updated 12/24/2004 2:34:18 PM ET 2004-12-24T19:34:18

Some of the most desirable tech toys in the world are awfully hard to get your hands on. They cost a fortune, are only available overseas or sell out so quickly you've got to sit on a waiting list for six months to get one.

Then there are the gadgets that just can't be had at any price. Some of the greatest gizmos around are custom jobs, whipped together by hobbyists and not available commercially. Forget about picking up these cool mods at Amazon or Wal-Mart Stores — they're only to be found in labs and basement workshops.

Some of these hacks are practical, like the external battery pack for Apple Computer's iPod music player, or the cup holder that will keep your Coors cold. Others — like the gizmo that automates The Ohio Art Co.'s classic Etch-A-Sketch toy — are just plain cool.

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