SanDisk Sansa e200. This is a value packed series of slim Audio Video recorder/players. They feature a 1.8-inch TFT color screen and can be used to play MP3 audio, for photo viewing and video playback. There’s a 2 & 4 GB unit with the top of the line - a 6GB unit that holds more than 1,400 MP3 songs. The rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery can be user replaced. The color icon-based menu makes for easy navigation. And in the Slideshow function you can view photos and play music simultaneously. I also like the fact that it has a built in FM tuner with on-the-fly recording to save your favorite songs or programs. There’s a microSD expansion slot for additional memory capacity and it be shared with many mobile phones that use that type of card. Sansa e260 (4GB) $229.99 Playback time 64 hours, 6 GB -- Under $280
Tuesday, July 4th Because Friday July 7th is our 100th Podcast, we’re making today warehouse Tuesday!
The fan operated Flag Waver that I have in Dick’s Gadget Warehouse never made to the retail shelves. But just before July 4th a new and different kind of waving flag came my way. And this one will be on store shelves. The Wave is the first windless, self waving flag. Pushing a button starts the realistic flag waving action as it plays one of three songs: The Star Spangled Banner, My Country Tis of Thee or Stars and Strips forever. The Wave is over 17” tall. A built in volume control can be turned all the way down if you just wish to watch the flag’s self-waving action. The manufacturer, SRM Entertainment, partnered with the co-inventor of the Atari 2600 and a co-inventor of Furby to develop The Wave technology. Under $30.00
Wednesday July 5th Dymo Twin Turbo. Going to the Post Office to buy stamps is probably not your favorite thing to do. Well with three new models of Dymo printers, you'll be able to print your own stamps right at home! And yes, it's official US Postage. Their Twin Turbo offers the ultimate labeling technology. Two spools that let you breeze through a range of labeling tasks, without switching rolls - it automatically starts the second roll, when first roll is finished. And you can use it for printing No-Monthly-Fee DYMO Stamps postage labels alongside address labels. Like all LabelWriter models, Twin Turbo prints labels for envelopes, packages, files, media, name badges and more – directly from Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, Outlook, and other software. To save you money, Twin Turbo uses no ink or toner at about one second per label. And it’s high resolution printing which means crisp text, graphics, photos and bar codes. It has to be high res so Post Office machinery can read the stamps. Included is DYMO Address Fixer, a unique software utility that automatically checks any address in Word, Outlook or the DYMO Label Software against the US Postal Service database, fixes errors and adds the 9 digit ZIP+4 code to ensure faster and accurate mail delivery. PC and Mac compatible. Under $190.
Oakley teamed up with Motorola for the latest version of their wearable electronics. It’s the Bluetooth enabled O ROKR. They’re very similar in design to the Thump 2’s I showed on World News Now. But the frames have changed so owners can swap out lens for other tints. Also instead of built in MP3 playback, Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream audio from your iPod. But you’ll need to add a Bluetooth transmitter to your iPod. I had trouble sinking my iPod with the O ROKR when using the NaviPlay Bluetooth device. But with the icombi it only took seconds for my iPod to pair up with the O ROKR. Like the Thump 2’s, the O ROKR gives you full control of your music with the push buttons built right into the frames. Six direction movement of the custom Mylar speakers make for a great sound for their size. Price is on the premium side, $249 for the O ROKR and $99 for the Bluetooth adaptor.
Friday, July 7th. Yes, it’s unbelievable, but it’s our100th Podcast!!!
Tune in because we have a special surprise planned for that historic Podcast! Be sure to listen…. I won’t spoil it here.
HOLY COW! WHO EVER WOULD HAVE DREAMED THAT IN A FEW HOURS MORE THAN 300 PEOPLE HAD ENTERED THE 100th PODCAST GAME!
We had our six winners in the first hour alone! So the 100th Podcast Game is over long before we expected it be! Because we had some shows pretaped, winners will be announced on Monday, June 17th.
But the 100th Podcast Game is officially over. It was so wilding successful, we're going to plan more.
Dick De/Leo P
As seen on the CruiznCooler website.
