December 19, 2005

The NewsForge last minute holiday geek gift guide

Author: NewsForge Staff

Having trouble coming up with last minute gift ideas?
Yeah, we've been there too. If you need a few ideas, we've come up with
a list of gift ideas from our own wishlists that should make any geek
happy.

The necessities

We're all familiar with the adage that you can never be too
rich, or too thin. (Obviously, that was coined before anyone had heard
of Bill
Gates
or Calista
Flockhart
.) A more appropriate adage for this day and age
would be, you can never have too much RAM or disk space.
If you're shopping for a geek this holiday season, it's hard to go
wrong with an extra stick of RAM, blank CD or DVD media, a larger hard
drive, or external USB or Firewire storage.

If you want to show your loved ones that you really care
(about their data, anyway...), an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is
the gift that keeps on giving -- literally.

Gadgets

For the geek on the move, Oakley sunglasses
with built-in MP3 players might be a good choice. They're not cheap --
the Razrwire
models start at $295 -- but they're a nifty combination of audio
player, headphones, and sunglasses that will appeal to a lot of geeks.

If your favorite geek doesn't have one already, a PocketPC
phone or Treo is likely to be a big hit. Carrying a cell phone and PDA
is just too much of a hassle. But, if you're just shopping for a cell
phone, we'd recommend one of Motorola's Linux-based cell phones.

Another gadget we'd like to get this year is the Robosapien.
These mini-robots look like a lot of fun, and would make great gifts
for budding geeks.

Apple's iPods are pretty much ubiquitous, so this year might
be a good time to provide your favorite geek with a few accessories for
his or her iPod. One of our favorites is the iHome iPod clock radio.
Slide the iPod into the dock and you can enjoy the tunes on your iPod
through the iHome speakers. It comes with a handy remote, and allows
you to wake up to your favorite tunes. As an added bonus, your iPod
will charge overnight as you sleep.

We're also hoping to find a set of Logitech Wireless
Headphones
under the tree this year. The headphones operate
over Bluetooth, and sport integrated controls so you can control your
iPod directly from the headphones.

A digital camera or camcorder is a great holiday gift for
aspiring shutterbugs. There are a lot of cameras out there, but one of
our favorites is the Panasonic PV-GS150 3 CCD. This is MiniDV
camcorder has 10x optical zoom, electronic image
stabilization, features USB 2.0 for transferring images to your PC, and
a Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot for storing still images.

Stocking stuffers

Why not give the gift of open source this holiday season? If
you'd like to introduce your family or friends to Linux, drop a Linux live CD in their
stocking, or hook them up with a copy of the OpenCD so
they can test-drive open source applications in Windows.

Since 2006 is just around the corner, now's a good time to
pick up a Demotivators
Calendar
for the office drones on your gift list. We also
like the Business
as Usual Calendar
for 2006.

For those tired of superheroes on their workstation, the
retro-geek action figures at Shakespeare's
Den
may be just the thing. Figures include Leonardo Da Vinci,
Albert Einstein, and a host of literary and musical dignitaries, some
with bobbleheads and Li'l versions.

That's entertainment

When in doubt, books, DVDs, and music are a great
choice for anyone on your list. If you're looking for specific options,
we have a few suggestions.

One DVD on our wishlist this year is Joss Whedon's Serenity,
which comes out on DVD December 20th. Hands down, this was one of the
best (if not the best) Sci-Fi flicks of 2005.

The March
of the Penguins
DVD is an obvious choice for the
penguinistas on your gift list this year, and we're hoping to find a
copy under our tree as well.

Games are always a good choice for the holidays. We'd
recommend something from Cheapass
Games
, like the Lord
of the Fries
or Give
me the Brain
card games. They're fun, fast-paced, and full of
zombie goodness.

For the Luddite in all of us

If someone you know is part of the Getting
Things Done
(GTD) cult, odds are they'll
appreciate a Moleskine
Notebook
. The Moleskines come in a pocket or large sizes, and
with plain, ruled, and graph pages.

They're a bit pricier than other notebooks, but they also tend
to be a bit nicer as well. The Moleskine's have a thread binding,
oilcloth cover, expandable back pocket, bookmark ribbon, and elastic
cover band. They hold up well for daily use, and a lot of users find a
paper notebook easier to use and manage than a PDA. Another nice thing
about the Moleskines is that you don't need to worry about getting a
duplicate gift. Even if they already have a Moleskine, they'll need a
new one eventually.

We hope we've provided a few useful ideas for your holiday
shopping, but we probably haven't covered everything. If you have a
good idea for a geek gift, tell us about it in the comments -- we'd
love to hear it.

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