• Tips for the weekend – November 13 – geek shopping tips

    (Youtube here)

    I was out at my local Home Improvement store this weekend and clearly Christmas is here. The tree decorations, lighting displays, poinsettias and all sorts of Christmas decorations were all over the store. There is a local street in town that decorates each tree down the road with Christmas lights and the infamous house that does an electronic Christmas display to die for had their entire front yard stacked with boxes as they were unloading the Christmas lights for the year. My thought was… oh my… and I thought my search for burned out light bulbs was bad!

    It got me to thinking about the Christmas season and of course geek gifting. Here’s some of my suggestions for good geek gifts:

    I’m a fan of reading and love a small sized Kindle. I get one that is about the size of a small paperback. If you have someone in your family that is a reader and they don’t already have a Kindle, I’d highly recommend it.  The color versions that are small in size means you can take it anywhere and with various apps, you can even use them to read and respond to email.

    Next up is an expensive gift, an iPad. I bought one for my Dad a few years ago and because I want to make it so he can use it anywhere, I bought him the cellular model. I added it to my phone plan as an additional line and have just paid for it over time. With an iPad there are two sizes that depending on your needs, you may want to opt for the smaller mini one, or the larger version with the keyboard. If you want to save money and purchase one on a marketplace site, make sure you research if the iPad is still supported and will be able to get security updates. I’ve seen folks purchase some online from marketplaces and not realize that they were several years old and no longer updateable.

    Last but not least, I’m honestly recommending that you don’t buy loved ones (or yourself for that matter) a new computer for Christmas. I’d recommend you’d wait at least six months before buying a computer with Windows 11.  If you must buy a computer at this time because the computer died and someone needs a new one, I’d recommend looking for models that still have Windows 10 and that can be upgraded to Windows 11. Or you may consider a cheaper refurbished model to use for the next several years. Remember Windows 10 will be fully supported until October of 2025.

    During this time of inflation and need, a kind reminder that there are businesses that specifically refurbish computers to sell to folks with limited income. (This is a US based business I’ve linked to but there may be others in your area). Whenever you get rid of your old technology see if you can electronically recycle it by resetting it back to factory defaults (at a minimum for ipads and kindles) and consider options for ensuring hard drives are fully wiped or the operating system is reinstalled for computers. Always retire your old hardware safely, securely and with the idea that it may be able to go on to some other deserving person.

    So what are some of your geek buying tips for the holiday season?