Monday, August 7th XPLAY2 under $30 The original XPlay is well-known as the first product ever to provide Windows connectivity for iPods, and as the only product ever to provide Windows integration for Mac-formatted iPods. XPlay is also the only way to use iPods with older versions of Windows, including Windows Me and Windows 98SE. XPlay provides a powerful Explorer-integrated drag-and-drop interface that makes transferring music to and from the iPod quick and simple. XPlay is also the only product that enables Windows users to use both Windows- and Mac-formatted iPods. Available at CompUSA Manufacturer’s website: www.mediafour.com
Tuesday, August 8th Our First “Turn The Table” Tuesday where Leo gets to pick a gadget he likes. His choice was the icombi Bluetooth headphones ----
Leo talked about the icombi Bluetooth stereo headphone. It's an official "Made for iPod" licensed product and features the latest Bluetooth protocols (AADP and AVRCP). Not only can you roam about 30 feet from your iPod but The wireless headphones offer easy access to the most important sound and playback functions. Leo said the sound was excellent and the company says the headphones feature 30-mm speakers with a 20 Hz - 20kHz sound range. Price is about $150. (Make sure you get the correct dongle for what you’re going to hook it to.) Company website: www.icombi.com
I was looking for a small form factor PC so I can have a system on a rolling table in my office and I found the HP Pavilion Slimline PC. HP says it has all the power of a fully loaded PC in 1/3 the size of a traditional tower PC. It is small enough to place almost anywhere - kitchen, child’s room, or any place where you have limited workspace. While small in size it has all the functionality of a traditional full sized PC including plenty of memory, a fast processor, large hard drive and even a 9-in-1 memory card reader, so you can transfer video, digital photos and music directly to your PC. Models that include DVD RW drive with Lightscribe technology2 lets you can produce custom CD’s and DVD’s with high tech labels But you do need special DVD’s which could cost up to a buck each. But for special gifts, they’re worth it. Starting price on the HP Slimline is $429 net after rebate. The top of the line Slimline is under $700 after rebate. You get the mini tower, keyboard and mouse.You supply the monitor. As Leo pointed out, they're not the choice for gamers. The link below will take right to page for the Slimline PC's.
HP Skins - $8 & UP. You can Skins to make a PC blend into the room: solid colors, abstract images, colors, fabric, and flowers. There’s also licensed content including: Tweety Bird, Spiderman, NBA and MLB teams. PC Skins are ordered by model number via www.hp.com/go/skins so users are guaranteed a perfect fit with their personal HP notebook, desktop or monitor. Easy to apply and remove. Prices start as low as $7.95 depending on size and content of Skin.
Thursday, August 10th iHome 2Go Portable Travel Alarm Clock for Apple™ iPod & Shuffle
One listener of the DGW uses our theme song as his wake up tune. You can too with easy with this iHome 2Go portable alarm clock station for iPods and iPod Shuffles. (This is one of the few gizmos I know of that lets you plug in the Shuffle. The built-in dock lets you charge your iPod anytime you’re using the included AC adapter. Its low-profile design with folding speakers lets you use this as a mini music system on trips, in the dorm or the bedroom. The Programmable Sleep feature lets you sleep to your iPod or any auxiliary audio device while the Sure Alarm battery backup guards against power failures. Also includes an Aux/MP3 line-in jack with patch cord for other MP3 players, Something else unique, the remote control has a “snooze” button, so you don’t have to reach so far for a few minutes more sleep. It also comes with carrying case with handle. Requires 4 "AA" batteries which are not included. Price is about $100. However I saw it online at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $80.
Warehouse Friday August 11th The Digisette Multi-Format Digital Audio Player
The Digisette DUO 64 had 64 MB of onboard memory. 192 MB Expandable - AC 110v Wall Batt Charger - Charging Cable - Car Charger - Two 1.2V Ni-MH Batt - Carrying Case - USB Cable - Ear Buds - Mic. - Voice recording - Belt Clip - Rebate not valid on products after 8/10/03 Price: $ 79.99. The Duo-64 is both a personal MP3 player and a self-contained MP3 cassette adapter. It’s made of the Duo-64 is very light, attractive, holds 64 MB of flash memory and generates good music quality. Also, it is easy to use, contains many extras and is upgradeable for future music formats. On the down side, the Duo-64 transfers files very slowly. Also, it lacks a number of attributes that many other MP3 players have as standard, such as a LCD screen, equalizer and multiple play modes. However, if these seem like minor concerns and if you enjoy the savings the Duo-64 provides over buying both a personal MP3 player and a MP3 car stereo, then the Duo-64 definitively deserves a careful consideration. Even though some of the info is way old, it’s still listed on their website. The fact that they say the rebate coupon expired August, 2003 makes me think it’s not updated with any regularity.
