This page contains, or will contain, all the gadgets & gizmos talked about on The Daily Giz Wiz during September, 2008. Newest week is at the top. The Netcast usually goes online about 11 PM, the night before the date indicated. The latest week is at the top.
DAILY GIZ WIZ, Week of September 29th, 2008
Monday, September 29th Netcast 666
Leo got a new Plantronics Headset, so I had to get an even newer one! Itís thePlantronics 777.
The full name of this gizmo is:Plantronics Game Com 777 Surround Sound Gaming Headset! I must admit, itís pretty nifty. It features Dolby Headphone Technology that delivers a very real 5.1channel audio experience. It comes complete with a Plug-and-play Dolby USB sound card. (Dolby Pro Logic II technology.) An analog hook-up is provided in case you need it. Plantronics calls it an open-ear design, but the large cups do cover the ears completely. Thereís a concealed mic boom that stays hidden until youíre ready to use it. Then it just pivots down.And thereís an in-line volume and mic-mute control. I recorded my half of this episode (Netcast 666) of the DGW using the 777.Leo wasnít sure if he didnít like the Logitech Clear Chat that I normally use, a little better. But as far as my hearing Leo in the headphones, it was the best he ever sounded. It sounded as if his voice was coming from speakers in the room rather than just in my headset. The mic is noise-canceling and you have the ability to also turn the Dolby on and off.The 777 is ruggedly built and best of all, the price is under $100. Theyíre brand new and although theyíre shown on the Plantronics website, you can only pre-order them when this was written. Since we record a week ahead, they may be available to buy by the time the Netcast airs.
Another Turn The Table Tuesday and this week Leo starts with an apology to the Giz Wiz!
Years ago I picked an external hard drive case as the gadget of the day and Leo said he couldnít believe Iíd do something so basic and non-techie. So now what does he do? He picks his own hard drive external case as his pick for Turn The Table Tuesday!But at least he started by saying he was wrong for coming down so hard on me when I first did mine! Leo loves the Thermaltake BlacX external USB 2.0 docking station designed for 2.5"/3.5" SATA hard drives. Since heís getting ready to record many of his Netcasts in video, as well as audio, he is buying lots more memory. Heís buying barebones hard drives and needs a safe, convenient place to put them and access them easily. The SATA to USB 2.0 interface provides up to 480Mbps data transfer rate for quick and easy data backup. The Thermaltake BlacX supports all 2.5Ē & 3.5Ē SATA HDDs up to 1TB and is hot-swap capable in case he has change drives on the go. Best of all, theyíre under $40.
I Went a Little Cuckoo over this Device called Cucku. And surprise, Leo Likes it Too.
Need back up? Thereís nothing cheaper than this, because Cucku software is free. Cucku backs up your data locally (like to an eternal hard drive or flash drive) and then sends a secure copy to a trusted friend or family member of your choice. Yes, thatís whatís truly unique about this back-up. (Cuckoo birds put their eggs in other birdís nest, just like youíll put your files on a trusted friendís hard drive.) Every day Cucku backs up your data to a local folder on your PC and then sends any new or changed files to your backup partner for offsite storage. Cucku keeps a copy of any previously backed up files that have since been deleted so that you can recover accidentally deleted files. You can restore a specific version of an individual file or all versions of files prior to a particular date and time. If you want more control, Cucku allows you to fine-tune every aspect of your backup. And if the worst happens and your PC is damaged, lost or stolen, you can restore your files from your partner. I asked if Cucku software was free, how did the company make any money. Seems they are currently working on Cucku Backup Pro, a version of Cucku with extra features that will be available towards the end of 2008 for a small fee. However, they are committed to keeping Cucku Basic Backup free to all. Cucku Backup supports Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or later, 32 or 64-bit) and Windows Vista (32 or 64-bit). Cucku Backup needs a broadband Internet connection and Skype to backup files to a friend. If you donít already have Skype installed then you can download it from www.skype.com. Skype is also free, easy to use and allows you to make cost efficient telephone calls from your PC
Cat Genie takes ďcare-free cat careĒ to a whole new lever!
