It is always tough to find nice gifts for the holidays that your geek friends will appreciate. Even if you would like to buy something special this Christmas, just for yourself, we will help you choose. Jon Campbell has put together a list of… geek-oriented devices and softare to make your life easier when choosing gifts. Inside you will find which PC game, gaming console, software, mp3 player etc you could buy for the holidays.
Over the course of the year I try out a lot of new games. Max Payne is a game unlike any other (review here). It’s half a movie and half a game. Max Payne has a great storyline based upon you, Max Payne, being framed for a crime you never committed. This game isn’t one of those games that are all happy and bright. The painted style storyboard fits seamlessly into the gameplay and keeps you involved in the game as you go along. The graphics and audio on max payne are top notch, especially the bullet time effects. Bullet time is a mode that allows Max to slow down time and dodge bullets, like on the matrix and other movies. When in bullet time everything slows down and you have time to make the moves that can save your life. Max uses painkillers to heal his wounds and also uses a huge arsenal of weapons throughout the game including sniper rifles, grenades, shotguns, and your standard pistols. Max Paynes only weakness is its lack of multiplayer support and below average game length. Average Price: $50 US.
There’s a lot of controversy going around as to what gaming console deserves your hard earned cash this holiday season. I’ve chosen the Xbox as the system of choice for many reasons. First off these holiday gift ideas are for geeks and most people who oppose the xbox say it’s just a computer and only geeks will buy it. The xbox has a 733 Mhz Intel processor, built in Ethernet port, built in 8 gig hard drive, front loading DVD drive, high quality surround sound, HDTV support and more. Some of the top games for the Xbox are Halo, Dead or Alive3, Tony Hawk 2x, and NFL Fever 2002. Some people claim the controllers too large and bulky. I am a large handed guy and it fit my hands perfectly, but if you have problems with it there is other 3rd party controllers available. Average Price: $300 US.
You may not like Micro$oft or Windoze but the majority of you still use Windows to get on the net and for everyday use. Windows XP offers better stability and performance for windows 95/98/Me users, and better compatibility and ease of use to Windows NT/2k users. The Windows XP Styles allow you to change the way your windows XP looks, from the start button, to the taskbar, to the close button on your web browser. The new folder views give you easy access to common tasks for whatever filetypes are in your folder. When your in you’re My Pictures folder it can show the pictures in thumbnail view, when your in you’re My Music folder it offers you the option to play your songs, look for music online, and more. Windows XP has great hardware installation improvements over windows 95/98 and NT/2k. I hooked up a digital camera to my USB port and 20 seconds later, without using a driver disk, I was moving pictures to my computer. If your going to be using a Microsoft OS why not have the latest, easiest to use, and least buggy version available? Prices vary depending on what version and license you require.
Apple has created another masterpiece of design, the Apple iPod (more here). It’s easy on the ears and the eyes. It’s functionality and ease of use make it worth the price. The Apple iPod is not revolutionary or world changing, it just utilizes modern technology to create an excellent media player. The iPod is the first mp3 player to automatically syncs to your jukebox software (iTunes), has a 5 gig hard drive, and a firewire connection for extremely faster transfer of music files. It only takes 10 minutes to transfer 5 gigabytes of songs to the iPod a task that would take 5 hours on a USB connection. The iPods downfall is its lack of compatibility with windows and linux operating systems. Steve Jobs stated that the iPod will be made usable on Windows (and probably Linux) down the road, we just don’t know when. With the iPod you can hold, as the commercials say, “a thousand songs in your pocket.” Price: around $400 US at most retailers.
HP DVD-Writer DVD100i drive
This new drive from HP can act as a CD-Rom drive, a CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, and DVD+RW (more here). So you can play/run cds, record to CD’s, Rerecord to CD-RW’s, Record DVD’s, and Record ReWritable DVD’s. That’s a lot of functionality for one drive. It burns at 2.4x (close to 3.2MB per second), which is faster than most DVD Writers out there. There isn’t many DVD writers out there yet, especially at this price, and with this functionality. Included with the drive is Cyberlink PowerDVD, one of the most popular software DVD players on the market. Recommended system requirements: Pentium III, with 128 megabytes of RAM, Windows 98/NT or newer. Average Price: $500 US.