The Daily Giz Wiz --- Week of August 14th. Monday – August 14th--- Power LogOn.
Power LogOn from Access Smart is designed so hackers can't get access to your personal information. That's because your passwords are not stored on your computer, they are stored on a Smart Card, so there’s nothing for hackers to find. It also helps you create strong, complex, random passwords that Access Smart says can take over 90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years to crack. We’re testing that now, so come back in 89,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,999 years and we’ll let you know how we faired! Power LogOn allows companies to meet government security legislations like Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), etc. That says pretty good, doesn’t it? (TSPGDI?) What I like about the Power LogOn is that I don’t have to remember or type in passwords. If I wanted, I could have a different user name and password for every website account. That means you can get rid of those Post-it notes, pieces of folded paper, or bits of tape stuck to the computer with your top secret passwords on it. After the software is loaded as you visit websites and type in your log in info, you are asked if you would like Power LogOn to remember it. As with so many other things, it does not work within AOL. However you can bring up the name and password for any website and use the drop and drag feature to fill in the blanks. There’s a desktop version and a PC card slot version. Cost is $129.95 for either. If you use discount code DGW (Daily Giz Wiz) you’ll get $30. That brings the cost to under $100. ($99.95)
Tuesday – August 15th Turn The Table Tuesday . (The day of the week when Leo talks about the gadget and Dick is forced to listen!) Today, Leo talks about the PlusDeck2c Digital Cassette Recorder which was discovered by listeners of the DGW. (Emails below, edited for space).
On the very off chance you haven’t heard of this or didn’t think about it when you were wanting to transfer the Mad Minutes, here’s the PlusDeck 2c, a IDE-bay cassette tape drive for a PC so you can transfer cassette tapes to digital files easily. http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/drives/7a8d/ (It’s even cheaper at the link below – Dick De
I’d love to get one for the retro value but I don’t have enough cassettes to justify the price. So if you get one and get sick of it you can send it to me. Tom Kidd Here's a nice find from Devin. He found the same unit for under $80. ---- OK I know it's Friday and this almost counts as a warehouse item as it deals with analog technology, but I really want to hear the Mad Minutes (and since I can't make a jingle) this might help. A cassette deck for your PC, over at Geeks.com (where I have shopped for the past few years and was happy to hear you mention) they have this: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=PLUSDECK2C Devin Leo liked this gizmo a lot. But as you’ll hear on the Podcast, it’s not for the total novice since installation means knowing a bit about the wiring inside your computer. And the fact that you can now hear the old MAD Minutes newly digitized on the DGW means it’s doing its job and Leo is actually using it!
Wednesday August 16th --- Cool It… the USB beverage chiller. This another strange device that plugs into a USB port. The manufacturer says it uses no Freon or chemicals. Just place it on a flat surface, plug it into your USB port, and place the beverage on the cooler. Cool It says it the cold plate chills down to 45 degrees! I don’t have to measure that claim, but you sure can feel that it’s cold. (Unlike the USB Coffee Warmer that doesn’t feel very warm!) The manufacturer says it won’t keep a full can of soda cold, but it kicks in when you’re down to a 1/3 of a can or so. So you have to decide how many 1/3 cans of soda you waste to see if it’s more than the price of Cool It: $39.99 plus S&H.