Week of July 10th – Bizarre Gadget Monday
In covering more than a dozen trade show a year I come across a lot of weird gadgets, but one I saw recently deserves a special place at the top of the ‘weird’ list. Image this. You drive your car to the marina. You’re alone and you have a cooler with a couple of dozens cans of soda and beer plus several pounds of ice that needs to get to your boat. Do you get help to carry it? No, not if you have the Cruzin Cooler. Believe it or not, it’s an ice chest you sit on and drive! It has a 33cc 2 cycle gas engine, disc brakes, and it can hit 13 miles an hour. It’s also available with 300 and 500 watt electric models. If you have more stuff to lug, they make trailers so you can assemble your own mini-cooler train. A special four wheel marine version is one its way. Hmmm, I wonder how long it’s going to be before we see Cruzin Cooler races! Prices for the current models range from $350 to $500, but before you can buy one at their website you must read some rather long notices and click “I agree”. It includes such warnings as: Cruzin Coolers are motorized vehicles and as such are inherently dangerous. A driver or passenger may suffer serious injury or death while operating this vehicle.” It’s not the greatest sales come on, but I guess these days a company has to cover all the bases. www.cruzincooler.com
Tuesday, July 11th Two little gizmos...
Shut off just about any TV set! The TV-B-Gone turns off virtually any television. Small enough to carry on your key ring It can turn off 90% of all TV’s 17 seconds. The range: 20 to 50 feet (7 to 17 m), depending on the make and model of the TV. It contains 209 turn-off codes. The regular version works on TVs in US, Canada, Mexico, and many Asian countries. A European version also available! Lithium batteries included (last about 3 months to one year depending on usage) Dimensions: 1.92" x 2.27" x .675" Weight: 26 grams with batteries. There's a new model out now with Instant Reactivation This feature allows you to press the button at any time to restart transmission of all of its infrared codes. Since the codes for the most popular TVs are closest to the beginning of the sequence, you can shut off more TVs faster, without waiting the full 69 seconds, as with the original version. $24.95 If original models are still available, they're about $18.
Wednesday, July 12th A Rugged Clip On Flash Drive! Imation Clip Flash DriveFlash Drives are getting smaller and smaller. Some are so small, they’re very easy to loose. That’s not the case with the new Imation Clip Flash Drive. This compact flash drive is safely encased in a tough water-resistant rubberized shell. But it can be quickly removed from its case to share or transfer files while fitting into the tightest USB slots. And a lot of flash drives don’t fit USB slots where they’re close together. An durable clip attaches the drive quickly and easily to backpacks, shoulder bags or belt loops to ensure that the drive is ready to go anywhere it's needed. Imation Drive Manager password protection software is included. Available in colors and capacities include 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB. Prices range from under $30 to about $120.
Park Zone makes it easy to park in the garage perfectly every time. Installing it is real easy too. Just hang it on your garage wall and mount the ultrasonce sensor at bumper height. Park your car in what you consider the ideal spot and push a button on the ultrasonic sensing device. You've now registered the distance between your bumper and the back wall of the garage. It's a simple one-time only setup. The next time you pull into the garage the Park-Zone acts like a traffic light. When you pull into the garage you'll see the green light illuminated. As you move in it changes to yellow. And when you reach the eact preset park zone, the light turns red. The newest editon called Park-Zone Platinum Edition features Dual Power. It can run from an AC outlet or you can power it with four AA batteries. And it retails for under $30.
Wavy Wand Virtual Display. Wave this wand and a series of 48 LED’s can display text, pictures and animation. It’s programmable so you can also create your own messages. This ‘simple’ device features four critical components. A motion sensor, a computer, a series of LED’s (Dick De’s fav), and a motion source — you provide that when you wave your wand! As you wave the WavyWand the LED’s are turning on and off very rapidly, at the rate of over 1250 times per second. The time and position where the LED’s are turned on and off is controlled by the computer and based on the image that will be displayed and the waving motion as measured by the motion sensor. With persistence of vision (your eye holds an image longer than the image is actually there) this pattern is interpreted by the eye and the brain as an image. Because the WavyWand is moving pretty fast, the patterns or images will appear not on the Wand but seemingly in mid–air. And finally, if that’s not enough, it can also serve as a flashlight! Includes a brightness control, and most amazingly --- batteries are included!!!! Under $30. If you want to take full advantage of the WavyWand that’s an optional programming cable connects the WavyWand to your computer through the USB port, allowing you to put your custom images and animations on your wand. It’s only $10!
