What do all sysadmins and IT managers really want for Christmas? If you answered more realistic budgets and better engagement from senior management, you’d be right, but it’s hard to fit that stuff under a tree. We’re going for small and cheerful this year. From ironic mugs and retro hoodies to rack nut tools and goofy gadgets. This is our ultimate sysadmin and IT manager gift guide for 2024. Buy now to avoid the traditional last-minute holiday shipping roulette.
Windows 95 Pullover Hoodie
For sysadmins of a certain vintage, you can’t go past this Windows 95 hoodie from Redbubble. It’s available in a bunch of different colours and sizes, and the material comes from manufacturers who support the Better Cotton Initiative.
Apple II Miniature
Got an Apple early adopter in your life? Like, early early? Get them a mini Apple II replica for their desk. Etsy is usually your best bet here, and there are a range of 3D printed miniatures to choose from. Our picks are the classic Apple II and the old-school Mac.
Every sysadmin worth their salt should have a multitool or screwdriver set on-hand. Top-of-the-line multitools can get kind of pricey – Leatherman’s Skeletool CX and Victorinox’s SwissTool are both great options – but there’s nothing wrong with a Gerber Gear Dime from Amazon. They start at just USD$22.
Rummaging through server racks? You need a good right-angled torch or headlamp. ZebraLight makes some excellent models, but our pick of the bunch is the H53Fc Floody Headlamp. You should also check out the Armytek Wizard C2 Pro.
USB Missile Launcher
Excuse us, foam missile launcher. We should probably stress that bit. For the sysadmin who likes to keep the team on their toes, we present the Dream Cheeky 908 Thunder Missile Launcher. Compatible with Windows and macOS, it can shoot four tiny missiles via your keyboard and mouse.
Rack Nut Tool
If your sysadmin does any rack mount work, they’ve no doubt torn up their hands trying to use a common screwdriver. Cage nuts can be a pain, but they’re a lot less painful with the right tool. RackSolutions are your go-to here – they make the (self-described) ‘World’s Best Cage Nut Tool’.
Take all the hassle out of case screws with the Miniware ES15 Intelligent Motion Control Electric Screwdriver. It’s USB-chargeable, comes with a range of bits, and even has anti-jamming functionality, for the batch heads on those tricky hexagon socket screws. Definitely a nifty bit of kit.
Destined to gather dust in the office kitchen cupboard, we have the novelty Christmas mug. There are a few IT-specific mugs you can try this year, including ‘Sysadmin: Because ‘miracle worker’ isn’t an official job title’ and ‘Sysadmin nutrition facts’. Our personal favourite might be this one from Threadheads – seems to sum up the life of a sysadmin.
For the perpetually cold IT manager (you know who you are), we have the Amazon Basics 500-Watt Ceramic Space Heater. It’s small enough to fit on (or under) your desk and includes Tip Over Protection for extra safety. No more wearing ski jackets in the office.
Charger Cable Kit
Never be caught on zero battery again. This Hoco 6-in-1 Phone Charger Cable Kit has a bunch of different conversion heads, let’s you switch up the interface at will, and comes with an integrated stand. There’s even a little spot for your card pin.
Universal Geek Tool
They’re a bit tricky to get, but if you can find one, Flipper Zero is one of the best universal pentesting tools on the market. This thing basically lets you explore and control any kind of access control system, including RFID and radio protocols. You can even use it to read and store low-frequency proximity cards. Use responsibly.
Steam Gift Card
If your sysadmin is a gamer, it’s a pretty good bet they’re on Steam. Steam Gift Cards can be used on games, hardware, software, and anything else you can buy on Steam. You can add them digitally to their Steam Wallet or redeem a physical card (for wrapping and extra brownie points).