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Expensive Geek Toys Roundup

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the put-it-on-my-credit-card dept.

Toys 502

An anonymous reader writes "I was recently asked by a coworker to come up with a list of <implied> expensive </implied> and cool gadgets for a VIP. He was interested in anything that was up-and-coming, rare and the usual odd combination of devices (ie. anything with a camera/WiFi that shouldn't have it). I figured that since it was Friday, it may be a good day to see what the /. crew has up their sleeves."

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What really is "cool" to a VIP? (1, Funny)

Delta-9 (19355) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126038)

I bet this VIP is trying to keep up with them damn, rich, cool yet geeky Jones' who laugh at him while he takes his Aibo for a stroll while riding his Segway. Like, that Segway is so 3 months ago and the Aibo, OH MY GOD -- its like, ancient.

Re:What really is "cool" to a VIP? (4, Funny)

bellers (254327) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126096)

Cool is teaching the Aibo to drive the segway while you control it via the 3G cameraphone taped to its head.

For the love of god! (5, Funny)

addaon (41825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126039)

PLEASE do not respond to this article! I can't afford it!

Re:For the love of god! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126177)

You are fucking religishitty. For the hatred of your shit, go kill yourself

Lego Mindstorms. (5, Informative)

Irvu (248207) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126040)

Not hideously expensive as things go but the Geekiness factor is astronomical.

Check out Recomendo (5, Informative)

Humba (112745) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126043)

One of the best "Cool Stuff" Blogs out there is Kevin Kelly's Recomendo [kk.org] .

Not all of it requires a plug, and not all of it meets your "expensive" criteria, but it's full of great, high-quality stuff you didn't know you needed.


Re:Check out Recomendo (1)

cmowire (254489) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126283)

Wow, you aren't kidding.

I could live without the bud supply, but the Galls catalog [galls.com] link is definately full of stuff I didn't know I need.

Give Him... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126055)

this [trampled.com]

Re:Give Him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126097)


A robot, an engineering treat AND a helper...

Re:Give Him... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126160)

I went to order it, but it's just a tape. I can get them to come over here?

Not Entirely Safe For Work (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126316)

If your work has a company police of no nudity, please don't visit this link.

gizmodo (5, Informative)

Sleepyguy (12339) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126061)

check out gizmodo for the newest gadgets



Re:gizmodo (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126189)

bah [gizmodo.com] , I can't stand people who are too lazy to make the click clickable.

expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126073)

geek toys shouldn't be expensive because it's not a geek toy if it doesn't run linux, and since linux is free, the toy be extension should also be free.

Try to find fault with that logic!

Re:expensive? (1)

Ozh (514694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126269)

You mean the toy should be shipped with source code so you can recompile and add more geek wifi cameras ?

Hey now! (5, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126082)

I figured that since it was Friday, it may be a good day to see what the /. crew has up their sleeves.

Are you implying I don't have anything better to do on a Friday night?!

Well Sir, you are correct.

"Smart" Fridge (5, Interesting)

kneecarrot (646291) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126083)

It's cutting edge and absolutely ridiculous:

http://www.zdnet.com.au/newstech/enterprise/story/ 0,2000048640,20268993,00.htm

"Korea's LG Electronics is selling a 26-cubic-foot Multi-Media Refrigerator, with a built-in 15-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) screen for watching TV, surfing the Internet or looking at digital pictures."

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I go to the fridge to grab a coke, I like to stand there and watch a quick sitcom on a 15" LCD display. Right...

Re:"Smart" Fridge (5, Funny)

ferreth (182847) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126124)

I thought it was supposed to be hooked up to a web cam inside the fridge so you could tell if the light was on inside when the fridge was closed.

Re:"Smart" Fridge (1)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126216)

I thought it was supposed to be hooked up to a web cam inside the fridge so you could tell if the light was on inside when the fridge was closed.

Define overboard:

1. Using a webcam/lcd setup when a little plexiglass window would do the trick.

Reminds me of the old joke about how they developed some amazing technology that allows you to download streaming video at TV quality in real time from the television station to your computer, then output it to your TV.

