Amazon Kindle 2
I do a lot of reading when I have time. As much as I love the physical product of books, I hate the cost. I know I could save a ton of money with a Kindle, but I can't justify the upfront cost. Now, if someone were to drop one in my lap as a gift, I would be thrilled! (Read Jason Hiner's review of the Amazon Kindle 2.)
I currently have two servers at home, and one server is scheduled to become a VM in the near future. That being said, I really would love to have a new server, because the one I have now is really my three-year-old Vista system with 2008 R2 installed on it. My needs are not extravagant; I just want something like a mid-range i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM (for VMs), and about 500 GB of storage space. It's just a matter of priorities for me right now, and I don't seem to ever have the time to get around to it.
Adobe Photoshop is an application that I need three to four times per year. I will never be able to justify spending money on it for my usage levels, but once in a blue moon, I need to go beyond what Paint.NET can do. Once you've really worked with Photoshop (like I did with version 5 or 6), there really is no substitute for it. So until Photoshop drops in price to, say, $100 or so, I will never buy it for myself, but I will gladly accept it as a gift! (Read Justin's Product Spotlight about Paint.NET.)
Hearts of Iron III
I haven't had time to play a serious video game in about three years. But if I did, the game I want to be playing is Hearts of Iron III. I loved the first one in the series — it blew my mind with its level of detail and historical accuracy. I bought the second title, but just when I did, I lost most of my leisure time, and I never got a chance to play it. Hearts of Iron III looks like the best in the series, combining the increased level of detail from HoI II with a slightly reduced need for micro-management. (Read GameSpot's review of Hearts of Iron III. Note: GameSpot is a CBS Interactive brand.)
What geek would be happy without tools? While I have a good collection of tools, I would prefer having them in one, large tool chest instead of scattered over the three or four toolboxes and shelving system like they are now. For bonus points, I really want a decent air compressor, impact wrench, and air wrench. My wife's car is not designed to turn ratchets inside of it, and I am getting tired of taking it to the shop for minor repairs. For even more bonus points, a workbench, a band saw, a drill press, a table saw, and a router would be great. After all, why buy furniture when I could build it?
Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.