Friday, July 14th Warehouse Friday --- DigiScents iSmell (2001)
This was one of the products you just knew would never see the light on day at a retail outlet. The concept itself was so crazy didn’t the folks investing in it think they wee throwing their money down the drain. It was a company called DigiScents and the product was called the iSmell. Actually the concept should have been called iSmell failure. iSmell was a shark-fin-shaped device that plugged into a USB port and – get this -- created scents as you surfed smell-enabled Web sites. I think the guy at CES told me it was hooked to several types of smells which were mixed to create the correct smell for the special website you were at, like a perfume website. But my guess is that the skeptical reception it received at CES doomed it before it even made it on to retailer’s shelves.
Do I smell a winner? No, I don't so.
Monday July 17 --- Here are the winners of the 100th Daily GizWiz “word” game.
But first - the prizes – Three 512 MB Migo Smart USB Watches & three 512 MB Migo Flash Drives. (Each one is worth around $100 to $150) The Migo Software runs directly on the mobile device so all your critical information can be carried with you and accessed from any computer. It’s like a flash drive with brains!
THE GAME WE PLAYED: The object was to send Dick an email with just one word in the subject line. It was to be a word that Leo and Dick used many times during the first 100 Daily GizWiz Podcasts. And we eliminated proper names like Dick, Leo, MAD, Gaines, etc. We got almost 1,000 entries. The winners would be the first six people who sent in the correct “secret word”. The most common entry: LED! The next two words brought hundreds of entries each: “Gizmo” & “Gadget”. Then they were lots of “gravy”, “boat”, “daily”, “match” and “game”. However, the winning word was……(trumpets) warehouse! We got quite a few of those, including one typo (or Freudian slip) which guessed the secret word as “whorehouse”. I don’t think we used that word once in the first 100 Podcasts!
The first six people to send in the secret word “warehouse” and who are officially the first Daily GizWiz Podcast winners are: Doug Persson, Steven Rudy, Saldend, Brian Horovitz, rschnic, and Richard Dumoulin. Please email me a mailing address and a copy of your winning entry. And please send it from the same email address for verification. We’ve put the six Migo prizes in six padded envelopes which we’ll just address as the winners respond. So whether you get the watch or the flash drive will be random. Not even I will know what you got. But both prizes have the same amount of memory and the same great software. If you didn’t win, guess what? Kingston and Migo have already promised to send us more prizes so we can have more Daily GizWiz games!
And on Monday, we also did talk about a gadget!
Sure a shower can make you cleaner, but smarter too?
Well, yes! The Intuitive Learning Company has come up with a very clever idea! Polyester Shower curtains printed with things like the multiplication tables or even the Top 100 S.A.T. Words. Become a better writer and reader as you shower. Instead of bringing a book into the bathroom, use the shower curtain for reading material. These are no longer available on their website, but at major bath shops.
Need Help?... Thanks to GOOGLE, you can now search this site, my other site (thegizwiz) or the entire web for more info and suggestions of retailers. Most the time all you need to do, is type the name of the product into the search line. This is in response to people asking for help in finding products I show on the air, or talk about on the radio. It will be a time saver for us all. If all else fails, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to e-mail me.
Wednesday, July 19th
The Solio portable solar charger makes good use of the sun's engergy in a minimum of space. It can capture energy from the sun or you charge it via a traditional AC power outlet. It store energy in its integrated Lithium Ion battery. The unit I have came with an iPod adapter, but other "tips" can charge mobile phones, digital cameras, PDAs and portable games consoles. Solio’s award winning design allows the solar blades to fold like a fan for compact travel. Price is about $90 for the version that includes the iPod connector. And it’s available in white or black to match your iPod, or even pink to match who knows what! Optional tips for phones, PDA’s, etc. are about $20 each.
