UPDATE: We have a new list for 2015 – 10 Geeky Gift Ideas for IT Techs!
If you’re anything like me, you’ve got those hard-to-buy-for folks on your Christmas list that take some extra shopping time on your part. Well if one of those people happens to be a computer repair technician or consultant, worry no longer!
I’ve compiled a list of some wonderfully cheap (under $100) and practical items that your cherished geek will adore! Each item includes a picture and title that link straight to Amazon, or similar online store, where you can order it.
If you are a computer tech, forward this post to your friends and loved ones to give them some good ideas. Happy Holidays and happy shopping!
Super Tiny Thumb drives – This ridiculously small 8 gig thumb drive is the smallest sized drive with the biggest capacity that I’ve ever seen, and it’s ultra-cheap over at thinkgeek.com. Having a portable medium to carry data, software, and files from place to place is a necessity for computer techs. Thumb drives allow them to carry their stuff with them and transfer it to a computer at lightning speed. You never know what you’re going to run into at a customer’s computer and having all of your software tools available in the palm of your hand is a must for any computer mechanic. This one can attach to your key chain so you don’t have to worry about loosing it in between the couch cushions!
Compressed Air – Compressed air in a can is a tech’s best friend. This tool is the only way to get the crumbs from the food you eat over your keyboard out from between the keys. It’s also a safe way to de-dust the inside of filthy desktop computers without risking damage to the motherboard and components.
External Hard Drive – Along the same lines as the thumb drive, an external hard drive offers the same value as well as a place to transfer large amounts of data. All computer techs that work on site at customer’s homes should carry one of these bad-boys with them. Since most people don’t back-up their own stuff, these drives come in handy as a way to temporarily store a customers data while you do something risky on their machine like trying to fix a boot partition or change registry settings.
PC Toolkit – Essential to any PC technician’s toolkit is….well…a PC technician’s tool kit. Like any tool set, the more pieces, the better. But make sure, at the very least, you buy a kit that includes a screw driver with a few different sized bits, needle nose pliers, and flash light. The 55-piece set in the picture is a good middle-of-the-road kit.
Ergonomic Stuff – Computer geeks are called such because they love computers and they normally spend way too much time in front of them. Help the geeks you love avoid carpel tunnel syndrome by buying them an ergonomically designed chair, keyboard, mouse, or back scratcher?
Wireless Stuff – One thing I’ve come to loath as I work with computer equipment is wires. Wires are ugly, messy, and they always get caught in stuff. That’s why I try to make my personal workspace as wireless as possible, and I’m sure your tech loved one will appreciate your help in
KableFlags(Computer Cables Pack) – Not everything can be wireless, however, and in places where wires become jumbled and tangled, these labels can save a lot of headaches. The ones in the picture come with pre-printed computer-centric labels that can be applied to the opposite end of a cable so you know from where it originated without the need to do the cable-follow shuffle.
Laptop Backpack – Convenient way to carry around a laptop. I’m a big fan of the Targus brand, which is what is pictured. They come with plenty of extra computer-gear ready pockets, straps, and even thermal lined pouches to keep food cold or warm. Keep a hanky next to your tree because your tech will drool over a good one of these!
Laptop Privacy Filter – Checking email on my laptop at the local Starbucks in-between clients is a regular occurrence. Slap this baby on the monitor and the only person able to see what’s on the screen is the person sitting directly in front of the monitor. Great way to look-up customer information without making it available to prying coffee addicts!
Got anything you’d like to add to the list? What are some of the coolest things you’ve received in past Christmases?