Nathan Strang

The Last Minute Gay Geeks Gift Guide

Filed By Nathan Strang | December 20, 2009 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Geeks, Living
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Geeks will wait till the week before Christmas, then go online and order everything with next or two day shipping (Many online stores offer free last minute express shipping to help squeeze out the last bits of holiday money, take advantage of it). Because of that I submit my last minute gay geeks gift guide!

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iRobot Roomba 560 - $350

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Cleaning is the one chore I feel OK with surrendering to the robots, and this is the one vacuum cleaner you can give away without getting your ass beat by the wife/husband/daddy. I own the pet edition of this model, and Hector happily bounces around my boyfriend's apartment at prescheduled times, ridding the living room of the crumbs from past nights' munchie sessions. Be sure you tell whoever you give it to that they have to name it, its a Roomba owner thing, like the Miata wave, or the Apple Ego. [iRobot.com]

Mac Mini Server - $999

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The boyfriend sprung for a new Mac Mini, this Summer. He spent a few weeks fiddling around with Snow Leopard Server and contemplating whether or not to swap out the optical drive for an extra hard drive. Since the hack was warranty voiding, not to mention arduous, it now sits in the living room as a $600 DVD player that streams Netflix (suck it Cable!). A few weeks later, Apple updated the Mac Mini line, and released a server edition, with two hard drives (no optical drive) and Snow Kitteh Server pre-installed, for a grand. Drop this in the hands of your favorite geeks and his eyes will glimmer with all the possibilities. This will get you laid. [Apple.com and Apple Stores]

Upgrade your Gay Geek's Smartphone

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Continuing on with things that will get you laid, if you've been noticing your nerdy loved one dropping his iPhone 3G more often, or leaving his Android phone out of the bedroom, he/she is experiencing "phone envy." Phone envy is a sad time in a geeks life when their smartphone falls out of favor and a newer shinier version is financially unavailable. If they have an AT&T iPhone 3G, get them a 3GS. If a T-mobile G1, then a Cliq. A Verizon Blackberry Bold could be replaced by a Droid, and any Windows Mobile phone on Sprint for a Palm Pre. I will admit that the "phone in the bedroom" thing will start back up, but you'll be heading to the bedroom more often, or the kitchen, or the living room...

nook eBook Reader - $259

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I admit that I'm not really a fan of eBook readers, but the Nook from Barnes and Noble has me excited for a few reasons. It's way prettier than the Kindle, has an additional 3.5" color LCD touchscreen running Android, and comes with free 3G from AT&T. And the best bit of all, the nook has already been rooted by the Android developer community, making this the first functionally hackable eBook reader on the market. Android makes the possibilities nearly endless, and what gay geek doesn't love a chance to stick it to the man and void a warranty? If your Gay Geek doesn't like to tinker, it also does a really good job at being an eBook, or so I'm told.[ Barnes & Nobles ]


Nikon d5000 - ~$650

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While a few steps away from a professional DSLR, the Nikon D5000 has an ace-in-the-hole: it shoots full 720p HD video. A variable position 2.7" LCD screen pops out and LiveView lets you get your shot right without peering into the viewfinder. The d5000 combines the best of consumer cameras with the picture quality of a pro model. Give this to your aspiring amateur adult star boyfriend and his xTube videos will pop! [amazon.com]

Breville Ikon Panini Press - $99

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TV Dinners were created and marketed as a solution to make it easier to eat away from the kitchen table, but it won't help your gay geek when she's rushing to ready a post for Bil, and Hot Pockets are an abomination to the Lord. The Breville Ikon Panini Press is the ultimate sammich machine. Adjustable temperature controls and an adjustable top grill plate ensures an even cooking distribution, and the cast aluminum non-stick surface is easy to clean. A Panini is a pressed grilled sandwich; you can meld nearly any ingredient between two slices of bread on this sexy piece of machinery for a tasty meal you can hold with one hand. My pork with bacon and gruyere panini is a hit with the boy. [Williams Sonoma]


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I want that Panini press. Any readers who want to send it will promptly be given the Bilerico worldwide headquarters mailing address. :)

Why are you telling us? Take Nathan's lead and tell Jerame that a Panini Press will get him laid.

Nate,
Can you explain what you mean by the Nook running Android? I have Verizon, use an old school flip phone and am thinking of the Droid. If I get a Nook, do you mean that I can attach the Droid to the Nook and it will act as a bigger screen? That would mean I need to schlepp two things every time I go anywhere, right? I am just wondering what I will do with all these compatible inessentials and what would make any of them essential.
(I compose on Word and Photoshop at home) I rarely text. I use the phone to speak, and only when necessary. I'd love to become addicted to these new drugs, but I'm not yet feeling it.

