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Holiday Gift Guide For Networking Nerds

  • Picking a holiday gift for fellow office denizens is never an easy task. Lest you commit a holiday party gaffe, the present has got to be equal parts appropriate, thoughtful, and budget-friendly -- without being too boring.

    It's a tough balancing act to pull off no matter the co-worker, but it's especially tough among the fun-loving IT crowd. Your fellow networking nerds simply won’t be satisfied with a lame old tie tack or paperweight.

    Fortunately, Network Computing has got your back. Whether you're planning to juice up your IT department's white elephant exchange with something cool, hoping to please a secret Santa recipient, or you'd like to come up with a fun little something for your IT director boss, we've got holiday gift suggestions galore.

    Best yet, our collection of possibilities are both light on the wallet and unlikely to raise the eyebrows of those fuddy duddies over in HR. Check 'em out.

  • Circuit Board Coasters


    Nothing says nerd chic like décor made from recycled computers. These circuit board coasters breathe new life into legacy systems.

  • Big Red Button


    Let's face it: The life of an IT admin can be more than a little bit stressful. This fun little gadget will help your recipient way better than a stress ball. Hit the button and it can be programmed to load up a computer screen with explosions or encourage the button pusher to take a break, among several other setting options.

  • 54 Bit Driver Kit


    Nothing is more annoying when repairing or tinkering with devices than having to search kingdom come for the right screwdriver bit to open up the darned case. Buy your special geeky someone future sanity with this handy little repair kit.

  • Annoy-a-tron


    IT nerds can be a mischievous bunch. Why not encourage a little interoffice pranking with this number. About the size of a quarter for easy hiding, this little device will play ringtones at random intervals. It's sure to drive the target up a wall.

  • XKCD Comic Shirt


    Pretty much anything from the XKCD store is sure to be a hit for most any networking pro, given the comic's hilarious resonance with those of the nerdy persuasion. This one's a particular classic.

  • DIY Pen Kit


    Who needs a pen in this day and age of tablets and smartphones? A tinkerer, that's who. And given that the networking profession attracts tinkerers like bees to honey, there's a good chance that this set is going to put a smile on the face of your grateful coworker.

  • iPhone-Controlled Helicopter


    Another gift sure to incite some team building through office tomfoolery, this little mini chopper can be controlled via iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. It even has a little flashlight on the front for navigating a dark server room.

  • Travel Card


    There's nothing worse than a dead phone when the network's down and you're on the road. This little marvel beats out a lot of other travel batteries due to its form factor. About the size of a credit card, it can easily fit in a wallet to help your recipient when he or she is in a pinch for some power. A little pricier than some other gifts on this list, this is a good one for employees to chip in for a boss' gift.