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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I don't know of a computer or a monitor that wouldn't look pretty darn shabby next to this particular mouse. Then again, I probably just don't travel in those kinds of circles, small as they are. A spokesperson for the mouse's U.S. distributor said just seven of these have been sold worldwide in the five years they've been on the market.

For the less ostentatiously wealthy, or perhaps for the not-quite-as-deserving on your holiday list, this same outfit also sells unjeweled mice (for about $30) in other shapes, including a green brain, an American flag, a glow-in-the-dark ghost and a few other varieties that wouldn't be all that welcome in most work environments.

-- Johanna Ambrosio

Diamond Flower mouse from Pat Says Now GmbH & Co. KG

Price: $23,250 from Pat Says Now or Mousenvy.com

Tech specs  |  Phone: +49 (0)201-8619 206

Summary: If diamonds are a girl's best friend, then this diamond-decorated mouse should be a real hit with today's techies.

Off the Wall: USB Missile Launcher

It all started when Computerworld's Web development group -- with whom we editor types share office space -- all got the exact same Nerf guns. (Rumor has it that they all went out and bought the same model on their own dime -- this was not company-sponsored play.)

Call it Nerf envy, but they had been having so much darn fun that the editors felt it was time to bond, James Bond-style. So after some consultation, we decided on Dream Cheeky's USB Missile Launcher.

The missiles shoot up to 10 feet using pressurized air, and the included software installs a control panel on your computer, allowing you to swivel the launcher 180 degrees and hit one button to shoot the missiles.

Click here to view Geek Gift Guide slide show.

It would be nice for the aim-challenged among us to have more than three projectiles included, but the software also sports a missile target, so at least you can practice by shooting at the computer. Not to worry -- these are foam-tipped darts, so no co-workers -- or computers -- were actually harmed in the making of this gift guide.

If you've got some extra dollars to spare, you can get even geekier -- the $40 USB Wireless Missile Launcher can be commanded up to 15 feet away from your computer using a USB controller, while the $60 Webcam-equipped USB MSN Missile Launcher can be fired from anywhere on the Internet by anyone on your MSN Messenger buddy list.

Let the Great Cubicle War begin.

-- Johanna Ambrosio

USB Missile Launcher from Dream Cheeky

Price: $12.99-$30.00

Summary: Go on the attack -- and improve your aim -- with the USB Missile Launcher.

This story, "2008 Geek Gift Guide: 18 Toys to Make a Techie Happy" was originally published by Computerworld.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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