From sarcastic t-shirts to anti-social gadgets for the bus and train, here are 10 things to make going back to work or uni bearable
1. Get a $100 Apple card
Right now you can save up to $120 for example on a MacBook Pro if it's for uni. And there's some extra icing on the cake if you buy a qualifying Mac between January 17 and April 17 this year - a $100 "Back to Uni Card". You can use it for music, apps and iBooks. All the details are here.
2. Periodic table shower curtain
It's….scientific. Have the periodic table of elements, on your shower curtain. If pastel watercolours don’t float your boat, then perhaps this will. A different way to start your work day routine. This shower curtain was out of stock at the time of writing, but we liked it so much we included it here. Check back on the Thinkgeek site to when more stock arrives.
3. Reading material
It's easier to ignore the guy elbowing you on the commute home with one of these. The latest Kindle doesn’t have the keyboard or 3G, but it's cheaper than the old one and still rates as the best eBook reader in our book.
4. Dual monitors
If you spend your day fiddling with lots of windows, this might be just the way to make navigating your programs a bit easier. Our current pick of the crop in terms of price is the BenQ G2222HDL. Having two monitors used to be the mark of a PC enthusiast, or stockbroker, but now it's increasingly common sight.
5. Your own hotspot
The downside to toting around a tablet, phone and laptop is needing SIM cards to get them all online. Another option is to get yourself one of these hotspots, which all of your gadgets can connect to using WiFi. Most of the major carriers sell them.
6. Mini USB backup drive
What's different about this USB drive is its size - plug it into your laptop and all you'll see is a small nub sticking out of the USB port. We wouldn't rely on this as a primary backup, but it's a handy way to keep a copy of your commonly-used files on a USB you don't need to keep unplugging.
7. Dropbox account
We use Dropbox ourselves to keep a copy of files we can get at from work or at home - if you're using different computers it's easier than saving things to USB all the time. While previous security scares haven't exactly given us confidence about trusting our most critical files to the cloud, it's still a handy way to get at your day to day documents over the Internet.
Some people swear by this free iPad app, which lets you read your favourite sites in a magazine-style format. The app also includes curated pages on special topics - when the CES gadget-fest was happening in Las Vegas there was a CES area in the app just for that. Some complain the site is US-centric, but if that doesn't faze you then it's regarded as one of the fancier ways to read your favourite sites on the iPad or iPhone.
9. Cashback offer
Epson is offering varying amounts from $10 to $300, depending on the printer and ink you are buying. The cashback offers are limited to certain shops, but if you need a new printer then these offers are worth looking into.
10. TomTom iPhone app to reroute you past traffic
There are some that swear by this app for getting them through city traffic with minimum stress. It's not cheap - $74.99 from the App Store at time of writing - but then again, some people might consider this instead of a full-blown in-car GPS unit (not while driving, for obvious safety reasons). Like some other systems, TomTom's traffic feature is aware of current conditions, and tries to re-route you around bad spots. Could be useful for the drive into work.
11. [Bonus item] I will not fix your computer t-shirt
Speaks for itself really. Though not everyone thinks this way.
Got an absolutely essential gadget for work or uni? Add your comment below, or on our Facebook page.