While a handyman
has a veritable cornucopia
of tools and materials to choose from for holiday gift ideas, what about the hobby hardware hacker? Once you've got a decent soldering iron, DMM and some reliable suppliers you've got everything you need, right? Of course not. While tools and parts are nice, don't overlook some of these crazy kits out there. We've got a short list of six for you:
, to be precise. Essentially little autonomous floating robots. Fun at parties. Plus, the kits are reasonable and fun. Good for teenagers.
The DIY smartphone
. It's no iPhone, but Compulab
has a neat little kit that'll let you build your own handheld computer. Since you can purchase components like WiFi or GPS ala carte, you only get what you need in a PDA-- a refreshing change of pace, really.
A DIY keyboard
. Sure, a wooden keyboard you put together sounds strange. And for $300 the thing should at least come with some cool mouse
... But instead it comes with a saw for carving out the keys. Perfect if your DIY gift recipient "has everything." Note that manufacturer Hacoa
makes a habit of coating silicon in wood. Stainable USB drive anyone?
JVC DIY speakers
. Back in the day building your own speakers was quite the hobby. Nowadays you can buy entire surround systems for less than $50. So why bother? No one who builds speakers can explain-- it's just something we have to do.
DIY darn near any gizmo. OK, so you can't actually buy anything from Bug Labs
yet-- but soon! Engadget reports
that Bug Labs will actually launch before the end of the year (and prices "shortly"). Bug, if you recall
, creates a sort of LEGO set for electronic gadgets. Imagine software and hardware as a platform for building whatever you wish out of the components
. This may be the ultimate in DIY gadgetry, and may have prices to match. We shall see.
Lastly, there's no replacement for just buying everything you need to make your own computer. Shoot, DIY'ers have been building their own computers
before you could even buy computers in a store! Perhaps one of the best resources is Tom's Hardware. Here's a link to their extensive how-to database