Re:"Smart" Fridge (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126312)

Plexiglass would work, but it lacks a good R-value. Fridges can't keep up with too much heat loss, a large enough window would actually warm your fridge up, a smaller one would still make the fridge run more often, thus wasting electrisity.

If your house is humid the window will fog up, depending on your goals this may or may nto prevent realizing them. (if you just want to know if the light really goes off, you might be able to see enough to tell that. If you want to see what is in there it won't work)

Re:"Smart" Fridge (1)

celery stalk (617764) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126131)

Well, thay way you don't miss anything important. You don't have to wait for a commercial break to make that popcorn anymore.

Anything at Thinkgeek.com (4, Informative)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126087)

Particularly this [thinkgeek.com] , i love it, but unfortunatly i bought the 256Mb before the price drop and also shortly before the released a USB2 version which isn't carried by thinkgeek yet.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126093)

I'm sick of Americans dying to make Cheney rich.

Bush much go.

Take a look at thinkgeek (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126098)


well (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126102)

this [goatse.cx] slashdot geek necessity is low tech, but it's got a beat and you can dance to it.

Segway? (0)

Sago (231287) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126106)

If you're not from the States, Segway might be a good idea. I have yet to see one in Europe and I travel quite a bit.

Re:Segway? (0)

Kedisar (705040) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126116)

Except for the fact you'll be spending the rest of your money on hospital bills when it falls over.

Toys with Wi-Fi (0)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126108)

Looking at stuff on my desk, and coming up with some weird brainstorms: Wi-Fi Orange Juice? Wi-Fi Stapler? (a red one too!) Wi-Fi CD-Rom case (actually kinda handy in telling you if your CD is in the case or not, if possible for the truly lazy!) Wi-Fi books (I suppose the ability to communicate their contents into PDF might be kinda cool, just a bit expensive I would think...) Wi-Fi pen (how much ink is left?) Ok manufacturers take note...

Re:Toys with Wi-Fi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126151)

Does it just chap your hide to be a subscriber and be posting at 0?

G5! (3, Interesting)

11223 (201561) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126109)

A couple of G5s and iSight cameras. They really are quite fun to play with.

Segway (3, Insightful)

stanmann (602645) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126110)

Well you can't get geekier and VIPer than a Seqway.

OF course a 30+inch flat plasma wide screen HDTV also qualifies.

Re:Segway (4, Funny)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126241)

>Well you can't get geekier and VIPer than a Seqway.
I dunno. What about a Sony Aibo riding a Segway?

Slashdot approved answer (0, Redundant)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126113)

I'd think that one obvious place to look would be Slashdot's sister site, ThinkGeek [thinkgeek.com] . It has all of the latest and presumably greatest technobaubles that any geek could possibly want. Of course after getting ideas there you might want to shop around to see if you can get a better price, since I think that they're a bit on the high side pricewise.

Get him one of these (-1, Redundant)

pbrinich (238041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126120)

I think every VIP needs one of these:

Segway Human Transporter [amazon.com]

Just make sure that it has the battery drain patch to make the CPSC happy....or make sure it doesn't depends on your intentions...

If you want really expensive ... (5, Interesting)

paxcirca (694737) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126123)

The Neiman Marcus [neimanmarcus.com] Christmas Catalog [neimanmarcus.com] has a his/her set of programmable butler robots [neimanmarcus.com] . The damn things will open the doors and, via their built-in camera, give you a view of your visitors before you get to the door. They also can help you bring in your groceries. They don't give a mention of whether they're able to do a fresh install of Gentoo, though. All this for only ... $400,000.

Re:If you want really expensive ... (1)

GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126275)

Can you watch while it answers the door and is promptly stolen by someone coveting your $400K Uber-geek toy?

Will it try to escape it's captor and return home?
Does it have a lowjack system?
Do you know anyone who has purchased one of these robots?

Please answer, serious questions ;-)

cool desk to put all the stuff on.. (3, Interesting)

joeldg (518249) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126128)

something like this [biomorphdesk.com] or if I remember there was some cool ones on here a year or two ago that rotated and you climbed into like going into a space capsule, but those were around $5,000-USD so... Anyway, I think having a good desk is very important.

