If you have someone in mind that may appreciate a technologically related gift here are a few good ideas that I have considered giving out to my family on this Christmas. This list is hardware inclusive.
1. Gnu/Linux - Software
Gnu/Linux is a free software operating system similar to Windows in a lot of ways, but completely amalgamated, giving the user full customizability over his/ her system. Hundreds of Gnu/Linux distributions are available for download on the internet, or you can opt to pay for a CD with the Operating System already burnt onto it.
2. Intel core 15 processor - Hardware
The first gift from the hardware category is intel's core i5 desktop processor. A part of Intel's newest line of processors, the sandy bridge series, it provides speeds in upwards of 3.4Ghz, 4 cores, and integrated graphics for about 100 bucks cheaper than the top-of-the-market i7. Buyers beware, Intel's next line of processor, the Ivy bridge, will be released in 2012, but for the time being the i5 is the choice to go with for reasonably priced power.
3. GIMP 2.7 - Software
The Gnu Image Manipulation Program, GIMP, has it's next version, 2.7, available for compilation. It is still a beta release, but it is offering some exciting features that older versions of gimp did not include; the one that most users notice right away is a static toolbox that remains in the main window. GIMP 2.7 includes all the features of older versions and adds a few new features while remaining relatively lightweight with few dependencies. GIMP can easily rival commercial software such as Adobe Photoshop. GIMP is also open-source, so users can edit it at their will.
4. Windows 8 - Software
This is the perfect gift for hardcore Microsoft fans.Windows 8 is still technically in development, but Microsoft is allowing people to download it at a highly reduced price for testing. Windows 8 is a fully rethought Windows, giving the optimal experience for tablet computers.
5. USB 2.0 Wireless Adapter - Hardware
One of the most recent great additions to my computer is a wireless adapter that connects right into a USB port to provide access to wireless networks. Since most computers come with a wireless card, this is a great gift for those with older computers that were released before the popularization of wireless networks.
5.1 - Wireless router
You wireless adapter won't be doing much without a wireless network. With a wireless router you can spread connection throughout all parts of your house. Wireless routers provide access to the internet if you have it connected to an internet connection and also allow local connection if you do not want internet connectivity.
6 - Libreoffice suite - software
Libreoffice is a suite designed for creating presentations, documents, spreadsheets, and databases. It is more-or-less designed to clone the functionality of Microsoft Office, and it does a great job of doing so. Libreoffice evolved from Openoffice, which was abandoned.
7 - LED lit keyboard - hardware
For the first two years of my computers life I used a keyboard that Dell sent with the prebuilt. It was a standard keyboard with letters painted on. About half a year ago I bought a 20 dollar keyboard with the ability to illuminate the letters with blue LED lights. I have never been a fan of LED lights on computer hardware, but it actually does serve a purpose at night when you are searching for an unfamiliar key.
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That is all on my list for now, sorry that I got it up just a day before Christmas.