Get him a Nexus 7 or Nexus 10. It doesn't need any discussion.
How many 80 year old men have heard of the Camera Connection Kit?
If you think Apple is any better than MS or Google in the privacy stakes then I have a bridge to sell you. Apple, Google and MS all have their own browser to sell you. They all have an app store. They all have preferred search engines and you can bet every one of them is selling every tiny piece of data it can track for every user.
The only difference is that Google fans come away with some change on the purchase over Apple and MS fans.
Teens probably think ebooks suck because they read them on their stupid little phones instead of using a decent e-Ink reader, a Nexus 7 or similar.
Some people would break in to steal a pack of gum left on the seat of the car. I've known people who had windows smashed so the thief could steal two dollars that was on show in the centre console!
And that cost is reduced to zero when the device you use to read them is something you already bought or would have bought for other general uses.
I buy all my books now as ebooks and for me at least, I don't see any issues with the price of them. In fact, I typically save anything from 20%-80% off the cost of the book on paper at retail. Typical textbooks I buy are about 1/3 the price of paper ones. If anything is true, it's that there is no real value in paper books.
You guys know you can place bookmarks into the ebooks on your Kindle and just jump to them whenever you want from a menu, right? When I read a book, if I see something I might need to reference later, a tap near the top of my screen is all it takes to mark that page. Let's not forget the brilliance of being able to jump straight to the index or table of contents and hyperlink to the info I wanted to find...or search the entire text of the book.
Honestly, I can't see a reason why I'd ever want a paper book again - except perhaps for a really high quality print of fine art.
You should cheer yourself up by watching a lovely cartoon called Grave of the Fireflies!
EQ Next looks promising to me as well. I've dropped some cash into SOE's hands in order to get alpha access and a head start on learning the game and building some cool features. If they come good on their long term promises then I can foresee myself and friends (new and old) having some very enjoyable moments in there.
Let's not forget that DropBox and Google Sync are both useful for moving files around from most platforms to any other.
I doubt there will be a time when we wont be using fat clients but I see myself and the general public using and needing them less as every year passes.
I have a pretty decent rig by any standards these days, full capable of running Crisis 3 at max settings and 60 FPS with about 12 terabytes of local storage available. I used to log onto my PC every day and sit there poring over documents, reading crap off the net, looking at pictures of cats and wasting time on slashdot. I'd fire up my IDE and get some work or hobby coding done or just scratch an itch.
I recently bought a Kindle to give me some time away from the PC. Now I do my reading in an arm chair on the verandah looking out over our gardens and trees. I then noticed that although the Kindle was great for documents, it was terrible for web reading, and I still do a lot of that. I bought myself a Nexus 7. Now whenever I need to study or read I can do it from that comfy chair, while my PC sits idle.
Instead of immediately turning on my PC each morning I grab a Coke and go sit in my chair and swipe my Nexus 7 into life. I check my mail, delete the crap, make note of the interesting, and leave the stuff where I will want to type things since I prefer to do that from a desk and chair. I read the headlines on Slashdot and BBC news. I check the status of my torrents which are running on a headless box (actually a My Book Live hard drive is running Transmission for me).
Having a convenient little device, I can carry around which excels at consuming data means I only ever have to use my PC now when I want to write some code or play one of the latest graphics heavy games.
I am working on a game of my own these days and that means taking a lot of notes, a lot of time spent thinking and quickly writing down those flash ideas that would be gone faster than a desktop PC boots (even with the SSD, it can be too slow once it lumbers into life). I write all my notes using a web browser, either into the tiny little note taking app on Chrome, or directly into a wiki running on one of my low power machines. At no time do I need to load up a large, heavy app running on a big machine to do most of the tasks I do every day now.
There is a place for these heavy desktop based applications, but there's also a place for the lightweight, network connected apps that are now the more dominant force in most people's lives.
Honing is only the first step in getting a blade ready for shaving with. It's the sort of thing you might do every few months. Stropping is what you do every time before you shave, that's the step that makes it really sharp. It's pretty interesting what happens to the metal at a microscopic scale when you sharpen and strop the blade, which rather than removing material works instead by aligning it all.
That's not needed for a razor for two reasons. Firstly, you're going to be sharpening the blade with a stone that is already a completely flat hard surface and of a suitably fine grit. The second thing has to do with the way the blade itself is cast. The razor has a natural in-built guide to hold it at the correct 18-20 degree angle with no effort required from the person sharpening it. The thick part of the blade is made just thick enough so that when you lay it flat on it's side it forms the natural best angle for sharpening.
The actual edge of the blade is incredibly fine, and so you need to ensure correct technique to prevent placing any nicks into the blade. Correct technique involves keeping the blade flat to the surface at all times, never lifting it, but in fact turning it over (rotating each stroke) along the flat side of the blade. You always stroke the edge forwards, rotating at the end of each stroke.
That still won't place a sharp enough edge for shaving onto the blade, but it does ensure that the edge now has the correct bevel. To reach proper sharpness you now need to strop that edge which will align the fins of metal on the edge of the blade. Stropping is done in a similar fashion to sharpening, but in the reverse direction - that is, you always drag the edge and rotate it over on each stroke. Typical strops are made of a fine leather but you also find ones made of hemp, cotton or other materials which are used prior to refining it once again on the leather. For the best edge possible you will want to apply some paste to the surface of the strop, and again there are many possibilities for this task.
I used to think my kitchen knife was sharp until I learnt how to sharpen a razor. There's videos on youtube showing the method and all sort of other minutia related to the simple act of shaving.
None of those would still be sharp enough to shave with so I don't see why you bothered to mention any of them. Why don't you try and actually shave yourself with one of those "terrifying" knives of yours and tell me how it turns out. Take time to note how many nicks or cuts you gave yourself and how close to the skin the blade cut the hair.