This article reprinted courtesy of Computer Geeks.
By Roy Davis
Let’s put aside hard-core blogging with HTML and talk of the intricacies of Pentiums and Athlons to talk about something more fun. Gadgets! All geeks like gadgets. Even Bill Gates has a multimillion-dollar house full of gadgets that he and his wife love to show off when they entertain.
With Valentine’s Day coming soon, we don’t have to spend that kind of money to show someone we care. And we don’t have to stick to gadgets only a geek would love. There are plenty of goodies that a geek could give to someone who doesn’t even like computers. It doesn’t matter if it’s Valentine’s Day or the anniversary of your first kiss, a personal gift is something special.
1. Photos Close to the Heart
The old fashioned way to get your loved one to carry your picture was to give him or her a locket to wear on a chain around their neck. The photo would be tiny. About all you could fit in would be a close-up of your face.
A modern girl might not go for the chain around the neck thing, but always carries another kind of chain – a key chain. How about combining a key chain with a digital photo viewer?
Well, Geeks.com is right there with the latest gadget, the My Photo Digital Photo Frame Key Chain and it’s not going to break the bank. This gadget has a full one inch screen, like going from an old TV to a wide-screen when compared to a locket. Also, the locket carried one or maybe two tiny photos. The Digital Photo Frame shows up to 26 digital photographs.
Sit down at your computer with your photo editor and comb through your collection of digital pictures for those special ones that bring you closer together. Do some tight cropping to maximize the detail. Hook up the USB cable to your computer and download the photo files to the digital viewer. Now, you have a personalized gift that goes far beyond a box of chocolates.
2. Signpost to Your Heart
If your loved one is young or young at heart, you can deliver your love note on something they could wear. Sure, you could buy a custom printed tee shirt with a message professing your love, but you only get one shot at it. Plus, your loved one wouldn’t want to wear it more than about once a week.
For geeks, there is a better solution, one that can be worn every day and still look hip. It’s a Programmable Scrolling LED Chrome Belt Buckle that would look great with jeans or even a belted skirt. The bright blue LEDs make the message readable in any light.
With six different messages available, you will have lots more to say. Each message can be up to 256 characters so you would have plenty of room for, “Roses are red, Violets are blue, I got this buckle at Geeks, To show I love you.” Use your geek skills to program in the messages with the on-board buttons.
3. Dreaming of You
If you want to be more subtle than a bright, gleaming, scrolling sign, but show your love that you are dreaming of them and care about their health, how about a Mist of Dreams Table Lamp with relaxing blue LED illumination?
The lamp sits on a desk or near a workspace and generates a mist of moisture that replaces the humidity robbed by indoor winter heating. The anions produced in the process promote health – and it looks cool, too. Your sweetie will be left with their chin in their palm watching the mist boil out of the dream lamp and thinking of how special you are to think of such a gadget.
4. Your Burning Desire
What is more romantic than an evening surrounded by the glow of candles? Maybe you cook a special meal, put some soft tunes to play on the computer sound system and turn out all the lights. Then, light up some candles and enjoy the warm atmosphere.
Real candles can be a problem. Dorm rules may preclude them. Having lots of drapes and burning candles would not be a good idea. Geeks has a totally safe alternative, the LED Candle that includes its own plastic cup to spread the light.
Since an LED generates the glow, there is no flame and almost no heat, so even if one of these gets knocked over, you don’t have to worry about starting a fire, except maybe in your lover’s heart. And to be a true geek, analyze the operating cost and you will find that the batteries to run the LED Candle are cheaper than burning real candles!
5. Give Something to Remember You By
What if your loved one is past the wearing jeans with flashing messages stage, (say like a grandmother), but you still want to send a personalized message? How about making a video of you and your family to send off to grandma? She might not even have a computer to play it on, but no matter because you can get her a DVD player to plug into her television.
I’m sure grandmother has a library of old soap operas on video cassette, so you don’t want to cut them off. How about a combination DVD player and VHS player in one unit? The Progressive Scan DVD+VCR Combo is just the thing. This deck will even play music CDs including MP3 and WMA. If you are not up to directing a video production, put your still photos on a CD-R and grandma can watch them on her television using this gadget.
6. That’s Not All That’s Burning
Then, to make the DVD itself, you need a DVD burner to install in your computer. The LG Double Layer 16X DVD+/-RW Drive with LightScribe is the perfect addition to your computer to make personalized gifts. First, it can make single or dual layer DVDs so you can use inexpensive media for short subjects or capture full definition feature length movies if you want.
The really cool feature of this gadget is that with LightScribe DVD Media, you can produce professional looking DVD labels that are burned right into the top surface of the disc. After recording the video portion of the DVD, you flip the disc over and put it back in the LightScribe-enabled drive. With free software that you can download from the Web, you can wrap custom text around the hub of the DVD using any font on your computer. There are stock background images available, but for a truly personalized gift, use one of your own photos cropped to fit on the disk surface. The preview will help you adjust the image to fit just the way you want.
7. Take a Romantic Trip
I’m taking my wife to La Paz for Carnival this year. It’s like Mardi Gras only more intimate and up-close in Baja California. We’ll have a seaside hotel right in the middle of the action for the price of a Motel 8 State-side. Of course, Geeks.com has all sorts of geeky gadgets that make travel more enjoyable. They didn’t pass up on the basics: an Overland Travel Duffle Wheeler so you can lug your stuff while still holding hands with your “significant other.”
The Duffle Wheeler has lots of room in several zippered compartments for clothes, swimsuits or whatever you take on a romantic mini-vacation. The handle telescopes so you can walk comfortably upright and the Duffle Wheeler moves smoothly due to the in-line skate wheels. It has a mesh pocket on the outside so you can keep your MP3 player handy for the trip. The feature I like over a standard suitcase is that the duffle collapses so you can slip it under a bed for storage instead of taking up valuable closet space.
8. Share the Love Songs
I mentioned taking an MP3 player along on your romantic trip. It wouldn’t be very romantic with you sitting there blasting some rock tunes while your honey listens to the lout sitting in the next seat. Share your tunes with a Logitech Playgear Share Audio Splitter that is compatible with most digital music players with a 1/8 inch (3.5 mm) jack.
Of course, to do that you need a pair of headphones, so why not get a matching set of Altec Lansing AHP 512 Headphones to share for about the same price as a dozen roses at the supermarket. The larger ear cups with soft padding will help keep out the noise of the airliner – and that person trying to hit on your travel partner while you listen to tunes to get you in the mood for when you arrive. The drivers use a powerful Neodymium magnet for more efficiency so your MP3 player can power two headsets loud enough to overcome airplane noise.
Think about what the people you love enjoy and how the gift of a geeky gadget can fit into their lifestyle. Many geeky gadgets can be customized to make them truly personal, and some Geek gifts can even be shared so you too can enjoy the benefits of your high-tech shopping.