December is here and the holidays are in clear sight. If you haven't kick-started your holiday shopping on Black Friday, I'll be sharing a few unique gifts you can pick up for the techie in your life. I tried to avoid obvious things like iPods, Tivos and Slingboxes. This post was spurred by a meme started by Devin about what 5 gifts I would like to receive myself - but that wouldn't make for an interesting post considering it would include car things like Eibach Pro Kit springs and Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber plates.
Pilot Hi-Tec-C Pen
Pilot's Hi-Tec-C pens are rare Japanese pens with an extremely fine tip. They make a great gift for anyone in your family from the enthusiastic Moleskine scribe to the architecture student. Jet Pens carries just about every variety of the Hi-Tec-C pen including 0.40mm, 0.30mm and 0.25mm tips. If that's too thick for you, Uniball has a 0.18mm Signo pen. As long as we're on the subject of small, Grippa slip pens are 1/8th inch thin and are great for storing in notebooks. 9ruler David Seah has a post about the Grippa slip pens.
LaCie Huby USB/FW Hub
At first glance the LaCie Huby USB hub is more art piece than anything. Sporting 4 USB 2.0 ports, 2 FireWire ports, a USB light and USB fan, the Huby quickly establishes itself as more than an eyecandy/paperweight coalescence.
However, if the Huby is too Apple-esque for the Microsoft fanboy you had in mind you can opt for Belkin's UWB wireless 4-port USB hub which should be out in time for the holidays. It's about time too - I first blogged about this hub almost a year ago. Be prepared to shell out 200 for the first UWB wireless hub. Speaking of USB, the Logitech MX Revolution uber-mouse makes a great gift for the trigger finger in your family.
You can never ever go wrong with a geeky t-shirt. Always in style, they often evoke discussion from the kids within a 5 seat radius of you during Calculus III. Lucky for you there are many geeky t-shirt retailers...
- Think Geek is the original supplier of all things geeky and home of viral t-shirts like There is no place like 127.0.0.1.
- Insanely Great Tees is a newcomer to the geeky tee crowd but has quickly become a hit with popular garbs such as the CMD+Z Magic Eraser shirt.
- J!NX has a more prevalent underground and gamer following for shirts like I press jump to get high.
- Syswear might not have the selection that Think Geek does, but chuckle-worthy shirts such as That's funny... it worked on my machine keep their business thriving.
TomTom ONE Portable GPS Navigation System
GPS is hot right now and it has become very clear that TomTom produces great portable navigation systems. At a price point of about 400 the affordable TomTom ONE will get you to the holiday get-together and easily stow away in your shirt pocket for you to show off to everyone inside.
Back to Basics
While not exactly unique or jaw-dropping, there are several gifts that geeks can always put to good use. Everything below can perform well as an excellent stocking stuffer...
- Hard Drives! It's not news that techies enjoy the occasional, legal download. Internal and external hard drives have become so cheap that purchasing one is a trivial matter if you could use the space. If you've got a few bucks lying around, you might want to opt for Western Digital's 250 500GB My Book Pro that features a FireWire 800 connection.
- Continuing with the media theme, a 100 pack of DVD+R discs will provide a few months of
netflix backupsdata backups for the college kidresourceful entrepreneur. As far as brands are concerned, I have always been a TDK/Imation/Verbatim user but nowadays everyone knows how to make a solid disc so my deciding factor centers around which disc looks cooler.
- USB flash drives are a hot commodity for the busy college student. Often spotted being toted to the library or used as projectiles by frustrated students in computer lab classes, flash drives prove indispensable. If you spot a flash drive that says it's U3 enabled, here's what that's all about.
- And finally, tech books! There's nothing like making some hot tea, playing your favorite iTunes radio station and cracking open a [insert programming language of choice] book. If you see any books that have the "Friends of Ed" logo on them, then you know they're high quality.
Some of my tech books. I will admit the Ajax and Rails books are for show - haven't read too much in them.
Which of these do you want to receive for your holiday festivities? What other techie items would you recommend for gift-givers?