Tinyenormous Geek gift guide for 2011
There are a lot of sites out there that have gifts for geeks. The problem is that it is really difficult for a non-geek boyfriend or girlfriend to pick something appropriate unless they are geeks themselves. The purpose of this guide is to break down a bunch of gift ideas based on the type of geek you are shopping for. There are general ideas that are broadly applicable to most geeks, there are electronics geeks, photo geeks, audio geeks, gaming geeks.
This first post goes out to all of my comrades fighting in the cubicle turf wars. It is a general list of things that appeal to a broad swath of geeks. For those of you who just want to shop, not read, click here to go straight to the amazon mini-store and see most of the items below.
nice multitool – regardless of if it is needed, geeks love knives and tools. It is almost impossible to go wrong with something like this skeletool from leatherman or (at a third the price) this one from Gerber You always have something to open a beer with, and you don’t feel like a wuss at work trying to open a box up with your car key.
Their own domain name! – www.GoDaddy.com would love to give you a domain name on the cheap. “.com” domains can be had for under $10 a year and are like real estate in that if you don’t buy it now someone else may. Buying firstnamelastname.com or thelastnamefamily.com may seem silly now, but they aren’t making any more .com addresses…
Maglite XL100 flashlight This one kind of goes with the multi tool and the knives. It’s super useful in the car, it’s great for when you hear a bump in the night, and it helps when you drop something tiny and reflective on the carpet. The XL100 in particular uses a motion sensor to switch between the light modes! Fancy!
scan gauge – If there is one thing geeks love it is data! This cool little thing plugs into your car and tells you exact info straight from the cars sensors. You can use this to check and reset engine lights, and you can use this to get very precise, instantaneous mileage measurements. This can pay for itself fairly quickly if you use it to increase your gas mileage, or it can avoid having to go to the shop to tell you that you didn’t put the fuel cap on tight enough.
apple/microsoft/thinkgeek/amazon stock – Depending on what your tastes are, there is always something about owning stock in a company. If nothing else it means that you can casually mention whenever you are at the watercooler “did you guys see what company XXX did today?! I’m going to retire early!” Depending on if this is more for investment or for show you can either purchase them as a gift in shares only, or you can actually purchase printed shares suitable for framing. Since apple is currently trading at ~$340 a share, so you might want to look into finding a canceled share on ebay. That may only be worth the paper it is written on, but it should be priced accordingly.
maker shed gift card– Make magazine has a cool online store that sells an impressive array of books, kits, and tools. If your nerd is more the “wires and solder” than “dice and dragons” then this is for them!
pandora one – If they listen to a lot of streaming music via pandora, then pandora one helps to get rid of ads and make the whole experience that much nicer. It’s $36 for the year, and easy on the ear.
Amazon Prime – This one is a biggie. If you order a lot of stuff on amazon, then this can be great. After a one month free trial, you pay $79 a year and get free 2-day shipping, and $3.99 per item one day shipping. I order a lot of stuff from amazon, and I’m really kicking myself for not picking this up yet.
netflix – Netflix was cool back when they only shipped dvds in the mail. Now they let you stream such a large portion of their collection that it is ridiculous. For under $10 a month you can get on the “one disc at a time with streaming option”. The best part is that you can stream through your computer, xbox 360, ps3, or wii! Netflix is the biggest reason I cut cable out of my life. I love netflix!
apple tv – Another thing I’ve been pining over is the apple tv. It has a specific place in your home media machine, but it fills a big gap. It will let you stream video from the net, and stream audio and video from other computers on your home network through itunes. Even if you bought this just to stream netflix on your tv it would be a useful tool, but it can also be your jukebox, show your photo slideshows, and rumors are swirling that there will be an app store released for it in the future. For $99 this thing does a ton!
USB drives – Regardless of size, portable usb drives are super useful and super hard to keep track of at work. Your choice; grab a few big ones or a bunch of small ones. They will be used, they will be appreciated.
A nice chef’s knife – This can be a great underhanded gift. If you pair a nice knife with a knife skills class (maybe at your local culinary school?) you can turn your “young wizard obsessed with swords” into “america’s next top chef” overnight. In all honesty having a nice knife can make cutting outright pleasurable, and adding knife skills to it is a very manly way to get your significant other to help out come dinnertime. I have picked two very nice knives above, and while the Porsche-designed one may look a bit too spacy, The other one looks modern while not looking like a jetsons prop.
Magnetic knife holder While we’re on the subject this is a really neat way to display your fancy knives that doesn’t take up any counter space. Make sure to put them heel (ie not the blade) first when putting a knife away and they’ll last long past you are tired of chopping!
rechargeable batteries Batteries are never included! Grabbing some rechargeable batteries and a charger can help save some money and save the planet. Batteries are really toxic and hard to recycle! Save some landfill by reusing these a bazillion times.
USB rechargeable batteries
Since we’re talking about batteries, here are some cool rechargeable ones that charge via usb. My first thought is to buy three batteries for my wireless mouse. That way I can always have one charged, and I can swap one out when they both die.
itunes gift card It’s useful for buying that lady gaga track you feel guilty about loving. It’s also great for downloading words with friends onto your ipad. You could even go out and rent some movies with it. Itunes gift certificates are always useful.
Amazon gift card Finally, there is not one person on earth who doesn’t want _something_ on amazon. If nothing else then they can use it to buy a gift card to some other place that they do want to go to. This is the ultimate in easy gift giving!
For those of you who don’t really want to do the reading, there’s just pictures and prices below. Happy hunting!