Holiday Gifts For Programmers
Sunday, 19 November 2023

As Black Friday looms, the well-organized among us are hitting the shops to be ready with our festive gifts, though I doubt many of us are as ready as the friend who told me they've already finished wrapping their prezzies!

So, coders of the world, I bring you the insanely expensive (we can all dream), the devices that might get you through the festivities without strangling your siblings, and even a couple of things you might actually want.

I Programmer gets a very small reward if you place an order with Amazon but this has in no way affected our choice - there are just far too many to pick from! Click on the picture to know more about each item, including its price tag.

Let's Start Big - Zero Gravity Workstation 

If you're going to all the effort of writing a letter to Santa Claus, you might as well make it worth your while. How about a zero gravity workstation to avoid those aches from being hunched over a keyboard? If we're being picky, this doesn't really offer you a zero gravity experience; instead, it reclines and takes your screen, keyboard and mouse with you so you can type while lying back. A snip at only $12,599, though. I bet your boss would let you put it through expenses. Those cheapskates among us could probably achieve something similar with a recliner and a tall TV stand. Just saying.

Keyboard Vacuum

OK, having fantasised about a coding life in a zero gravity chair, back to reality. All those long sessions at the keyboard where you succumbed to cookies of the crumbly kind can leave your keys tricky to press. A keyboard vacuum cleaner could be the answer, and is definitely better than holding your keyboard upside down and shaking it.

Cable Holding Clips and Multi-charging Plug

One of life's ironies is the way each new mobile device means another anonymous charging cable to fall down the side of your desk just out of reach. This set of magnetic cable clips hold your charging cables on the side of the desk so you don't have to flounder on the floor to reach them. They've a sticky backing, and the magnetic bit refers to the way they close around the cable. This (and the multi-charger) are the 'gifts' I've actually chosen for myself.

Multicharger USB Block

The other annoyance of mobile devices is that they all need a socket for charging. This can lead to very dodgy behavior at holiday times when siblings are found unplugging each other's devices to get their own kit charged in the only accessible USB slot. Avoid the charger wars; buy a multicharger block. You know it makes sense. 

Noise Cancelling Headphones


These two choices are aimed at very different markets. The noise cancelling over-ear headphones for gamers (on the left) are a good example of what you might buy for the annoying person in your family who sits playing their game, subjecting you to the whoosh and bang as they kill monsters, villains, rival soldiers (fill in the target of their choice). The second pair of headphones (to the right) are the ones you deserve, either as you sit and kill targets of your choice, or as you sit looking at a random screen while avoiding the incessant chat from your irritating relatives. They're the ones we'd quite like if any of our loved ones are feeling generous.

Binary Watch


Why would anyone buy a watch when you have a phone that does a far better job? You may well, of course, be already wearing a smart watch that shows you your pulse rate, incoming messages, lets you talk to Alexa,  and generally makes you feel like you're in a StarTrek episode. But a binary watch offers a different experience. For a start, only you and other techies will be able to read it, so proving your superiority to surrounding luddites. It also looks suitably space age, with flashing lights and weird bits round the 'dial'. What's not to like?

Something to Flash and Make a Noise


It is a rule, it may be a law, that every coder wants something that will whizz around the room being a trip hazard while making loud noises. Right back to the days of the radio controlled truck, through to the indoor helicopter and the mini drone, the ensuing shouting match is what the holidays are all about. I present this year's annoying present - the app-enabled robot ball. You can even claim it's helping your programming skills if you need that much of an excuse. The description claims its programmable sensors include a gyroscope, accelerometer, motor encoders, and colorful LED lights, which seems to cover most irritations. There's an app, you can program the ball using JavaScript, and the Sphero Play app can be used to drive and play games with your coding bot.

That's the holiday's sorted. 


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Last Updated ( Friday, 15 December 2023 )