By Katrina Montgomery
When we think about shopping for the technology-loving people in our lives, one word comes to mind: expensive. But the truth is, you really don't need to purchase the latest gadget or newest gaming system to make your tech geek happy. Here's what's on our list.
Headphone Stand at hecklerdesign.com
Headphones are one of the more awkward tech accessories to deal with -- it seems they inevitably end up stuffed in drawers, cords tangled. If you know someone who has a really nice pair of headphones, this is the perfect gift. To up the ante a bit, you could also pair this stand with a really nice pair of headphones to make a complete gift set. Either way, we're thrilled by this locally designed display. The stand is $29 and comes in five different colors with a sixth option in stainless steel for $49. Purchase the over-the-ear headphone stand at hecklerdesign.com
Membership at HeatSync Labs
Local hackerspace HeatSync Labs is the perfect place for tech enthusiasts to make connections and gain access to the tools for making things happen. HeatSync Labs is a co-operative run space with everything from a 3D printer to a sewing machine available for use. For a look behind the scenes, check out our video from Best of Phoenix 2012. Membership starts at $25 a month. Visit heatsynclas.org for more information.
Alchemy Goods iPad Case at For the People at UNION at the Biltmore
If your tech geek is also interested in design, For the People is the place to go. Right now, the store is carrying a line of products by Alchemy Goods that are made out of recycled bicycle tire tubes. It might sound weird, but it looks cool in an industrial design kinda way. The iPad cases are $36. Shoulder bags and wallets are also available.
Chisel iDock at customatic.com
The Chisel iDock by customatic.com allows you to keep your iPhone or iPad propped up on a flat service while charging. Handcrafted out of bamboo, the display can be rotated vertically or horizontally depending on need. This would look equally great as a desk accessory or on a night stand. The Chisel iDock is available at $39 for iPhone 4 and 5, $49 for iPad mini, and $65 for iPad. There is a customatic.com store located in the UNION at the Biltmore, but they don't always have all items stocked there. You can order the dock directly online at customatic.com.
Neuromancer at Changing Hands Bookstore
Probably everyone living in the digital age should read this book, but especially people who are super into the Internet.
The 1984 novel by William Gibson has been cited as a possible inspiration for the way that the Internet actually developed, and it's often called the seminal work in the cyberpunk genre.
The story itself stars a hacker who sets out on a mysterious job, which leads him into a tangled world of international intrigue. You can pick up a copy of Neuromancer for $8 at Changing Hands Bookstore.