Listen to your iPod and “See” the Music Too! iSound Plasma.The Manufacturer says this gizmo is "Unlike any other iPod or PSP (PlayStation Portable) Speaker System. And I think you'll agree. The i.Sound Plasma turns your music into an audio-visual electro-magnetic lightshow. The lights dance to the rhythm and the best of your music. Coming along soon will be optional Interchangeable Plasma Globes. One of them is expected to be a skull so you can have a very special electro-magnetic lightshow! (Sounds good to me.) There are four speakers for very decent sound from a small unit. Included is an iPod stand for most iPod models (But it’s just a stand. It doesn’t charge your iPod.) Fully compatible with all iPod models, PSP, CD players, MP3 players, PCs, satellite radio or any other audio device because the music is input via a standard headphone jack. This unit started out at $150.00. Now it’s under $100 at the company’s website. But a web search you can find it for about $75. www.isound.net Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw256 Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 – Netcast 257. Turn The Table Tuesday Leo’s buys and tries the new Apple “n” router. From the Apple website: The sleek, easy-to-use AirPort Extreme Base Station is the perfect wireless access point for home, school, or small business. Blazing fast, it delivers up to five times the performance and up to twice the range compared to 802.11g routers.1 And you can use it with both Macs and PCs. $179.00 Okay, so who am I to put Leo down for picking an “Apple” gizmo. They make great stuff so Leo knew he was on safe ground make this his “Turn The Table” Tuesday pick! http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?mco=6C04E099&nplm=MA073LL%2FA Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw257
Wednesday, February 28th, 2007, Netcast 258. ATC2K Waterproof ActionCamera Now it's more fun that ever. Last year Oregon Scientific introduced their Action Cam. This year they're updated it without raising the price. From their website: Play hard, record everything - even underwater with ATC2K, the ultimate waterproof self-contained action cam! Weighing in at half a pound (with batteries), this hands-free action cam delivers full color digital video in 640 X 480 VGA at 30 frames per second. ATC2K works seamlessly with most video editing software. Expandable up to 2GB, ATC2K mounts easily and all mounting hardware is included. And the ATC2K is waterproof up to 10 feet! Although the manual and packaging states the product is only water-resistant, subsequent tests have since certified the product as waterproof. Please do not be alarmed by this discrepancy when receiving your product. Thank you. It runs on two AA batteries, and has a small amount of built in memory (32MB). But with an optional 2 GB SD car you should be able to record up to about an hour of video! And the unit ships with USB & RCA cables for playback on your TV or computer. Price is under $130. www.oregonscientific.com
Olevia 37” LCD HD TV Olevia has been one of prime reasons the price of HD LCD’s have been dropping fast. The Olevia 537H is quite a value often selling for under $800! Yes, under $800! It offers resolution up to 1080i and it can also hook up to computer with its VGA inputs. At some point you might want to add a home theatre speaker system, but built in speakers, amplifier, and adjustable equalizer offer very decent sound. And if you like digging down into menus, you can even set the RGB values. Olevia is a produced by Syntax-Brillian two companies that merged about a year ago. The 537H has a built-in combo ATSC and NTSC tuner so can watch HD programs and standard analog channels. There’s a very decent 8 ms response time for fast-action viewing like sports and action movies. Multiple inputs include HDMI, VGA, HD component, composite and S-Video inputs. A feature I like a lot is that the firmware is upgradeable from the Olevia website, via a built in USB port at the back of the 537H. .The Olevia remote lights up whenever you press any of the large sized buttons. One thing I’d like to see them change is the Olevia manual. It’s on a CD. But if you are using your Olevia with the computer input, you’ll have the manual right on the screen in huge type!Best prices I’ve recently is at www.tigerdirect.com. When I checked it was on special for under $800. ($799.99.)Wow! And the last time I checked it had free shipping. I don’t know if that offer will be in effect when you check. Also there was a similar price at www.jr.com, but no free shipping.You can compare all the Olevia models at
Friday March 2nd – Netcast 260 Back to warehouse Friday
Dick De’s First Quartz Watch --