Thursday August 17th ---The NASCAR sound clocks feature 12 different, authentic sounds recorded live at the cars’ respective racing team garage. A light sensor deactivates the clock’s sound when the room is dark so you won’t freak out at 3 AM thinking a race car just went through your bedroom. The #3 clock, licensed by NASCAR and Richard Childress Racing, features a black frame that surrounds an image of the car and the trademark #3 and NASCAR logos. To further enhance the need for speed, the clock’s hours are listed as miles per hour (mph) – from 10 mph for 1:00 to 120 mph for 12:00. Other NASCAR clocks are available too. The #9 Kasey Kahne clock, licensed by NASCAR and Evernham Motorsports, features a white racing stripe down the center of its red frame. An image of the car and the trademark Evernham Motorsports, #9 and NASCAR logos appear on the face of the clock. Mark Feldstein, founder of the the company that merchandises the NASCAR sound clocks says these clocks allow race fans to experience the excitement of NASCAR all year long. $24.95. If you do a a web search you can find them for sale for about $20.00. Here’s one place we found: http://www.dutchguard.com/nascar-earnhardt-sound-clock-p-nov.html
Back to the Warehouse, Friday August 18th - DataPlay Discs
This optical storage format was one of the most highly anticipated products at CES 2001. It was named Best product of the Show, but then it never made it to market. In fact in 2002 DataPlay went into bankruptcy. Then in the October 2004 issue of PC World magazine said DataPlay was back! But here it is 2006, and I don’t see it anywhere. The DataPlay disc is capable of holding 500MB of information in a format about the size of a US quarter. According to the article some small South Korean and Chinese companies were working on DataPlay-based devices and the technology is being evaluated by some of the region's largest electronics companies, It said that the 500MB DataPlay discs will be sold in Japan for $4.50. But as Leo points out in the Gadget Warehouse Podcast, these days you can save much more data on a DVD for just pennies. So I don’t think we’re going to see DataPlay in any wide distribution channels. HOWEVER, this is strange. It seems that DataPlay discs are for sale at www.dataplay.com.
Photo from the DataPlay website.
Daily GizWiz Podcast for Week of August 21st.
Mondy, August 21st. Coleman Remote Control Camping Tent Light.
See What's in Your Tent before you Climb In!
There are two version of this Coleman Tent Light. One has a remote that can be operated from up to 20' away. I found that that was about the range, but once in a while it required you to click the remote twice. The first time the light flickered, but didn’t say on. Mounting it on a tent should be easy, because it use a magnetic back plate that goes outside the tent and the light clips securely to it from the inside. It’s a powerful magnet so I doubt if the light will fall even though it’s heavy after you install the 6 AA batteries. (Not included.) The non remote control version only takes 4 AA’s. It uses an Xenon bulb. Coming back to a tent at night, it would be very useful to light the tent before you get in. The kit includes mounting for other applications. About $17.00. Camping stores.
(One day he'll come with something I hate, and then the sparks will fly! I biding my time!)
Wednesday, August 23rd Logitech QuickCam Orbit
The webcam that follows you! (But not in the bathroom!)
The Orbit webcam lens internally pans and tilts so that it can automatically follow your face. It can operate on the desk, but it looks really cool when you attach it to the nine-inch extension rod that raises the camera closer to eye level. There is some whirring noise as the mechanism follows the movements of your head. You can set the video resolutions to 160x120, 320x240, or 640x480. It has a built-in microphone and supports both USB 2.0 and 1.1. There are no buttons or switches on the Webcam itself, everything is handled via the software and your keyboard, even taking still photos. The most fun can be had when using the Logitech Video Effects. Choose 3D animated avatars that imitate your facial expressions and head movement. You can be a bunny, a shark, and they keep adding new animations at the Logitech website. There are also 2D face accessories that allow you to change your look with glasses, hats and more. You can even add a moustache is you like. But can you image what I'd look like with a big moustache?
Looking for a constant reminder that you're stuck in a pointless, no-win, monotonous rut? Then place a Rat Race Clock on your desk. This clock is unlike any other -- It features a gray rat on an industrial treadmill. Once every minute, the mechanical rat begins run. The wheel is connected to an intricate series of 12 gears -- So when the rat wheel goes around, it makes the clock's minute hand move 1-minute forward. And here's the most remarkable thing --- the clock itself has no motor or clockwork of any kind. The timing mechanism is INSIDE THE RAT. They designed the furry rat to run just enough to move the clock exactly one minute. The Rat Race Clock uses 4 D batteries 2 AA batteries (not included). It comes in a very nice box, so it would make a terrific gift for a boss, co-worker, or someone really overworked and underpaid -- you. It's a well-known fact that hamsters are the most punctual creatures in the animal kingdom. Before clocks and watches were invented, people used to strap hamsters on their wrists to tell the time of day. It was not uncommon to hear passersby say, "Look at the time -- It's half past hamster!" Switzerland became famous for watches -- not because they were brilliant engineers -- but because their indigenous hamsters were exceptionally accurate timekeepers.