Father Tony,

The nook is an eBook reader that have a secondary LCD screen that acts as a navigation interface/keyboard/mp3 player. the eBook itself is powered by Android, which is more than a phone OS. you can not make calls with it, but you can use AT&T's 3G (comes bundled) to download books and such. Besides being a prettier eBook reader than the kindle, the nook has been rooted and cracked... Android enthusiasts are just getting started trying to make the nook do more, like run Pandora radio. Because the nook has a primary e-ink display, it won't be bent far beyond its intended use as an ebook reader.. but it's fun to try

There is no connection between the nook and the Droid, except for a common ancestor. The droid is a smartphone, so expect to pay at least 100/month to enjoy it... gone are the days of having a smartphone without a data plan.

oooooooooooooo, thank you so much!

Thanks Nate, for getting to the bottom line. I can think of better uses for that monthly c-note.

Yes indeed! ... If I have to pay over $100 per month for a goddamn telephone, it better get me laid without even the involvement of a boyfriend!

Nathan, a serious geek question, on behalf of a non-geek friend:

My friend is not currently a PC user, but he wants to be able to check tickets online, such as Greyhound and Megabus. I'm concerned about buying him a PC, because I'm afraid his software will get screwed up and virus-infected --- and if that happens, I'm sure he will be running to me expecting me to fix it.

He needs something simple and idiot-proof (I'm not calling him an idiot, but you know what I mean). I've looked into what happened to Web TV --- Microsoft bought them out, bundled it into the MSN product family, and outsourced the hardware manufacturing to RCA. Current version is called MSN TV2 and based on IE6. Do you know anything about it? Is it a good product for Luddite users? (I found a used one on eBay, and have 5 days to bid on it.)

My second possibility is to check out game boxes such as xBox 360 or PS3 or Wii. I know they hook to both the TV set and the Internet, but ... can they be used for general web surfing? Or do they have only enough network brains to purchase and download new video games?

I would guess that my friend would only go for dial-up over an ordinary phone line --- although he does have cable TV and his cable company does offer bundle packages that include broadband.

Any advice you can give off the top of your head would be appreciated.

P.S. Nathan, above you told Father Tony that the Nook e-book reader has been "rooted and cracked" --- I guess that "cracked" means that someone has figured out how to hack into its software and make modifications --- but what does "rooted" mean?

(I may be an old IBM/370 dinosaur, but I do try to keep up on the current jargon. At least until I get to start drawing Social Security.)

Never mind, Nathan, I found it!

Urbandictionary.com says that the word "rooted" has several slang meanings, including "broken", "extremely drunk", "extremely stoned", and a past tense form of "to fuck". But the computer meaning we are talking about here is that a hacker is successful at cracking in and achieving unrestricted access to the entire system, what is called "root access" in the Unix world, and what is called "administrative access" in the Microsoft/Windows world.

Obviously, getting your computer "rooted" by a total stranger is a very bad thing: you have been electronically raped, fucked without a condom by someone with totally unknown status, infectivity or intentions. You don't know what they took, nor do you know what type of time bombs they might have left behind.

Hey A. J.

in this particular case, rooting means that the user/owner of the device was able to gain unrestricted "administrator" access to his/her own device, allowing deeper modifications (or hacks) to the device. but like you've learned... having your phone rooted can lead to troubles if you aren't careful.

as for your friend. MSN TV2 should be swept under the rug, and never spoke of again. if your friend wants a comfortable and low risk method of getting on the internet, then consider a PS3, which has an excellent enough browser, or even a refurb mac mini.

The mac mini is the best way to go if he wants to eventually creep more towards technological proficiency. Apple computers are easy to learn and very secure for a beginner user; it's hard to break one unless yer an IT nerd like Jerame. There are even those little netbooks that work well, but if your aging friend rocks bifocals, the netbook experience isn't the best match.

As a professional technology instructor, my advice is to consider a real computer, preferably a mac. getting just an internet device won't help your friend break his luddite status, and in this new decade computer proficiency is akin to knowing how to read.

Thanks so much for the great advice, Nathan --- and I knew your advice would be great! I will price both the PS3 and new/refurb Mac mini, and get input from him about what direction he wants to go from there.

BTW, Nathan, not to criticize you, but I want to gently alert you that your subconscious ageism is showing when you mention my "aging friend" --- actually, he is in his mid-30's but had (what I gather) a horrendous childhood that involved both emotional and nutritional deprivation, and as an adult he has learning disabilities (imagine a very complicated form of ADHD), not to mention that his social skills are arrested at about the level of a sixth grader. Even so, he can be a sweet soul at times, a lovable child in an adult body, and despite the frustrations he continually presents, I am motivated to help him.

But I don't want to sound like a saint --- my selfish motive at getting him online is that, now, he calls me and asks me to look up his ticket info for him ... and being his unpaid travel agent is getting tiring. Plus, I agree with you 110% that basic computer skills are no longer optional if you want to function independently in today's world.

Thanks again!