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Mike Fratto
Mike Fratto
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Network Computing's 2011 Gift Guide

Whether you braved the crowds on Black Friday or joined the horde on Cyber Monday, it's the time of year when the shopping lists come out for our favorite IT guys and gals. IT folks' taste in gifts tends to range from the useful to the silly. Sometimes, getting that special gift is difficult. We hope this guide will inspire you to find that perfect gift for your favorite geek.

Whether you braved the crowds on Black Friday or joined the horde on Cyber Monday, it's the time of year when the shopping lists come out for our favorite IT guys and gals. IT folks' taste in gifts tends to range from the useful to the silly. Sometimes, getting that special gift is difficult. We hope this guide will inspire you to find that perfect gift for your favorite geek.

radeon5870e6.jpgATI Eyefinity 6 You're a power user. You work hard and you need instant access to information. You don't have time to flip through open windows looking for what you need. You need to spread out. Have it all before you. With the Eyefinity 6, you can run up to six, count 'em, six, HD 2,560 x 1,600 pixel displays. Just make sure you get all the dongles, a really big power supply, and room in your workstation case. $515
u2711-hero.jpg Dell UltraSharp Y2711 Monitor
If you are going to plunk down the coin for an Eyefinity 6, you might as well go top-tier for a monitor. Dell's UltraSharp 27-inch monitor fits the bill. Line up three and you have 81 inches of gaming (I mean, work) displays. The bezels are thin for a more seamless look. $999
PC333D_hires.jpgSennheiser PC 333D Noise Canceling Headset
7.1 3-D surround-sound audio in a comfortable over-the-ear head set with an adjustable mic is just the ticket for those long Web conferences (and "Call of Duty" marathons). With a low frequency of 14 Hz, the explosions will jiggle your fillings loose while a high-end 22 KHz will call the dog without disturbing your neighbors. $240
UniversalNetworkCable-450.jpgUniversal Network Cable
Work in IT long enough and sooner or later you will need a rolled Ethernet, cross-over, or straight- through connector and won't have one. The Universal Network Cable from Cortex Designs is what you are looking for and will fit in your pocket or ditty bag. $29.99

Mike Fratto is a principal analyst at Current Analysis, covering the Enterprise Networking and Data Center Technology markets. Prior to that, Mike was with UBM Tech for 15 years, and served as editor of Network Computing. He was also lead analyst for InformationWeek Analytics ... View Full Bio
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