PC60 All Aluminum Computer Case
This case (Lian Li’s PC60 case) is for hardcore geeks. It’s for people that want a nice looking case or are into modding their PC. This case is excellent for over clocking, and high end CPU’s that produce a lot of heat because the aluminum case conducts heat out of the box 3 times faster than your standard steel case. This case can fit many different sizes of motherboards and won’t be obsolete when you purchase a new computer; you just put your new computer into your PC60 case. The case has thumbscrews so it requires no tools for maintenance. The case comes with fans built in, and the front fans can operate at variable speeds (turn them down to reduce the noise level). The motherboard tray slides all the way out the back of the case for easy upgrades and repairs. There is an optional Window Kit available so you can check out the inside of your PC anytime. Price without the window kit: $194.99 US
About the Author
Jon Campbell is web designer and graphic artist at www.bluekeydesign.com and a reporter for www.nexgear.com. Currently Jon uses Windows XP in combination with the sharpE shell. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The majority of us use Windows XP for getting on the ‘net & everyday use? Really?
No one I know uses it. Where does this “fact” come from?
The author probably meant (if everyone already had XP, the author would not propose XP as a gift in the first place):
“majority of you use Windows” and not “Windows XP”.
It is true that Microsoft has, give or take, ~90% of the desktop market, so as long you replace the word ‘WindowsXP’ with ‘Windows’ in the above context, the author is right.
lol ya, can you fix that for me Eugenia?
how many geeks want 1/3 of their christmas presents to support microsoft and their evil conquest of the world? not me
gates is the government. gates is more powerful than the government. all hail president gates.
1. Console: Interesting that you made a religious choice, and yet didn’t really justify it. I think it would be safer to recommend the Xbox, or the Gamecube, and let ppl choose their own poison. Of course, you can have your own preference, but your recommending something, and ppl may take you seriously
2. “the majority of you still use windows XP to get on the net and for everyday use.” on that note, i think it would be interesting to get some stats on what OSes ppl who read osnews use. maybe eugenia can post those. but some of the linux-mozilla’s in the freebsd column for me.
3. HP DVD-Writer DVD100i drive: this drive actually supports dvd+rw, not dvd-rw (yeah, these fools can’t come up with more differentiated names). again here you’re making a choice and not really explaining it. why choose dvd+rw over other dvd formats?
4. PC60 Case: you should give Lian Li credit for their case; it’s a Lian Li PC60 case.
I write all this in [constructive mode], i don’t mean to be dick.
2. “the majority of you still use windows XP to get on the net and for everyday use.” on that note…
Please read the already posted comments before posting any new comment. This was just a mistake of the author which has been corrected since. It is discussed in the first 4 comments.
> maybe eugenia can post those.
http://22.214.171.124/2/42699/400/?sub_page=9&date=0&extra_id=0&extr… for today’s OSNews. Most of our readers are actually surfing with versions of Windows.
Individual web http://126.96.36.199/2/42699/6/“>page (per day) so far (11,000 page views so far, 22,000 estimated for today).
To elaborate a bit more on the OSNews statistics: While most of our readers are alternativeOS-friendly, are actually surfing over here and use extensively, Windows. No matter if a vast majority of these readers actually whine about Windows all the time in our forums, they do come here with Windows.
And that reminds me another Greek saying:
“Spank me, no matter if I cry!”
There was a time when OSNews.com was about alternative computing. I see a LOT of Microsoft in there. Hmph.
I’m not impressed with this list of geek toys, either. In fact, I don’t really consider it a good list of geek toys at all. Why suggest XP and the iPod in the same xmas list? Unless you already have a Mac, the iPod won’t do you any good. A good list of geek toys would be things like a Dreamcast which is super cheap and has already been almost completely hacked open. Or a copy of OpenBSD 3.0! Or perhaps a good book on low-level OS programming. This list isn’t even as insightful as a bland ZDNet toys list. I suppose this would be a good gift list for the average tech-savvy consumer, or maybe someone who is a “poweruser”. But for real geeks? No way.
Real geeks are asking for real geek toys, like books and electronics and obscure pieces of software and hardware. This is nothing more than a wish list for the average BestBuy junkie.
Hmm, personally, I like the ps2 better than the xbox… i really don’t see why the xbox was picked, but whatever…
Overall, I enjoyed that article. I wished there was a PDA in the list of gift picks… it would be intersting to see which one is choosen. I really like the Top of the line Sony Clie… I want one of thoese!
One comment about the nexGear website, to doesn’t seem to work in Netscape 6.2! Arg!
> There was a time when OSNews.com was about alternative computing. I see a LOT of Microsoft in there. Hmph.
