I did have a review lined up for this week but due to illness I haven’t prepared as well as I would have liked.
Instead therefore I thought I would provide a list of Christmas present ideas and because many of them require the use of Linux they just about fit into the Everyday Linux User niche.
There are a number of different Raspberry PIs available now including the Model A, Model B, Model B+, Raspberry PI 2 and now the Raspberry PI Zero,
If you are wondering which one you should go for then I highly recommend for the average person wanting a small but powerful computer the Raspberry PI 2. This is going to provide the best out of the box experience.
You can buy the Raspberry PI 2 for under £30 on its own but if you want to be able to plug it in on Christmas day and get it up and running you can buy the full kit above for £50.
The kit above includes the Raspberry PI Model B. This is the most powerful version available. It comes with an 8 GB memory card which comes pre-installed with NOOBs.
NOOBs provides a simple installer for getting up and running quickly and easily.
You also get a power supply, HDMI cable and ethernet cable.
Overall cost is around £75.
If the person receiving the gift is a true techhead and they are good with electronics then you might consider buying them the new Raspberry PI Zero.
This is more of a stocking filler for the true gadget geek and costs from as little as £5. In order to do anything with it you will need a mini HDMI cable and micro USB power cable.
As the Raspberry PI is becoming more mainstream I will be focusing more content on the Raspberry PI in 2016.
Android JXD Gaming Tablet
I bought one of these a couple of months ago and I have to say I love it.
The tablet itself is like a slightly larger Sony Playstation Vita. It feels solid and despite some heavy punishment by me it is still looking as good as it did when I first removed it from the box.
The JXD is quite simply an ordinary Android tablet with gaming controls attached but it comes with a piece of software called Happychick.
Happychick is like a retrogaming library whereby you can install ROMs from every retro games console you can think of.
The console itself lets you play N64, NDS, Playstation 1, SNES, Gameboy Advance, Genesis/Megadrive games, Atari and others.
My tablet is full of gems such as Bubble Bobble, Desert Strike, Lemmings, Micro Machines, Road Rash, Pinball Dreams, Sensible Soccer and Speedball 2.
This is definitely one for the big kid.
A word of warning before purchasing. When mine arrived the pre-installed software didn’t work quite as well as expected and the documents were in Chinese. I watched a Youtube video which showed me how to get it working properly.
Basically all you have to do is go to the company’s website (English page) and download the appropriate firmware.
If you plan to buy this for your children be prepared that you may need to do some setting up prior to Christmas day or have nagging frustrated children on the actual day. The tablet itself works fine and you will be able to install from the Play Store but the gaming emulators will possibly need to be downloaded separately.
Of course this might have been resolved by now. I was a fairly early adopter to this new version after seeing it advertised on Channel 5’s The Gadget Show.
The cost of the tablet is around £100 and I have to say it is worth every penny.
Electroninks Circuit Scribe
The Circuit Scribe Conductive Ink Basic Kit lets you draw working circuits using a silver pen and a piece of paper.
I saw this for the first time on The Gadget Show a few months ago and I think it is an ace present for older children as it teaches basic electronics without the use of a breadboard and lots of fiddly little wires.
The video above shows the circuit scribe in action.
The basic kits costs around £40 and it includes a silver ink pen, 6 modules and a 9V battery kit.
You can get the more extensive kit for around £70.
Linux Magazine Subscriptions
My wife knows how hard it is to buy presents for somebody like me. She knows I like anything a little bit geeky but she is afraid to buy techy gifts in case she gets it wrong.
What my wife does know is that I like to read magazines and that I like to read about Linux.
A magazine subscription is great because it is a long lasting gift and every month you have the anticipation of the next issue dropping through the letterbox.
The great thing about Linux magazines is that they often come with DVDs containing the latest distributions and they are generally packed with tutorials, hints and tips.
The GooDee 3D Printing Pen
Bit of a novelty item this one. Don’t expect to be producing 3D masterpieces. This is also not a toy for kids although it should be fine for older children / teenagers.
Basically the GooDee 3D Pen lets you create plastic models by drawing them in layers. It is essentially somewhere between a soldering iron and a hot glue gun spewing out hot plastic.
You can use it to create basic models and novelty arts and crafts.
It only costs £35.
Immerse 3D Virtual Reality Headset
I took a punt on this contraption a few months ago when I saw it in a local gadget shop called “Menkind”. (They sell man things like quadcopters, radio control cars, beer mitts etc).
First things first. This is not an Oculus Rift and it doesn’t pretend to be. The price point of this headset is around £20. That makes this a great stocking filler.
Basically all you need to do is insert your smartphone running either iOS or Android and you can watch 3D videos (which you can find on Youtube) and see stunning 3D applications such as rollercoasters, skydiving, city tours and even a Real Madrid football match.
More and more videos are released every month with 3D photography becoming more and more popular.
All in all it is fun to use although you shouldn’t spend too much time using it because it can lead to motion sickness.
Looking To Spend A Little Bit Extra?
This beautiful piece of kit is the Alienware Steam Machine (4th Generation Intel Core i3 Processor, SteamOS, 4GB Memory, 500GB Hard Drive) (Electronic Games).
Play all of your Steam powered greats on the sleekest machine available.
This is up there with the XBOX One and the Playstation 4 but is probably 10 times cooler. The library of games far surpasses the number available for the XBOX and Playstation.
The machine is also incredibly powerful with an NVidea GeForce GTX GPU 2GB GDDR5 graphics and Intel core processors.