Here are the gizmos from the Daily GizWiz for the weeks of March 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th. The latest week is at top.
Monday, March 26th, Netcast 276
Okay, you want to hear about a weird gadget? Well here it is!
It lets you find your water in the dark.
LightCap. has a built-in waterproof solar panel, battery pack and powerful, long-lasting LED light. Fill it with your favorite drink and never worry about finding it in the dark again. A four-hour charge of sunshine and LightCap will stay bright for hours. Rechargeable Ni-Cad batteries will last for at least 300 cycles. Switch on the cap that lets you change from the white bulb (bright), to red (preserves your night vision), or turn it off completely. You can leave the red light on all night (minimal energy draw) so you can easily find the bottle; then switch it to white if you need a light! Actually for a camping trip, this just might be something kids would love to have as an outdoor ‘night light’. $24.95
Tuesday, March 27th, Netcast 277 --- Turn The Table Tuesday
Actually this was a great Turn The Table Tuesday.Leo told us all about a website devoted to all sorts of energy saving LED lights. Here’s some info from the C.Crane website.
LED light bulbs give off directional light, so the light goes where you aim it. LED bulbs are closer to the color of daylight — which new studies suggest is good for staying alert. Our LED light bulbs can be used to replace your standard fluorescent or halogen light bulbs. The bright, white LED light produced by our LED Light Bulbs works especially well for task lighting and reading light. LEDs not only produce light more efficiently, they also have a tiny mirror that reflects light in one direction. A more directed light means less wasted light. The best way to start using our long life LED light bulbs is to try one first. Swap out a regular bulb on your porch, in a ceiling can, task or accent light, or maybe replace a bulb that you leave on at night. To get familiar with LED light bulbs, we recommend you experiment with different lighting combinations and see how their reduced light output works for you. Our LED bulbs have Edison style bases and will fit your existing lamps and fixtures. With LED light bulbs and just a bit of planning you can create a more interesting lighting environment while cutting down on your electric bill. Be sure to check out our Getting Started With LED Lighting page for more information.
Here’s a USB Flash Drive that does a lot more than save your files!
Franklink USB Dictionary and Thesaurus offers the convenience of electronic file storage and instant access to 300,000 definitions and 500,000 synonyms & antonyms from Merriam-Webster Dictionary & Franklin Thesaurus. Preloaded with: 256 MB Total Memory* Dictionary with 300,000 definitions Thesaurus with 500,000 synonyms & antonyms Phonetic spell correction allows you to enter a word the way it sounds, and your dictionary automatically provides alternatives for misspelled words - type in "nolige" and see "knowledge." Grammar Guide offers instant access to essential information on grammar rules and usage. Confusables function alerts you when one word might be confused with another (their vs. there vs. they're) by providing spellings and meanings. Another example is Rein, rain, reign. There’s even a Crossword Puzzle Solver to determine missing puzzle letters. Built in also is an eBooks and eNews Manager Use the additional storage for: Data, Photos, Music, Videos. Franklin doesn’t tell you the exact amount of free memory merely that:A portion of the memory in this USB Dictionary & Thesaurus is devoted to programs. Capacity for storage is less than that shown in the description. Under $40.
The HP Printing Mailbox with Presto Service is for Folks Who Like to Get Emails without a Computer. I have used the device and it does work. It would be good for the grandparents who would love to get email but no interest in having a computer at all!Just so I didn’t get it wrong, this is from the Presto website
Presto is a combination of the Presto Service and the HP Printing Mailbox. It allows you to send email, photos, and content to people who don’t have a computer or Internet connection. You can send email just like you do today from your regular email account and the Presto Service automatically transforms it into beautiful layouts for printing. The HP Printing Mailbox then prints when you want, on your schedule—up to several times a day. Here's how it works: After signing up for the Presto Service, simply plug the HP Printing Mailbox into an existing phone line and AC power outlet, and you’re ready to go. No new phone line required. Step 1. Family and friends send email and digital photos like they usually do from their computers and mobile phones.Step 2. The Presto Service converts these messages into beautiful, ready-to-print layouts from the HP Printing Mailbox. Step 3. The HP Printing Mailbox automatically prints messages when you want, on your schedule—several times a day.