The first commercially available quartz watch went on sale in Tokyo on Christmas Day in 1969. There was a limited production run of about 100 units. These Seiko watches had analog dials and sold for about $1250. It was the Seiko Astron. (FROM THE HISTORY OF THE SEIKO WATCH:) The Astron utilized a hybrid circuit (a combination of circuits on a single substrate which was an intermediate step between discrete circuits and integrated circuits) and a quartz oscillator with a frequency of 8,192 cycles per second. Seiko claimed the new watches were accurate to within about 5 seconds a month, a minute a year. Okay, I don’t understand any of that, but I sure loved my first Seiko Chronograph. Notice to save battery power it just did hours and minutes. And by the time I bought my first quartz watch they were down to about $250.00. Hear this netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw260
A neat idea for built-in laptop webcams, external web cams and other pro and consumer cameras See Eye2Eye. Conversing face to face over the web is fantastic, but most webcam users end up staring at their computer screen instead of the person they're talking to. The result is a conversation lacking in an essential ingredient of effective face to face communication: eye contact. Think of the difference between talking to someone who is looking elsewhere, versus someone who is giving you his or her undivided attention. See Eye2Eye ends that isolation with a series of mirrors. It easily installs over your webcam in a minute or so. Using a series of mirrors, it puts the face of the person you’re talking to on a two-way mirror right in front of your webcam lens. The result is that while looking at the person you’re talking to, you are also looking directly into your webcam. It’s very clever. $99. See Eye 2 Eye can also be used as a mini desktop teleprompter! The company sells Videocue2 software if you need more advanced teleprompter-likecapabilites. $39.95.
Here's the info from the Plantronics website. Simplify your communications! The lightweight and versatile Plantronics® Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset delivers all-day wearing comfort, clearer voice transmission and superior sound quality. With exclusive MultipointTechnology, your headset seamlessly transforms into a powerful communication solution for up to two Bluetooth devices. It's right here… Wherever, Whenever, Wireless. Product Features: Simple to Use: Single button for call answer/end, last number redial and voice-activated dialing. Talk Longer: Up to 6 hours continuous talk time. Works with Multiple Bluetooth Devices: Seamlessly switch between two Bluetooth audio devices with multipoint technology. Do a web search and you can easily find this headset for $50 or less.
In the before picture you see the webcam. In the after picture it's behind the mirror.
Wednesday, February 21st, Netcast 253
Your computer can’t be hacked when it’s disconnected from the Internet.
Databreaker --Hackers search the Internet looking for computers to hijackIf you have a router and/or firewall, you might have the false sense of security that you are safe. You may not be. The only way to be 100% safe from hackers is by being physically disconnected from the Internet. Databreaker automatically disconnects your computer from the Internet when not in use. All you have to do is plug your Internet connection into the Databreaker first, then into your computer’s computer monitor. When the monitor goes into the sleep mode, it disconnects it from the Internet. There’s a manual override switch and and series of lights to tell you what the Databreaker is doing. “Red”, it’s off line and “green” it’s connected. I tried it out and within seconds of the monitor going on or off Databreaker either connected or disconnected the Internet. This is a good device to help keep your computer safe from hackers. $39.95.
Have you ever taken a picture of yourself, only to find that you’ve been cut off or even cut out of the scene? Quik Pod, a new invention, can fix this. It was designed by Wayne Fromm, a Toronto-based inventor. He was traveling with his family and got tired of those bad pictures he took by sticking out his arm and pointing the camera at the group. Sure, you can ask a stranger to take pictures, but those don’t always turn out either. So Wayne figured there must be an easier way, and he came up with the idea for Quik Pod. Quik Pod is light (less than 100 grams), pocket sized and comes with a built-in (very tiny) self-image mirror. Made of space aged polycarbonate and aluminum, it extends nearly a metre and comes with a travel bag, pocket clip, hiking clip and wrist strap. It attaches in seconds to virtually all conventionally designed cameras and camcorders. Price is under $30.
