back to article HOLD IT! Last minute gifts for one's nerd minions

It's that time of year again. You have to go forth and buy things for your gaggle of nerdly minions, but you've no idea what they want. In the rare instances they emerge from their caves they mostly spend the time alternating between heartfelt invocations about "the burning painball in the sky" and a lack of caffeine. Social …

  1. bdam
    Happy

    CozyBot - it's not just for Christmas, its for all Android fans ;-)

    Mention others in the comments? Okey dokey - CozyBot is the desktop phone holder every Android fan needs, for the price of a Big Mac meal. Get it here.

  2. mikie

    coffee in the UK

    HR Higgins (www.hrhiggins.co.uk) are excellent purveyors of the sacred bean in the UK

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: coffee in the UK

      Upvoted as anyone recommending coffee beans of calibre deserves it...but at those prices I think I will carry on 'slumming' it with ravecoffee....

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: coffee in the UK

      @mikie

      Is that Higgins in New Bond St?

      I used to buy my coffee from them donkeys' years ago, when I was young, single and probably more of an IT trainer than I was a teacher. It was a regular part of my life, and indeed, I guess part of the equation that sees IT linked with coffee.

      These days, a generation along, I get my coffee from Martyns in Muswell Hill.

      They still roast their own beans.

      Failing that, for anyone round the centre or North of London there's still the Ethiopian coffee roaster in Camden Town. (Parkway). Not a wide range of coffees, but all really good. It's coffee roasting as art.The guy roasts his beans by trusting his experience in his tiny shop on a real Heath Robinson bit of a kit that has probably scared the health and safety types away.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: coffee in the UK

        I import mine direct from Peru.

        May have to try some of those London-based places once I run out of this batch.

  3. Bob Wheeler
    Joke

    The window for acceptable outages starts now ....

    AKA 9am on a Monday....

  4. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Demotivators

    I will be hanging up my new Despair, Inc. demotivational calendar for next year soon, the same as I have for the last 4 years. It has become enough of an icon that people detour from their day just to see what passive-agressive message each new month brings. I do love the expression on the smarmier people's faces when they start reading it thinking it is inspirational, then discover the real message.

    As a side note, that Remote Desktop Manager software looks great, but at $999 for the AD-enabled version they'd be laughing themselves to death if I expressed interest in purchasing it for our dept.

    1. jglathe

      Re: Demotivators

      If that works, it's a sure way for promotion.

  5. Vince
    WTF?

    For the record, I have a Yoga Pro 2 and it is indeed the best thing. But not since the Start Menu was reintroduced. I wish it stayed gone. I don't need it, I certainly don't miss it and I don't get it.

    1. Flatpackhamster

      I don't understand all the downvotes.

      The Lenovo Yoga was the device that convinced me that Windows 8 could actually be good. Fast, portable, small, good touch-sensitive screen and it has been amazingly popular for my retired customers who still need a keyboard.

      But since the start menu was reintroduced you don't have that tile screen immediately to hand and it's a bit of a shame. I prefer having a start menu on my desktop but the Win8 tiles worked brilliantly for the Yoga and, I imagine, any 11"-or-thereabouts-touchscreen device.

      One of Microsoft's biggest errors was not making sure all of Win8 was touch-compatible. How are you supposed to use the control panel, for example, on an 11" touchscreen? It's too fiddly. A huge oversight on their part not to make sure their whole system was able to work with their new interface, and no doubt contributed to the justifiable crossness that killed Win8.

  6. Annihilator

    "believe it or not it's noticeably faster than my USB 2 Thermaltake coaster toasters"

    No trouble believing that at all. My USB 2 coaster toast topped out around 20MB/s which made for a painful backup process.

  7. squigbobble

    No Kleinsteins?

    For maximum crockery nerdage. The graduations on them are the best bit.

  8. Peter Simpson 1
    Holmes

    Keurig

    Not that I'm a fan of DRM, but the Keurig 2.0 cups are optically sensed, not RFID. And defeating it is easy-peasy, as a Google search will reveal.

    Disclaimer: the wife loves hers, but her Nespresso seems to be her preferred machine, lately

    1. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Keurig

      Blimey. How good is that Keurig machine that it's worth hacking the bloody thing in order to use your preferred coffee in it? I mean it looks nice but, seriously, people are actually doing this in order to use their coffee machine. There's got to be something special about it.

      1. Peter Simpson 1
        Thumb Up

        Re: Keurig

        Good means different things to different people. You get passable coffee out of it at the push of a button and avoid all the prep and clean up work. My wife's a teacher, so this is how she jump-starts her morning at 6 AM.

        So, for her, good is defined as convenience. One cup of coffee, no muss, no fuss. I completely agree that there are better ways (environmentally, costwise and qualitywise) to make coffee.

        Oh, and the hack is essentially cutting the top off a used DRM k-cup and taping it to the top of your preferred non-k-cup. Not much effort required. And if you have some favorite coffee that hasn't paid Keurig's tax, you can still enjoy it. I tried it just to verify that it worked, which it does.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: Keurig

          @ Peter Simpson 1, You can alternatively tape a small piece of the certified k-cup where the sensor is for a more permanent fix. Before the patent ran out on the k-cup I wondered if they would go this route to keep their margins and I expect they'll soon introduce a second tag designed to work only in 'commercial' applications for workplaces who don't want their employees nicking a free cup or six to use at home.

        2. Keven E.

          Re: Keurig

          Yeah... just barely passable. Even still, the darkest roasts available only release so much flavor in the limited time the grounds in a Keurig are exposed to H20.