How automatic is this new device? Well CatGenie automatically scoops, liquefies, and flushes cat waste away. And then it cleans itself. It uses water and the companyís own SaniSolution to wash and sanitize the cat bowl and the special granules. Next CatGenie dries the interior and granules for your cat's comfort. Now although Cat Genie require very little on your part once itís up and running, you do have to install it. (Or have someone do that for you.) Here are the requirements: It needs to be hooked (and left hooked up) to a cold water line. They supply the ďTĒ value and the hose. The waste hose, which is also supplied, has to go to a drain - or it can be hooked on the lip of the toilet. And it requires electric. Once installed it pretty much runs itself. Hereís what you get in the Tabby Package: A CatGenie, 2 SaniSolution Cartridges good for 120 cycles, 2 Boxes of Washable Granules, one to fill, one to replenish, 2 T-Adapters for either a laundry or bathroom setup, Manuals for Set Up, Operations, and Cat Acclimation. Yes your cat may need to get used to using this device although it does like a high tech kitty box. And it is! Price: $329.00 Ė I donít how long the intro price will last, but as this was written it on sale for $297.00. There is a video demo at the company website:
Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw669
Friday, October 3rd, 2008, Netcast 670
We go back to Dickís Gadget Warehouse for a look at Nationally Advertised GFX-100 INDOOR TV ``DISH'' ANTENNAS!
Read this amazing ad! And read it carefully, because itís quite funny. It could almost be from MAD Magazine, but itís not!
GFX-100 INDOOR TV ``DISH'' ANTENNAS - only $5 (Damn! I paid $10 for mine!) No cable box necessary--uses ``RF'' technology to capture signals right out of the air! * Brings in every local VHF and UHF channel from 2 to 83! * Legal in all 50 states! * No wiring or installation! * Works like ordinary pair of ``rabbit ears''! You pay NO cable fees because you're NOT getting cable!!! * You pay NO satellite fees because you DON'T use satellite signals!!!
Throw away your old TV rod antenna! The GFX-100 looks like an outdoor satellite ``dish,'' but works indoors like ordinary ``rabbit ears.'' No wiring or installation! Legal in all 50 states. You pay NO cable fees because you're NOT getting cable!!! You pay NO satellite fees because you're NOT using satellite technology or service!!! Works entirely via proven ``RF'' technology--actually pulls signals right out of the air. Instantly locks into every local VHF and UHF channel from 2 to 83 to bring you their movies, sports and special events just like an ordinary pair of ``rabbit ears.'' No cable box or special attachments needed! Enhances color and clarity, helps pull in weak signals. Compatible with all TVs from 3-inch portables to giant 7-footers. Sits on any TV top in less than 4 linear inches of space! Guaranteed not to utilize, replicate, transmit or interfere with any satellite signal. Complies with all applicable federal regulations. Not technical razzle-dazzle but the sheer aesthetic superiority of its elegant parabolic design make the GFX-100 a marketing breakthrough! At this price, put one on every TV in your home! (Sorry, limit 3 per address. No dealers or wholesalers, please!) We reserve right to extend above time and quantity guarantee.
Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw670
Via the website: www.milk.com
Daily Giz Wiz, Week of September 22nd, Netcast #661
Monday, September 22nd, 2008.
Itís Cordzilla, the Godzilla of all bungee cords!
Cordzilla. Yes, the name was inspired by the popular horror flick monster Godzilla known for his ferocious strength. Rather than call it a Ďbungee cordí, Cordzilla is referred to as ďstretch ropeĒ. Itís available in 3-foot, 4-foot and 5-foot lengths and features a bungee encased inside a flexible polypropylene rope. Each end of Cordzilla Secure Line features an extra strong steel hook that easily attaches to most roof racks, truck beds, boat trailers, etc.And the hook is vinyl coated to help prevent scratching anything valuable that its holding in place. A spring loaded security clip locks the hook in place. Due to the limited length of traditional bungee cords people (including me) often attach multiple cords together, increasing the chance that any one of the hooks could disengage and lead to an unstable load. Not to mention the hurt when it comes flying at your face. Cordzilla Secure Line is available in longer lengths of 3, 4 and 5 feet. The longer line makes it easier secure a load with just one stretch rope. The five foot Cordzilla Secure Line for example, can stretch to nine feet. Another clever idea is two slidable, protective dense foam sleeves that can be moved to fit over valued possessions that might otherwise get scratched. At a Wal-Mart near you now. I couldnít find them on the Wal-Mart website when I checked on September 18th, but they are now. They may already be in Wal-Mart Stores. Prices will range from about $15 to $19.
Another Turn the Table Tuesday, and Leoís pick is the BlueAnt Supertooth 3 Bluetooth Handsfree.