Calling Dick Tracy, Your Casio Wrist Camera is Ready!
Wrist Cam Casio's WQV1-1CR Wrist Camera Watch. Like many watches this one tells time, has 5 alarms, a stopwatch, a countdown timer, and an hourly chime if you want it. But then it gets different from other watches. It also has a digital camera with 1 MB of memory. When shooting at a pretty low res of 120x120 grayscale it's enough to store about 100 of them. The Normal Mode records the 16-grayscale monochrome image that appears on the monitor screen of the Wrist Camera. The Art Mode produces "artful" two-tone images and the Merge Mode combines two different images into a single image like the images weren’t small enough to big with. There's also Visual Data Bank feature for storage of portrait, name, and phone number records. After you record an image you can input up to 24 characters of text. There's was also infrared data transfer with/to a computer or another Wrist Camera. But it's limited a bit by the fact that the IR transfer is Casio's proprietary system. You can upload images to your computer for editing and archiving, and download them back to the Wrist Camera when you need to take them somewhere. You could even use your images as screen savers but even six years ago you wouldn't want to use 120x120 image for that. About $200,plus $50 for the IR kit for the computer. Later on they were bundled together for the $199.99.
These clocks are in short supply. If Stupid.com doesn't have any more, check out eBay!
The Daily GizWiz Podcasts, Week of August 28
Monday, August 28 -- Wow, they didn't call it the iBackpack, but it is for the iPod!
Jansport Live Wire Backpack. Janspsort has teamed up with Apple to create a backpack that has an integrated Audio Wire system. It’s cleverly worked out. The iPod goes into a special inside pocket where it’s hooked to a headphone jack and a power jack that fits most new iPods. Once connected, It allows the wearer to listen to their iPod via remote controls that are built in the strap of the backpack. Five buttons within easy reach perform the usual functions - volume, forward, reverse, pause and play. And there’s also Power-off. There’s an earphone cord management system with a headphone jacket on the other strap of the backpack. Various models that start at about $100.
Leo’s gadget of the week is the Altec Lansing FX6021 3-piece speaker system for the music, gaming, or home theater enthusiast. Their InConcert technology enables the FX6021 to deliver crisp, clean, full-volume sound that feels like its being directed right at you. InConcert Technology directs the sound straight ahead and to the sides, not up and down. So the sound is pure and clean, uncluttered by reflections from the ceiling or floor. Two ultra-slim satellites feature a total of twelve 1” neodymium micro drivers, with each pair of micro drivers powered by its own discrete amplifier. A 6.5” ported subwoofer completes the sound with low-frequency, full-throated bass. Price is under $250.
Wednesday --- August 30th, You’ve heard of GPS, but have you heard of BPS?
The RadarGolf System, uses Ball Positioning System (BPS) technology. It consists of three main components. The handheld ‘finder’, a Shield-It pouch and a dozen magnetic golf balls. The idea is save you strokes, time, and frustration. BPS technology enables the handheld to transmit a specific radio frequency (RF) signal. When this signal reaches a Radar Golf Ball, the ball returns a separate specific RF signal. The handheld receiver is tuned to “listen”for the signal from the ball. An LCD provides visual feedback and an audio tone allows you to hone in on your lost ball. You will receive stronger feedback as you get closer to your ball. To pick up the signal, my tests found that you needed to be within a couple dozen feet of the ball. That means you still need to have a rough idea where your ball landed. I tried it in both my yard and down in Riverside Park. I let someone else try it and we thought it worked well. The company says that the magnetic golf balls are USGA conforming and meet all USGA specifications for size, weight, distance, initial velocity and symmetry. They say that the embedded microchip is so small that it does not affect the performance of the ball in any way. The chip has no power source and will last as long as the ball. I don’t play goft, but I had fun finding the magnetic golf balls with the handheld unit anyway! $249.95