Back to the warehouse Friday March 30thNetcast #280 Okidata 92 printer ----This was my first “high tech” printer.
Okay so I can’t find an Okidata for sale anywhere. But you can buy a later model from Okidata for $24 on eBay.Here are the details:
Whatever the need or the workload, the ML182 Turbo sets an impressive pace. Select any of four speed settings and get a quality product in less time. Fastest is the blazing 232 cps high-speed draft, 155 cps utility, and the near-letter quality of 40 cps. If you process information over long distances, the ML182 Turbo can save you time and needless additional expense. With its Optional fast RS-232C Serial interface you can boost productivity at a 19.2K baud rate, and support XON/XOFF and Ready/Busy protocols. The printer has a small footprint that makes it ideal for use in your system configuration. It also offers the ultimate in ease-of-use, with up-front control of type size, print quality and other frequently used functions. A "lockout" feature prevents abuse by disabling the printer's front panel pitch and mode selectors. OKI provides the edge in quality and reliability no competing printer can claim. It's the reassurance that comes with years of innovation and dependable service. And the backing of a full-year warranty and a national network of authorized OKI Dealer Service Centers and Service Depots. Demand only the best for your business. Put the rugged, affordable Microline 182 Turbo to work in the shop or behind the counter. Excellent shape surplus from University of Alaska with little use.
Don't know why this image won't show up better, but it's the bill for my printer, paper and cable. $821.51 in 1984!
Two listeners, John & db found a picture (the same picture) of the Okidata 92! Thanks!
Monday, March 19th, Netcast #271
“Talk” to the Folks Behind You When You Drive!
The Roadmaster Scrolling Rear Deck Message System lets you personalize your car with your own messages or ads that scroll in the back window of your car. (It’s also available in a license plate version). The scrolling systems come with 99 pre-set words and phrases, including "Help me," "Slow down," "Turning left," "Your lights aren’t working," "Baby on Board", and they also let you program 5 interchangeable messages of up to 120 characters each. Messages can be combined or repeated and the speed and brightness of the LED can be adjusted with the included wireless remote. The scrolling systems are powered by 12 Volts. The Rear Deck Message system comes prewired a cigarette lighter adapter. Use it to announce the sale of your car, promote your website or even The Daily GizWiz! The Roadmaster Scrolling Rear Deck Message System is a stand alone device that can also be used at trade shows or in stores to display special messages when you use the optional 120 AC to 12 volt converter. It’s also at their website for about $10.
IMPORTANT NOTE FROM ROADMASTER: All states allow non-scrolling messages to be displayed in moving cars, but some states may restrict the use of scrolling messages while the car is on the road and may only allow their use when the car is parked or stationary. Roadmaster recommends that customers check their state and local regulations to see if scrolling LED products can be used while their car is in motion. Either the license plate version or the stand alone versions are priced at $59 each.
For more information, see the website: www.roadmasterusa.com. Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw271 Turn The Table Tuesday, March 20th… More headphones from Leo. What the heck, I like headphones too. So I didn’t complain.Here’s the info about them from the company’s website: From the makers of Ultimate Ears professional ear monitor products comes the super.fi 5 Pro, earphones. Join stars like U2, LinkinPark, Madonna, Metallica, Rod Stewart, Big and Rich, Seal and many others in using Ultimate Ears' premiere earphone technology and get the best experience from your iPod or other personal audio device. Imagine professional quality sound out of earphones designed for your "on-the-go" lifestyle. The compact, lightweight design and metallic travel case allow the earphones to go where you go. The flexible ear loops secure the earphones in place and the universal fit kit enables maximum comfort and noise isolation from the world around you. Best of all, the dual driver in-ear technology allows you to experience music as it is meant to be heard. Now your head is the concert hall. But don't take our word for it - hear the difference! Price: $249.99 http://www.ultimateears.com/superfi/superfi-5-Pro-white.htm Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw272 Wednesday, March 21st, Netcast 273 You Always Need More USB Ports. Here’s a Hub with Build-in Memory! Ridata Yego USB drive. The Y design includes two additional USB ports, which allow users to combine each USB drive into a USB HUB and add on more mobile devices. To assure privacy and protection, the USB Flash Drives feature advanced partition and security functions that make it possible for users to create password-protected sectors for the storage of personal or highly confidential material. A tie-style LED indicator shows usage status, assuring there is never any doubt as to which port is currently in use. Plug & Play USB 2.0 Compliant. Powered via USB port so no external power or battery needed. LED indicates usage status. Available in capacities: 128MB, 256MB, 512MB , 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB. Coming toward the end of March. The 4 GB Yego Drive will be about $100. One of the first places to get it will be: www.newegg.com More info from Ritek: http://www.ritek.com/p2-pro4-ez-uniform.asp Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw
Red is going to be available for a limited time. Clear is also available.
