Fathers have one job: to know absolutely everything about everything. It doesn't have to be the right answer, but dammit they should have one ready. So just in time for Christmas comes the enabling technology: the new and improved WikiReader. This new version includes a dictionary, quotes, easier updating and a selection of 17 languages in addition to English.
The WikiReader is a palm-sized device about four inches square that contains the entire English Wikipedia. It's text only, no graphics, but that's enough to settle virtually any trivia question that might pop up. It boots up in two seconds and you type in a word or phrase using the onscreen keyboard, press the search button, and then select the topic from a returned search list. Articles are fully hyperlinked so you can browse away. Two other buttons let you access your search history and select random topics. Content is updatable online or via SD card, although we didn't test that function.
The WikiReader only has two shortcomings: the LCD display is a bit dim and not backlit, and the price is a bit steep for something that's available free online. It would be neat to see this company distribute Wikipedia on an SD card that you could use in your BlackBerry or other Smartphone, something we often have on us anyway. Yet if you're out of cell or wifi range and like trivia games, the WikiReader is sure to please. Next time Dad is tentbound with the kids for three straight days of rain, he doesn't have to be out of answers.