The Scrolling LED Belt Buckle is fully customizable and fits on any snap belt up to 1 1/2" wide. You can create and store up to six messages. Each message can contain up to 256 characters. The messages are stored by using the buttons on the backside of the buckle. Other features include speed control and brightness control. $12.50. The belt buckle is on the large size.
Blue scrolling LED name tag. (Red also available.) This is really neat!
Display your name or even your own custom message. It stores up to 6 different messages up to 512 characters. It’s programmable with easy on-board buttons. And you can even adjust scroll speed and brightness. Pin directly to your shirt or use the powerful magnet to hold it in place, even on a tee shirt. This is a real buy at under $10! But there’s more!
Programmable Scrolling Sign Hat. This black hat has a red LED scrolling sign built right in. Adjustable size hat displays your name or own custom message up to 118 characters. Like the other devices above, you can program it with easy on-board buttons. Adjustable scroll speed and adjustable brightness too. Package Includes: Programmable scrolling sign hat Two (2) CR2032 3v batteries Operating instructions. And my favorite thing on the website, it also states: Product Requirements: A head. Under $10. Another bargain.
BACK TO THE WAREHOUSE FRIDAY, July 21 -- The Radio Shack Model100
It came from Kyocera of Japan, who licensed the same design to NEC. For a while I had both the Radio Shack and the NEC. If I recall correctly the NEC had a few extra features, but other than that they were almost identical in size and looks. These are considered the world's first laptop computers, sporting a full-size keyboard. They came with built-in software - Microsoft BASIC programming language, a word processor, and modem software for the built-in 300 baud modem. And talk about battery life. It ran for 20 on 4 "buy them anywhere" AA batteries! Of course the screen showed just eight lines of text, 40 characters wide in monochrome, but I thought it was amazing that I could write MAD scripts on an airplane. I think the NEC version accepted external memory cartridges. I also had model 102, which came out in 1986. It was $499 and very similar to the 100 but it featured an amazing 24K built in memory! Talk about an upgrade! It had 4X the memory of the original! Also the newer model took ROM modules which you could buy with various applications burned on them.
Monday, July 24 JVC EVERIO GZ-MG505 30GB
JVC’s newest 3CCD+5-Megapixel JPEG’s hard drive camcorder is the Everio GZ-MG505. It lets you record up to 7 hours of DVD movie-quality video or more than 10 hours at DVD camcorder-quality. You can also record 5 Mega-pixel JPEG photos. The 30 GB hard disk holds about 10,000 photos and they’ll still be plenty of memory left for hours of video. It weighs a touch more than a pound including the battery and lens cap. A 2.7” widescreen 16:9 LCD displays 16:9 videos while they are being shot, as well as during playback. A microphone input and accessory shoe provide flexibility to capture sound and attach lighting. There’s a 10x optical zoom (8x for stills) and MPEG-2 Video Recording for DVD-Movie Quality Footage. A new feature for this year’s Everio G Series is Event Selection. The user can pre-assign an event while shooting, or it can be done later by assigning a convenient topical category with icon. Simply calling up the event type, like “Birthday”, brings up all events associated with it. Another security measure familiar to notebook PC users is its gravity force sensor system that automatically senses sudden acceleration such as in a free fall situation, and turns off the power to the hard disk so that a head crash can be avoided even when the unit is dropped. (I wouldn’t run around showing off this feature to people!) You can make Full-length DVDs with or without a Computer The Everio GZ-MG505 offers built-in DVD burner control allowing it to be directly connected to an optional JVC DVD burner, The camcorder connects to the burner via a USB cable and the burner is easily controlled by the camcorder. The JVC Everio GZ-MG505 is available now and sells for around $1,300.00.
