Slideshow

2008 geek gadget gift guide

10 Christmas gift ideas for the true techie

  • EVGA GTX 200 Waterblock: The hottest graphics cards are literally hot. The 500 watts of power that such cards as the GeForce GTX 280 require can overheat and shut down your PC. The answer is a waterblock, and EVGA's GTX 200 for its GeForce 260 and 280 cards does the trick, combining copper and water cooling.

  • Cathode Corner Nixie Watch: The tech industry has a rich history, with emblematic devices for each era. In the 1960s, vacuum tubes were the thing. Today, Cathode Corner offers a custom-made wristwatch that uses this early Space Age technology to show the time. As a retro accessory, it's hard to beat.

  • MvixUSA MvixBox: Geeks and home theaters are a natural combination, especially when they can throw a PC in the mix. The MvixBox is a Linux server that works not only as a media server for video and music, but also as an Apache server with FTP and HTTP support, so you can manage it via a browser and even use it as a Web server.

  • Sky Factory SkyV: Do you spend too much time in the dark? Is your workplace or home office deprived of natural light and a view of the real world? Sky Factory's SkyV transforms your work space by displaying natural scenes and sunlight-equivalent lighting that track the time of day and seasons. Now you won't feel like a mole.

  • Apple Time Capsule: With computers scattered everywhere, it's hard to keep them all backed up. Apple's Time Capsule does double duty as a wireless router and backup drive, solving the backup problem (even for PCs) using a device you need anyhow for connectivity. It also lets you print wirelessly.

  • Eye-Fi Explore: Uploading your photos for friends and family to share your trip or vacation experiences is a ritual for many, but you have to wait till you're back at your PC -- until now. The Eye-Fi Explore is an SD card (which means it'll work with many cameras) with a Wi-Fi transmitter, so you can upload your photos right from the camera if you're near a hotspot. It's instant gratification.

  • 4th Motion Gyroxus Game Chair: No matter how much the game moves, you sit still. But not if you have the Gyroxus Full-Motion Game Chair. As you move your body while controlling the game, the chair amplifies your actions, so the next time you're flying in space or weaving in and out of traffic, it will feel real. You can even buy skins to customize its appearance for the games you love.

  • A real geek already has the obvious toys, such as an iPhone, Xbox, or GPS navigator. So what's really special this year for the techie in your life? Our band of mad scientists -- a motley crew of software, networking, datacenter, and hardware experts -- offer their recommendations of what they lust after ... and know that other true geeks do, too.

  • SRS Labs iWow for iPod Adapter: The iPod is quickly becoming the modern stereo, but its digitized files often lack the nuance of the original recordings. SRS Labs' iWow for iPod Adapter plugs into the iPod's bottom 30-pin connector and restores the audio cues so that music and video files sound more as intended. That's music to our ears.

  • Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico: Forget anti-virus software that bogs down your PC. Instead, check out this Linux-based minicomputer that -- get this -- runs a baker's dozen of security apps, from anti-virus to stateful packet inspection, all from a USB token. And because the Pico boots from Linux, it's not susceptible to the usual PC malware.

  • Botanicalls DIY Plant Twitter Kit: Your houseplants can Twitter you when they're thirsty. Seriously. With these kits, you build the sensors, connect them to your router via Ethernet, and program the alert thresholds that generate the Twitter messages. It's an electronics kit for the green-thumb tech crowd.

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