Techie Gifts for Non Geeks

By Marilynne Rudick on December 15, 2010

I’m finding it harder and harder to find gifts for my over 50 friends and relatives. Does my husband really need a new sweater, my sister another necklace? The hot tech gifts are the iPad, iPhone, and Kindle. But is there something more personal or unique? In the spirit of WebOver50, here are some unique techie gifts that are sure to please the over–and some under– 50s.

New Gig for Swiss Army Knives

I always thought that a Swiss Army knife is one of life’s essentials. But the 21st century demands tools beyond a can opener and a screwdriver. What about a USB flash drive? This solves the problem of “Where did I put my flash drive”? A flash drive is hard to lose when it’s neatly attached to a Swiss Army knife. Load it with some family pictures and some golden oldies, and it is both essential and personal.

A Flash Drive with Heart

Speaking of memory, heart-shaped lockets have traditionally housed photos of precious loved ones. Now there’s an upgrade: a locket that houses a flash drive. This locket is big-hearted enough to store photos of the entire family, Facebook friends, your address book, and Excel spreadsheets.  Choose a crystal-studded hearts or a broken heart. So maybe your sister does need a new necklace.

A Phone Is a Phone Is a Phone Is a Phone

The number of things I can do with my cellphone makes me hyperventilate. But as apps proliferate, it gets harder to do the obvious: make a phone call. That’s the beauty of the Jitterbug phone. It is just a phone. It’s the perfect gift for someone who craves simplicity or for the technically challenged. The Jitterbug features a large keypad and a well-lit, large-type screen. But alas, even Jitterbug has add-on apps such as a medication reminder, and a check-in-call that can offer piece of mind to someone living alone or to distant family members.

Slingbox: Your Favorite Programs Anywhere, Anytime

I first heard about Slingbox from a friend whose son was in Australia but wanted to watch his hometown teams’ games. Here’s how it works. Attach the Slingbox device to your home TV, then watch anything available on your home TV on your computer or mobile device. The  home TV does not have to be on to watch programs at your “away” location. You can change channels and access programming on your DVR with the remote control. To set up Slingbox, you need a home computer, a high-speed Internet connection, a router, and a Slingbox device on your home TV. There’s no monthly fee. To access programs via your home TV, just login at Slingbox’s website. A perfect gift for road warriors.

Who Ya’ Gonna Call? Computer Support Buddy!

When I’m working on a simple project using Word, Excel, or iPhoto and something doesn’t work right, a project that should take a few minutes stretches into hours. Online help is no help. My computer guru costs $95 an hour, and he’s not instantly available. That’s when I turn to Computer Support Buddy. A modest monthly subscription fee ($14.99) provides immediate phone or e-mail help. The support team is friendly, knowledgeable and speaks a language over 50s understand: plain English. Check out their one-on-one tutorials (Buddy Sessions), too.

WebOver50 Subscription: It’s Free

This is the best gift of all: a subscription to WebOver50! Each new post arrives by  e-mail. This is a must-give gift for all your over 50 friends. If you’d like to give subscriptions, send me an e-mail with the subscribers’ e-mail addresses. I’ll send an e-mail letting them know who signed them up and what WebOver50 is all about.

Categories: E-Commerce, Fun!


  • Me too! Oh, the hours I’ve wasted! Computer Support Buddy specifically targets over50s. One of the founders told me that the idea evolved from his personal experience. Whenever he visited his parents, they had a list of computer problems they needed help with.

    Posted by: Marilynne Rudick on December 16, 2010 at 11:29 am

  • Hi, I truly wish I’d known about “Computer Support Buddy” a few years ago. It would have helped me soooo much. Thank you for the tip. I’m keeping the site. Have a good holiday and a great New Year, Evy

    Posted by: Evy Simpson on December 16, 2010 at 10:02 am

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