To School With Kid-Friendly Tech

Gunnar Optiks Eyewear

Gunnar Optiks Eyewear

Eyestrain and fatigue are painful issues for students who find themselves using the computer for many hours each day. When you add in time spent gaming, surfing the net, and watching TV, it can be too much for young eyes to withstand. The crew at Gunnar Optiks chose the fashionable route when designing its all-in-one eye-protection solution, leaving students looking cool while they fight off glare and dryness. The full line of glasses can be worn while computing and don’t feel geeky, intrusive, or distracting when used during common digital activities.

The pair we tried on was an off-the-shelf version that featured a comfortable but snug fit, yellow-tinted lenses, and a sturdy wire silver frame. One of over two dozen styles and a handful of frame choices that are offered by the Gunnar line, we were delighted by these non-prescription glasses that seemed more of an attractive accessory than a cumbersome extra.

Prescription glasses are available through the company’s prescription program, as well. Gunnar claims that the i-AMP lens technology minimizes or prevents some of the more troubling symptoms of digital eye fatigue (DEF) and computer vision syndrome (CVS), including blurred vision, dry eyes, irritation, and headaches. While we couldn’t confirm this with our limited test of the product, we did find the glasses to be easy on the eyes and soothing. We also noticed instant reduction in glare from our PC screen—which was not equipped with an anti-glare product—and although the manufacturer recommended giving it a full week to see results, we were pleased with the ability to make out detailed on-screen graphics in a way that was not always possible without the glasses.

A great gift for older students who spend an increasing amount of time in front of the screen, the Gunnar Optiks line starts at $99 for the most basic pair. Available at

  • hellwig
    I got side-tracked by the description of the Mark-My-Time bookmark. Who is worried about the size of a battery that comes with a bookmark? If your child is old enough to read by themselves, they should be old enough to know not to swallow crap (and they should be potty trained too, for that matter). "Little Johnny was half-way through 'War and Peace' when he decided to swallow the battery out of his book-mark. Even though I found it in his diaper the next day I'm still suing."

    Anyway, does the bookmark automatically stop itself when you close the book around it? That would be cool.
  • Tomsguiderachel
    Ha ha, that cracked me up! I don't know--I know I was reading at a very young age, but I probably still ate things I wasn't supposed to :)
  • Flash2009
    10 free or cheap Vista apps software programs for your Windows Vista PC

    AVG Free Edition – One of the most popular anti-virus protection tool, AVG Free is easy to use and will not noticeably slow your system down. Its features include automatic updates, the AVG Resident Shield (which provides real-time protection as files are opened and programs are run), free Virus Database Updates for the lifetime of the product, and an AVG Virus Vault for safe handling of infected files.

    GIMP – Your best free alternative to Photoshop and other paid graphics manipulation software, GIMP performs operations directly on the pixels that make up the image, and is not a vector editor. It’s helpful for photographers who want to edit photographs and are more familiar with Adobe Photoshop as most of the menus and capabilities of Photoshop can be found in GIMP.

    Wondershare Video to flash converter Pro–With this you can convert WMV to Flash, AVI to Flash, MPEG\MPG to Flash, MOV to Flash, DVD(vob) to Flash, DV to Flash, MOD to Flash, TOD(JVC Vidicon) to Flash, MKV to Flash etc

    Mozilla Firefox – Of course this has to be on the list. What better way to browse the Internet? IE8 is good and will probably work well with Vista considering that they are both Microsoft product. But Firefox is definitely much faster than IE8.

    OpenOffice – Who doesn’t know about OpenOffice? It’s your best alternative to the highly-priced MS Office, offering a suite of software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages – including MS Office.

    7-Zip – This free archiving tool features a high compression ratio supporting most compression formats such as, 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR (for packing/unpacking) and RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM, DEB and NSIS (for unpacking only).
    Adobe Flash Player – What can we say? It’s a lightweight, highly expressive client runtime that delivers powerful and consistent user experiences across major operating systems, browsers, mobile phones, and devices. To state it simply, it lets you play interactive online content.

    Basecamp – This program offers a fresh and novel approach to project collaboration by providing tools tailored to improve communication between people working on a project.

    Cabos – This file-sharing program was based on LimeWire and Acquisition and provides a simple sidebar interface, Mojito DHT support, firewall to firewall transfers, UPnP support, IP2Country support, iTunes integration, searches and more.

    ClipMagic – This is a clipboard program that allows you to capture, store and categorize text and images and even record URLs. It also provides extended clipboard capabilities for saving clips in a convenient categorized format.

    CuteWriter – This easy-to-use PDF writer supports 64-bit Windows Vista. It integrates well with CutePDF Professional and the latest version of Ghostscript. It also supports foreign language well.
    deVault2009 – This program lets you store, classify, organize, compress, encrypt, backup, and share all your files in sophisticated digital vaults.