Cool Stuff: Your 2008 Christmas Gift Guide

18 economical, expensive, and just plain weird tech gifts for your friends and family

Off the Wall:USB Missile Launcher

It all started when Computerworld's Web development group -- with whom we editor types share office space -- all got the exact same Nerf guns. (Rumor has it that they all went out and bought the same model on their own dime -- this was not company-sponsored play.)

Call it Nerf envy, but they had been having so much darn fun that the editors felt it was time to bond, James Bond-style. So after some consultation, we decided on Dream Cheeky's USB Missile Launcher.

The missiles shoot up to 10 feet using pressurized air, and the included software installs a control panel on your computer, allowing you to swivel the launcher 180 degrees and hit one button to shoot the missiles.

It would be nice for the aim-challenged among us to have more than three projectiles included, but the software also sports a missile target, so at least you can practice by shooting at the computer. Not to worry -- these are foam-tipped darts, so no co-workers -- or computers -- were actually harmed in the making of this gift guide.

If you've got some extra dollars to spare, you can get even geekier -- the US$40 USB Wireless Missile Launcher can be commanded up to 15 feet away from your computer using a USB controller, while the US$60 Webcam-equipped USB MSN Missile Launcher can be fired from anywhere on the Internet by anyone on your MSN Messenger buddy list.

Let the Great Cubicle War begin.

-- Johanna Ambrosio

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Computerworld Staff

Computerworld Staff

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