Back to the Warehouse Friday, Friday February 23rd, Netcast 255
Okay, I don’t have this gadget in the warehouse, but it’s such a popular gadget I had to talk about it on the Daily GizWiz. There’s an excellent chance this gadget has been used on you. It’s not in the gadget warehouse because it wasn’t designed ‘for the average person’ to buy. Very few people even know the official name: The Brannock Device. It’s that instrument invented by Charles F. Brannock for computing a person's shoe size. It was an improvement of the wooden RITZ Stick, the industry standard of the day. The first prototype was patented in 1926. Charles manufactured the product, and headed the company until 1992 when he died at age 89. The Brannock Device Company was headquartered in Syracuse, New York until shortly after Charles Brannock's death. Salvatore Leonardi purchased the company from the Brannock Estate in 1993, and moved manufacturing to a small factory in Liverpool, New York. The company continues to manufacture several models of the device for determining the shoe sizes of men, women, and children; they also produce specialized models for fitting other types of footwear. There are actually nine widths in the US system (width actually varies with foot length): AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE, and EEE.About $20 different models, most are $62.50.
Holy Cow. Leo’s Turn the Table was so memorable, I can’t remember what it was! But you can find out by listening to this Netcast! Oh wait, I do remember. Here's the info from the website Leo suggested:
THE SIMPLE RELIABILITY SOLUTION
Kick-off! provides comprehensive automatic crash detection and recovery for servers, kiosks, or any unattended computer where 24x7 uptime is critical. Kick-off! is a small USB device that monitors your system and automatically restarts it when it crashes. Kick-off! provides application crash detection, logging and preventative restarting capabilities. You'll sleep well at night, knowing that Kick-off! is there to provide maximum availability to your server.
It’s Valentine’s Day. What if you lose your heart? I can’t help. But what if you lose your keys! Aha! Now I can help. The Loc8tor, a gizmo about the size of a small cell phone, is a handheld device that lets you track things you constantly misplace, like your keys, TV remote, etc. You start out by attaching the "homing tags" to every gizmo you might want to find later. Depending on the model you buy, you get 2 or 4 tags, but if you’re totally disorganized the unit can track up to 24 tags! That's for a real forgetful person! If you misplace a "tagged" item, you use the main device to locate it. It guides you to the location of the missing item with combination of audio and visual prompts. And you can search for a specific item because when you "register" the tag, (by holding it up to the main unit), a virtual keyboard comes up on the screen so you label it - car keys, TV remote, etc. The Loc8tor Plus adds more features that takes it beyond just a device to locate items. You can program the main unit to alert you when a Tag-tied item is getting beyond a certain distance away. So at the airport it can alert you if someone starts walking off with your luggage while you're busy text messaging! There's also a special panic Tag that a child or older person could carry can trigger that can the alarm on the main unit which the parent or caretaker would carry. We were able to find a “lost” item if though it was under a pile of papers. The tag itself chirps and flashes an LED. The Loc8tor goes beyond the average key finder, especially the Loc8tor Plus. The units are not inexpensive, but a lot of engineering has gone into developing the kits. The Loc8tor with 2 tags retailing for $99, and the more advance feature Loc8stor Plus retails for $169.99. Right now they’re just available at the company’s website. www.loc8tor.com
The 6-in-1 PSD, is a hand held, crank-powered, Personal Safety Device designed to be used at home, at work, at school, or for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, or backpacking.The 6-in-1 PSD incorporates six of the most important tools you will need in an emergency or disaster with the functionality of a radio, cell phone charger, flashlight, emergency flashers, siren and compass that can also be used everyday. Super Bright 5 LED Flashlight- Never be in the dark when the power goes out.Cell Phone Charger- Never have a dead cell phone battery again.Emergency FM Radio- Listen to emergency reports or simply enjoy music everyday Signal Flasher- Signal for help and be seen for up to 1/2 mile away. 130 Decibel Emergency Siren-Ward off intruders or signal for help. Directional Compass- Find your way to safety or notify rescuers of your location. Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw249
Friday Feb 16h --- Sony Hi8 VCR – Netcast #250
The Sony GV-S50 8mm/Hi8 Video Walkman.
