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Here is a product that every tech geek needs to buy.

If you are the person that the neighbors call when they have a computer problem, or if you can’t tell your mother that you won’t help her recover the photos off the Windows 95 desktop, then you need this product. It is the Vantec SATA / IDE to USB adapter. It provides power and USB mass-storage access to any hard drive you are likely to encounter, from 5.25 IDE drives to 2.5 SATA laptop drives. It is nearly perfect—I just wish it had eSATA output in addition to USB.

Best part: it isn’t very expensive. $20-30 depending on your willingness to wait for shipping. So buy it in advance. If you can’t wait, and you are in Utah, you should buy from PC Discounters. They are the most helpful local computer shop I know.

It’s nice to be a hero. Remember to swear your beneficiaries to secrecy lest they broadcast your willingness to help.

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