Heh (5, Funny)

zztong (36596) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126134)

I don't have a product in mind, but I recommend you take 2 weeks and leave no stone unturned in your seach. Make sure you spend time at home in deep contemplation on the issue. Take field trips to see what cool stuff other VIPs are using. Maybe fly to Europe and attend a trade show or two.

After that, spend 4 weeks writing your report.


G5 cluster (4, Funny)

gregfortune (313889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126136)

Isn't a G5 cluster [slashdot.org] one of the newest/oldest cool things mentioned on /. lately? Better yet, it's pretty easy to make hideously expensive. And you might even consider creating a in-memory Oracle database using 10,000 G5 machines. The VIP would have his/her own Google :)

btw, can we use that as a noun yet? Like a gaggle of geese, a herd a cattle or a school of fish, can we have a Google of computers?

Re:G5 cluster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126289)

can we have a Google of computers?

as in googol [reference.com] ?

What's up my sleeve? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126139)

Would you like to see this before or after I give you an elbow deep fisting?

Because it'll be much more interesting afterwards.

An Apple iPod (4, Interesting)

Ryan Stortz (598060) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126147)

Give him a new iPod. They're pretty expensive and are fucking awesome.

I want one so bad...

Sony DCRTRV70 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126158)

Sony camcorder with internet connectivity for transfering MPEG video and still picture files. ;-)

PowerBook G4 17" and iPod (1)

PhoenixRising (36999) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126159)

This may not seem like a typical "toy", but Apple PowerBook G4 17" notebook is really fun. It's expensive, but it's got a HUGE screen, it's thin ( 1"), built-in 802.11b/g, a built-in DVD/CD burner, built-in BlueTooth, FireWire 400 and 800, light sensors that automatically adjust the backlighting on the screen /and/ and keyboard, and that's just the hardware. Software-wise, it comes with movie-creation and DVD-burning software, a nice calendar, and address book. Make a package consisting of one of these, an iPod, and a Bluetooth-enabled PDA and cell phone, and he'll be wowed. Plus it's all very pretty :)

Canon Digital Rebel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126162)

They have made a very affordable ($900 body only/$1000 with a lens) digital slr that fits all of their EF lenses. http://www.canoneos.com/digitalrebel/index.html

TV w/ DVI (1)

IQ (14453) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126185)

Any Samsung DLP TV.

The newer ones have Discrete IR code support for progrramming your cool remote.

Hit | Mute 1 8 2 Power | buttons to get into the Service Menu and check the video board version #. Board numvers "xxx...zzz-2.14" or higher will support DNIE and IR codes.

Have fun.

Check out avsforum.com for more details.

Re:TV w/ DVI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126276)

I got the HLN437W a week ago and it completely absolutely kicks ass. It does 1080i and has not one, but two VGA ports and can display native 1024x768 from my PC!

Gotta love 43 inches of PC quality pr0n!

Incredible earphones: $500 (4, Interesting)

mfago (514801) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126191)

Shure makes some incredible earphones [shure.com] , and they are $500. Work as earplugs too.

They are even better if you get custom made inserts [sensaphonics.com] .

I've been happy with my similar (but $50) Fontopia MDR-EX71SL headphones from Sony, but have been eyeing these others for a while.

Car Audio Speakers (1)

aynrandfan (687181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126193)

Well, if car audio is your fancy, Alpine [alpine-usa.com] has some $3,500 three-way speakers for 'ya. A little beyond my price range though ;) . Of course, you can strike up a healthy debate as to whether or not speakers like this can justify their price.

Hitachi Magic Wand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126195)

Best vibrator / massager out there.

Goto thinkgeek.com (1)

czephyr (706389) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126197)

I have a wishlist account with /.'s sister site called thinkgeek. go there and i'm sure you will find something awesome. www.thinkgeek.com

Sister Jean Stole The Files! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126214)

Sister Jean Stole The Files!

Re:Sister Jean Stole The Files! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126292)

Sister Jean??

