Surprise!You DONíT have mail! Network Solutions moved my website to a new server and all was well. I love their new website building tools. BUT in the move, the link to forward my firstname.lastname@example.org emails to my email@example.com mailbox was not transferred. All my emails are forwarded there since I usually have AOL open all day. Since I have 7 email addresses, I noticed a slow down in emails, but they didnít stop. Then the unforwarded emails hit 5,000 Ė yes 5,000 unread emails - and friends who knew I had other email addresses told me emails to firstname.lastname@example.org were being rejected. I discovered what happened and now I have 5,000 emails to read through. I am on day four of doing that. I have sent out 50 autographed MADís to WTHII winners Ė far more than I promised, and several GOOD DAYS AND MAD books to people who donated to Animal Haven and sent me the receipt. Hopefully in the next week Iíll get them all read. In the meantime emails from all 7 email addresses are working properly. Sorry for any delay in answering your emails. I'm bleary eyed, but carrying on! The Giz Wiz
On this page is, or will be, all the gizmos and gadgets for the Daily Giz Wiz for the month of March, 2008. The latest week is at top.
Week of March 24th, 2008
Monday, March 24th, 2008Netcast 531
A great safety device for under $10!
SparxLine Safety LED Helmet Strobe. This is a helmet light that auto activates when it senses the movement of the helmet. And it features Auto shut-off. After the helmet stops moving for 22 seconds, the light will turn off. It saves battery power and you donít have to worry about remembering to turn it on or off. (There is a manual on/off switch too.) Attach it to your helmet with super adhesive tape (included) thatís weather and water resistant. Batteries last up to 80 hrs and are replaceable. A set of free replacement batteries are included. LED's rated for 100,000 hrs (about 11 yrs) The company say itís Hi-visibility, up to 1/2 mile away. Available starting this spring in motorcycle and bicycle shops. Wal-Mart by late summer. Under $10. Also available at 1-800-878-3413 or go to
Another Turn The Table Tuesday and another photo gizmo from Leo.
Once again I havenít seen or played with this gadget, so Iíve lifted info from the link Leo emailed me.Leave to Leo to pick something named EGO!
Now anyone can create great looking professional results in their home. Lowel, the Academy Award winning world leader in location lighting for film & video, introduces a revolutionary tabletop fluorescent Digital Imaging Light, the elegant & easy to use Lowel Ego. Setup is a breeze, plug it in, place it on the table, & turn it on. The result is fast, simple, & beautiful light output that's ideal for taking digital tabletop shots by collectors, arts & crafts hobbiests, sellers, archivists, and desktop publishers. Ego can also be used for DV talking head shots, digital still portraits, and web cam desktop video conferencing.
I saw the before and after shots at the companyís website and this does look like a neat product.A two light kit is $268.00.
I cover software just a few times a year. This Crazy Talk5 is one of those times!
Both Leo and I have been having fun with Crazy Talk5. It lets you transform photos and images into talking animated characters and bring them to life with real-time puppeteering. Turn your PC into a face animation movie studio. Choose any image you wish to animate - from animals, cartoons, drawings or photographs. Simply select a photo or image and import it into CrazyTalk 5 where you then only need to show CrazyTalk5 where the eyes and mouth are located on your image. Your photo can say anything while animating through the emotion wizard and timeline enabling your virtual actor to puppet with personality.Leo and I used the short version that lets you be up and running with an image in about ten minutes. For more professional results there are hundreds of adjustments you can make! Share CrazyTalk5 movies as standard video, HD, or optimized web video using YouTube or Flash enabled export. There is a free trial demo at the companyís website.Crazy Talk 5 Ė Under $50Crazy Talk 5 Pro Ė Under $50
THIS IS EPISODE WHERE THE WINNERS OF THE THREE MAXTOR ONE TOUCH BACK UP DRIVES, THE YOUCAM & CRAZY TALK5 SOFTWARE PACKAGES ARE ANNOUNCED!