Leo says itís easy keeping your hands on the wheel & your eyes on the road
with the new BlueAnt Supertooth 3 handsfree speakerphone. It provides a safer, legal alternative to talking on your cell phone while you drive. (California just joined the states that require hands-free cell phone use.) Voice prompts provide assistance to help you connect the device with your phone and upload your address book. The Supertooth 3 announces the name or ID of the caller when the phone rings - just say 'OK' to accept the call. Install the Supertooth 3 in seconds for a totally handsfree experience. Uses sophisticated 'Text-to Speech' software. It also adjusts sound levels to compensate for loud engine noise or external noise created when the windows are wound down. Leo liked the installation. Slide the metal clip onto your sun-visor and attach the Supertooth 3 via the magnets on the rear of the device. The voice prompts provide guidance and assistance to help pair the device and upload your cell phone's address book. Incorporates a choice of 6 languages. Leo picked French to get a jump on learning the language for his visit to his daughter Abby, whose studying in Paris for a year. If you do a web search you can find it for about $85.
Help Keep the Planet Green with the NEW Solio Magnesium Edition
Solio says they have created the worldís most advanced hybrid charger. Engineered to meet the demands of the serious adventurer, the Solio Magnesium edition combines efficient solar panels and a high capacity battery to collect and store power. With expanded compatibility and a strong fan shaped magnesium alloy shell, this is the most powerful and versatile hybrid charger Solio ever made. This version includes: Charging Cable for the iGo tip system. I already have some iGo devices, as does Leo. You get a Female USB Cable (powers iPhone, iPod, MP3s), iGo Motorola Razor tip, iGo LG Chocolate tip, iGo Nokia tip, iGo Samsung tip, iGo Blackberry tip, Solio Draw String Hemp Pouch and a Universal Wall Adapter. And you get one more iGo tip. Universal Charger Ė Powers virtually all your electronic devices. Since itís now compatible with the Universal iGo tip system you can use it with hundreds of different portable electronics. Includes Adapter Tip system Cable and USB tip for iPodģ, digital cameras, and other compatible devices.The internal rechargeable battery stores power for up to one year. A full Solio Mg will charge a typical mobile phone more than twice or give over 20 hours of MP3 music - just 1 hour of sunshine = 20 minutes talk time or 50 minutes of MP3 music. Charge anywhere thereís Sun through its solar panels! In case youíre wondering about that wooden pencil that also comes with the kit, itís to use the hole at the center of the device to prop it up so it faces into the sun! Or you can plug into the wall to charge the battery. Max rated output 8 watts. Solar panel max output 0.85 watts (5.5 V 150mA). Rechargeable 3.7V 1800mAh Lithium Ion battery. Price is under $170.00.But do a web search. I saw it on Amazon.com for $101.00
An HD Camcorder for under $180?Kodak makes it possible.
Kodak has jumped into mini camcorder market with the Zi6. Right now it out performs other low price camcorders by providing the ability to shoot 720p HD video! Thatís correct. This camera captures video in 60fps 720p HD.Things change really fast in this digital age, but right now thatís the highest quality of any pocket camcorder. I shot some short videos and they looked great when I viewed on my HP 24Ē HD Monitor. If you donít want to shoot in high def, the Zi6 also shoots stills and lower quality VGA video. Thatís perfect if you want to upload your videos to YouTube. The camera has a tiny amount of built in memory.How tiny? In the high res mode you can shoot about 30 seconds of video. When I was testing it, I couldnít figure out why it stopped recording all of a sudden. Turns out I had filled up the internal memory really fast. But thatís why thereís an SD/SDHC slot that supports cards up to 32GB. (The camera does not come a memory card.) A couple of other unique features:thereís a switch that lets you shoot video in macro focus mode. Something else thatís clever is the button you push that pops out the USB connector. It can serve as a tiny mirror for shooting self videos. The camcorder is powered by two rechargeable Ni-MH AA batteries. And the batteries and the recharger are included. And, of course in a pinch, you can power the camera with regular AA batteries, even though they may not last as long. Under $180.
Back to the Warehouse Friday, September 26th, 2008, 665
This gizmo came to me via Karl from Phoenix, AZ.