Thursday, March 22, Netcast 274
Soft & Cuddly! For your Phone, for iPod, or Just for Fun.
Fun Friends. Most Under $10. Fun Friends makes ‘fuzzy’ animal covers for cell phones. Every year they add new animals and anyone who sees them will smile. This year Fun Friends is introducing a variety of covers for iPods. They’ve also started making college mascot Fun Friends.
Something else new in the link are their Computer Mice, as a the Beary Computer Mouse. This cute brown bear, Beary, is perfect to replace any ordinary computer mouse. With a 30" retractable cord this mouse is sure to keep you smiling even when that “fatal error” message comes up on your computer screen. Assorted Fun Friends Mice. $9.99 each.
Let’s start with some copy for an RCA Press Release from days long gone.
February 12, 1981 In RCA's home video cassette recorder line, there’s a new "convertible" model that serves as both an in-home player and portable. It has been introduced to serve an expanding segment of the VCR business. The new VFP170 weighs only 11 pounds, including battery, making it the lightest portable home recorder on the market today.Retail priced at $1,400, the extremely compact VFP170 includes 14-day programming capability, electronic tuning, and such special effects as stop action, double speed, variable slow motion, frame advance and full function remote control. (THEY DIDN’T MENTION THE REMOTE WAS HARD WIRED.) The VFP 170 modular system consists of a programmable tuner/timer module and a separate six-hour recorder that can operate as a portable for over an hour using a built-in rechargeable battery. When both units are placed side by side, the VFP170 resembles a table model that is smaller than current VCR table models.RCA has also introduced in its VCR line a deluxe color camera, model CC010, featuring for the first time an f 1.8 - 8x1 two speed power zoom lens. Optionally retail priced at $1,050, the CC010 color camera includes an electronic viewfinder, fade in/fade out capability, power saver switch, boom microphone and automatic manual iris control.
AND THIS IS FASCINATING: When giving testimony in front of the U.S. Congress in 1982, Jack Valenti, then President of the Motion Picture Association of America, famously stated: "I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."
Then more improvements! The RCA VJP900 was one the first "docking" VHS portables. It came along in 1984. It was a just a bit wider than a VHS cassette which was top-loaded. It weighed just about 9 pounds with battery pack. It came with a big shoulder strap. There was a built in carrying handle which swing down under the case when not in use. The deck had touch-sensitive buttons with full logic control. The small display uses liquid crystal technology rather than the (then) more common LED or gas discharge; liquid crystal displays use far less of the valuable battery power, although it does require an external light source. The battery pack was a 12 volt NiCad unit, and gives about 40 minutes continuous recording or playback.
Don’t forget, you still had to add a video camera, and there was no playback screen. In the field you watched the often black and white viewfinder of the video camera. And this was just a little over 25 years ago.
This was an even smaller package than the RCA and this one had a monitor! But the video camera is still separate. Compare this to the under 1 pound HiDef camcorders of today at about 1/5 the price! By the way, at one point the complete RCA VHS system (video camera and all) was on eBay at a starting bid of $1.00! And there were no takers when I checked!
Monday, March 12th, Netcast 266 I love my Robosapien V2! (But in a nice way!)
