Oddball gifts for uber geeks

These Christmas gift ideas may surprise even the most hardened geeks in your life

USB Webmail Notifier

Who to give it to: The email-obsessed geek

Every seasoned Gmail addict downloaded the Gmail Notifier program ages ago. The only problem: It puts a tiny mail notification icon--smaller than a fingernail--in the status bar. How are you supposed to check your mail every second if you have to hunt down and squint at such the minuscule icon and to see whether it's lit up? That's where the USB Webmail Notifier ($US29.58, Curiosite.com) comes in. This 3-by-1.9-inch envelope behaves like a real-life version of the Gmail Notifier icon, lighting up according to the status of the inbox--blue when there's new mail, red when the mailbox is full, and green when the mailbox is empty. Compatible with Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, Outlook Express, and ISP with POP3 services, it's an e-mail addict's new best friend. Trust me, true geeks will thank you for giving them something else to obsess over.

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