Thursday, March 27th, 2007 Netcast 534 Help for the AC outlet challenged hotel room. The Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger. Hotel rooms and airport terminals never seem to have enough power outlets to plug in andcharge all the devices us geeky types bring along when we travel. Belkin knows that too because those folks are on the road a lot. Thanks to their new gizmo you can now you can add 3 AC outlets, two USB charging ports, and peace of mind on business trips and vacations with the Belkin Mini Surge Protector. It has a rotating plug so you can face the device in the direction that is most convenient. And thereís a green LED to let you know the surge protection is on. It even comes with a full size to mini USB charging cable. And Iím sure you know this, but Belkin has this important warning on their website: Important: This productís USB outlets cannot be used as a USB hub and does not transmit data. The powered USB outlets on this unit are intended solely for charging devices that can be charged via a USB interface$24.99. www.belkin.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw534 Back to the Warehouse, Friday, March 27th, 2008, Netcast 535 This a slightly different Gadget Warehouse Friday because Iím adding something new to my collection. New for me, but actually about 25 years old. Itís the Timex Sinclair 1000 Home Computer, originally released July, 1982. It was a gift from Mike Trojano. The warehouse is full of gadgets and thereís very little room for anything new, but the TS 1000 is tiny enough to slip in just about anywhere. The TS1000 broke ground as the ďfirst under $100 home computer!Ē It used a form of BASIC as its programming language. People like to use the erase end of pencil to enter programs on the membrane keyboard. Your TV became the screen for the black and white display of 32 columns and 24 lines. The limited graphics were based on geometric shapes contained within the operating system's non-ASCII character set. And storage? That was a cassette tape player which was extra. I even got the 16K memory expansion module which sold for $200! The TS 1000 shipped with 2K of memory.Yes, 2K!!!Again, thank you to two dedicated Daily Giz Wiz fans, Mike & Jean Troiano Hear this episode: www.twit.tv/dgw535
From our friends at oldcomputers.net
Netcast for Week of March 17th! Monday, March 17thHappy St. Patrickís Day! Netcast 526 The Return of Duracell CopperTop Battery Tester Pack. After a nearly decade- long hiatus, Duracell has brought back the popular CopperTop Tester. The in-pack alkaline battery power tester can test CopperTop AA batteries, but heck, it will do other brands too. However the tester will only be available in CopperTop AA 8-packs.(If itís wildly popular again, who knows?) In pack tester technology was first introduced by Duracell in 1990 and became a favorite with consumers who were looking for ways to quickly test a battery and werenít geeky enough to own a real battery tester. (Yes I have 3 battery testers, thank you!)Thereís a slight difference in the new CopperTop Tester. Itís a bit more rugged and itís designed as a standalone device that can be removed from the package. So now you can use to test other AA batteries or even stick in a travel bag. Using the tester is real simple. Just insert a AA battery into the testing device and the gauge indicates the battery's power level. Yes itís still that yellow mystery stuff that moves up the gauge to register the batteries remaining power. Or more likely a chemical reaction to the power being applied. Since the return of the tester pack was scheduled for early March, it may take some time before you see them a retail. I was at Home Depot yesterday and none were in sight yet. Theyíre not shown or talked about the Duracell website as of March 16th. www.duracell.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw526 TTTT, March 18th, Netcast 527 Itís another Turn The Table Tuesday and although this is a high ticket item, it will be interest to those who email us and say: ďWhatís the best system for recording Podcasts?ĒSince I donít own one, hereís info from Leo the companyís website: The FlashMic DRM85 is the world's first professional Digital Recording Microphone. Perfect for all voice recording applications, in particular broadcast and press interviewing, the FlashMic combines a high quality Sennheiser omni-directional condenser capsule with 1GB of flash recording memory to create a convenient, durable and portable recording device that's extremely easy to operate. (There is memory card slot.I asked about that.) With no cables or connectors to worry about, journalists can be recording instantly with just a single button-push. Either .Wav linear or MPEG 2 encoded audio files can then be transferred quickly and easily via USB to Macintosh or PC