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Gifts for Geeks 2014


You guys tend to like my Christmas roundup of nifty Christmas presents for anyone with a love for technology or gadgetry. Ranging from stocking fillers to expensive gifts – I’ve not included more of one than another, just a round-up of things that have caught my eye the past few months. I’m going to be doing a video of all the products in this list that I own, lookout for that in a few days.

Without further ado – here’s my curated list of gifts for this holiday season, and if you’re quick, you may even be able to still order these in time for Christmas.

TwelveSouth Highrise Deluxe

My favourite Mac accessory company nails it once more. I purchased the gold HighRise Deluxe to match my gold iPhone, and it’s absolutely stunning. Fits devices even with the most awkward of cases.

If you’re looking for a conversation starter – get the TwelveSouth BookBook case  Every elevator I’ve ever been in with that case, it’s got people talking.
$34.99/£22.00

Belkin MixIt Lightening to USB Cable

While you’re matching your iPhone accessories to your iPhone colour, you’re going to want one of these to go with it. I might have purchased the gold one, to match my HighRise Deluxe. It makes my OCD happy.
£18.99/$30.00

Jackery Mini iPhone Charger

Adds an extra 10 hours of talk time, or 1 full charge to your iPhone. World’s thinnest external battery charger, and not a bad price whatsoever coming in at $19.95 or £13.00. Don’t be put off by the bad UK Amazon review, the person didn’t read the instructions on how to override the “accessory not supported” warning.

Adobe Ink and Slide

I’ve never been a huge fan of drawing on my iPad but the Ink and Slide might just change that. It’s a fine-tip stylus, basically. It looks like it might actually give you the same feel as pencil but on a tablet. Fairly expensive experiment but it seems to have amazing reviews on Amazon.
$176.00/£159.99 (on Amazon)

Brooklyn Bridge Letterpress Poster by Cameron Moll

For the person in your life who loves to point out typography on restuarant menus and in movies, this is the ultimate gift for them. Lovingly crafted over goodness knows how many hours, Cameron has painstakingly recreated the Brooklyn Bridge, entirely in type. Has to be seen to be believed – truly stunning piece of artwork for the font-o-holic in your life.
$120.00/£75.00

Printstagram Calendar

Tear off photos for each day, and available in three layouts. I recently got some single cards and poster prints from these guys, and the quality is awesome.
$40/£25.00 for 365 Prints.

Love Necklace by Jessica Hische

Heading along the same lines for typography lovers, Jessica Hische steals the show once more with her hand-letered “Love” necklace mounted on a lovely letterpressed label. Available in Sterling Silver or Gold Vermeil.
$160.00/£100.00

Beard Baubles

Yes, you read that correctly. Out of stock at the time of writing this but worth a mention alone. BEARD. BAUBLES. YES!
£7.00

The Great Discontent Magazine

If you’ve been a fan of the website (if you haven’t, you’re missing out) you can now enjoy TGD as a printed magazine. The stunning form you’re used to on the web, but in that lovely print smell.
$30.00/£20.00

A Book Apart Series

If you’re not in the web industry and have stumbled upon this page whilst looking for ideas for a loved one, I promise you – they would absolutely light up on Christmas Day to find the series from A Book Apart. No seriously, they will. Trust me on this one.
$162.50/£102.00

ScanSnap

If you’re looking to go paperless (truly paperless) this coming year, I’d highly recommend the ScanSnap. I just purchased one for my office, and it’s exceeded every expectation I had. Pair this with Evernote, and you’ve condensed your office into a fully searchable archive. It took me a full day to scan thousands of pieces of paper – and then I moved onto my family photograph archive. Blazing fast and absolutely incredible scanning quality. I haven’t been this pleased with something as mundane as a scanner, in a long long time.
$500.00/£329.00

Beats Wireless Headphones

I absolutely love mine. The fold up into a neat carry case and the sound quality and noise cancellation is superb. For when you want to really get in the zone and entirely block out the world, these beauties have your back. Pricey, but worth it.
$480.00/£310.00

HecklerDesign Headphone Stand

To go with your new headphones, you’re going to want a place to store them, because trust me, placing them over the edge of your display, seems cool at first, but then you slowly realise they get in the way of just about everything. This is a cool way to make sure your charging cables are always in the right place too.
$25.00/£15.00

 

Moment Lenses

Wide Lens and Tele Lens for your iPhone. If my pal Mr Rubin has them, they’re a good purchase.
$99.99/£63.00

Moleskine Smart Notebook

UK Version Here

Together with a companion app from Adobe, you can take your hand drawn sketches and import into your favourite graphics editor. You’ll notice it’s not an ordinary notebook, but one that has calibration dots in the corners. I’m looking forward to trying this one out. They start shipping from the 15th December.
$30.00/£25.50

Sugru

A mouldable glue that turns into rubber. It doesn’t sound that exciting does it? Well, go to their website and you’ll suddenly realise why you need to carry a pack of Sugru in your bag at all times. An affordable stocking filler that’s bound to keep people quiet on Christmas Day.
$16.00/£8.99

Tattly – Designy Temporary Tattoos

Remember the tattoos you had as a kid that you put on with a wet flannel and water, then you would sit and pick them off in class, for days? These are the adult version of those, and by goodness – they are gorgeous. Great stocking fillers for the designer in your life.

Walnut Keyboard Tray by Grovemade

Just stunning, no words needed really – except that it would force you to clean and sanitise your keyboard more often than you do now – you wouldn’t want a mucky keyboard sitting in a $100 tray. The tray lifts up to reveal storage. Just beautiful.
$100.00/£60.00

Your Turn – Seth Godin

The brand new book from Godin promises to be a Christmas cracker.
A full colour book in the form of a magazine, without ads. A call to do the work we’re hiding from and a manifesto about living with things that might not work, and embracing tension when doing your art.
$34.00/£22.00 each.