The obligatory link... (0)

gadders (73754) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126219)


He can always stick wifi in it if he wants. You could get it to stream the audio from pr0n on your PC.

such a waste... (1)

kipple (244681) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126221)

a VIP with an uber-cool gadget that will be shown to other clueless VIPs just for the sake of having it?
it's so sad.. I hate seeing all that technology being wasted into the hand of a clueless person.
I know, I know - money equals more research on it and price dropping.
But I feel sad about that anyway.

speaking of geek toys... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126222)

... I've been looking for a source to buy huge, functional, cartoon-style buttons, levers, and such. Can anyone help?

mmmm, toys... (4, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126231)

the new 40Gig iPod is nice and pricey, and totally cool.

Perhaps the new 1GHz 12" Apple PowerBook?

Certainly a Sony Aibo is expensive and unnecessary, but can be useful in harassing the interns.

Or a UX50 CLIE(TM) Handheld PEG-UX50 PDA. Very cool, and uber-sexy.

If you want impractical, get a Rubberband Machine gun (http://www.backyardartillery.com/machinegun/ [backyardartillery.com] ) Oh yeah. Great for hostile takeovers!
Also check out their remote control tanks that shoot BBs: http://www.backyardartillery.com/tanks/ [backyardartillery.com] . Sweet. (don't forget the plastic Army men to go along with the tanks!)

Dan's Data (http://www.dansdata.com/ [dansdata.com] ) reviews a lot of fun toys like the above. LED flashlights, tanks, and what-not. Maybe a super-modded computer case? Maybe a Powerball (http://www.dansdata.com/gyrotwister.htm#pball [dansdata.com] would do.

You can always check out the Sharper Image catalog, too. Lots of expensive junk in there.

Some links, some ideas (2, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126239)

First of all, the geekiest stuff is often home-build... have about contracting out to build something? I've always wanted to make one of these [slashdot.org] .... VP's are good at messing up computers so why not make it easy and geeky too!

Alternately, you can always shop at thinkgeek [thinkgeek.com] or compgeeks [compgeeks.com]

Of course, much of my geeky pipedreams have involved cool places to put a flat panel display. How about something rigged up with a USB-flat-panel that looks like a desktop picture (but can change, or is animated). I know I've seen support for usb-flat-panel in my recent kernel version, so I'd assume the hardware is out there. Better yet, if you could fit it into a real picture frame so that it looks realistic, and enable it as default output for video-conferencing software: functional+geeky.

And of course, if you wanted to go outside the office (I doubt this would fly in most companies), replacing the ol' car stereo with a custom-wired miniPC (don't forget voltage-backing capacitors or a failsafe for when spikes/ignition), and perhaps an LCD that pops out of the glove?

Wireless is always cool. Go with the picture frame, but set it up wireless somehow so that it's as hard-to-figure as possible. You might even be able to do something with an old ebay laptop and a little wiring of the video connector through the desk. Anyhoo, just suggestions, and personal preference, but I'm sure there are lots of cool things one could do with miniturized PC components and a little time, and the custom-job is often much more unique/cool/geeky than stuff you find in even semi-geeky retail stores.

Lubricant? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126242)

Some sort of masturbatory aid would be appropriate for this luzer.... maybe lubricant, magazines, vids.

Retro Chic (1)

johnstown (471249) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126246)

How about a gas-powered razor? It would have a weed-eater motor on it. You'd have to pull the rope a few times to get it started.

my dream toy, zorb. (3, Interesting)

2MuchC0ffeeMan (201987) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126247)

they don't sell them, only to franchises, but everyone can be pursauded with cash, how much you got?

Top 10 Expensive Geek Toys (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126255)

10. Colossus: The Forbin Project.

9. The Dobbertin Surface Orbiter. It is still not yet a submarine.

8. "Green Laser Pointer at Think Geek.com"

7. Hey McFly! How much would you sell that Delorean for?

6. Knight Industries 2000

5. Friggin' sharks with friggin' lasers on their heads.

4. That Saturn 5 lying on its side at that space museum. Time for destination moon!

3. "The Jupiter 2". Forget a trek ship: this thing once passed through a galaxy in one night.

2. The Atari 1450XLD. I'm still waiting for one after all these years. If Alan Alda still has his, I bet he won't let it go for cheap.

