If you want to give a holiday surprise to a technology geek in your life, consider giving a simple gift card. It may seem lazy or low-effort, but they will undoubtedly find use in it via stores like Newegg or Amazon. Just be careful with gift cards for specific music services (like iTunes) or gaming gift cards for platforms they don't play on (get a Playstation gift card if they use a PS4).
Leo says that the best gift for the technology geek in your life these days is a gift card. If they are really geeky, make it a NewEgg gift card, but Amazon is generally the safest. For gamers, a PS or Xbox gift card is ideal, or maybe even one for STEAM.
Jacob and a friend have two different game platforms, a PC and an XBox One. How can they play together? Leo says it can be tough to cross platforms because people using a PC have an advantage playing some games, while people who use a game controllers have advantages for driving games. It may also be that the servers are different for each platform. Leo says there may be games that allow them to be cross platform. He'd just have to find them.
Oculus Rift went on sale to the public this week. It's a virtual reality headset that has motion tracking in it along with a camera that can track your body's movements. It also has headphones with very good quality sound. For video, it means that you'll be able to look around and see things all around you. Instead of a camera man or director determining what you'll be seeing, you can look at anything you choose. Gaming is another big use case for these headsets. HTC has made a VR headset called the Vive in conjunction with Steam, a distributor of games for PC.
Elliot's Mac died and now he has to use an old Windows machine. What can he do to speed it up? Leo says that Elliot is the prime candidate for a Raspberry Pi 2 computer. At $35, he can't beat it. And it runs on Linux.
Elliot wants to game, though, and he plays Gary's Mod a lot. There is also Steam for Linux, but he might not be able to get Gary's Mod on that. If he needs a decent computer, it all comes down to budget. Leo says he can also put Windows 10 on a Raspberry Pi, but it won't be very good with graphics.
John would like to connect his computer to an HDTV and he's not really interested in 4K. What's the best TV? Leo says that there's not much content for 4K and even if there was, computers can't take advantage of it. A 1080p HDTV with HDMI will work just fine. And for gaming, a 60hz set will be sufficient.
Grant is 10 and he likes using Linux on his computer. He's thinking of also adding Windows and wants to know if it's worth it to pay $100 for the OS. He wants to play games. Leo says that for Grant, it may be the best reason to buy Windows. Then he can download and play games on Steam.
Although, Steam will be putting out a new SteamBox which will likely be run on Linux, and that means developers will want to make games that run on Linux.
Matthew hears that the XBox One has more than one operating system. Leo says it actually has three! Under the hood, it has the central core of Windows 8. On top of that is Microsoft's HyperV, which switches in context. Lastly, there's the gaming interface for XBox. Leo says it's not really three separate operating systems so much as different user interfaces. The interesting thing is that Microsoft is using the Windows 8 kernel (even though they refuse to call it that), and Leo says it's going to be a very powerful PC with a gaming system on top of it.