If you're making a list, and checking it twice, you may find that it's hard to think of something suitable for everyone, and time is running out.
If some of those people are kind of geeky, like me, maybe I can help with ideas. Some of these gifts may even appeal to normal people. A couple of years ago I compiled a list, and actually had some positive feedback from it, so I'm doing it again.
I've made a suggestion list for 2008, with a little help from my son Josh, the second-generation family techie. We'll begin with items that are less dear to the budget, and work our way up.
In the summer, I wrote a column about the amount of electrical power that different kinds of devices use and what each of the things cost to leave running. A lot of people commented on the current-measuring device I used to come up with the findings, so let's start with that. It's something not only a geek, but also a skinflint, would love. There are several brands, but the most popular one is Kill-a-Watt, at Home Depot for between $40 and $50.
Another item that would appeal to regular people, in addition to us nerdy types, is a gift subscription to an online movie DVD rental service such as Netflix or Blockbuster. You order the movies online and they are delivered by mail. The selection of movies is unbelievable, so almost anyone should be able to find flicks they like. I've been using Netflix for a few years, and I'm still finding movies I want to watch.
The cost starts at $5 a month for the most limited plan and goes to $17 a month for a deluxe plan, which includes 3 DVDs sent at a time and unlimited DVD exchange.