One-of-a-Kind Gifts for Geeks

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #152


Thanksgiving and Black Friday are behind us, so it must be the start of the shopping season and time for some one-of-a-kind gifts for the geeks in your life.

Timbrefone is a gorgeous, hand crafted, passive speaker for mobile phones. Available in four all-wood styles and reasonably priced starting at $99, it’s both beautiful and functional, amplifying sound naturally without cords, batteries, or power. They call it “an acoustic work of art,” and I have to agree—it’s stunning. Just set your mobile phone in its cradle and richer, warmer, and much louder sound emerges. It’s great for music and podcasts, and a decent hands-free speakerphone, too. Finally, it’s thoughtfully designed to accommodate mobile phones of almost any size, with or without a case.


It’s beautiful; it makes your iPhone louder; and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

For many years I’ve said that Photo Books and other printed products from Apple make awesome gifts. They’re easy to make with the Photos app in OS X; just select your favorite pictures, choose a theme, and then personalize your book with text, two-page spreads, or maps.

These beautiful full color Photo Books come in hardcover and softcover, landscape and square, with prices starting at just $9.99 for a 20-page 8 x 6-inch softcover book.

Apple Book

An Apple Photo Book filled with cherished memories makes a thoughtful and inexpensive alternative to store-bought gifts. 

Or, if your favorite geek isn’t into books, turn your favorite photos into a custom printed calendar complete with photos and captions on any dates you like for a mere $19.99.


$20 is a bargain for a unique and memorable gift.

My final one-of-a-kind gift pick is actually an online shopping mall (read: website) with literally millions of handmade one-of-a-kind gift items. I’m talking about, a worldwide marketplace with thousands of craftspeople selling their handcrafted wares. Of course you can search for generic tech goodies such as iPhone cases, messenger bags, or backpacks, but I prefer searching for something that defines the recipient, such as steampunk, goth, art deco, football, rock ‘n’ roll, beer, or even a school or sports team.

I’ve spent a lot of time (and money) on Etsy over the years and I rarely come away empty handed. Just think of something your favorite geek loves and use it to search Etsy. I’ve almost always found something totally unique and perfect at a price I can afford. Etsy is one of my favorite places to shop; if you’ve never tried it, you’re missing something extraordinary and wonderful.

Steampunk USB drive from SteamWorkShop

A steampunk USB drive from SteamWorkShop on Etsy, as covered by Bryan Chaffin

One last thing: Printed products from Apple must be ordered by Dec. 14 (standard shipping) or Dec. 17 (express shipping) for delivery by December 24. The other items are custom-crafted and supplies may be limited. If any of these items is right for your favorite geek, may I suggest you avoid disappointment by placing your order sooner rather than later…


Timbrefone. $99-$129. Artificer Wood Works.

Photo books, calendars, and cards. $9.99 and up. Apple, Inc.

Handmade and vintage items. Various prices.

And that’s all he wrote…