Welcome to the table of contents of my avarice!
Unless otherwise noted, the items below are specified without regard to place of purchase. The places indicated by the links below often aren’t the only place to find the item in question. If you’re seriously considering giving me any of the gifts below, then I certainly like you enough to allow you to find a better deal on it if you can.
Also, the following is by no means an exhaustive list. Surprise me if that’s your thing.
Do check these. Don’t feel obligated to buy from the place of registration.
Gift certificates (Don’t and Do)
In general, I personally think you shouldn’t, for me or anyone, waste your money on 1:1 gift certificates or cards. They’re just pre-spent, inflexible cash that’s harder to enjoy than the real deal.
However, here are some good alternatives if that sort of thing is what you’d like to give.
- U.S. currency is the gift certificate of life. If you ask me to spend it a certain way, I will generally honor your request.
- “Buy one of whatever that is”: Many of the more technical items below are complicated or difficult to buy. Also, materials for individual projects tend not to even make this list because the orders are too complex, awkward, and or transient to properly transcribe (even for me). Feel free to use this option when in doubt.
- Regifted gift cards: If you think a gift card you already have would be better dispensed on me, by all means, have at it.
- Discounted gift cards: Several businesses around here have 2:1 (e.g. $50 for $25) gift card offers especially around the holidays. This is also awesome.
If you do get me a book:
- Don’t hesitate to buy used. A 100% new book may be a waste of your money.
- The audio-book version is worth so many extra points to me if one is available. My concentration is tricky and the printed page isn’t quite as nice to me as CDs or some other digital audio I can put on my phone.
- This doesn’t generally apply to technical manuals, which make more sense on paper and/or in PDF format than spoken.
This section of the list mostly contains items that are, for availability reasons, not on my Amazon list (see above).
Do note that I have on and off times for working with this kind of thing, especially since my children effectively prevent me from having any garage time. Still, if I receive any of these things, I should eventually be able to use them.
- AdaBox: Think of this as a sort of book-of-the-month club for electronic projects. They deliver quarterly—it actually looks like there may be about 3 months’ worth of stuff per box—and charge $60, working out to $20/month.
- Random assortments of components—whatever looks fun (super surprise box, assorted integrated circuits, semiconductors and things, switches, most of the stuff on this page): While some projects have really specific bills of materials, when engaging in on-the-fly design and experimentation, a wide assortment of randomly selected parts can be extremely useful to have on hand, and certain odd parts can even inspire projects. The links are to Electronic Goldmine because I don’t know where else such assortments come from—other than other electronics enthusiasts’ junk boxes and possibly eBay.
- Powered Vacuum Desoldering Iron (Hakko FR-301 is a pretty nice one; the 110V model of the S-993A isn’t exactly heirloom quality but is probably more than suitable). This is a special tool to help liberate chips and connectors from all manner of repairables.
Currently all fall into Polymathics above.
Consumables (and consumable-related items)
Yes, I eat and drink.
- Sugar-free hot cocoa mix: When it’s an inappropriate time of day for soda, it’s usually time for coffee instead. While I’ll drink it black if I must, a packet/scoop of hot cocoa mix makes it a lot more palatable, and without sugar the post-buzz crash isn’t as bad. No favorite brand; the store-branded stuff works quite well.
- Pocky: Try some yourself; you’ll understand.
- LOTTE Koala Yummies/Koala’s March: These things are ridiculously addictive.
- Alcohol: I really don’t drink all that much, but when I’m among others who are drinking, it is generally also time for me to drink.
- Amaretto sour: Amaretto liqueur and sour mix. Sour mix concentrate would be even better since the stuff goes bad and I don’t drink all that often.
- Mike’s Hard Lemonade (and most other Mike’s flavors—the berry and pomegranate ones especially).
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- i.e., worth $1 per $1 paid.↩