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What was your first geeky gift?

It's fun to reminisce about old tech and geeky items. Join our discussion about the first geeky gift you received or purchased for yourself.

When we were compiling this year's TechRepublic Gift Guide, we started discussing some of the gifts we received when we were kids. We'd love to hear about readers' memories of their first tech- or geek-centric gifts.

Please tell us in the discussion about the first geeky gift you received or gave yourself -- perhaps it was your first comic book, first computer, first game, first toy, first collectible, or something else. If you have a photo (that you took) of the gift, please send it to trol at techrepublic.com with the subject line "My first geeky gift." We may feature readers' comments and photos in a TechRepublic gallery.

Also, check out these TechRepublic galleries for a walk down geek nostalgia lane.

About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

23 comments
TBone2k
TBone2k

When I was around 5, someone gave me a giant (at least it seemed that way) Gaiking robot from the "Shogun Warriors" series. Probably the very first thing I ever owned that was related to anime: http://www.collectiondx.com/toy_review/1978/gaiking It shot missles that wouldn't even break a piece of paper, but it also had a spring propelled fist that was strong enough to blow a space lego model to smithereens... great fun and probably something you could never get away with today.

dcolbert
dcolbert

There is a great study of the questions of nature vs. nurture going on in this thread. Did we want these kind of gifts because we were geeks... Or did we become geeks because we got these kind of gifts...

Realvdude
Realvdude

Mine were American Bricks, rather than the more expense Legos. The upside was I had more of them than my Lego friends. Electronic chess game from Fidelity, still have it. Radio Shack 150 in 1 Electronics Project Kit. Cobra 29 CB Radio (Christmas Present for my dad and I) My uncles gave me the handle "Little Professor". I could "DX" barefoot from home about 20 miles.

necessaryevil
necessaryevil

Does anyone remember Merlin? I still have it along with the original box and instructions and it still works.

beth3west
beth3west

When I was an infant, someone gave me a Disney toy where you pushed a button or flipped a switch and a Disney character would pop up. When I was around 4, I saw Empire Strikes Back, and decided that my toy was now a computer. I would sit in a cardboard box and play with that thing and pretend I was on a spaceship. Man, I was a dorky kid. :) Edit: Thinking on this further, I realize that it wasn't really a geeky present as much as I just put it to a geeky use. So, my first really geeky present was probably when one of my dad's friends gave me a copy of the script from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which isn't old tech, but is definitely geeky.

steven@r
steven@r

My dad had assembled a whole stereo system complete with vacuum tubes from Heathkit sometime in the early 60s (I think he still uses it in the garage), which I thought was awesome. Later (maybe 69 or 70 I think) he got me an electronic kit which had a kind of pegboard on a frame on which you mounted the components. Then with wires and instructions you could wire up an alarm, a radio, etc. Many hours of fun.

Greg.E.Meyer
Greg.E.Meyer

I was about 7 years old, and I got an NES. We had a TV from the 70s and it only had the UHF/VHF connectors. So I had to find those UHF/VHF cable converter things. After a day of searching I found them, and managed to hook it up. Good times... Gregory Meyer http://www.onlinetech.com

Slayer_
Slayer_

I was like 3 years old. First game was Mario Kart.

GSG
GSG

I got the Sony Walkman tape player, with an insert that had an antenna that turned it into a radio when I was 16. It was awesome.

MikeGall
MikeGall

I forget what it was called but when I was 3 my parents bought me a electronic math game (~1982). Whenever you got a question right there was this little guys face and his mustache would wiggle. I was apparently somewhat of a prodigy as I was answering ~grade 5 math questions when I was 3. Sadly I've gotten relatively dumber with age :-(

dcolbert
dcolbert

In 1975, I was 5 years old. I asked my family for a calculator for Christmas. My half-brother, a star parochial high-school quarterback, bought me this: http://www.vintage-technology.info/pages/calculators/t/texasti1200.htm Just finding this picture brought a tremendous wave of nostalgia back for me. This was absolutely the first indication to my family that I was *not* going to be a star high-school quarterback. I was also a huge fan of Ultra-man and Speed Racer by this point, so my future was pretty much a given. I had the calculator for years - I think I probably lost track of it when I was around 17.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

