Last Minute Gifts for True Geeks

What Geek wouldn't love to have a squirming USB-powered tentacle plugged into his or her laptop? Photo credit: Rene Walker. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0

What Geek wouldn’t love to have a squirming USB-powered tentacle plugged into his or her laptop? Order one for your very own Geek at the link below.
Photo credit: Rene Walker. Creative Commons License

Sometimes a blogger’s hand is forced and he has to put out a certain post. I had been thinking out loud for the past couple of weeks that I ought to post a True Geek’s gift guide as a response to all the tech gift guides that hit the web this time of year. The real geeks in our office ignore these lists of Blu-ray players and smartphones in favor of much more esoteric or just plain weird stuff. In response to my mutters, my colleague Jason Wan IM’ed me a link to a Bluetooth glove at ThinkGeek (unfortunately currently out of stock). Now I was starting to feel committed to write the post. Not long after, my colleague Tad Williams (there is no truer Geek than Tad), emailed me a list of 11 Geek gift items. Now I absolutely felt obligated to write the story. After all, one must never look a Geek horse in the mouth. Without further ado, here is our list of True Geek gift ideas for the 2012 holiday season. I added some Arduino and quadcopter items to the end of the list because any True Geek gets weak in the knees just thinking about these items.

Go ahead, make the Geeks in your life happy!

If you have suggestions for additional Geek gifts, please post them in the comments section. We left it wide open–we didn’t even list any 3D printers for example.

Acknowledgment: much of the commentary below comes straight from Tad.

USB tentacle (and in general just about anything from ThinkGeek).


Radio control inflatable flying shark (all this needs is a laser on its head to make Dr. Evil happy).

Everyone needs a radio-controlled flying shark!Photo credit: angus McIntyre. License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0

Everyone needs a radio-controlled flying shark!
Photo credit: Angus McIntyre. Creative Commons License

USB wall outlet. Why dedicate a scarce AC outlet to a wall wart?


Camp Stove/USB charger. This one is a bit spendy, but really cool for outdoor geeks who want to take their tech with them. Who can’t help but be impressed by a camp stove that burns pine cones to produce a hot meal and 5 volts of regulated DC power through a USB port?


Gorillatorch Tripod Flashlight.

Game controllers for smart phones (for gamers who are always on the go).


iPhone powered personal fan.

Touch screen gloves.

Parrot 2.0 AR Drone Quadricopter. Sends video back to your phone or tablet.

iPhone movie projector (not sure how good this really is).

Pressure sensitive stylus for tablets.


Book: Programming Arduino Getting Started with Sketches. Arduino is an open source microcontroller that has taken the Maker community by storm. Every True Geek wants one.

Arduino open-source microcontrollers arevery popular with the Maker community.Photo Credit: DustyDingo

Arduino open-source microcontrollers are very popular with the Maker community.
Photo Credit: DustyDingo

Arduino Cookbook. Another source of Arduino code.

SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for Arduino – SparkFun Electronics. All the hardware you need to get started with Arduino projects.


This kit includes everything you need for a roboto quadroter except a radio (next item).Photo Credit: Kencf0618

The kit on the left includes everything you need for a robot quadrotor similar to this one (except for a radio, which is the final item).
Photo Credit: Kencf0618

AeroQuad Typhoon ARF Kit. All the parts (other than the radio) that you need to complete the ultimate Arduino project: a flying quadcopter robot.

Turnigy 9X 9Ch Transmitter w/ Module & 8ch Receiver. Radio for the previous item.


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