What nerdy tech did Santa get you - or not get you - for Christmas?

I was going to get an extra Apple Watch charging dock for work (since I don’t take my phone with me to work anymore), but then discovered the unused charging cable in the box! (I’ve had the thing for two years!). So I just got cash instead.

However, I’m currently considering:

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This Philips Wake-Up Light is more nerdy, as it is App controlled:

(but could not find this model on the Amazon US site)

A Raspberry Pi kit to make a Pi-hole :nerd_face:

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 4GB… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07V5JTMV9?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share


We have a couple of Hue white and color bulbs in our bedroom lamps and use the Hue app to simulate sunrise each morning for about 20 minutes before my girlfriend’s alarm goes off. She says it is helpful.

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After getting a 12.9” iPad Pro (and then not having a compatible Apple Pencil) I got one for Christmas.

It’s even better than the first Gen. very pleased.

Not on the Apple side of things, but I think we are all friends here.

I got the Google Pixelbook Slate, and honestly I think I like it more than an iPad. Having full, desktop Chrome plus Andorid apps is pretty damn sweet!

Santa didn’t bring nerdy tech this year, he knows I will most likely return it, and have to get the next model up haha. He instead opted for a memory foam cushion for my computer chair and a portable Aeropress Coffee Press

Currently considering the following since Santa was unsure whether to do these upgrades.

  1. Upgrade my Shure SM58 to Shure SM7B or Heil Sound PR40
  2. Elgato Stream Deck XL, I don’t use KM yet. But wondering what are the capabilities of Elgato
  3. Debating if I should return my Focusrite 8i6 and get a Sound Devices USB Pre (trying to test if I can get a skype interview to record separate tracks on my Focusrite) - Having a hard time justifying this one.

Okay, this might be the best tech I’ve gotten in the past year or two… an e-bike. As a former daily cyclist that stopped due to knee injury this is fantastic tech. I’ve ridden 100+ miles in the first 6 days. All for recreation. However I have a perfectly scenic and quiet rural route to town about 7 miles away and will be using the bike for errands and grocery shopping too. I’ll only have to use the car once a month or less.

25 to 50 miles a charge, top speed of 28 via peddle assist but a more usual, easier speed of 18 to 20 mph. I bought it because it can be ridden with no peddling but I’ve actually been peddling a lot, more than I expected. Apparently my knee has healed over the years. So much fun to ride! Photo on one of the many bridges in Madison county.


My kids each got refurb 2018 iPads. My youngest was using a 1st gen which is a double hand-me-down, and my eldest was using a 3rd gen. Both had weak batteries and the 1st gen’s 30-pin port was getting really flaky. Now I can make use of Screen Time and the other parental controls and cap their daily usage.

I also treated myself, but not with Apple hardware. First was a Synology DS918+ with 3 6TB drives for 12TB usable storage.

Next was a Thinkpad T470s (sorry! I pay for my shoes with Microsoft tech and am getting more into teaching & presenting, so having a Windows machine not owned by my employer comes in handy and a VM just wasn’t cutting it anymore). I was planning on getting an X1 Carbon but in talking to a friend about his, he said “hey I’ve got this T470s that works fine, pretty well loaded, I just outgrew it.” Cheaper than the deal I could have gotten on the X1 Carbon and more than adequate for my needs, so there we go.

My 2012 MacBook Pro is named Bender, so I had to name the silver Thinkpad Flexo.

I love the names! My team at work is called Planet Express!

I got some AirPods Pro. I’m loving them so far. They’re perfect for rocking a baby to sleep while listening to a podcast.

I may need to buy myself a new iPad as I’m still using an original iPad Air. I’ve been using my iPad a lot more since I switched to a desktop from a laptop as my home computer.

I told Santa to hold off until next year: the battery drain issue in the new Apple Watch dissuaded me from that version, and I’m waiting to see the next iterations of iPad Pro and AppleTV. (And if the iMac Pro gets updated with FaceID/TouchID I’d consider swapping out my 27-month-old iMac 5k.)

The only nerdy tech I bought myself was a copy of Reason at 50% off, which I’m looking forward to using now that it can act as a plugin inside Logic.

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I got a year subscription to Master Class. Have already started the poker strategy and David Sedaris courses. So many great looking courses on there.

I didn’t get AirPods Pro or a HomePod. Sadface.

Pondering a new iPhone 11 for myself…need to decide before the 6% off using an Apple card ends on 12/31.

Side note: we bought my gadget loving 12 y/o niece a pair of smart outlets for her room. She thought it was the coolest thing ever. That was a highlight of my Christmas.


Picked up my iPhone 11 yesterday. The Apple Store was hopping!

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I bought a CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD PFC Sinewave UPS. Amazon had a good deal on it, $100 off and 15% back on the purchase price with the Amazon credit card.

I also picked up a VELOCIFIRE 87-Key mechanical keyboard. I wanted something with a Mac layout and backlit keys. l had the DAS keyboard 4 Professional in my shopping cart for a while but I couldn’t see paying $100 more and not getting the backlit keys. I’m really liking it so far. Nice change from the chicklet magic keyboard.

My wife pick me up a model 5 Apple Watch. It is my first Apple Watch and I really like the always on display. Surprisingly I haven’t had any battery issues. It easily lasts all day.

I ordered myself a 16" MBP after seeing the decent trade in quote for my 2017 15 :slight_smile: (I prefer Santa to let me choose my own nerdy tech)

Santa sent me a new iPhone XR 256 for myself (Santa found a great deal so a 11 for me was not in the running this time) and a 11 for my wife.
Also I got the 2019 iPad Air 256 with a pencil and Smart Keyboard. I already returned the keyboard. Shopping is not over yet, I am going to Apple or Amazon soon to search for cases and keyboards for all the new “i” devices.

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No tech devices for me under the tree, but to be fair I have more than my share on this desk, in the cellar, or at the office.

I did give my wife a new MB Air, and the kids got homepods … it’s my first blush using the homepods; they’re pretty cool.

But on the personal nerd front, I am thinking of replacing my ten year old stereo … now that’s a rabbit hole that I can’t get traction in. There doesn’t appear to be a (sane) StereoPowerUsers forum that I can find to get some direction a seemingly impossible wishlist:

  • small form factor (“slimline”) AND not deep (13"? less?)
  • HDMI switching (only need two or three sources)
  • HDMI CEC out (yes, even though it’s flakey)
  • 80 - 100 “real” watts for L/R
  • pre-amp out (in case those watts aren’t real)
  • 3.0 or 3.1 speaker layout/mixing that isn’t an afterthought
  • 4 ohm speaker support
  • a machine that works well as a stereo, for music
  • interface that doesn’t require a CS or EE degree to operate
  • doesn’t look … bad?

After looking for awhile I may just keep the old ugly giant Denon … the “devil you know,” and all that.