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    A Blog from GradHacker and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online


GradHacker Holiday Gift Guide: Technology

Tech-related ideas for your holiday gift list.

December 11, 2014

Last week, we brought you the first set of holiday gift recommendations from our GradHacker authors. Today, we’re offering gift suggestions related to technology. What else would you put on the list? Add your ideas in the comments!

Kelly — technology repairs: iFixit and Crucial

Technology is an incredibly important part of hacking grad school, and while we often write about incredible new software or products, it is also really important to maintain your technological hardware, whether it’s replacing a broken screen or upgrading your memory to use all your fancy new software. For physical or aesthetic repairs, as well as thorough guides for computer work, check out iFixit and gift yourself (or someone else) the tools to affordably repair or upgrade the technology in your life. iFixit guides and tools can help you replace a dead battery, a cracked computer case, a shattered phone screen, and an old hard drive. For computer parts and repairs, a website like Crucial can help you find the compatible computer parts for your machine in addition to providing you with step-by-step guides for part replacement. Getting a new computer or having extensive repairs done might not be affordable for many grad students—but new tools and replacement computer parts usually fall within the budget if you do the work yourself.

Justin — Fitbit

It can be really difficult to stay on top of your health when you’re knee deep in your dissertation or thesis writing. I recommend the Fitbit as a way to monitor your health and stay motivated. There are many different options, from the line of Fitbit watches to the clip-on version, and all sync wirelessly with your mobile device and the web as well as other apps. The device tracks your steps, calories burned, and sleep patterns. Some of the higher-end watches can even monitor your heart rate and vibrate on your wrist to wake you up from a nap. Monitoring your health is first step toward creating and maintaining a more healthy lifestyle.

Michelle — Camera

Whether you’re an archivist or an arctic ecologist, a good camera that is suited to your needs can be a great tool. Waterproof, macro photography capable, bluetooth, etc.; your camera can become an extension of yourself. I don’t know how many times I’ve wished for a waterproof camera while I’m wrangling salmon in the middle of the woods! Additionally, as grad students we (hopefully) get to travel a bit to work and share our research, and—if nothing else—a camera is great for capturing those tourist moments between flights, labs, or libraries.

Erin — Computer monitor

A grad student’s laptop screen is usually crowded with data, papers, reference software, and multiple browser windows. Help them clean up their screens with a new monitor! A second screen makes it easier to combine information from different sources and reduce the frustration caused by a crowded workspace.

[Image via Wikipedia and used under the Creative Commons license.]


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