Solar-Powered Rainbow Maker

I can’t promise it will make a double rainbow, but…
Need I say more? A solar-powered rainbow maker. Seriously. Now you just need to find yourself a unicorn, for those dark winter days when you’re stuck in the office coding, this surely will bring a smile to your face?
$30.00/£20.00

Scout Alarm

A somewhat lavish but utilitatian gift. A super cool, modular, security system.
It’s kind of in the same product realm of Nest Thermostats, Roombas, etc. I really liked the videos on the support page – I entirely geeked out over the simplicity of their packaging.

99u – Manage Your Day-to-Day

Stop doing busywork. Start doing your best work. A book about changing your work pace in 2015, setting agendas and trying to put a stop to the over-distracted and overwhelmed world we live in.
$10.00/£8.50

August Smart Lock

A keyless, encrypted lock that’s activated via your phone – keeps log records and enables you to add keyholders at the touch of a button. Definitely on my wish-list for 2015.
$249.99/£150.00

 

Tile

A small tracking device for any item you’re fearful of losing. If you lose the item, you can hit an alert and other tile owners nearby will be notified that they’re near a lost item. Really clever. The more people who own tile, the stronger the product becomes.
I’ve ordered a pack!
from $25.00/£16.00

Lagom – Magazine by Elliot Jay Stocks

‘Lagom’ stands for “Elliot Jay Stocks is a multi-talented b*stard” in my books, or apparently, it actually stands for “the right amount of something” in Swedish. A publication about people making a living from their passions, and pastime activities that offer inspiration. I have a copy on my kitchen table and it’s gorgeous, a great read and a fancy-looking publication to adorn your home. Very reasonably priced too.
£10.00/$16.00

Work Life

Working by Candlelight

There’s something so soothing about working by candlelight. This week is a particuarly tough week for me, as it’s the anniversary of Mum passing away, so I’m trying my hardest to do things that lift my spirits. 

Working by candlelight and not by an additional flourecent is really helping. So is my new favourite de-stresser, warm home-made almond milk with a little vanilla sugar. Zen in a cup. 

My AEA Speaker Bag had some amazing raw chocolate in it too – all made with natural ingredients by Great Bean in Austin. I’ve just become a little obsessed with their website and what the power of raw chocolate can apparently do for me. Who knew? 

I also picked up a BKR whilst in LA – prompting me to drink more water whilst statically working at my desk for hours on end!  

Happy Wednesday Night, fellow workers! 

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Work Life

Ban Dog & Cat Testing in UK Laboratories

I don’t often share things like this, but this is close to my heart. If you have a furry friend and couldn’t bare the thought of them being subjected to cruelty, please think about sparing a minute of your time to add your name to the petition to ban UK laboratories being able to test on cats and dogs. 

Of course, no animal should be subjected to this torture but let’s start with our furry friends and hope and pray they roll it out to all beautiful animals on this earth. 

https://www.secureweb-services.com/obf_petition/

Work Life

Selling Everything I Have, for Just Five Minutes.

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At the top of my road where I grew up — there is a toy shop. My Mum would sometimes take me there on the walk back from school, and very occasionally, I would be allowed to pick out a small piece of Playmobil.

The top shelf of the Playmobil section was reserved for the larger pieces, ships, cars and houses. Every time I walked into the store, I would see this pink box that contained a Victorian-style Playmobil mansion. I fell in love with it, and Mum explained that it was very expensive and would be reserved for a special occasion, and possibly even a combined Christmas and Birthday present.

Every time I visited the store, I would look up at the pink box shining back at me. Imagining the scenario of one day being able to open the box and be the owner of this beautiful plastic mansion. This went on for months and months. My birthday is in September, and I got a small present for my birthday and the Playmobil mansion that Christmas. I remember being so excited that Christmas, at even just the prospect of possibly getting the Playmobil mansion, that I barely slept. As the sun came up, I watched until the clock ticked to 7am (my curfew wake-up time on Chrismas Day) and ran down the stairs to be greeted by the plastic epiphany that was ‘The Mansion’. Mum and Dad had stayed up into the small hours, putting it all together for me, which was no mean feat — especially for Dad who would work a 14 hour day, every day, in the run up to Christmas.

I’m sure every one of you can think back to a scenario just like mine, whether it was a bike, a toy, or special game you wanted. That deep longing and endless days that would seemingly tick by, before you could add the coveted item to your toy inventory.

I realised, I had been carrying around the same feeling. The exact same feeling of wanting something so badly, you would wait any amount of time in order for it to come to fruition. It’s taken me a while to realise I’ve been bargaining with myself.

“Would I sell everything I owned, to be able to speak to my Mum for just five minutes?” the answer is always a resounding yes. I then go through the emotions of the anticipation, the feeling of excitement and wonder, until I realise that feeling is never going to be fulfilled. I’m never going to run down the stairs and find her standing there. I still can’t quite grasp that, and it’s been almost two years.

I realised that whenever I get something of value, I ask myself whether I would sell it, and everything I had on me, to be able to speak to her. Almost as a way of still justifying her value in my life. The answer never changes. Worse still, I would work every day of my life earning nothing, happily, if the promise was on my last working day, I got to speak to her.

That’s quite a weight to be carrying around daily.

The plastic mansion still sits in my family home. Dusty and abandoned, but still very much standing. Waiting to be resurrected one day.

The irony of that isn’t lost on me.

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This post can also be found on Medium.com