Tech Support: 5 Great Geek Gifts

As everyone is out and about doing their holiday shopping this year, have you thought about what to get the team that keeps your business running? Remember the IT management team that applies the service packs, handles your calls to help recover your deleted files and keeps your system up and running 24/7?

Just because most of them are huddle together in a back room somewhere, hidden behind a stack of old routers, servers and other computer parts, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be at the top of your companies holiday gift list.

Since our time to the holidays is running out, I’ve compiled a list of five gifts that any IT manager would love to receive this year.

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  1. Verizon Droid

    The Verizon Droid is creating a lot of buzz in the IT community and with tech geeks — and rightly so. A coworker just recently updated his phone plan to use the BlackBerry Tour, but as soon as the Droid came out, he sold his BlackBerry on and signed up.

    I was actually the first to have an iPhone in my office, and I thought that was special, but now everyone is showing off their Droids, and I have to admit I’m jealous as they flash off their cool new applications.

    The nice thing about the Droid is that it has all the touchscreen capabilities of the iPhone, but also has a slide-out keyboard that I do miss. Time magazine recently named it “Gadget of the Year.” If you know IT managers, they always love to have the latest gadgets, and this will definitely be at the top of their lists this year.

  2. The Powermat

    This is actually on the top of my own list this year, but I’m not exactly sure how I want it. The Powermat allows you to charge up to three devices (cellphones, iPods, digital readers, etc.) in addition to a USB port for one additional device.

    I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times my coworkers have asked me if I have a cellphone charger or one that might fit the device cord they left at home or the last hotel they stayed at.

    It is perfect for the office and desktop, as it sits flat and allows you to lay your devices on them to receive a charge. This will allow your IT manager to charge all of his or her devices, including that new Droid phone.

  3. Bose Noise Cancellation Headphones

    I have not personally tried these headphones, but I have heard people tell me they are amazing, and if there is one thing that IT managers need sometimes, it’s the ability to tune everyone out and get a little quality serenity time.

    I typically see several people with these on airline flights when the noise of the engines, air pressure and rolling carts of the stewardesses can be distractive. If you haven’t been in a data center lately, the hum of dozens of servers, UPS devices, and cooling systems probably rivals the noise decibel level. These headphones will allow your IT team to tune out the distractions and tune into some quite to focus on optimizing your IT infrastructure.

  4. Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader

    Believe it or not, your IT manager doesn’t read installation manuals for the fun of it. OK, I’ll be completely honest — IT guys never read manuals.

    However, they are likely to enjoy a good science fiction or alter-reality book, and either the Amazon Kindle or the Sony Reader are excellent gift ideas. An e-reader actually serves a dual purpose, as it can be entertaining as well as allow for the download of those manuals that might not have been read in the first place.

  5. Gift Basket

    The IT team needs some energy for those late nights or early mornings at the office. You can never go wrong with good coffee, chai, Red Bull or amphetamine of choice. A few Starbucks gift certificates are always a good idea to toss in as well.

    Of course, you need some candy to go along with that coffee, so some Lindt chocolate covered coffee beans will be a hit. Forget the fruit basket, as I don’t know anyone that likes those except my father, but power bars or some other type of energy snack will help curb that hunger when stopping for something to eat just isn’t an option.

If you really want to get an IT staff excited about a gift, approve a budget forAmazon EC2 to enhance backup and recovery or a virtual server and desktop provisioning technology, which will help them become more efficient at deploying new servers and or workstations in 2010.

Just don’t forget about the team that helps make it all happen. You never know when you will need a favor, and it doesn’t hurt to know where your bread is buttered in case you need that file recovered next year — and believe me, there is a good chance you will.

Brace Rennels is CBCP (certified business continuity professional) at Double-Take Software.


  • As far as I know the Kindle has no provision for displaying .pdf files nor does Amazon offer a conversion service for them.

    Every electronic manual / tech reference I have is in .pdf format.

    Anyone know a way around this conundrum?

    Unless there is one, the suggestion that your IT superstar is going to use a Kindle for work is limited to break time reading.

    • Seeing your ad posted here inspired me to go back to Amazon and remove the 8 PAR30s from my wish list.

      Back to Home Depot I go… (to the tune of ‘Over the River’)

      Yeah, it is $3 more, $24 total plus 8% tax, but with instant delivery and no annoying ads in inappropriate places.


      I was on Amazon last night trying to figure out if the bulbs were indeed listed multiple times or if there was some difference that was hidden in the descriptions. Stuck them in my wish list to check further today.

      Thought these looked ideal for replacing my outdoor floods which burn out regularly and are irritating to replace.

      I AM sure this small order won’t be missed, but maybe you will get the point that I don’t consider this an appropriate forum for advertisements.

      As I said, its Back to Home Depot I go…..

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