Long before Apple started ditching the optical drive, PC game distribution went digital with Valve Software's online service, Steam. Every year they run a holiday sale for 2 or 3 weeks around Christmas where they discount their entire catalog. With older games and indie titles often dropping down under $5 and $10 you'll also be able to find plenty of stocking stuffers on Steam!
Another great digital delivery service that's added support for Mac games (486 of them to be exact) this year is Good Old Games. GOG's m.o. is a little different from Steam's in that they focus mainly on older PC/Mac games that are out of print or not for sale anywhere else. They've got a crazy selection going all the way back to stuff like the original Wing Commander games. So if you've got someone on your list who grew up on PC/Mac gaming in the 80s and 90s, you're sure to find something for them.
And if you happen to be the one who wants games bought for you for Christmas, both services offer a wishlist and the ability to gift games to people. Unfortunately, in both cases you've got to be a member to send a gift so unless Grandma's into CS:GO or DOTA2 I doubt she'll be buying you anything from either!
So that's Mac and PC gamers covered, what about the console gamer in your life? While you can't gift games directly to people on either Xbox Live or the Playstation Network, you can buy them gift cards that they can use with each. And if their only console is an iPod touch or iPad, then you can't go wrong with an App Store gift card.
You can get Xbox Live, PSN and App Store gift cards from the likes of BigW, Target, Kmart, Coles, Woolworths, JB Hifi and EB Games. They start at $15 or $20 and can go all the way up to a couple of hundred dollars depending on the card.
Moleskine Passions: Beer Journal
I do love a good beer...especially when it's a beer I've never tried before...but I can never remember which weird one off beers are terrible and which I'd like to seek out again. Enter the Moleskine Passions: Beer Journal which should take care of all my beer recording and rating needs. It also includes a glossary, advice on pouring tips, glass types and tasting notes and homebrewing log and with space for recipes, cellar and favorite pub addresses.
Don't worry if beer isn't your thing. Moleskine have a whole range of Passions journals to suit the needs of gardeners, Crazy Cat Ladys Cat & Dog fanciers, new parents, wine enthusiasts, aspiring Master Chefs, globe trotters, film buffs and many more.
Australian RRP is $39.95 but if you look around you can find them cheaper overseas.
The gift of offsite backups: Free - AU$165
Sometimes the best gifts are the most thoughtful ones...and you can't get any more thoughtful than helping friends and family preserve their digital media, documents and memories. It'll also make it a helluva lot easier on you when you inevitably end up going over there to help them recover from that hard drive crash you've been warning them about! So really, it's like you're buying yourself a present at the same time.
Firstly there's the free option, which fulltimecasual covered earlier this year and allows you to act as a secure, automatic, off site backup location for friends and family.
For those of us that don't have endless disk space or fat internet pipes, CrashPlan are now offering CrashPlan+ gift subscriptions for $69.30 (1 computer) and $165 (2 - 10 computers) which gives you unlimited, secure, cloud based storage for a year. And if something bad happens, you can now have them ship a copy of your backup on a hard drive to your door anywhere in Australia & New Zealand for $165.
Unfortunately the gift subscription can only be given to those who don't have a CrashPlan account yet, so you'll have to come up with something equally thoughtful next year!
Incase EO Travel Roller
The biggest present I wanted this year was a fully kitted out 13" MacBook Air to replace my aging and battered well loved 15" unibody MacBook Pro. I've been led to believe that I have a snowballs chance in a Brisbane summer of getting one, so I'm just going to wait until the next refresh of the Air which'll be better...in every way, at least that's what I keep telling myself!
The next "big expensive" present on my list is the Incase EO Travel Roller. The roller, along with the rest of the EO Travel collection, has been specifically designed with the MacBook Air/Pro and iPad toting frequent traveller in mind. The Roller takes up to a 17" MBP and enough clothes to last 3 days making it perfect for the interstate trips that I'm having to do more and more...and yes, that's how I'm selling it to the fiance
The Roller will set you back US$249.95, while it's more rugged brother the Hardshell Roller comes in at US$299.95. There's also the Duffel, Backpack and Rolling Brief which'll each hold up to a 15" MBP and 2 days worth of clothes and cost US$149.95, US$179.95 and US$249.95 respectively. They're not available locally yet, but you can by them directly from the Incase online store.