Going early for Christmas (15 Sep, 2021)

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Going early for Christmas (15 Sep, 2021)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:30 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2021/0915.shtml

I'm getting in three months early, so as to allow for supply and shipping delays thanks to CV19.

So what's on your list of "must have" geek gifts for 2021?

What have been the exciting new products of 2021 -- indeed were there any?

Or is it time to get back to basics and sideline the technology in favour of some good old family time by the BBQ or at the beach over the festive season?
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Re: Going early for Christmas (15 Sep, 2021)

Postby hagfish » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:02 am

Near the top of my list is a Raspberry Pi 4B. A decent, WiFi6 router would be nice, but won't really be necessary until higher connection speeds come along. It's hard to justify spending $600-$800 for ... imperceptible results. A new display would be nice - a 4K, 27" one with high refresh rate and a built-in hub. My current display is fine, tho. Incrementalism, again. Speaking of which, the new iPhones don't offer a compelling reason to upgrade. I suppose this is a good thing, but lots of people will be noisily disappointed. Maybe my next phone will be a watch. I did recently buy a spare original SE to 'put by'. Best. Phone. Evarr. I see 4K OLED TVs are finally coming in smaller sizes. Quite spendy, tho! Top of my list is a coffee roaster. Perhaps the middle of an apocalypse is not the best time to expect fancy new tech.
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Re: Going early for Christmas (15 Sep, 2021)

Postby GSVNoFixedAbode » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:06 am

For some light, cheap fun, I'd highly recommend getting a few ESP32 microcontrollers (under $10) and some controllable LED strips ($10-$40), then pairing them with the free WLED firmware & app.

World of fun for adults & kids alike and can be simple plug&play or go deeper into all sorts of projects.
[Edit] Minimal level of experience required: plugging device into PC USB for downloading firmware via webpage, then connecting some jumper wires. Or if able to solder then can start to get fancy with multiple LED strips.
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Re: Going early for Christmas (15 Sep, 2021)

Postby Perry » Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:29 am

Home entertainment? Surely there's more to life?

I've already bought my boy's toy for Xmas: a 3-phase stand-by generator.

But I have a need for a gadget the making of which might be within the purview of some poster hereabouts.

A modest bird scarer. I have a rough concept in mind. If anyone's interested, please let me know.
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