2008 Geek Gift Guide: 18 Toys to Make a Techie Happy

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

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D4 ultramobile PC from Willcom Inc.

Street price: $1,399  |  Tech specs

Summary: If you're one of the 10 or so Vista fans around, here's the ultramobile PC for you.

Office gifts

You want to be popular at work, don't you? Well, here are some ways to accomplish that laudable end. You can give your bored cubicle buddies something to do with their fingers besides drum them on their desks, and you can provide them with a way to work off all that excess hostility.

And if you really, really want to impress one of your favorite colleagues, we've got a way to do it -- although you'll probably need a loan to get it.

On a Budget: Finger Drum Mousepad

Are you itching to become the next Ginger Baker? Get set to roll -- the Finger Drum Mousepad from Hammacher Schlemmer lets you play eight different percussion sounds: bass, snare, two rack toms, a floor tom, hi-hat, crash and ride cymbals. All using just your fingers.

Click here to view Geek Gift Guide slide show.

But wait -- there's more. A connection for your MP3 player allows you to put drum tracks over any song in your digital music library, and you can record up to 30 of your own creations to accompany, say, your favorite B.B. King or polka album. The mouse pad even sports separate volume and tempo controls. And if you, or your intended recipient, work in a cubicle, don't fret -- the mouse pad kindly includes a headphone jack.

With all these features, it seems a great waste of time and effort, not to mention musically shameful, to use this mouse pad with an actual mouse to do actual work. Unless, of course, your spreadsheet turns out to have a great beat.

-- Johanna Ambrosio

The Finger Drum Mousepad from Hammacher Schlemmer & Co.

Street price: $39.95  |  Phone: 800-321-1484

Summary: The Finger Drum Mousepad lets you make music by tapping your fingers.

Over the Top: Diamond Flower mouse

There are very few people who are into bling to this degree (except, as a colleague of mine cracked, perhaps one of the athletes who's wearing a 2008 Celtics championship ring).

The $23,250 Diamond Flower mouse from Pat Says Now is available in 18-carat white or yellow gold and has 59 diamonds set in the shape of a flower.

Click here to view Geek Gift Guide slide show.

If flowers are too girly, you can order the diamonds in other configurations. The mouse's maker promises that they're politically correct gemstones, too; in other words, they're not "conflict diamonds" that come from countries sanctioned by the United Nations. What a relief!

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