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November 27, 2009

All I Want For Christmas

Filed under: Main — Dan Gookin @ 12:01 am

Now that Black Friday is upon us, it’s time for me to review what I’d put on my Christmas Wish List, if I weren’t so impulsive and have gone out and bought myself everything already.

When it comes to computer nerds, shopping can be difficult. Not only is the there “What the hell is he talking about?” factor, but there’s the reliable truth, which I stated above, that most nerds tend to just rush out and buy what they need without having to pander to relatives, begging them to wrap up some high tech gizmo and lodge it under a dying pine tree in the living room to languish until December 25.

Last year I recommended an external hard drive, headset, and TV adapter. I’d like to keep the external hard drive and headset on the list for this year as well. In fact, I’m going to get greedy and put links to Amazon here so that should you click on a link and buy one of these items, Wambooli will make 15¢ for your efforts:

I just bought my son the Plantronics Gamecom headset. It is awesome! I had great big cans that completely cover your ears, so it’s comfortable. The sounds are excellent. Plus it doesn’t completely deafen you to other noise in the room. A good choice.

I’ve been buying the Western Digital My Book series of external hard drives for years. They’re the most reliable external hard drive I’ve ever used. They’re put to work as external backup drives on my computers, which are backed up every day. (If you want to save some money, pick up the 1TB My Book at CostCo instead of Amazon.)

As long as I’m whoring myself out to Amazon, here are some other suggestions for your Geek Holiday Shopping List.

USB thumb drives are handy to have for a number of reasons: backup, file exchange, plus the ability to run the ReadyBoost. That ReadyBoost really speeds up your Windows Vista or Windows 7 PC. ReadyBoost is the reason I use the SanDisk Cruzer for on several of my PCs. The 8GB size is perfect for that.

I bought one of these Logitech Nano Cordless Laser Mouse for my laptop. I love it! The thing sports a very clever design. It’s easy to turn on and off, has lots of gizmos, and features a tiny, low-profile USB transceiver. The transceiver is conveniently stored inside the mouse. Clever, clever.

When you suffer from too many USB gizmos and not enough ports, you need a hub. I thought my laptop would never get to that point, but it did. Quickly. The Logitech Premium 4-Port USB hub is teensy and very laptop-friendly. It’s good for plugging in things with USB cables, but rather poor for thumb drives as the USB ports are too close. That’s okay for my laptop, where a thumb drive can go into a USB port on the case.

Laptops are hot, but they prefer to be cool. To help them out, you should get your laptop a cooling pad, such as the ConnectLand. I just bought one of these to replace the first cooling pad I bought, which suffered from an ineffective connector. The CoonectLand cooling pad is nice because it helps prop up the laptop, making it easier to use. It’s also compact, which means I take it with me on trips; the more traditional, full-size cooling pads are a little too big for that.

This Samsung monitor is stunning. I’ve been reluctant to buy the widescreen LCDs, but this baby changed my mind. The quality is super. Plus it offers digital, analog, and HDMI connectors. My favorite part is the touch-sensitive power button. An amazing piece of hardware.

I am a self-professed keyboard snob and this keyboard, the Das Keyboard, is the best. Yes, it’s pricey, but that’s because you’re not paying for some cheesy membrane/magnet keyboard. Das Keyboard uses real mechanical switches, and the keys make an ever-so-pleasant clicking noise as you type. I love this keyboard!

I might also recommend Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, but my guess is that the computer gameboy in your life already has it.

If you want to wait to buy this junk, remember that Monday is Cyber Monday, which is the geek counterpoint to Black Friday. I wrote a blog post about Cyber Monday last year.

Enjoy the holiday season!

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