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10 last-minute gift ideas for geeks

You've gone and waited until the last minute to buy the gang at the office their annual holiday gifts. Trouble is, it's too late to order something online -- and who wants to fight with holiday crowds at the mall?

Wouldn't you rather just do some nice, relaxing shopping from the comfort of your cubicle? There's plenty of great stuff you can give digitally via email, Facebook, or even printed off on the fancy color printer at the office you've got at home.

We've tried to cover all the basics, from downloadable games, music, and video on demand -- to truly utilitarian gifts like backup services and Web hosting. Take the jump to see our list of "pay for it now, get it now" gifts -- and share your suggestions in the comments!

Backblaze -- $50

One thing geeky types preach to their less technical acquaintances is the importance of backing up data -- yet it's often the case that we ourselves aren't protecting our own data. Backblaze is a delightfully simple cloud backup solution, and at $50 for a year of service with unlimited storage it's a gift that keeps on giving. A little fault tolerance always makes a nice present.

Give a year of Backblaze backups

Netflix - $7.99 to $95.88

Netflix is terrific value for money at $8 a month for a streaming-only subscription, and they'll let you buy a membership for a friend. They're extremely flexible, too, offering one, two, three, six, or twelve month gifting. Just remember -- Netflix is currently only available in the U.S. and Canada.

Give a Netflix subscription


Hulu Plus - $7.99 to $95.88

Hulu lets you purchase from one to twelve months of access to their massive catalog -- which includes past seasons of loads of popular TV shows. You'll also be giving mobile access, since a Hulu Plus account is required for smartphone or tablet viewing. Now if only Hulu would give us all a gift and go international...

Give a Hulu Plus subscription


Zune Pass, iTunes email gift cards, and Amazon gift certificates - various prices

Amazon is a solid 'plan b' gift. They carry just about anything you can imagine, they've got stores all over the world, and there's a good chance your geeky friends might have e-book readers that they could fill with Amazon's digital content. iTunes cards cover not just music and video, but also anything you can buy from the App Store. Zune Pass availability isn't in the same ballpark as iTunes, but it's an excellent service -- so if your giftee lives in a supported area, it's nice way to give unlimited music (and 10 keeper downloads per month).

Zune Pass, iTunes email gift cards [iTunes link], and Amazon gift certificates

World of Warcraft time - $14.99 to $77.94

Your truly geeky friends probably play WoW. With a userbase somewhere between 12 and 13 million, your odds are pretty darn good. Blizzard will let you feed a friend's addiction for one, three, or six months and you can also gift the game itself (and all of the expansions) if you're trying to subtly coerce someone into signing up.

Gift World of Warcraft

Games from Steam -- various prices


Steam has more than 1,000 games available for $10 or less. From Flight Control HD (pictured) to Football Manager 2011 to COD: Black Ops, Steam has something for everyone. Don't forget, that includes your Mac friends, too. There aren't quite as many titles to pick from, but there are still plenty of great games you can purchase and gift in a matter of minutes.

If you're stuck for specifics, check out Sebastian's five recommendations -- all very reasonably priced!

Popcap Gift Certificates -- $14.95 to $89.95

We're not going to lie: we think the Bookworm games are awesome. Popcap offers some of the most addictive casual games around, like Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, and Bejeweled. They actually make nice last-minute gifts for your non-geeky friends, too.

Give a Popcap gift certificate

Flickr Pro -- $24.95

If you know someone who loves to take pictures, you can't go wrong with a Flickr Pro account. Pro users can upload pretty much whatever the heck they want -- there's no storage limit and photos can be up to 20MB a piece. A lot of amateur photogs already have a Flickr Pro account, but Flickr's got you covered there, too. Gifting to an existing user tacks your gift purchase onto the end of their current subscription.

Give twelve months of Flickr Pro

Media Temple hosting -- $95

This one's going to set you back a little extra, but what Web dev friend of yours wouldn't like to receive a year service from one of the biggest and best providers around? The year-long package includes a domain name, 5GB storage, 500GB/month transfer, and even 24/7 tech support.

Purchase The Hosting Card

Tags: backblaze, christmas, download, gift, hgg, hgg2010, holiday, holiday gift guide, HolidayGiftGuide, itunes, last minute, LastMinute, netflix, shopping

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