This was a very hot gadget in it's time. The GV-S50 is a handheld portable walkman monitor/VCR. It could record and playback NTSC video in the Hi8/8mm Video Format. It was quasi playback of the VideoHi8 video format at SP speed. (That format is not compatible with Digital8 Video Format. The built in 4" Color LCD Screen was bright and clear. And it featured the more desirable flying erase head.There was Sony's Mega Bass circuit for dynamic bass sound, but it didn't do too much for the small built-in speaker. However with headphones are audio out to decent speakers it worked well. You could get up to 5-Hours or recording time in the LP mode. With only one set of RCA-Type connectors for AV Input and Output you learned that the GV-S50 input/output was selected automatically according to the operation you were performing.It had a 3 way power source: AC Adapter/Battery/or Optional Car DC.cord. I had several commercially released Hollywood movies that played on this machine and it's amazing that you can watch a movie just about anywhere. Delta Airlines and American Airlines used them in First Class. You picked your own movie from a selection and then watched in your seat! Price? About $1200!!!Now on Ebay for about 1/10 of that price for a used one.
The XPower PowerSource Mobile 100. Why buy a replacement battery for your laptop when for about the same price, or maybe even a bit less you can buy a battery that can run your laptop for an extra two hours and be used to power many other AC and USB powered gizmos! Actually this neat battery can power as many as three devices at one time using the AC outlet and the two USB outlets. It also offer protection features such as over-temperature shutdown, overload shutdown and low battery voltage shutdown help you optimize power for your devices. Some other run times provided by Xantrex for theirXPower PowerSource Mobile 100 are: Portable DVD player/3 hours, PSP/12 hours,iPod/44 hours and iPod Nano/72 hours. Weight is about one pound. Price is $129.00, but I did a web search and found it can be ordered for a touch under $100 making it a real good deal if you need power on the run.
Leo was in love with his latest purchase, the Dell UltraSharp 2407WFP Flat Panel widescreen Monitor! With a maximum resolution up to 1920x1200 pixels he said made an ideal computer monitor but also but a great HD Monitor for movies, etc. And he raved on about all the inputs. The Dell 2407WFP features analog as well as digital (DVI) capability, providing connection flexibility. Apart from one upstream and 4 downstream USB ports, this display also features S-Video and Composite Video connectors. All these features come at a bit of a price. Somewhere between $650 and $700.
San Disk V-Mate lets you record video from your cable box, VCR, etc. to memory cards that fit in your cell phone, PDA, etc, so you can watch video anywhere. (Of course your device must support viewing video.) This device supports many different formats. It also lets you play video from the memory cards to the TV. RCA audio/video cables are included. Visit the SanDisk website to learn which devices are compatible. The folks at San Disk told me they’re updating the list constantly. Strangely enough when the V-Mate first came out, it didn’t support recording video to a memory that would play on San Disk’s own Sansa line of MP3’s. Hopefully by the time you read this, that will have changed. If it hasn’t, they are working on it! Under $130.
Here's an easy way to see what's on two different computers all on ONE screen!
The Tornado. Need to see what’s on your old computer? Just plug one end of the Tornado into your old computer’s USBPort and the other end into your new computer’s USB port and you can see the contents of both computers on one screen! I plugged into each computer and it worked perfectly. No software, no rebooting, no nothing. Each computer showed a split screen. The top of the screen said: “This computer” and the bottom half of the screen said: “Other computer”. I was able to drag photos from one computer over to the other computer just using the mouse. Two green solid LED’s indicate that both computers are hooked up correctly. They blink when they’re transferring info. Pretty neat gizmo, I’d say. Price is under $60.
Back to the warehouse Friday The King of Modems --- For a while anyway.
The Hayes Smartmodem 1200 was the ultimate way to hook your computer to the telephone line back in the mid-80’s. Back then a lot of modems were running at 300 baud. A few high tech ones ran at 1200 baud. Smartmodem could do both which was determined by the baud rate of the device at the other end of the line.Inside the Smartmodem was Z8 microprocessor and a 4K ROM controller. You had type various commands all of which I’ve long forgotten, so there was a learning curve.And the price?Sitting down?$699.00! But you could get it for ONLY about $500!