With the weather turning into something less outdoor friendly thoughts turn to indoor fun. Video gaming and LAN (Local Area Network) party PC gaming in particular come to mind. With this in mind, I received some items that are for, or have been, repurposed for use at a LAN party. So let's get this party started.
First up is the Mantis Multi-position Task Light, which was designed for using computers in the dark. LAN parties are usually held in dim or darkened rooms so there is no glare on the screens and the games stand out better. The Mantis Multi-position Task Light is a LED light bar designed to be clipped to the bottom of your monitor so that it can shine down on your keyboard.
The clip that holds the Mantis has rubber grips that hold tight and the back grip plate pivots so it can grip odd shaped surfaces. The clip also allows the Mantis to snap out so that it can be hand held. Additionally the Mantis has legs that snap out so that it can stand if there is no place to clip it. The light itself has two levels of brightness so if you need a dimmer setting, you have it.
The Mantis Multi-position Task Light is very handy even when not in use for a LAN party, or at a computer, it makes a great light for any purpose, especially with the legs and clip. I recommend the Mantis Multi-position Task Light.
The Grid-It Ultimate Organizer is another one of those items that you wished you thought of. It is basically a board with elastic straps woven across it. With these elastic straps you can bundle and secure all those small items you carry in your laptop bag, back pack, messenger bag, purse or LAN bag. USB dongles, memory sticks, small cables, chapstick, batteries, you name it, if it's small and rattles around the bottom of your bag, you can slip it into a elastic strap on the Grid-It Ultimate Organizer and secure it. I have the small version (5" x 7") and it works well, but I plan to get the larger version to hold even more. I easily recommend the Grid-It Ultimate Organizer, it is that useful.
The Camp Shirt for Gadget Freaks is by Scottevest/SeV, the same people that make "Personal Area Network" clothing. The Camp Shirt for Gadget Freaks is a comfy shirt designed to carry your gadgets with a minimal amount of pocket bulge, no headphone wires showing, and balanced weight carrying. The chest pocket has a small hole in the back so you can slip your headphone wire through for your portable media player and a magnetic closure at the top to help keep things in. It also has two small hoops near the collar to help route the headphone and keep them from getting tangled.
The shirt is comfy and looks nice. I do like the double pocket on the right side that opens at the seam, it's roomy and has a zipper to keep everything secure. At a LAN party table space always seems to be small, this shirt can help hold some of your smaller items. Outside of a LAN party it is stylish and perfect for throwing your phone or media player in the pocket. If you are looking for a smart shirt like this I recommend it.
Fairy Berries are small plastic balls that glow and dim. They are designed for decoration, specifically to give a "firefly" effect. So why are they in my review? Well I saw them and had an idea. At a large LAN I noticed that even though my computer is somewhat unique, I still didn't always spot it right away in a sea of computers. My idea, place a few of these around my computer and their fading on and off would help me find my spot quicker. Quite accidently I also found they make a good cat toy too, but you'll want to make sure they snap back together securely after activating them , maybe even wrap some clear tape around them to keep the cat from getting at the electronics inside.
This brings me to the one problem I had with the Fairy Berries, they don't always snap back together well. I had a couple that no matter how hard I squeezed wouldn't snap back together. Still they are neat little tech toys. If they sound like something you can use I can recommend them.
These next few items stretch the definition of LAN Party item a bit, but were still fun for a LAN.
Most of the LAN parties I attend are 21 and older gatherings. Along with energy drinks, sodas, coffee, and juices there is usually "root beer." Both of these handle "root beer" just fine. In fact they also handle energy drinks, sodas, coffee, and juices well too. The Das Beer Boot does have one fault. The box says it will hold four "root beers." Well it only actually holds only three 12 ounce bottle or cans. The Captain America Stein has nice thick glass giving it a good heft and classic Captain America image by John Byrne. Both are high quality and would be a nice gift.
Lastly the oddest item of the bunch; The Funky Fresh Bacon Scent Air Freshener. At some LAN parties there will be that one person where a shower and/or deodorant is, well how to put this nicely, an optional thing in their life. Halfway through the party things start getting a little ripe. Hang this on the side of your computer and you can have the lovely smell of bacon all LAN party long. Optionally if you don't like your new car smell you can always hang one in your car.
All of these items are available from ThinkGeek.com, who kindly provided them for review.