Tech Gifts for Dad on Father’s Day

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Father’s Day, aka “Dad Appreciation Day,” is rapidly approaching and there are some great online resources that can help you to show dad (or help the kiddos show their main man) that he’s one of a kind. Before you pick up another tie or coffee mug, consider easy ways to customize and make it unique. Get inspired with Pinterest and links to simple crafts, or if dad is a technophile we’ll suggest a few of our favorite gift-worthy gadgets.

One of the quickest ways to make a gift distinctive is to use custom labels, referred to as “printables.” Armed with your computer, a decent color printer and some sheets of un-cut labels, you can make your own cards or turn any ho-hum gift into a custom show-stopper.

At first the idea of creating a custom label seems too work-intensive. From having to be creative enough to come up with a cool design, then meticulous enough to get the label sized correctly for the finished product – it makes you want to just head to the store for a gift card instead. Luckily, many friendly bloggers and talented folks have done the work for you and posted their templates online so you need only find a style and message that appeals to you, print and cut at home. Some will be available for purchase but there are loads to be had for free.

DIY crafts abound. The crafty and creative bloggers at “How Does She” (www.howdoesshe.com/26-adorable-fathers-day-ideas/) have compiled a collection of projects for all skill levels, including free printables and links to customized gifts, most often with detailed walkthroughs. Not feeling creative? Some items can be purchased so you look like you made it yourself without busting out the scissors.

Before you wrap up a pair of socks or a bottle of dad’s favorite cologne, slap on a quick, free Father’s Day label to give a run-of-the-mill gift a little extra pizzazz. Babble.com provides links to chic, free Father’s Day printables, already created and sized: www.babble.com/home/10-amazing-fathers-day-printables/

Treat your beer or wine aficionado to a truly custom bottle when you upload your own images to personalize a bottle of wine or beer at GrogTag (http://www.grogtag.com). Tags run $20 for 48 labels, and they’re reusable so you can get more bang for your buck. There are video tutorials if you run into trouble, but the process seems pretty simple.

If you still haven’t decided on the perfect gift or gesture of appreciation, Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) offers Father’s Day gift inspiration. While searching for pins labeled “Father’s Day” will return an overwhelming number of results, try searching for boards instead. Scan images (you’ll see the one the pinner has selected for their cover image as well as their most recent four pins right on the search results page) for someone whose tastes are in-line with yours. Check out their board for a quick path to a collection of gifts, crafts, or things to do to show dad you appreciate him.

Finally, it your Nerdy dad is hinting that he wants to increase his collection of gadgets; here are a few favorites that are sure to please:

For the dad who’s always lamenting the lousy WiFi in the far reaches of the house, the Amped 600mW Compact Wi-Fi Range Extender (www.ampedwireless.com/products/rec10.html?gclid=CITtju-Ty7cCFQ1xQgodiBAAJA, $80) plugs into any electrical outlet and boosts the signal from your wireless router. Never dropping off the network in your own home again? Priceless.

For the guy who loves his snazzy home theater but hates fighting with the remotes to go from movie to TV to video game, the Harmony One remote control (www.amazon.com/dp/B005FO43OU, $300) is truly an all-in-one, press one button and it works like a magic remote. Use your computer to customize it to your equipment and from that point you’ll press one button, such as “watch TV” or “play game” and every device is changed to the right channel and input to work. No more struggling to remember that you need to scroll to “surround 7.1” when you want to watch a movie and the docking station will let you save on batteries.

If his computer can never be fast enough, a solid state drive will give him blazing fast start-up and responsiveness. The installation and set up process can be daunting (“Happy Father’s Day! Now spend the weekend reinstalling your operating system”), but he’ll thank you every time he turns on his computer to get some work done. The Samsung 840 series 2.5” SATA III Solid State Drive (www.samsung.com/us/computer/memory-storage/MZ-7TD120BW ) starts at around $100 for 120GB of storage.

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at callnerds.com/andrea/.