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Discounts, doorbusters, and more: TUAW sampler of holiday savings

Just because Apple aficionados have historically been willing to pay a modest premium for the world's best computers, music players and cellphones, that doesn't mean they don't enjoy the occasional bargain as much as their Windows-using, Zune-toting, Blackberry-typing brethren. In the spirit of healthy holiday consumerism, here's our list (far from comprehensive) of a few select deals for the Black Friday sales. You can get full-on shop-till-you-drop coverage at dealmac.com, and quick overviews from Gizmodo and dealNN.

Naturally, Amazon and Newegg both have big discounts on most gear for today -- not all of it is good for Macheads but there are plenty of treats on the hard drive, headphone and camera front. Amazon is selling SwissGear backpacks for $24, which is tempting, and shows the iPod touch 8GB at $209; that's likely to be matched by the Apple Store's one-day discount as it rolls around the globe. Newegg has the usual excellent pricing on hard drives and flash memory, although not much on the 'secret deals page' is overly Apple-oriented; $19 for an 8 GB flash drive might raise some eyebrows and liberate some funds, though.

The heat on hardware is also clearly set to 'high' with the discounts from Best Buy, MacMall and MacConnection. Right now MacConnection is showing the best deal on my benchmark machine (the midrange MacBook unibody), with a selling price of $1149 -- keep an eye on the other sites too, as MacMall is right behind at $1179.

If you love to watch TV on your shiny Mac screen, there's a deal for you too. Elgato is offering $50 off of the $149 EyeTV Hybrid HDTV tuner and DVR software bundle today. This is a particularly good item for anyone who has an older analog TV in a spot where they don't have cable or satellite but they do have a computer -- it's a great way to get through the digital transition in February of 2009, as domestic US television drops its analog signals for good.

Nobody can live by hardware alone, though, and there are plenty of software and accessory vendors who want to grab their fair share of your gift budget. A few of note below...

  • All App4Mac products are on sale today, 50% off with the discount code 'blackfriday.' The company's flagship xTime Project charting & management tool drops from $99 to $50 with the discount; same for team shift scheduler FlexTeam. The fine folk of Freeverse Software are offering a similar 50% discount on all the company's Mac apps and games -- use discount code 'thanksgiving' at checkout. Pangea Software is also getting in on the discounting with a $0.99 sale on all its iPhone games (Cro-Mag Rally, Enigmo, Nanosaur II) on Friday. For a more complete rundown of App Store deals, check out the big list at appstoreapps.com.
  • If you sometimes need to send large files to family or colleagues, the deal on Gracion Enclose can't be beat; the $34 file sending utility drops to $9.99 today. It works with MobileMe or any web hosting service to transparently package and upload your data.
  • You can save a bundle on a bundle of note manager & organizer TopXNotes along with dictation tool iListen through the end of the day -- $140 for a set that would normally retail at $200. Not to be outdone, the note-taking and organizational apps from DEVONtechnologies (including TUAW notable DEVONthink) are all 25% off.
  • If you're more a numbers person than a wordsmith, you can explore an inexpensive and powerful Microsoft Excel alternative by turning to Tables. This German-developed spreadsheet is 33% off the usual $42 today when you use the 'thanks08' discount code.
  • Picking up Rapidweaver themes from Elixir Graphics is quite a bit cheaper today. Discount code 'blackfriday' gets you 40% off any order over $15 from among the themes and extras in the company's library. The same code works next door over at the Icon Lab, if you need some icons for something or other. (If you need actual Thanksgiving icons, the Iconfactory has got you covered.)
  • Beyond software and hardware, there's the opportunity to learn about, well, software and hardware. It's About Time Products has introduced two new video training titles, It's About Time to Learn the Switch to Mac and It's About Time To Learn The iPhone 3G. Both downloadable and physical-store boxed products are on sale, but there's a special way to get a free title -- take a 'treasure hunt' picture of the boxed product this week, in a store, and email it in. Okay, y'know, whatever works! If you're beyond the basics on your Mac, you can try for a free subscription to MacTech magazine (first 100 survey respondents only) and learn Mac OS X from the inside out.

Got favorite deals or found gems that we missed? We'll take your suggestions below and update the post or release a round 2 later in the day.

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