Designed for people who have trouble programming their VCR, there was a device that claimed to it just about foolproof. The VCR Co-Pilot, was billed as the fastest, easiest way to record your favorite TV shows. With the VCR Co-Pilot, you program your VCR by twisting two dials, the ďrecordĒ dial Ė which is the start time, and the ďstopĒ dial is the Ė well, the stop time.You then turn on your VCR and insert a recordable video tape. The TV didnít need to be on to record. A bit tricky for a non-techie person is setting the digital clock. You needed to use a pen or pencil tip to set the digital clock. Thereís a sliding lever to indicate the day you want to record. And thereís a Monday to Friday setting for daily shows. The Co-Pilot must be pointed at your VCR, with nothing in the way. Range is said to be about 20 feet max.When itís time for the recording to start, the record button comes on and it began scrolling through numbers 1 through 77 until it finds the code your particular VCR. Amazingly, the only VCR I could locate quickly was an old GO VIDEO dubbing deck, and indeed it found the code to run it! Once it finds the code for your machine, it sends an infra red signal to your VCR to start recording, much like your remote control would do. When it's time to stop recording, the co-pilot scans for the code again, and sends the signal to "stop". Your TV has to be on the channel you're recording so you cannot watch another channel on the same TV while you're taping. But as our tester points out, most people only want to tape one channel anyway. The VCR Co-Pilot cost between $30 and $40. It was limited it what it could do, but it did work fine. Karl found the one he sent me for 99 cents!
The Daily Giz Wiz, Week of September 15th, 2008 Monday, September 15th,2008 Netcast 656 This Swiss Army knife sets a new Guinness World Record
Try to put this in your pocket! The biggest Swiss Army knife ever produced containsno fewerthan87tools for a total of 141 functions.(Oh, my poor fingernails trying to open them all!) This XXLtoolboxis manufactured by Wenger, Switzerland. The Guinness World Records judges awardedthis bizarre gizmo the title of ďMost multifunctional penknifeĒ. Iím not sure how you can call a knife that weighs close to 3 pounds and wouldnít fit in any pocket known to man, a ďpen knifeĒ, but thatís the category itís in. Evidently the idea started one day at Wenger when someone wondered: ďWhat if we put all our Swiss Army knife tools in one single model?Ē The initial aim was not to winan award, but simply to check that they were capable of achieving this technical feat. Then some collectors got wind of the existence of this unique model and were very keento gettheir hands onit. So they produced a second model for anenthusiast, then a third and a fourth and so on. Today,twocutleryspecialistsassemblethis XXL toolbox by hand. In addition to all the usual tools, it has things like agolf reamer, magnifying glass, compass, hexagonal key, cigar cutter, laser pointer, etc.It weighs close to 3 pounds and comes with a wooden case and a certificate. And the price? Ready? $800 to $1000. http://tinyurl.com/5o6efq Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw656 TTTT, September 16th, 2008, Netcast 657 Itís another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo comes up with a high end earphone/mic for the iPhone. Leo loves his new Etymotic hf2 high-fidelity, hands-free headset/earphones. Theyíre high end and compatible with iPhone and other mobile phones. Since I donít have these, or even an iPhone, I downloaded some info from their website. Here you go: They feature the response accuracy that Etymotic is known for. The ER-4 earphones offer the highest noise isolation of all competing headsets. A 3.5mm stereo plug makes the hf2 compatible with any music player. The hf2 includes: The high-fidelity, hands-free, noise-isolating headset + earphones with 4 ft. cable, assorted ear tips, filter tool with 2 replacement filters and storage pouch. Works with iPhone and other music phones that operate with a 3.5 mm/4-contact phone + stereo plug. Also compatible with most music players (e.g., iPod, MP3, CD) that accept a 3.5 mm stereo plug. About $179.00 Apple Stores and other retailers.
