Linux Geek Holiday list
Putting together a holiday list for computer geeks is a difficult thing! You can't just go and ask for something like an ARM Single Board computer with 32M of RAM, 8M of Flash, Compact Flash, USB, Ethernet, 2 serial ports, optional ADC, RS485 and a compass in the stock without getting a "You'll shoot your eye out" stare back! It really depends on the person. For instance, I use Linux, buying me software for Windows is pretty useless. I have nothing to run it on! I'm also a hardware geek, if your geek is a software person then getting them electronics to build isn't going to light up their eyes. Having said that here are a few goodies I wouldn't mind seeing under my Christmas tree!
- Qtopia Greenphone - At $695 it a rather expensive phone but it's cool toy/platform for experimenting with. :-)
- Mindstorm's NXT Robot - It's suggested for 7 ye ars and older. I think I'm qualified, besides robots and Legos what's not to love.
- TS-7200 ARM Single Board Computer - 200 MHz ARM9, Boots Linux out of the box, 32 MB SDRAM, 8 MB Flash disk, 10/100 Ethernet, Compact Flash, 2 USB 2.0 Compatible OHCI ports (12 Mbit/s Max), 2 COM ports, 20 DIO, PC/104 expansion bus, Optional A/D and RS-485. This should make a could good home automation controller to replace my older HCS II. Yeah I know, you'll shoot your eye out.
- I love working with various micro-controllers. Most of my work is in assembler or C ( SDCC C compiler). I also have a wire wrapped 8052-BASIC board (self made). Lately I've been interested in the BASIC Stamps. A friend is using them in a few hobby project. Since then a few of other vendors have come out with BASIC stamps. I'm interested in ZBasic because I've got the IDE working under WINE.
- Of course there's X10 but now there's Insteon and UPB Power Line home automation controllers. Control the world around us.
- Nokia 770 - Internet Tablet, I love this thing. I wish I could get my hands on it. My wife uses it all the time I'd love to use it more often.
- IP cameras would make a nice gift. I've got three, one wireless and two wired cameras. I didn't want a USB camera since they tend to be finicky and the ones I have I couldn't find drivers for them.
- If you've got a real hardware hacker/geek a Robo Sapien would probably make an interesting base for a project. Sure beats the Lafayette robot arm. :-)
- Books - when all else fails a geek will love books! We need them as reference and to give us ideas. Don't know which type, try a gift certificate. It may be a little impersonal but I don't know many geeks that don't have a library of book that surpasses their own local libraries. Since you need a recommendation how this book: Linux Smart Homes For Dummies. Yeah I know I wrote it but it is a good idea book. :-)
- Labjack U12 - a USB Digital Acquisition device with 8 12-bit analog inputs, 2 analog outputs, 20 digital I/O, and a 32-bit counter. Don't worry they've got a drivers for it. Team this up with Mr. House for home automation.
So where is the software on my list? Well my I'm using Open Source software so I don't need to purchase much so far. I have purchased Eagle Layout Editor for my electronic designs and CCS C compiler for Microchip development. I haven't needed to purchase anything else so far. There are plenty of development packages I'd like to see under Linux but I haven't see them yet.