No, not the one with the marbles. The one with the round wooden pieces with Chinese wordsigns on them: Mandarin, Cannon, Chariot, Minister... like that.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

I bought myself what would now be called a Propelling Pencil to use when I was Drawing at Uni. Not Artist type Drawing but straight Technical Drawings of things Open & In Line for Assembly. I splurged on that Pencil when I redrew a drawing that couldn't be assembled and had all nasty Red Pen Marks on it when it was returned with references to Stress Points that had been introduced by the rework. The Professor being Typical of most University professors just replied that it was a Fitting Problem not a Design Problem even though there was no way that the parts which could easily be made could be assembled. So for the rest of my Mech Engineering Course I just replied whenever asked [b]"That's a Fitting Problem not a Design Issue."[/b] ;) Got me out of needing to do so much work. :^0 I still have that Pencil around here somewhere as it was a very nice thin one that felt great in your hand. For that matter I still have all of my drawing instruments and a very old Slide Rule which I most defiantly know where it is though by now I couldn't do any more than Multiply & Divide on it. None of the Advanced Stuff that was a mainstay of what I used to do. :( Col

wizard57m-cnet
wizard57m-cnet

a Sears Electronic Sliderule calculator...yes, a long time ago! ;)

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

I purchased it when Best Buy could only answer questions with the word yes.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Growing up in a heavily Asian neighborhood of Sacramento, I had a lot of Japanese friends who had the ACTUAL die-cast, pre-Mattel Shogun Warriors. They were from VARIOUS Japanese Anime shows - Combattler V, Mazinger Z (Great Mazinga), Raideen, Gaiking. They were complex and intricate. My friend used to tell me, "They would never sell toys like this here, American kids aren't smart enough to play with toys like this, they would hurt themselves". Then the American Shogun Warriors came out (I was totally excited), and kids starting choking on the missiles and putting their eyes out with them, and they were ALREADY dumbed down compared to the Japanese versions. I was so disappointed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J5P2gHerEQ

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

When I was very young my Parents Bought me a Meccano Set http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meccano I used to build things with that for ages and I still have some bits of it around after many years. Then another time they bought me a Scaletricx Set http://scalextric.hornby.com/ Used that so much that I burnt out one of the cars in the first few days. It was a basic Figure 8 Kit with some 50's style Cars the Jag [i] a D Type[/i] didn't survive the Christmas break/holiday and when the shops reopened they bought some more cars and a new motor for the Jag. I most defiantly still have that set and quite a bit more now with over 1,000 meters of Track numerous cars and sidecars and I still occasionally pull it out and show the Nephews what I used to do. But I simply couldn't play with it, as I'm way too old. :^0 That is something that has grown in size over the years and while I'm not actively looking for things for it if I see something that interests me I grab it. Col

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

I remember my dad was working with what must be descendant of that one, and probably ten years later. It could store data to little magnetic strips, and I think it had sort of a weird docking station with a paper strip printer (like a cash register)... otherwise it looked exactly like that one. Edited to add: Found it, it was the TI59 with PC100 printer, http://www.vintagecalculators.com/ti_59.JPG From 1977, but it was still alive and kicking in '85 - but then, they made stuff to last back then, didn't they?

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

If the regular Scouts start fires by rubbing sticks together, then we definitely need Geek Scouts who perform maths with slide rules and code GUIs in Fortran.

dcolbert
dcolbert

At first I found a bunch of clones that looked just like it, but weren't the right one. Evidently this line of TI calculator set the mold for the next 20 years. :) That is a cool site, huh? I live the Internet. ;)

MikeGall
MikeGall

The F in WPF was fortran. Man I just wasted $100 on a Fortran 95 text. Thanks a lot.