http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/hf2.aspx Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw657 Wednesday, September 17th, Netcast 658 Now you can add a lot of professional effects when you broadcast or video tape with your webcam. Itís a great piece of software called WebcamMax. And it works with most all webcam programs. In seconds you can add a variety of effects over your webcam pic. You can add moving titles, water effects, nighttime effects, etc. Many come with the program, but you can also download thousands of online effects from the web. Then you can record video with these effects and broadcast the results on YouTube or your Blog.In the program you can select webcam, screen Ė selecting screen means you can move your mouse around and show viewers items you have on your computer screen! You can show movie clips or put on a slide show with your favorite pictures.And you can do PinP (Pic in Pic)! You can be on one part of the screen while you describe what youíre showing viewers on another part of the screen. You can paint on the video box directly.Effects you can use include: Transform: apply Distorting Mirror, Fire, Mosaic, Line, Color, Snow or Water. With Mask, you can wear all kinds of glasses and hats, or change your hair style, or even pretend to be a famous person. Background: Change your background to the place you like and put yourself there! Itís kind of like having your own professional green screen. Frame - lets you add fun frames to make your video cooler. Itís an amazing program. I liked it the minute I started using it. You can try it for free for 30 days. Theyíll will be a WebCamMax watermark on the screen, but you can try all the great features. If you want to buy it, itís $20 for a 6 month license, $30 for a year, $40 for two years, or probably the best bet, $50 for a lifetime license. www.webcammax.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw658
A single picture isn't the way to see WebCamMax, download the free 30 day trial.
Thursday, September 18th, Netcast 659 Hereís a value packed headphone --- and read to the end please for a knock out deal on one! Southwind SH241 Ė (SouthWing has become one of the leading Bluetooth vendors in Europe.)I told the PR guy from the company that there were hundreds of Bluetooth headsets on the market and Iíd could only talk about another one if it had some different features.He promised this one did. And here they are: With Whisper mode screening calls has never been easier at inopportune times such as in a company meeting or while driving. In Whisper mode the headset identifies the incoming calls by announcing the phone number audibly. Accessing AT&T's *8 VoiceInfo service gives direct access to audio content like sports, stock quotes, horoscopes, weather and much more via AT&T's popular *8 VoiceInfo, or program the number you call the most for one touch dialing. Automatic Call Pick Up is also available, automatically answering all incoming calls after 3 seconds when activated with no need to touch the headset or the phone. Comes with 3 interchangeable covers, 12 ring tones, and 4 different ear buds so you can personalize your headset to your own style and comfort. Up to 7 hours talk time with automatic power save after 12 hours and as auto-paring to your mobile when first turned on. A secure metal clip allows for easy carrying clipped to a shirt or coat as well. The SH241 will retail for US$39.99 at all AT&T company-owned stores in the U.S. and at http://www.wireless.att.comHang on --- DGW listener Andrew Haas just listened to show & went to order one. He got for $9.99 after rebate!! I donít know how long this offer will last, but its knock out amazing. I use it on my Verizon Voyager. Offer is here: http://tinyurl.com/4crbp2Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw659Back to the warehouse Friday, September 19th, 2008, Netcast 660Canít stand up to Telemarketers? Easy Hang Up could stand up for you!This was an easy way to take care of unwanted phone calls. The PhonexEasy Hang-Up connected between your phone and the landline. Then with just the touch of a button, a very authoritative voice would speak in your behalf. Just as the person on the other end of the phone starts their sales pitch, you just push the small button on the Easy Hang-up. A red LED comes on and hereís what the party on the other end hears: "I'm sorry, this number does not accept this type of call. Please regard this message as your notification to remove this number from your list." After the message is delivered Easy Hang-Up disconnects the line. The red indicator light goes out when the line has been disconnected. In 1991 The Telephone Consumer Protect Act allowed consumers to block future calls from live operators by requesting to be put on their ďdo not call listĒ. Basically that recorded voice is saying what you should be saying yourself. So itís perfect for people who are shy. Even though Phonex is still around and Easy Hang Up is pictured on their website, you cannot order one. I found a used one on Ebay for $5.00, so itís not very popular anymore. One big problem is it really works on landline phones and almost no one uses them anymore.Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw660
Daily Giz Wiz Week of September 8th, 2008
Monday, September 8th, 2008, Netcast 651
Kids can play and learn, even before they start school.
Itís the Leapster2 Learning Game System, the latest handheld from the folks at Leapfrog. The object is use teach through game play so itís fun for kids. This new version expands the game play into online activities. So kids play & learn using the built in color screen on the Leapster 2 or with the help of parents, it can be connected to a TV. The online environment rewards and encourages continued play, but it also lets parents see what their child is learning and they did with the various activities. As with the original Leapster system, the Leapster2 handheld does something called auto-leveling. That means it adjusts games to childrenís particular skills and progress, so players are appropriately challenged. No only can kids learn, but they can print out awards. Ages 4 to 8, under $70.