I think you are not very objective. You are most probably one of those readers who do not want to read anything Microsoft in the web sites they surf. The most news stories on OSNews is about Linux, in fact. You can count them on our archives if you want. Windows will have to get some of our news space on OSNews, naturally, because it serves 90% of the desktop computing. Not reporting on it, it would be a serious omission and it would contradict with the OSNews goal, which is to report on ALL OSes.
I will not go into more depth on the matter here, because http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=389“>we just 2 days ago. Just go over there and read about it.
Interesting statistics there, Eugenia … but “Dildo compatible” … wassat?
> Dildo compatible” … wassat?
I have no idea! 😮
I first noticed it some 2-3 months ago in our stats. It seems to be pretty popular. It may very well be something like Galleon or a modified Konqueror or something. But I don’t know more about this specific browser and OS string. I searched google some days ago about it, but I did not find anything to give me a clue what it is.
If you check the details, you’ll see it reporting “Mozilla on Dildo Compatible”
I wonder if that’s in the CVS tree yet?
Eugenia – thanx for clearing up the XP thing. I believe it was a mistake, although mistakes like that can really damage the credibility of one’s opinion. (Of course, that would be Jon’s, not yours – I did read the byline!)
I have a suspision, after talking to the person who runs our stats, that “Dildo Compatible” is actually either Netscape 3.01 on Windows 3.1 or Windows 3.11 or WindowsCE with Netscape 3.
No matter what, it seems that the Netscape employees were having some fun! 😮
And if the Windows3.1x is true (as opposed to WinCE), it is amazing that are still users with Windows 3.1x visiting OSNews! :o)
that is not geek list, this is list for ordinary technology educated human.
the amateur radio station kit
the 2 HP 12 phase motor
the microcontroler kit
the 20$ amiga 1000 that you still miss in your collection
the gift certificate for Digikey product
I was wondering about the Dildo too… Wow, one person using the Amiga
Someone said stuff about a PDA, I recomend the http://www.psion.co.uk/revo“>Psion . Well, thats bound to start a religous war… Come on you WinCE and Palm users, I’ll take ya all on… 🙂
eak. Someone forgot to end the a, sorry
Also “Windows NT on Win2000”, thats an intersting browser/OS config
Is a q-drive! you know, thoese little usb keyring harddrives?
Except they are way too small and exensive! 70 dollars for 16 MBs?! Ouch. I heard somewhere that they wll be coming out with ones that have around a gigabyte soon… that would be awesome.
The Revo, eh? Intersting… i like the hardware, I jsut wish it ran the Palm OS! Heh.
I had a PDA catergory but then i would get into another religious war regarding Pocket PC’s and Palms. If i was choosing a Palm handheld it would be the Clie, and the for Pocket PC it would be a high end iPaq.
why run Palm OS, EPOC(SymbianOS) is much better. (The new Be-PalmOS might be ‘even better’ but it’s not out yet).
mlk (defending his <a href=”http://www.psionpress.com/gpress/releases/pr507018.asp“>dying&l… Psion).
Hmm… yeah good point. I agree with you about your picks for the PDAs, I liek them both alot!
I disagree, I like the PalmOS alot better, plus there are more apps for it…
the symbian/psion handhelds were nice, especially theyre small size for a handheld with a built in keyboard and large screen. But the os and handhelds are basically dead now. Palm’s other advantage over symbian OS is its compatability with macs.
Palm OS does have more apps true, but PalmOS is outdated(hence why they are buying Be), where as Symbian’s is not, if you are refuring to UI i’ve only really played with the Palm, but use a Revo daily and I like the Revo a lot more (with the exception of the tool bar which is just a big chunky waist of space, but you can turn it off in most apps).
Psion have pulled out of the PDA market(boo!), but the OS is alive and kicking, all the new funky Nokia’s, they are based on Symbain (the 9110 and the 7560), as are the Ericsons. Psion has moved away from the PDA market(boo again), to the PhoneOS market.
Psion has also release a new bit of hardware (alas it’s $1000+, and not a PDA)
As for Mac compatablity I belive Psion has it, plus it works on BeOS (fan based extra).
MY friend has a Psion Series 5 and he couldnt connect it to his mac. He got his new Titanium iBoook and he couldnt find any software anywhere to sync the two.
Hmm, yeah… I really like the key board. That was nice. There was an old PDA a long time ago that had the smae general shape as the Psion and actually ran dos! lol…
There is suppost to be a app called MacConnect (which I can’t find anything but updates for
But a Java solusion exists http://website.lineone.net/~john.montgomery/psionlink/index.html
we found macConnect also but couldnt find a place to buy it here in Canada, or even the US(if my memory serves me correctly).