1. SCO. What geek would not love to buy this company and play with it fo a while? Muhahahaha.

Standard run of the mill geek.. (1)

windex (92715) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126262)

I have a Hitachi G1000 [sprintpcs.com] .. and I think it's pretty geeky? :) Nothing like IRCing from the shitter anywhere you go!

A 3D Printer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126264)

I have one at work. Check out Z Corp [zcorp.com] . Very geeky and _EXTREMELY_ expensive. In many places this costs the same as a house.

Perfect idea if the VIP... (1)

mfago (514801) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126284)

is also a CIO [neimanmarcus.com] .

Feel free to get me one too. The Learjet 60 perhaps?

I recommend Weyland-Yutani corporation. (2, Funny)

crazyphilman (609923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126294)

From their product catalog:

"The Bioweapons division of the Weyland-Yutani corporation is proud to release its new Predalien-model drone! This beautiful marvel of roving mayhem is capable of a forty foot vertical or horizontal pounce, can head-bite your enemies from up to several feet away, can sneak up on competing executives along ceilings, walls, and through air ducts, and is armed with a six-foot barbed tail, nine inch claws, four inch fangs, and a sixteen inch extensible subjaw with three inch fangs! Optional Architect remote control not included. Satisfaction guaranteed!"

BUT, of course, you should read the disclaimer (it's in very tiny print at the back of the catalog):

"Weyland-Yutani corporation makes all AlienTech(tm) available on an As-Is basis, with no warranty whatsoever. Additionally, customer agrees to fully indemnify Weyland-Yutani corporation from any and all legal repurcussions that may result from customer's use of AlienTech(tm) products, including (but not limited to) impregnation by larval AlienTech, deaths of coworkers, family, pets, entire community, or detonation of spacecraft or Atmospheric Processor Units. Use AlienTech wisely."

Depends... (2, Funny)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126295)

If ya like em, send em a stripper with strategically placed /.'s and a redhat. If ya don't then get one of the unix administrators to dress up as a penguin. If you really don't like em, get em windows that break when you try to install them.

High end audio gear! (1)

eric434 (161022) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126302)

Including headphones...

World's best portable headphones: Etymotic ER-4S, $270
World's best headphones, period: Sennheiser HE90, $7500

Get the former from www.toddthevinyljunkie.com and the latter direct from Sennheiser. Note the former needs a good portable amplifier ( www.jmtaudio.com ) and the latter a good electrostatic headphone amplifier (send an email to ddmitriev at uwaterloo dot ca , he builds the Gilmore Hybrid, which happens to be the world's best electrostatic headphone amp)

DIY robotics kit! (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126305)

I've been playing around with the
ACS parallel port stepper motor controller lately. Sure you can build your
own controller but this way you don't risk frying a parallel port (and it's only
20 bucks) It's really easy to program it in basic, and i've been using the
C examples to get an idea on how C works (My brain is bastardized by atari

I was also going to suggest some lego's or erector sets as a platform for the
stepper motors, but then I came across this link [8020.net]
to a company called 80/20 that makes Industrial Erector Sets.

So for $20, a few broken floppy drives (for stepper motors), an Erector set
and an old computer, you can give this guy the building blocks he needs to build
his own robots. Right now mine runs from an old Pentium 133 laptop in dos.
It may not be cutting edge but controlling real world objects by programming
your computer is a great way to get someone's wheels spinning. If you really want this thing expensive, get the guy the "Industrial Erector Set" peices and the latest greatest Athlon PC.

hmm... (2, Interesting)

Oquin (149347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126320)

Something neat but completely useless, huh?... how about this [ebay.com] ?

Oh wait... you wanted hi-tech...

http://www.gizmodo.com/ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7126325)


Best Remote Control... (1)

ChrisTower (122297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7126326)

...ever. You'll have to endure some flash, but it's well worth it. The Phillips iPronto [philips.com] is more than just a remote control, it's a giant penis extension too. Think tablet PC dedicated to controlling everything and anything that is half willing. I have one of the original Pronto's and it reduced fifteen remote controls to one; easily one of the best purchases I've ever made. Here's a techtv review [go.com] . And if you lick it, you can taste your own laziness reflected back at you.
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