TTTT --- Tuesday, September 9th, 2008, Netcast 652
Itís another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo comes up something any Podcaster will want to know about! Itís the Plantronics 67004-01 GameCom Pro 1 PC Gaming Headset. Leo said this headset had a different model name (Like the model 500) but he said itís ideal for Podcasting. Plantronics says it offers rich digital stereo sound with maximum bass, and that it's great for gaming and listening music. The comfortable design is perfect for long gaming sessions. Thereís a convenient inline volume and mute control and a noise-canceling microphone. Other info from the web: 32 bit digitally-optimized audio bandwidth, 24 bit 100dB signal-to-noise ratio codec transforms analog audio into exceptional digital audio. Real-time equalization performed by DSP chip, frees PC processor for faster game play and maximum system performance. Noise-canceling microphone delivers exceptional speech recognition accuracy. 40mm Speakers for maximizing bass response. USB plug and play. Retail is $60.00, but if you do a web search you can find it about $48.00.
Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 Netcast 653 This is an amazing device for students or anyone who attends lectures and takes notes.
The Livescribe Pulse Smartpen is a great productivity and learning tool for todayís high tech high school and college student. At a lecture, the Pulse captures everything you write and hear, making it easy for students to review notes and prepare for exams. The Pulse Smartpen captures handwriting and simultaneously records audio and synchronizes it to the writing! Canít remember what those notes you made refer to? Push the pen down on the notes, and it finds the matching recorded audio! Thereís a mic in the pen, but the headphones also contains microphones so you can record in stereo! This is all very high tech stuff. Pulse is available in two models. Priced at $149, the 1GB model provides storage for over 100 hours of recorded audio. At $199, the 2GB model doubles the storage capacity and provides more flexibility for downloading future applications. There is no expansion slot, so make sure you buy the max memory you think youíll need. You can download everything to your computer as PDF files. A 4-Pack of College-Ruled Notebooks is $19.95. 5-Pack of Ink Cartridges $5.95. Youíll never run of paper, because in an emergency you can print the paper at home. Yes, it needs special paper so the pen knows exactly when & where the notes were taken.
This neat flashlight can be used in a large variety of ways. You get three identical flashlights, each one with a head that swivel 90 degrees. And each one takes its own two AA batteries which you supply. Then thereís a separate holder into which you can place the three separate flashlights to make them into one very bright and very useful flashlight. The center piece has tripod legs that pop open so the 3-in-1 flashlight can stand upright. Even in the tripod position the individual lights each have their own tilt-able lens. The single LED on each individual light puts out a decent amount of light. A neat little trick is that when the three lights are put together, any of the on/off buttons on the individual lights controls all lights. The tripod legs of the 3-in-1 are held by a small magnet in the center holder. Push a button, and you can separate the legs to make the handy tripod. Each individual flashlight has a head that can swivel 90 degrees. So you can wear one in your belt and swivel the head down to light your way. Thereís a ring near the top of the flashlight that glows when itís on. That way, even if you put the flashlight straight down on the floor you can see at a glance that its on. Under $30. http://tinyurl.com/6qkgp4
Friday, September 11th, 2008,Netcast 655Back the Gadget Warehouse Friday A handy light for the bedroom nightstand thatís no longer with us.
The Telite-II was a clever gadget. There are two phone jacks on the back of this mini-lamp. Hook up is easy. The phone line from the wall goes into one of them, and the small attached phone line connects the lamp to the back your phone. Set the switch to ďautoĒ and anytime you pick up the phone, or the phone rings, the lamp comes on. This is perfect for those hideous phone calls that come in once the lights are out and youíre about to drift off to dreamland. No knocking the lamp over as you swing your arms in the dark trying to find the switch. If it was around today and the little flashlight bulb was replaced with an LED it would work well. Of course it would only work on the base unit, not a cordless phone. It sold for about $35.00
First time I ever heard of this Gizmo! Itís the USB 2.0 Cool Fan Optical Mouse
Yes, it an optical mouse with a built in mini fan. This is a great computer accessory for the hot office. You get an ergonomic design, combined with a built-in cooling fan. Ideal for hours of work or play. There's a fan on/off switch on the side of the mouse. The company says it's equipped with a powerful chip with a 800DPI optical sensor. It has the standard right and left button with an illuminated blue scroll wheel. This could be an ideal choice for laptop or desktop user who spends long hours working in warm weather or in a hot environment. A word about performance. I'm used to using high tech, high end mice -- er mouses? I felt this one was a bit less sensitive than the ones I use. But hey for under $12, this is a value packed USB Play & Play mouse! $11.99.
