As Christmas will shortly be upon us here's a round-up of awesome things that are on my Christmas present wish-list.
Moleskines are the de facto standard notebook of choice for designers and hackers alike. Best thing is if you like using a notebook you'll always need more of them which makes them the ideal gift for Christmas. £5.24 from Amazon and available in all good stationers.
Palomino Blackwing Pencils
You've probably seen plenty of talk about how awesome the original (and discontinued since 1998) Eberhardt-Faber Blackwing 602 pencils wer,. so much so that they often fetch around $20 per pencil on Ebay. Luckily California Cedar Products took over the rights to the Blackwing trademark and have started produced their own version. Whilst they might not be 100% the same as the Eberhardt-Faber pencils the general consensus is they're pretty good albeit that they wear a bit quicker than the originals. 12 of these little fellas are $19.99 from pencils.com.
In the 80's my brother and I were given a Big Trak as a joint present complete with trailer. We had it for about 2 weeks and it broke so my parents took it back to the shop and didn't get a replacement.
Big Trak has a keypad that allows you to program up to 16 command sequences; e.g. go forward x 6, turn left etc. Go forward x6 would translate to the Big Trak moving forwards 6 times it's own length. The trailer is not currently available, but is due to be coming out in January 2011.. Available from Amazon for £26. It's ok you can pretend it's for your children.
Most Geeks I know definitely like their books. The most recent edition of the Kindle is pretty nice, and is worth taking a look at if you're looking for a solid ebook reader. At £109 it's a bit of a bargain really. The only downside is if you've already got lots of books you'll need to buy the ebook versions. Available from Amazon for Â£109.
Always a favorite, Threadless have had some pretty good deals on their great t-shirt designs recently. Check out Threadless.com for more info.
If you know someone who likes good coffee then here's two of the best UK coffee roasters to take a look at.
- Hasbean Coffee - Stocks excellent coffees as whole beans and ground for specific machines.
- Square Mile Coffee Roasters - Fantastic coffees, though bear in mind they only provide whole beans.
Even if not for a present, definitely get an order in for some fine coffee to enjoy after your Christmas Dinner.
Arduino Starter Kit
Arduino is an open source electronics prototyping platform allowing hobbyists to build cool projects that can take inputs from a variety of sensors and switches and use that input to control motors, lights, displays and anything that can be hooked up to it. From building a traffic light system for your CI server to controlling coffee machine temperature, the only limitation is your imagination.
The latest Arduino board is available as a Arduino Starter Kit at Cool Components (UK) or Adafruit (US).