I will take a look at that java site. Thanks,
Aside from my opinions, i mentioned that the HP DVD writer supports dvd+rw media (not dvd-rw) and that the PC60 case is by Lian Li. You might wanna fix these, as you did with the xp comment — which wasn’t even that important, i only wanted to know the usage stats.
If you’re considering a PDA, checkout an iPAQ running SavaJe XE. (No Windows CE inside!) SavaJe XE is a Java based OS running on small ARM based devices. The version of Java supported is 1.3.1. Not personal java, not Java ME but Java 2 SE. One of our beta testers was running JBoss. That’s a J2EE server on an iPAQ. That’s a geek toy! http://www.savaje.com
</blatant advertising> B-)
Here’s the rest of my geek toy list
I agree with the iPOD. It’s definitly geek, but I’d like a PowerBook Titanium to go with it.
A set of Titleist 990B golf clubs. (Not particularly geek, but hey, it’s my list.)
A nice telescope. It doesn’t matter what kind. Just a decent scope. (We have so much light pollution up here in the Boston area that really good scope would be a waste.)
Real net connectivity. (We live in a town without cable or DSL access. Every town around us has one or the other. Just not our town. Arrrggghh!!!!)
Analysis Patterns by Martin Fowler. It’s a book I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I just haven’t gotten around to it.
Galactic Astronomy and Galactic Dynamics. (Books.) I really like cosomolgy. I just wish I wasn’t such a math dummy so I could understand it a bit better. Hmmm… add in Stephen Hawking’s “Universe in a Nutshell” It’s a bit pricey. I’ll probably wait until it goes into the discount bin.
PlayStation. Not a PS/2. Just a plain ole’ PlayStation. The games are cheaper and I’m just looking for a toy to waste a few hours here and there. Gaming is one area where I’m not leading edge.
Maybe some throwing knives.
Oh, one last thing. The source to the BeOS so I can clean it up, release it, and keep it from disappearing completely. <sigh>
Never thought geeks would purchase such stuff! XP? XBox? Aluminum case? That ain’t no geek stuff at all! The only thing that is the IPod on the list.
Anyway, maybe I was looking more for hacker stuff than geek stuff.
i think it would be cool to have qnx on my ipaq (if i had one)
All geeks should be killed and wiped off the face of the earth. So i would get them some rope to go and hang themselves
For my list…
– a Crusoe-based laptop with 15-20 hrs of battery time, so I can run QNX.
– an iPaq, so I can run QNX.
– time off so I can do some coding.
– Lord of the Rings on DVD 🙂
– some more QNX stuff.
– a large collection of old Amigas and game consoles, along with a nice collection of games.
As for the games console, try a RealityStation.
> All geeks should be killed and wiped off the face of the earth. So i would get them some rope to go and hang themselves.
Haha… how old are you kid? 10, 11?
Your IP address shows that you are a kid browsing from a school (Brunswick School).
Brunswick school? isn’t that in connecticut? So… you parents are paying how much to send you to an expensive boys school so you can talk like a moron?
SavaJe XE looks pritty funky. But it’s a tad, err, big (12Mb for it + 32Mb to run). But can you buy a iPAQ without buying WinCE? Woo… Naked iPAQs, grrr. I’m tempted to pick up a cheep netbook from the local second hand shop thou. How to hide it from my g/f… Hmmm….
“To elaborate a bit more on the OSNews statistics: While most of our
readers are alternativeOS-friendly, are actually surfing over here and
use extensively, Windows. No matter if a vast majority of these
readers actually whine about Windows all the time in our forums, they
do come here with Windows.”
How do you know that?
I always browse with spoofing enabled, as so many sites check to see
if you are using IE. So how would you know that I am actually using
Voyager on Amiga?
If you look at the requirements for J2SE 1.3.1 on Windows. It needs 32 Megs to run anything. 48 if you run an applet in a browser. We’ve run small swing apps in as little as 12 Meg. In 32 meg you can run just about all the apps we ship, all at the same time, with reasonable performance. iPAQs come in 16, 32, and 64 meg sizes. We specify 32 since 16 is a bit tight.
We are talking with resellers so you should be able to buy an iPAQ with SavaJe XE instead of Windows CE eventually.
48Mb is still a lot of memory for a PDA, but hey, maybe I’m just old.
But woot, any iPAQ’s with keyboards and 128 Mb of RAM Hmm… Must go find JavaQuake…