A quad-core MacBook Pro. I love my 17″ dual-core MacBook Pro, but I’m a huge user of VMware Fusion, and I really need more than two cores and 4 GB of RAM to do anything substantial. As my kids get bigger and we’re doing more and more, accessing my lab-based 16 GB behemoth server is getting pretty difficult, so I’d like to be able to take more work on the road with me. I’m far from being a hardcore Apple guy; I’m really a Windows junkie who loves Apple hardware.
A non-CrunchPad/JooJoo device maybe an Apple tablet? I do a ton of Web-based research, and I read a lot of Web pages and PDFs; as such, sometimes even carrying around a laptop is a hassle, especially when I just want to troll the Web. What I really want is a CrunchPad-like device that gets decent battery life and works anywhere. At the very least, the device needs to have Wi-Fi and work with my USB-based AT&T cellular modem so I can use it on the go. If the device can’t be used outside Wi-Fi-only zones, it wouldn’t be very useful to me. I’m not interested in a JooJoo because, while the concept is awesome, the price is not.
1,500 Twitter followers. I didn’t “get” Twitter until this summer when I attended the TechRepublic community event. Now, I get it, I love it, and I want more of it!
A brand-new Hyundai Azera. Okay, this isn’t exactly a geek gift, and some of you might be asking yourself why I’d want a Hyundai as my dream car. Well… my wife and I have two Hyundais already — a 2003 Santa Fe and a 2007 Sonata, and they’re simply fantastic vehicles. Our Santa Fe went more than 90,000 miles on the factory tires and still had legal tread when we finally replaced them. When I bought my Sonata, I was really eyeing the Azeras, but the frugal side of me reared its ugly head, and I opted for a much less expensive (but still quite nice) vehicle. If anyone at Hyundai has any spare Azeras taking up space, let me know.
Most important… to get to keep watching my kids grow and learn with technology. This is one gift I know I’m going to get. I have two kids — my daughter Izzy is four, and my son Ryan is five and started kindergarten this year. Both kids are already very proficient with the computer; on a regular basis, they get on our kitchen system, where they start their own games, adjust the volume to appropriate levels, and are able to find Internet Explorer shortcuts to their favorite kid sites.

I was helping my son with what appeared to be this inane game in which the player had to adjust the height of a ramp in order to get a car to an appropriate height to jump a tower of other vehicles, and it struck me that my five-year old was learning some rudimentary physics without even knowing it! The little bugger has also requested his own video camera from Santa Claus so that he can start taking videos of his Thomas trains and posting them on YouTube. At night, he and I sit in bed together using our laptops — he uses my older Sony laptop to play games at Agame.com and watch Thomas YouTube videos, while I write blogs and respond to email. In the car, he demands the use of my iPhone so he can play Ant Hill and Skee Ball.

Both of my kids just soak this stuff up and learn all of the tricks… and they make it look easy!

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