Fairfax Tech Talk Column

Fairfax Tech Talk Column

18.12.2020 Technology Gifts anyone? Tech Talk Column 229


My kids have one major issue at Christmas time. You would think it would be a time of excitement and presents and family gatherings but the pressure on my kids to get a good present for their dad is immense. When you have an individual that has technology as their only passion then buying a tech gift would seem like the obvious solution. Unfortunately for my kids they know I already have the latest cool gadgets so it makes it a bit tough.

I am not Robinson Crusoe though so I thought a Technology Gift Guide would be appreciated by any readers that have a relationship with a similarly afflicted tech head.

Number one on my list is a periodic table of the elements. It doesn’t sound that exciting – we all learned the 118 elements back in high school. Except this 2cm thick acrylic masterpiece contains real elements. Only 85 of them with some notable exceptions of the radioactive variety and a few too rare or expensive to include. Makes a nice addition to the desk of any confirmed tech head.

When you hear someone complaining about the amount of time they spend mowing their lawn on the weekend, you have the perfect recipient for a robotic lawn mower. Modern versions of these autonomous grass cutters are whisper quiet and cut very close to the edges. There is a small task to perform when you initially purchase them in laying out the guide wire around the perimeter but after that, you just schedule the lawn to be mown twice a week and revel in your new found weekend time.

Do you have someone in your life that likes to be on time? I mean really on time? Well…they might need an Internet connected clock that keeps the time accurate to within 200 milliseconds. Network Time Servers are located around the world and these clocks use the Network Time Protocol to synchronise their time with a time server every ten minutes. They will even adjust for the time it takes to receive the signal from the nearest time server.

Hanging a reprint on your wall of Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci (or the original if you have a spare $470M) is nice, but even the most expensive painting in the world might become a little boring. The solution? Hang a modern digital frame on your wall and subscribe to a service that allows you to access a library of tens of thousands of curated artworks licensed from museums and archives. Set up a rotation on your preferred schedule and enjoy art worth billions of dollars for your small subscription fee.

The first Polaroid Instant Camera was produced in 1948 but I mostly remember the Polaroid non-folding instant cameras that only the rich kids owned when I was in high school. Imagine clicking a button and being able to see a completed photograph within minutes? That was fine…until digital photography. But…it seems that everything old is new again. A good option for the tech obsessed in your life is a Mini Photo Printer. Connect to your phone via Bluetooth and choose a photo to print. Send it to your nearby portable photo printer and watch a small print appear – complete with peel and stick backing allowing you to stick it anywhere.

Hopefully that gives you a few possibilities for presents for your friends and loved ones. And a big sorry to my kids – I already have all of these items on the list so you will have to look harder!

Tell me your best idea for a tech present at ask@techtalk.digital.

Mathew Dickerson