What every IT Pro wants for Christmas.

This post will resonate with some if not every IT Pro. I am going to limit myself to ONE gift. (So for that reason alone it is not a very realistic scenario, but bear with me).


I am not presumptuous enough to think I know What every IT pro might want, but that was the title given to me!

IT Pros are, as a rule, rather fond of free stuff (known in the industry as SWAG) they are also fond of Gadgets (known in the industry as Gadgets) but above all IT Pros are fond of peace and quiet, being left alone by management and users alike to get on with more important stuff.

At this time of year IT Pros are all preparing for the inevitable ‘good idea’ dreamed up by project teams and management such that “users will be off over Christmas so lets plan a major release of either hardware or software or more likely a complete refresh of both the hardware and software deployed to the whole enterprise” (or at least your part of it). After all the chaps in the IT department don’t need time off at Christmas, do they?

The one thing I CAN guarantee is that the above scenario is what all IT Pros do NOT want for Christmas.

I have three suggestions for every IT Pros dream Christmas present.

First there is a cheap and cheerful piece of SWAG. When @Deepfat and I go out and talk at events, conferences or our very own IT Camps, we try to make sure we have enough swag with us to reward the most difficult questions for us to answer or for that comment that dissolves the room into laughter. Or sometimes for a delegate who can get a word in edge ways. This year we have been handing out the Microsoft Spider (as shown below).


With the proliferation of gadgets that rely on some form of electrical power, the shouts of ‘has any got a charger for….. ‘ can often be heard around the Microsoft UK offices. For this reason the spider is a must have. Small almost unbreakable and provides power for;

Micro USB


iPhone /iPad

and connects to either a portable power pack or a standard USB 2 or USB 3 power source.

It has saved me from many embarrassing situations. In the never go anywhere without one stakes it is my number 1. If you want one – come and see us talk, ask a question or make us laugh!

Secondly, the gadget of my choice comes from a list of Surface Pro 3, Go Pro and Linx Tablets.

The Surface Pro 3 has changed the way I work. it goes absolutely everywhere with me, I have yet to find someone who doesn’t like the way the pen works, the way OneNote in A4 portrait mode is so easy to use without a keyboard attached.


The GoPro+ really is the epitome of a Boy’s Toy but has so many uses it has to be on my short list.

I am a dedicated motorcyclist and long ago resigned myself to the fact that the only way to survive on the road on two wheels is to make the assumption that everyone else using the road is actually trying to push you off the road.  It is also really easy to blame the nasty biker. To prevent this I now have my GoPro+ firmly fixed to the front of my bike wherever I go and record all journeys to show I rode safely and responsibly. In a tech capacity @Deepfat and I regularly use the time lapse facility to record our larger events and set up break down of the seemingly endless quantity of kit we carry everywhere.


The GoPro Hero is a 4K device taking Video, stills, time lapse and burst mode shots. All in a package the same size as a matchbox. I thoroughly recommend it.

The final gadget is actually a cheat really for two reasons, firstly I dont own one and secondly it is a package offer which contains two distinct pieces of equipment. Black Friday saw all sorts of good deals and one of those has hung around a little longer. I am sure there are other good deals from other suppliers but for me the Tescomobile.com offer for a Lumia 530 and a 7″ Linx tablet with windows 8.1 is close to unbeatable. The cost is as low as £12.50 per month for the first year (reducing in future years) and includes both devices running on Windows 8.1 and a 12 month subscription to Office 365 Personal. What more could you want?



The final category was Peace and Quiet. Freedom from Management and users. Well for some a Christmas at home with family and friends is the furthest from peace and quiet they can get. For me the chance to kick back, relax (maybe study for an exam I am taking on 30th December, yes really) watch the great content on the new NOW TV Windows 8.1 App (and X Box App too) or discover the amazing quality of my new XBox One console with the Kinect 2.0 Sensor, I am sure I will eventually get used to talking to a computer and issuing commands.

Of course I am also helping a friend install a Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and migrating a Small Business Server 2008 as well as setting up the Office 365 mailboxes for the users. A Busman’s holiday maybe but it also helps to keep connected to the real world and not just talk IT but to practice it as well.

Because this is my post I am going to cheat again (there’s a theme developing here) I would also add extending my SONOS collection to more rooms so I can play lovely Christmas music throughout the house. If you dont have SONOS – get it quickly there is a 12 month unlimited music offer on with Deezer at present

I will also make sure there is plenty of time for my children to spoil me in the way they should (I refer them to the SONOS statement above) and for lots of quality time with my long-suffering wife Sue.

Whatever you choose from this list or any other, I wish you a happy, healthy and fun-filled Christmas holiday. Of course looking forward to many more Tech adventures next year too.

Comments are closed.