          ********

          Speaking of time, the Yoga3 battery life has a bit to be desired, even if I'd never recommend leaving home without the charger for any piece of kit.

          1. skeptical i
            Meh

            Re: Keurig

            I get the convenience, especially for fast food joints that do not want to brew a whole pot of coffee for that one addict trundling in at quarter-to-late needing a hot cuppa' (that would be me). However, I find the only way to get a decently tasting cup is to use the darkest strongest brew available (Newman's Own has a Black Something or Other that works) and make two "small" cups (per the little size icons on the side) and dumping them into my large commuter mug. Making a "large" cup just means more water/steam punched through the grounds and a rah-ther weak result.

            Glad to see the printer-as-cartridge-sales-device model is expanding. Not.

      2. Cipher

        Re: Keurig

        "Blimey. How good is that Keurig machine that it's worth hacking the bloody thing in order to use your preferred coffee in it? "

        Hmmmm... Letting it be known that you hacked your coffee maker to save money is certainly worth the admiration that would come with it. "Geek Cred"

    2. Sureo

      Re: Keurig

      "Don't buy a Keurig" - you got that right.

      Keurig recalls about 7.2M coffee makers due to burn risk....

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/12/23/keurig-recalls-coffee-makers/20801483/

  9. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    an SSD can help your nerds work faster

    SSD? Only in my dreams. I'm currently sitting in front of a machine that's expected to run Win7, Outlook, SQL Server, Weblogic and 2+ copies of Eclipse with 4GB of memory. I'd love to work faster, but I spend about 10% of my (quite expensive) time watching windows painfully redraw, or staring at the hourglass while a storm of page faults thrashes the disk.

    1. Annihilator
      Happy

      "but I spend about 10% of my (quite expensive) time watching windows painfully redraw, or staring at the hourglass while a storm of page faults thrashes the disk."

      They pay you for that 10% though, right? Happy days!

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
        Unhappy

        They pay you for that 10% though, right? Happy days!

        It sounds like a good deal, I agree. But the 10% consists entirely of frustration time, so it's not such a good deal. Also, it means that everything I do takes longer, but complaining about the equipment is such a feeble tactic.

  10. Ryan Kendall
    Facepalm

    Cloning toaster don't work with like for like disks, the target disk HAS to be bigger :-(

  11. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coat

    :O SPAZ 2

    Take my money now Minmax!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Hurricane Canless Air System? Pfft. Avoid.

    While I have personally never owned one I was in dire need of a reliable replacement to compressed air cans a couple of months ago. I soon found out about the Hurricane but was immediately sceptical. I mean; how much oomph can you possibly jam into such a small package on batteries?

    Sure enough, reviews online were extremely mixed. If you go to Amazon and search for the Hurricane Canless Air System you will notice that despite the slightly-above-average 3.3/5.0 stars most users were not pleased with their purchase.

    My recommendation then? Get the Metro DataVac 500W Electric Duster. Sure, it needs to run off the mains and as such isn't quite as mobile. But holy cow you had better be wearing a respirator and some goggles if you're intending on using it to de-dust an old PC.

    And while the cheap-looking plastic Hurricane goes for 80-100USD on Amazon the DataVac goes for under 60USD and is built like a tank. Solid metal chassis. Extremely robust handle. I cannot even begin to describe how well built the DataVac is. Made in the USA too.

    Also here's the differences in Amazon review scores for the two (5/4/3/2/1-Star):

    Hurricane: 25 / 14 / 22 / 10 / 12

    DataVac: 1355 / 239 / 51 / 21 / 28

    And no, I am not related to Metro. Their products are just that good.

  13. dan1980

    Have a good Christmas Trevor. (And the rest of you, I suppose.)

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Thankee sir! And a Happy Holidays to you and all the readers as well. :)

      1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Burn, Baby! Burn!

        The Oatmeal's Sriracha Flamethrower Grizzly is my new desktop wallpaper. What an awesome gift!

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Burn, Baby! Burn!

          It's such a cool picture. Josh Folland has one in his lab. It's huge and awesome.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Burn, Baby! Burn!

          Well, I found out what that was about. When I saw the picture I thought it was some kind of pro- or anti-Putin poster. Now I know better.

          1. dan1980

            Re: Burn, Baby! Burn!

            @Arnaut

            That's pretty funny. It's interesting how, with someone like Putin or Kim Jong Il/Un, the same image can be used as propaganda in their home country and then as cause for merriment and derision in the rest of the world. Like that wonderful shirtless outdoorsman Putin's so fond of.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: Burn, Baby! Burn!

              I never got why that was something to "make fun of". Dude's ****ing built for an old fart. So he likes kibitzing about doing wildernessy things. As a Canadian, where the wilderness is a key part of our culture, I wish our politicians were that in tune with the average bloke. Far better than some yutz in a suit who goes everywhere by limo and has never fired a gun.

              1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
                Childcatcher

                Re: Burn, Baby! Burn!

                I suspect that much of that sort of mockery is simply based on difference between the subject and the audience. Too, most world leaders at least attempt to project an aura of sophistication, which is squarely at odds with what Putin seems to be doing in these situations. It seems ironic that the folks here in the US most likely to oppose Putin on ideological grounds are also those with whom I most would expect those sort of pictures to resonate (yes, I'm talking about you Duck Dynasty viewers).

  14. jotheberlock

    Disenfranchised? They won't let you vote?

    Disenchanted, I think...

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