The Robosapien V2 is pretty amazing and he can do very sophisticated things, especially when you can buy him for under $200! Here's what Wowwee, the maker, says: Robosapien V2 is a highly evolved robotic fusion of technology and personality, combining fluid biomechanical motion with a multi-sensory, interactive humanoid personality. This 24” tall, second generation Robosapien is capable of autonomous “free roam” behavior, and includes the following features: - Multiple levels of environmental interaction, with humans and objects - Sight, sound and touch senses - Humanoid body movements, including bending, sitting and standing, lying down and getting up, dancing, waving, martial arts …- Speech: Responds verbally to environmental stimuli and to controller commands - Color Vision System: Recognizes colors and skin tones - Stereo Sound Detection System: “Hears” and reacts to sounds - IR Vision: Detects and avoids obstacles; tracks moving objects - True bi-pedal walking with multiple gaits - Precision gripping, articulated fingers - Realistic 2-axis turning head with animated LED eyes. 100 pre-programmed functions - 2 demonstration modes - 6 programming modes. Sleep and auto-shut off function. Prices is under $200. Do a web search for the best price. See him in action here:
Here’s what Leo came up with. I hardly knew what he was talking about, so I let him off easy. Besides I figured the geekier listeners would really be interested in Leo’s Pick.
The NewerTech USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter implements a bridge between one USB port and one ATA, Serial ATA, or ATAPI based mass storage device port. The USB 2.0 to IDE Drive Adapter turns any ATA or SATA drive into a convenient external drive. Easily transfer files from computer or notebook, back up files, or store large file archives on hard drives. The hi-speed USB interface provides for easy installation with its Plug and Play design.
The friendly folks at Gadget Universe and get you started with their Ultimate Spy Digital Voice Recorder. Shh!!!Now you can discretely and remotely record conversations in the room next door or even over the telephone. (Note: Recording conversations is not legal in some jurisdictions. Check with local law enforcement before recording any conversation!) The tiny digital recorder packs a great many features into a small package. You can listen to and record FM radio, and record MP3 music files. There is 1GB of onboard storage, but not external memory slot. But for voice recording 1 GB gives you the ability to record day’s worth of conversation! But what sets this apart from other recorders and makes this the Ultimate Spy Digital Voice Recorder is the finger-sized remote wireless microphone. Place the remote microphone in the room next door. Put it under a desk at work. (Hmm, I have no idea what the laws are on doing this!!)The kit also includes a USB cable, earphones, a phone jack with mic output, and software. The display window is backlit but it’s very small, so you’ll need good eyes. I used my magnifier glasses. It operates on one AAA battery, and the wireless mic requires a AAA also. (I believe both were included.). $199.95
New From Hog Wild. The Temperature Controlled Faucet Light.
Color changes with the water temperature! Red = Hot Blue = Cold
New and Improved! Now Faucet Light changes color based upon the water temperature. It's "blue" when the water is cold or simply turned "on." When the temperature reaches 89º F, it changes to "red," alerting you that the water is getting "hot"! Fun and functional, it's ideal for the kid's bathroom and a smart gift for older people, too! Works on most USA faucets and includes "universal adaptors" for 95% coverage. Under $22.00.The original Faucet Light that just lights up blue no what the water temperature is, is still available for about $5 less.
It was probably introduced at CES January 2001. The Iomega Peerless drive. This used a 10GB or 20GB magnetic storage cartridge which could only be read when it was locked into the drive base unit. The base unit was connected to the computer via USB or FireWire port on either a PC or Mac. For most applications you also need to provide the Peerless Drive with AC power. And the price? Here’s a bit from a CNET review back in June 1991:
The Peerless pricing structure seems reasonable, considering the system's capacity and potential speed. A kit with a 10GB cartridge, a USB interface, and a base lists for $359.95; with a 20GB cartridge, it's $399.95. Individual cartridges list at $159.95 for 10GB and $199.95 for 20GB. If all you need is a second interface module, the USB version costs $69.95 and FireWire costs $89.95 CNET pointed out another flaw: The device doesn't function as a boot drive, so you can't transport a fully functional work environment with you. And while the Peerless may be removable, its portability has one big limitation: You need the drive to run the cartridge.
You can see why the Peerless Drive wasn’t a big hit. Also, right about the same time this system was making its way into the marketplace, smaller, cheaper and units that didn’t require AC power were coming down the pike.
CommuteMate Flameless Flare Reusable Roadside Emergency Flare. This is a battery-operated flare thatprovides a brightly illuminated, flashing RED signal. The manufacturer says that will be seen up to 1,000 feet away. Re-usable for up to 500 hours on one set of AAA batteries. A typical old fashioned road flare that you light and hope you burn yourself typically burns for just about 15 minutes. Magnetic: sticks to side of vehicle for better attraction. And of course since there’s no fire we can say with 100% certainty, it’s non-flammable! I did a web search and this place (which I never used) had the lowest price. Just $4.95 with free shipping via ground to continental USA only. Other websites were charging up to double that. Sam’s Club has a two pack for $9.54 plus shipping.