JBL On Time Wake Up lets you wake up to music stored on your iPod, MP3 player or other music source. The upward-firing tweeter and horizontal low and midrange transducers provide a 360-degree sound field. JBL On Time includes a radio, clock and dual alarm. The menu-driven user interface. Is easy to navigate. It’s compatible with most docking versions of the iPod, including nano and 5G versions. A stereo mini jack connection allows you to enjoy excellent from a variety of other devices. The five FM and five AM radio channel presents are simple to program. It remembers your source and the last volume setting, even after your music source is turned off. Wake up to a favorite song you’ve stored on your iPod. The automatic time-set feature provides one-button time setting. The large backlit LCD is easy to read and an automatic dimming circuit provides the correct brightness level in any environment. A dome light provides a high tech glow for your iPod and the lighted buttons are easy to find in the dark. TimeCrawler technology lets the JBL On Time set the clock automatically from any local radio station that transmits the time in its signal. Under $300.
This is the only combination machine with a burr grinder and a stainless steel Thermal Carafe. (Regular blade grinders heat the beans as they grind and destroy some of the flavor.) Just pour in the beans, program the time and the amount of coffee to be ground and CoffeeTEAM does the rest. A stainless steel thermal carafe keeps your coffee hot for hours. Program the amount of coffee you want to grind, choose the number of cups (4, 6, 8 or 10) and select mild, regular or strong and you’re set. You can even program two completely different settings, one for manual operation and one for automatic operation. There are four fineness settings for light to dark beans, the lighter the bean, the finer the setting. And the grinding and brewing are separated, keeping moisture away from the grinder. It also makes cleaning up after brewing simple. I tried one of those pots that grinds the beans and then sends the water through the grinder. What a mess to clean. You have to disassemble everything after each brewing cycle! The CoffeeTEAM grinds the programmed amount of beans directly into the filter. Then the filter automatically swings forward and the brewing process begins. It not only makes excellent coffee, it’s fun to watch! The brewed coffee enters the carafe through the closed lid. For serving just turn the lid’s dot to the pouring spout. After serving close the lid again to preserve temperature and aroma..An AM/PM Programmable Clock/Timer lets you set the time when to grind and brew automatically. And its high tech looking too, with an illuminated black-on-white display. $299.99.
Thursday, July 27th --- Luk Werks Digital Video Surveillance System. (Pronounded Look Works) Watch your home, your office, even your pet from anywhere, even on your cell phone!
This is an easy-to-use security system for business and homes. The very affordable starter kit is $299 and takes about 20 minutes to set up. The system is mostly wireless (well, it actually uses your house wiring) and runs off any Windows computer. The cameras have an onboard processor that powers digital motion detection, real-time Windows Media Video (WMV) encoding, and it’s own easy to use PC software interface. With motion detection, the system records video only when activity occurs, enabling users to find recorded events quickly. And, by encoding the video in the camera, the system significantly reduces bandwidth usage and memory consumption, allowing users to view up to six live video feeds simultaneously on a computer. WiLife's (the Parent Company) Intelligent Image Management automatically adjusts the frame rate, brightness and contrast of the video images according to light conditions. This feature allows LukWerks to continue to capture high-quality video even when there is very little light. Each slim-line camera includes window, wall, and desktop mounting options. With the unique window suction-cup mount, users may place the camera on any window – facing outside the window or inside the room.
Friday, July 29th A trip to Dick's Gadget Warehouse!
It's wet, it's weird, it's nowhere to be found anymore!
Sunsquirt – This is another weird gadget I don’t see anywhere on the web. I’m not sure it ever made it to the market place. It’s designed for use at the beach. You fill it with about a half gallon of water, and carry it via a shoulder strap. Once you’re out in the hot sun, you place this gadget next to your blanket, and set the timer for 3, 5 or 10 minutes. At that interval, a little battery operated motor causes a spray of water to be shoot out for 30 seconds or so, to cool you off! You even got to adjust the spray nozzle!
Week of July 31st – Monday, July 31st, 2006
Here’s an inexpensive DVD player with audio/video in --- and A/V out!
