My Top 5 geek gift picks for Christmas 2010

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In my Sys Admin Tips for December each year I always pick the silliest technology gifts.  I think it is time to get serious too.  I always mentally start making this list but never published it.  Let the tradition begin:

  • Flip cameras - they were still a bit in the infancy before and a few geeks had them.  Now they are becoming mainstream and every kid, grandparent and parent that wants to capture every moment should get their hands on one.  With the point and click recording and easy sharing, why not have one.  For those at conferences, how better to get the blackmail material you so desire? Sony, Kodak and more are getting into the game letting you know it is an emerging market.  The leader is still Flip Video in my eyes with a ton of models
  • Ebook readers - now this is something I have personally owned for like 10 years and still use constantly.  The same device even.  I started with the RCA Ebook, which used to have it's own store and more.  But it was way ahead of the time and delivery is via sync, still like many of today.  Sony and some others are coming on full steam with readers and agreements with online bookstores, like the Barnes & Noble or the world.  I can't see why we pay full printing costs (meaning reduce the price to eliminate what is paid to the paper supply instead of inflating your profits more) and it would only increase sales in my opinion.  The leader is still the Kindle for the wireless buying power and scheduled daily delivery, but look for more offering this soon enough.  If you are an avid reader, the eInk technology is amazing and you get used to the 1 second delay or so as you turn pages rather quickly.
  • Plantronics Calisto Pro headset - holy crap.  This thing rocks from firsthand knowledge.  One bluetooth enabled set to handle VoIP, landline and cellular phones, all at once.  There is a handset and headset (earpiece).  Have a call on your cell, click to answer, a call comes in over Skype while on the phone, just click over.  All integrated at one time.  Try that with your current bluetooth.  It uses DECT 6 so there is no competition or interference with wifi in the house like many 2.5 Ghz systems too.  I love this thing!!!
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  • Pokens and more Pokens - yes I have spoken about them and the impact they can have.  They seem to be the current leader in the space, with some other upcoming contenders, like HelloMyNameIsE.  This takes business cards and social interaction to a new level at events when people have these.  Instead of trading a card with limited space and no living information, you exchange information that can then be tagged, receive updates, show multiple addresses, emails, phone numbers and social networks that the person can be found on.  I create a tag for each conference and assign it to everyone I meet there.  Searching for contacts then goes beyond trying to remember or searching alphabetically.  I can then see their recent updates on networks and a sliding timeline, with picture (if they include this option).  It is a one time purchase that can have multiple business cards created.  So for one event you are your company, another you are your social interaction information.  Heck, want to keep up with the family?  Grab a bunch of these, create a "private" card with home information and take them to the family reunion.  If you do not want the fun little characters, there is a business Poken Pulse and custom ones that can be done as giveaways.
  • Motorola Droid - you know it had to be in there.  This is the newest gadget for the geek to show off to his friends.  While you need to consider where they have their phone plans already (as in don't get it if they are not on the right network or changing soon) this is one heck of a geeky gift.  Even accessories are being made by tons of vendors.  Applications are coming out of the woodwork and even some iPhone developers said they are tired of the AppStore and are heading to Droid.  It is a big blow to those that don't want to be locked down and the geek will love you for this.