Another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo comes up with a neat new gizmo!
Itís the Epson P-7000 Multimedia Photo Viewer. Listen said this is designed for professionals, but it does sound really high tech. Since I havenít gotten to play with you, Iíll have to fill in the details with the help of the Epson website: An essential tool for the on-the-go, professional photographer, the Epson P-7000 offers superior image quality, plus a high-capacity, 160GB hard drive. The perfect partner to your digital SLR camera, this powerful device makes it easier than ever to backup and view thousands of photos on the spot. Preview both RAW and JPEG images while on location with the Photo Fine Premia LCD. Displaying over 16.7 million colors, this 4-inch LCD supports 94% of the Adobe RGB color space, so you get incredible color accuracy. Zoom in to confirm focus and fine detail. Then, share your images the way they were meant to be seen ó just as you captured them. With both audio and video output, itís easy to create customized slide shows to take your digital portfolio with you wherever you go. The portable P-7000 is the perfect choice for client presentations or on-location shoots. Why transport your laptop when you can quickly store and backup images right from your memory card using this convenient, compact device? With the Epson P-7000 and its included Travel Pack, youíve got everything you need for all your photographic assignments. Back to Dick De: It is high end: $799.99. Thereís another model with 80GB for $599.99.
Hereís another truly unusual gizmo. The FlashlightDVR Compact Digital Video Recorder!
Yep, itís not the usual gadget fan, but according to Swann, the device is being aimed at police, security guards and PI's, The Swann FlashlightDVR is a heavy duty, real working flashlight --- BUT it also allows you to record video and take photos during the day or at night. It has heavy duty construction for almost all weather conditions. The FlashlightDVR has 128MB of built-in memory and supports mini-SD cards up to 2GB for extra storage. A single switch gives you 3 levels of brightness for the flashlight. Infrared sensors provide night vision up to 13ft (4m). This flexible monitoring solution is ideal for security applications where discreet video or image recording may be necessary. You can view/store videos or photos on your computer using the Flashlight/DVRís USB port, but itís far easier just to use the mini-SD card and put that in your computer. The DVR records MP4 files at a resolution of 640x480. The LCD screen that lights up and provides info on SD card memory and battery charging status. The flashlight can be powered by either three C-size batteries or rechargeable Ni-MH batteries. You supply the batteries, but the flashlight comes with a Ni-MH charger for both AC and 12V input. Under $400.
Hereís a way to back up many computers & access the files from the web!
The Maxtor Central Axis lets you create a centralized, always-accessible library of your digital music, videos, and photos. And you can stream your media to UPnP AV-compatible networked entertainment systems without turning on a computer. Once you tell it what you want it to do and when, it then does your tasks automatically. Now you can back up and store up to 1TB of data from networked computers to one central, safe location. Hmmm, how much is 1TB? Itís enough to store up to 16,660 hours of digital music, 320,000 digital photos, 1,000 hours of digital video, 250 two-hour DVD quality movies, 500 exciting games. But now all at once! 7200RPM, 16MB Cache Buffer You can also drag documents onto the Central Axis icon and Maxtor's Drag and Sort organizes your files, placing them in appropriate shared folders. The Maxtor SimpleView provides at-a-glance views of back up and storage status for all users. If you want you can set privacy levels on shared folders for full public access or limited access. I just plugged the Central Axis in my router and it automatically configured to my network. Thereís also an option to notifiy you via e-mail of system events. The website says: ď2 USB ports make it easy to add a printer for sharing or connect additional drives for even more storageĒ, but I see only USB port. Thatís no big deal. Do a web search and youíll find it for under $300. That a TB of storage!
If you were a kid around the fall of 1978, you had a way to Ďbreak into broadcasting!Ē. I guess technically it was broadcasting, but on a limited basis. You could only be heard on one FM radio. Yes, it was Ronco's Mr. Microphone! If the commercials way back then you could see the Mr. Microphone commercials. One featured a guy talking through a car radio, shouting "Hey good looking, we'll be back to pick you up later." Truth is, you could do that, but you would have to tune the FM car radio to the matching channel first. Mr. Microphone was actually a low-power FM transmitter. I canít remember the range, but you could broadcast from one room to another. Not exactly the TwiT network! Those Mr. Microphone classic commercials of the 1970's are still all over the Internet. The price was about $15. Not too bad for an aspiring singer, announcer or DJ back then!