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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ThinkGeek is proud of its invention. Straight from the Web site: "Finally you can get the attention you deserve as others bow to you as their reverential Wi-Fi god, while geeky chicks swoon at your presence. You can thank us later."

Uh huh, sure. I wouldn't advise canceling your Match.com or eHarmony account just yet.

The three AAA batteries are not included. The animated decal, along with the batteries, can and should be removed for laundering -- if someone who would wear one of these things would actually wash clothes.

-- David Ramel

Wi-Fi Detector Shirt from ThinkGeek Inc.

Price: $29.99  |  Phone: 888-GEEKSTUFF

Summary: Apparel for the true geek, this T-shirt lets you know when you can pick up that necessary wireless signal.


Computers are considered tools rather than toys, but those of us who are into tech still appreciate a truly cool piece of engineering. Whether it's the latest top-of-the-line, no-holds-barred Apple Mac Pro or the smallest ultramobile PC that can run Windows Vista, there's somebody on your gift list who wants one. And if they're stuck with a legacy machine, an inexpensive Bluetooth adapter might be just the thing.

On a Budget: Iogear Bluetooth 2.0 USB Micro Adapter

If you want to give a gift that there's a higher-than-average chance the giftee won't have, wrap up an Iogear Bluetooth 2.0 USB Micro Adapter.

It is surprising, given how widespread Bluetooth has become, to realize how few PCs and laptops are Bluetooth-equipped. The Iogear gizmo makes it easy to remedy that omission. It's a lima-bean-size bump on the end of a USB connector.

Click here to see Geek Gift Guide slide show.

Your giftee can stick it into a USB port, install its software and connect to Bluetooth headsets for VoIP applications like Skype. It's also handy for stereo headphones (how many times have you caught your media player's earbud cord in your coat zipper?), Bluetooth printers and other peripherals.

The Micro Adapter is a Bluetooth 2.0 device that works with both PCs and older Bluetooth-less Macs, and has a range of 30 feet. It's under $20. Buy two, and give your old laptop Bluetooth as well.

-- David DeJean

Bluetooth 2.0 USB Micro Adapter from Iogear Inc.

Street price: $16 - $28  |  Tech specs  |  Store locator

Phone: 866-946-4327

Summary: An inexpensive and convenient way to add Bluetooth to your portable and not-so-portable devices.

Over the Top: Apple Mac Pro

Sometimes it's not the thought that counts, it's the price tag. And though prices of desktop computers have dropped to practically nothing lately, if you really want to make an impression, you can still manage to spend the kind of money that would turn heads even at an AIG sales meeting.

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