My favorite gifts this year

Still don't know what to get that DBA or technology buff in your life? Here are some suggestions that won't steer you wrong

OK, everybody, it's time for my Xmas wish list. If you still don't know what to get that DBA or gadget buff in your life, then you'll want to see what I've got this year. Some items will be for DBAs only, because this is still a database blog, but most are generic enough for everybody.

I've reviewed every item in here, and these are all items I recommend. They range from the high end to the low end, so every budget should be able to manage something here.

So here they are, in no particular order:

1. ScottEVest Apparel – these are clothes made with technology in mind. They've not only got tons of pockets, but they've got a hidden cord system for your MP3 player or anything else you wear that has cords. Click here to read my review of the hidden cargo pants, ultimate hoodie microfleece, and travel jacket.

2. Bluetooth earpieces are really big this year. There are some new designs, and they're looking pretty good. I had a chance to play with the new Jawbone as well as three BlueAnt devices. Click here to see the review of the Jawbone, as well as the BlueAnt headset and hands-free reviews.

3. You know what else is really big? GPS devices. There really is no substitute for a good GPS. Whether you're going out of town and need to take it with you, or you're in town and just going to a doctor you've never been to before, you can't get around the need for these guys anymore. And they're so cheap these days. The ones I have for you start at just $140. I've got two TomToms and two Magellans. I tried to get some Garmins for you, but I guess they're not doing so well because they didn't seem to be able to afford to send devices. I can't think of many reasons why they'd miss out on a roundup with their two main competitors, though. To tell the truth here, you won't go wrong with any of these devices, but the TomToms were our favorite. Go here for the TomTom review.

4. Nothing says take me to a conference like the slim Casio Exilim EX-Z300. I love this camera. Sorry, I wanted to give you guys more to choose from, but after originally wanting to submit a camera, all of the other vendors backed out at the last minute when they found out I'd be doing durability testing. I don't know if they just can't afford to give a camera away or if they're afraid of the durability test. Anyway, the Exilim is a solid camera that takes excellent pics. Here's the review.

5. I've got a whole list of PC speakers for you. I was surprised how this one turned out both for the speakers and for me. So if you're thinking that PC speakers might be a good out-of-the-way gift, then see the ones I looked at. I've got Logitech, Creative, and Genius. Click here for the Logitech review, here for the Creative review, and here for the Genius review.

6. Say it with me: Webcams. I've got some nice Webcams lined up over here. These days you almost can't go wrong with something like this as a gift, whether it's for your hubby in IT, your kids, or even your parents who live two states away. Webcams make almost any Internet situation better. I've got two from Microsoft and two from Logitech. To be completely fair, my favorite for traveling is the Microsoft LifeShow, and my favorite desktop is the Logitech Orbit. Read the Microsoft and Logitech reviews.

7. Now for those SQL Server DBAs out there: APress just released a group of books for the latest version of SQL Server. If you have a DBA in your life and don't know what to get him, this could be a good start: Pro SQL Server Integration Services.

8. Here's another good APress book: Pro SQL Server 2008 Entity Framework

9. And one more from APress: SQL Server 2008 Transact-SQL Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach

10. MP3s seem to not be going away either, so I managed to get three for you. First, I got the Zune, which is a good device. Second, I got one from Creative, and last, I actually managed to get the new iPod Touch. I think these are three devices for three types of users and definitely in three price ranges, so there's really something here for everybody. Sorry, I don't actually have reviews of these ready, but most of you know these devices anyway. However, though not on the Xmas list, there will be reviews to follow.

11. Since DBAs tend to work late nights, I still love the Microsoft Ultimate Keyboard from last year. I still think it's one of the best keyboards I've ever typed on. It's a little pricey, but good nonetheless. You can see the review here.

12. And finally I have two excellent printers. I've got one of the newest HPs and one of the newest Epsons. If you want my honest opinion, I'm favoring the HP for its better user interface, but that's really the only reason. They're both excellent printers that deliver superb functionality and print quality, especially for photos. You can see the HP review here, and the Epson review here.

And of course, if you're still too strapped to get anything on this list, here's a little something someone sent me while preparing for this post. It's a Web site where you can sign up and have your friends pitch in and get you something. Go to Dream Bank for more details.

OK, that's it this year. Everybody take care.

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