Coby TF-DVD8500. This is a 8.5" Widescreen (16:9) Color TFT DVD/CD/CD-R/CD-RW/MP3/JPEG Compatible Player. I never understood when people spent $250 to $350 for a large screen portable DVD player when all it does is plays DVD’s. This unit from Coby is a DVD player, but it has a lot more going for it. The 8.5 TFT swivels and can fold back so it can be hung the back of a car seat so kids can watch movies on a car trip. A big plus is A/V in and out! Most only have video out. And a bigger plus is the price! Under $150 at J&R Music, even less at B&H Photo! It comes with a lot of accessories including: Full Function Remote Control / AV Cable & 100-240V UL Adapter / DC Car Charger & Car Cassette Adapter / 2 Stereo Headphones / Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery / Headrest Mounting Bag/ Built-in Stereo Speakers / Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery.It also has Composite Video Output and Optical Audio Output
The folks at Pentax told me people are so comfortable with digital photography, they are now seeking more control over their photos.
The PENTAX K100D will be appearing on retail consumer shelves about now. The K100D is the first PENTAX digital SLR with Shake Reduction (image stabilization). The benefit of SR is better image results in low light situations (dawn, dusk, indoors) and in macro/telephoto shooting. A mode dial with auto picture and scene modes helps make digital SLR photography easy. And there’s a nice 2.5 inch monitor that you can view even from the side. The lens K-mount makes this and all Pentax digital SLR bodies compatible with a vast legacy of interchangeable digital and 35mm lenses. The camera body alone is available for $619.95. With an 18-55mm lens it retails for $699.95.
Wednesday, August 2nd – This gizmo came to me via Rich Mazel of www.gadgetadventure.com. They’re a gadget couple that likes to support the DGW and they told me they have a blast trying to find things I’ll will like. Rich was the one who hooked us up with Dynaism, for our “you can’t have it” Mondays. Rich’s find was the
Energizer Quick Switch Flashlight. This is a great idea! You know you can find a flashlight, but offers revolutionary convenience. Don't worry about finding the right batteries in emergencies. This flashlight can use two AA, C or D batteries. Slide switch for AA, C or D operation. Uses a Krypton Bulb. Available in stores, like Home Depot. About $13
I did a web search and found it here for under $10 (But I never shopped there.)
Thursday, August 3rd - Logitech gives gamers their own eye catching keyboard.
The Logitech G15 Keyboard is going to get a lot of attention. It offers 18 programmable keys, a built-in auxiliary display, and advanced software sp a gamer can set up custom game commands. Of course I like the separate backlit LCD screen which is integated into the keyboard and the lit (soft high tech blue) keys! The LED screen be programmed to display in-game information or data from other applications. Or use the LCD screen as convenient digital clock when you're not using the computer. There's an analog clock display option too. This is a very large keyboard, the largest I’ve seen which some gamers may like. A Performance Monitor can displays a visual representation of CPU and RAM usage if you want. And shen used with the multimedia keys, it display current song and volume level. Under $100 (But do a web search and you can find it cheaper.
Firday, August 4th --- BACK TO THE WAREHOUSE FRIDAY
Audrey, 3Com's Wired Appliance. It was designed for those “who didn’t want a complicated computer.” Audrey was just for email and web browsing. It came to life in the fall of 2000. And it went soon after. First of all, it was almost $500 ($499) for a device designed only for accessing the Web and e-mail. That was a lot of money. The color touch screen was 4.75 by 6.25 inches. You could type on Audrey's wireless keyboard although it wasn’t a full sized one. As an alternate you could use the stylus to write one on the touch screen and then you would send handwritten note as a .gif attachment. Hmm, that sounded a tuch complicated for a gadget that was going to be for people who didn't want to learn anything about a computer. There was also a built-in microphone so you could record a message up to three minutes long and then send as a wave file. Again I thnk that would turn some non-gadget lovers offers. Audrey had its own custom browser and used standard dial-up connection which most people were using back then. But if you had broadband, for an optional $59 you could buy an Ethernet adapter Again, if you were so advanced that you had broadband, I doubt if you wouldn't be using this device for your emails..It didn't last very long in the marketplace.