Turn The Table Tuesday.Leo picked the Archos 404 Camcorder knowing full well I love Archos stuff and wouldn’t criticize him. The ARCHOS 404 camcorder lets you record your own videos in standard MPEG-4 format in VGA resolution (640 x 480) with the integrated camcorder. Take photos up to 1.3 mega pixel resolution. And it's a video player. It’s 30 GB* hard drive capacity allows you to store up to 40 movies. Play them on the built-in 3.5" LCD color screen or play them back on a TV in high resolution up to 720 x 576 (DVD quality) with the optional DVR station. The DVR station also lets you record TV or most video sources in MPEG-4 format1. Set up the DVR station by connecting it to the external video source; simply slot in your ARCHOS and record instantaneously or make scheduled recordings with the included infrared receiver that controls the external video sources.Under $400.
Here’s a Camera You Won’t Lose Because You Wear It!
It’s the Digital Hero3 Sports Wrist Camera. The design is very simple and there are few settings on the camera. After the camera turns on, you use the same power button to toggle through all the functions. There’s single-shot mode, timer mode, 3 pics in a row mode, and movie mode There is no flash, and the camera has a fixed-focus lens, so there really isn’t else to set. This does limit your shooting options but then again it’s designed for outdoor activities during daylight. The photos from the Digital Hero 3 are acceptable for the price and way the camera is designed to be used. You don’t want to use it shot video of your friend’s wedding, or for once in a lifetime vacation shots. Indoor pictures are going to be on the dark side. The company claims that the camera can operate underwater down to a depth of 30 feet. But to use it at that depth you should be in clear water like the Florida Keys, not under my houseboat in the Hudson River. Under $140.
Keep Your Million Dollar Bank Account Figures Private!
3-M Privacy Filters can be purchased for your desktop computer, laptop, and now for Mac Book too. They’re excellent for anyone who needs on-screen data to be kept private. They utilize 3M's blackout privacy technology which makes on-screen data visible only to persons directly in front of the monitor. It’s done via a microlouver privacy technology which makes on-screen data visible only to persons directly in front of the monitor; and it doesn’t not blur or distort the onscreen image. They come with 3M self-adhesive transparent plastic pads which hold the filter in place when you're opening and closing your laptop. There's a curve cut on one edge to help you lift the filter offer and while the shape it makes is obviously brighter than the rest of the screen, I didn't find it any way distracting. LCD monitors from 13" to 21". Prices start at about $40 for the 13” filter. Go here to find out more about 3M Privacy Filters:
It dates back to 1993. THE MAGNAVOX REMOTE LOCATOR...
To activate The Magnavox Remote Locator all you had to do was simply turn your TV "on" manually. If you did it manually on the set itself, the TV assumed the remote control can’t be found, and it sends a signal that starts a beeping sound inside the remote so you could find it. From PRNewswire/ -- Just how important has the television remote control become in our everyday lives? A Magnavox survey of American Households. Among the survey findings fror PR Newswire: -- One out of three Americans say watching television wouldn't be as pleasurable without the remote control as it is with the device. -- 18% of women surveyed, compared to just 9 % of the men, said that if they had to choose, they would rather give up sex than their TV remote control for one week. Over half (55%) of the respondents said they lose the remote control up to five times a week.And 11% of those surveyed said they lose the remote between six and ten times a week. -- After they've lost their remote controls, 63% of Americans say that they spend up to five minutes a day looking for it.Sixteen percent say that they spend 10 minutes a day looking for it. The most frequent places that Americans find their remotes include in and under furniture (38%), in the kitchen or bathroom (20%), and in the refrigerator (6%).
The Remote Locator remote looked like any other remote. The black box gave me a way to demostrate the Magnavox technology without having to bring an entire TV set to the studio! I just had to press that little red button to signal the remote.
This website is current only up to the end of April, 2009. My new website with everything from May 1st, 2009 forward is: www.gizwiz.biz.