The 12 gifts of Techmas

12 gifts that any geek worth his salted hash would not just love but cherish.

121614 12 days techmas primary

Gifts that geeks will love

Yes, it’s that time of year when techies go to bed dreaming of gadgets, wall warts and blinking LEDs. In this roundup I have 12 gifts that any geek worth his salted hash would not just love but cherish (your mileage may vary, batteries not included, do not show to muggles, void where prohibited). Now, on Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Comet, on Vixen, on Line …

Editor's Note: If you are unable to advance to the next slide, try disabling adblock. We apologize for the inconvenience.

121614 12 days techmas 1

On the first day of Techmas I really hope to see

An insane techie flashlight underneath the tree

 Yep, the ZeroHour XD flashlight is insane: Built out of anodized 6061 aircraft aluminum alloy for extreme durability, it provides three brightness levels up to 600 lumens or a 1,000 lumen strobe. It can also provide 10,000 mAh via two USB sockets; enough to charge an iPhone 6+ three times over. You better have been really good this year; it’s priced at $225.

121614 12 days techmas 2

On the Second day of Techmas my wife should give to me

A Motrr Galileo with a GoPro adapter wrapped up neatly under my tree

How cool is this?! A robotic pan and tilt system that can support not only iPhones but also the hugely successful GoPro cameras. I reviewed the Galileo just over a year ago and it is still one of the best techie photography products I’ve come across. At $160 with a GoPro mount it’s almost priced at stocking-stuffer level.

121614 12 days techmas 3

On the third day of Techmas my kids should not forget to provide

A tiny SolidRun CuBox-i computer with Linux (or Android) inside

I just reviewed this gadget and it’s fantastic! The CuBox-i is a 2-inch cube with a quad-core ARM SOC that runs Android, Linux and XBMC, has Wi-Fi and Gig E networking, IR send and receive, HDMI video and optical audio out. At a mere $140 the kids can afford to give you one, or it’s a perfect Christmas present for your wife.

121614 12 days techmas 4

On the fourth day of Techmas my in-laws should provide

Stereo audio recording with a really cool Zoom IQ5

If you occasionally need a really cool, very high-quality stereo audio recorder, the Zoom IQ5 is what you need. Compatible with iPods, iPhones and iPads with Thunderbolt connectors, the IQ5 supports vertical or horizontal orientation, mid or side mics, gain control with presets, and a headphone jack. You can use the IQ5 with any app that supports external audio, such as the iOS Camera app, and the free app for the IQ5 is outstanding and provides reverb and eq settings, editing, automatic recording, and sharing to SoundCloud. At $100 it’s perfect for recording weird Uncle Mike’s snoring after dinner.

121614 12 days techmas 5

On the fifth day of Techmas I should give to me

The Soloshot2 robotic camera for action selfies

I just got my hands on the fantastic Soloshot2 robotic camera system and I’m really impressed. The system uses a GPS armband that communicates with a robotic pan and tilt head and a camera controller that drives the zoom and start and stop of the included Sony CX240 video camera (you can use other cameras as well) so you can create the greatest selfies while skiing, surfing, cycling, or whatever sport you’re into without needing anyone’s help. Priced at $649 it’s a remarkable piece of engineering and incredible fun.

121614 12 days techmas 6

On the sixth day of Techmas my dog should give to I an’ I

A tiny, open source quadcopter made by CrazyFlie

I tested the CrazyFlie quadcopter some time ago and it is the fast route to pure geek happiness. Based on open source hardware and software the CrazyFlie, which comes in two models (either 6 or 10 degrees of freedom), is more a platform than a just a quadcopter. The entire system is open to modification and there’s a vibrant community sharing insights and code. Get one of these for Christmas priced at $179 for the 10-DOF kit and the family most likely won’t see you until New Year’s Day.

121614 12 days techmas 7

On the seventh day of Techmas my cat needs to give to me

A WeatherHawk myMet to measure wind intensity

If you get a CrazyFlie and you want to fly it outside you’ll probably want a Weatherhawk myMET, a highly sensitive, handheld anemometer and thermometer that sends data via Bluetooth LE to smartphones and tablets running either iOS or Android. From the free apps you can send wind, temperature and windchill measurements via email or text. Optional equipment is a carrying case and a wind vane mounting. All of this for $120. Way cool, and you’ll know whether its safe to deploy your drone or better to stay indoors drinking hot cocoa.

121614 12 days techmas 8

On the eighth day of Techmas my wife should be on a giving streak

And give me a Wally Home system to detect any wayward water leak

Water leaks are sneaky. A little pinhole in a pipe behind the washing machine can go unnoticed for days by which time the damage could be enough to fund the grooming of all of Santa’s reindeer. The WallyHome system consists of a set of detectors, a hub, and a free app that can monitor entire buildings and trigger alerts if water or mold-friendly humidity and temperature are detected. Brilliant. And a really valuable extension to your home automation priced at $299 for six sensors and a hub.

121614 12 days techmas 9

On the ninth day of Techmas I will give myself

A QNAP TS-451 NAS that’s small enough to fit on a shelf

I reviewed the QNAP TS-451 NAS a short time ago and the thing I really love about this NAS is its Virtualization Station, an application that allows you to run virtual machines in the NAS. As a tool for developers, and a way to add specialized services for small companies and groups, it’s outstanding. It’s also quiet, fast and, with its built-in HDMI port, it can even be a video player. Priced at around $680, the QNAP TS-451 is amazing value and should SAN-ta give you one, you can spend Christmas organizing your music and videos and playing with virtual machines.

121614 12 days techmas 10

On the tenth day of Techmas my sister should present a

Shiny new Equil Smartpen 2 (to replace the pen I lent her)

As amazing as pad computers are there’s no screen surface and pen, at least so far, that feels like a pen on paper. The “feel”just don’t feel right, but the Equil Smartpen 2 fixes this by letting you use a pen on paper while it records your pen motion and writing pressure via a clip affixed to the top of the paper. The clip can record even when your smartphone or pad isn’t connected and then transfer the data to the free Equil apps (available for iOS, OS X, Android and Windows). This is a seriously great gift for the paper lover in your life and at $170, it’s a steal.

121614 12 days techmas 11

On the eleventh day of Techmas (though for you, it’ll be somewhat later)

I’ll get a Fastfox fitness tracker even though it’s just in beta

Fitness trackers have, until now, been pretty expensive when you consider what they do. I just received a beta version of the new Fastfox smartwatch which has been lunched on Pozible, an Australian crowdfunding service, for …get this …$9! The device has a battery life of 4 to 6 months, is waterproof and counts steps and detects sleep patterns so it can report on how far you walked, calories burned and sleep quality. I’ve been wearing the Fastfox for the last 24 hours and I’m really impressed. Next year Santa will bring one for everyone in the family, although at this price they’ll probably all have one by then.

121614 12 days techmas 12

On the twelfth day of Techmas

The LEDs will be a-blinkin’

As the wall warts sit and hum

And so for yet another year

The techie fun is done …until CES in Vegas.