November 16, 2006

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The geek gift guide (and giveaway)

by Rebecca Fernandez and the rest of the Magazine staff

We know that the holidays are a busy time of year. Finding the perfect gift can be a month-long adventure. So save a little time when it comes to shopping for your favorite geeks. We've done the legwork for you.

Plus, we want to hear from you. Enter to win the gadgets in this gift guide by telling us what you'd like to see in Red Hat Magazine in the upcoming year. The best ideas will win the loot, and good entries will win something cool, too. Here's the fine print.

LEGO Mindstorms NXT

LEGO Mindstorms NXT

It's a little robot. It's open source. There's a Software Development Kit. And it's made by LEGO. Need we say more?

The Pepper Pad 3

Pepper Pad 3

At 2 lbs and 20GB, the Pepper Pad 3 is bigger than a PDA, smaller than a laptop, and does a little bit of everything. Surf the web. Take pictures. Play music and movies. Or program it as a universal remote control. Based on Fedora Core, Java, and Firefox, the Pepper applications are on their way to becoming fully open source. Developer tools, including an SDK are available.

Some assembly required.

Make your own MP3 player kit

Why drop big bucks on a proprietary iPod when you can build your own media player for less? The best part? The plans are open source. Improve the design and share the love with someone else.
$72 - $110

Magnatune music

And after you build your own media player, you'll need to load it up with new music. Magnatune offers music, the way it should be. Listen before you buy. You decide what to pay the artists, and you can choose your preferred file format. And the folks at Magnatune actually encourage you to share your music with friends.
$5 - $18

classic Despair desk decor

Despair, Inc.

Know someone who needs a little cynicism? Give them the gift of demotivation. Wall posters, plaques, calendars, coffee mugs, and more. Perfect for the surly admin who fixes your laptop. And they've even got something for your biz-book-loving boss.

Elephant's Dream Extended DVD

The world's first open source movie is now available on DVD, with lots of features. Includes a "making of the film" documentary, the original script and storyboard, and subtitles in 34 languages. Plus, all the media and design files used in its creation.

Make Magazine

Make Magazine

If you have a bad habit of voiding your warranties, if you can't help but tinker, and if your initials are "DIY," Make Magazine is for you. Packed full of projects, each Magazine article reveals the source of the staff's tinkering and encourages you to build all kinds of useful (and, well, useless) stuff.

An xkcd t-shirt

xkcd t-shirts

Humor that ranges from geeky to dorky in snuggly, cotton form. Embrace your inner math nerd. Or just clothe the external one in a t-shirt.

Location: Earth dogtags

Location: Earth dogtags

For your Uncle Joe, who worries excessively about being abducted by aliens. Guaranteed to bring him home safely, in the event of an actual alien abduction. What's the geek factor, you ask? The tags are based on a plaque attached to NASA spacecraft Pioneer 10.

GP2X gaming unit

GP2X gaming unit

A handheld open source gaming device that runs Linux. Play Quake on the go, or download the developer's kit and add your own game to the growing database.

Minty Boost kit

If you can't tell, we really love Make around here. This is another great do-it-yourself kit from Make's online store. You've seen the plans all over the internet, now build your own USB charger from an Altoid® tin. And if your local stores don't stock Altoids, you can order the empty tin, too.

If you can't open it, you don't own it (t-shirt)

Ok, so it's actually a t-shirt from Make magazine, but it's the open source mantra, too. We like it.


USB SnowBot

It's geeky and a little creepy. The funny noises it makes are sure to drive co-workers crazy. And someone you know is sure to want one.

Unfakeable Linux t-shirt

Tired of answering questions about the Microsoft-Novell deal? Don't want to talk about Oracle anymore? Show your Red Hat love--and your opinion on recent events--with our unfakeable tee.