computers and laptops for editing and onward transmission. A Date/Time stamp is stored along with the file, with the internal real time clock-set/synchronized automatically by the host computer. The FlashMic is powered for more than six hours by a pair of standard AA batteries (either primary or rechargeable), with the remaining battery power displayed along with time, level and status information in a backlit LCD on the microphone body. In addition, a visual low battery warning alerts the user to the imminent need to change batteries. Users can operate the FlashMic straight out of the box using default settings, or create and store nine custom configurations using the straightforward Mac/PC GUI software supplied. With a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz and less than 0.1% Total Harmonic Distortion at 16-bit/48kHz, FlashMic makes recordings of the very highest quality. Recordings can be played back under independent level control on headphones connected via a socket on the base of the unit. Company info: http://www.hhb.co.uk/hhb/usa/news/fullstory.asp?ID=336 http://bswusa.com/main.asp(This is where Leo got his.) Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw527 Wednesday, March 19thNetcast 528, March 19th Perpetual Kid 500 XL Desktop Earbud Speakers Several Daily Giz Wiz listeners asked if I had heard these speakers or had seen them in person. Our friends at Perpetual Kid sent me a pair to play with. They're desktop speakers designed to look exactly like a pair of iPod earbuds - except they are 500 times bigger! The sound is not "knock out" quality, but there impressive for their size and their price. And people will freak out when they see them on your desk! I recorded a video so you can see them for yourself. Click on link on the right. These speakers include a built-in amp, and they're powered by either batteries, USB (included), or a standard wall-plug power supply (which is not included). peakers measures approx 7" long x 4" in diameter. Rating Power: 3 Watt Cost is $49.99 www.perpetualkid.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw
Thursday, March 20th, Netcast 529
Still have some vinyl records that havenít been reissued in digital form?
The Brookstone iConvert can bring those old favorites into the digital age. Itís a
USB turntable that converts old records Ė 33ís & 45ísto MP3 files instantly as you play them óno computer necessary! Itís really easy to use. Just insert a flash drive or SDģ/MMC memory card, play your album, and press ďrecord.Ē Your favorite songs are instantly transformed into digital MP3 files. Thereís no computer, so thereís no softwareóit records directly onto your digital storage device in real time. Plus, if youíre converting an entire collection, you can use the built-in folder function to help organize your music while you convert it to MP3s. It also features an AM/FM radio, but I didnít check recording from that. Built-in stereo speakers let you listen to your albums while you record them, and the line-out connection allows you to play the turntable through your home stereo system. The built in sound is okay, but you wouldnít want to be your full time music system. It even comes with remote control, but you supply the 2 AAA batteries. I think this is an excellent value at$129.00. Its branded Brookstone, so Iím assuming its an exclusive with them.
The Salton Cook ní Stir is an electric saucepan with a motorized, rotating paddle.Designed, according the box copy, to gently mix sauces, puddings, gravy, fondue, packaged soups, etc.Since it has a motor, you can't put it on the stove, so it has it's own built in electric heater with thermostat. It came from Hammacher Schlemmer. Those are the folks who specialize in finding the slightly offbeat stuff. Actually they once had a display in their New York Flagship store of all the gizmos they were the first to exhibit. Thatís where I saw my first microwave oven. The Cook Ní Stir was sold in the mid 1980ís. And it sold for about $60.Another device Stir Chef is still available. But itís just the motor and the paddle that hangs onto your existing cookware.
SanDisk introduces an easy back up solution for PC Laptops --- via the ExpressCard Slot.
SanDisk has just introduced a rescue option Ė a lifeline for laptop users called the SanDisk FlashBack Adapter. This unique device fits into the ExpressCard slot of your PC, where it can automatically and continuously backing up and encrypting critical data onto an SD flash memory card. Whether your PC suffers a system failure or a full hard drive crash, the SanDisk FlashBack Adapter allows you to access your content safely from the memory card.Itís designed for the millions of newer notebook computers that have an ExpressCard slot. (Nope, it doesnít fit your old PC Card Slot) ,The backup card fits completely inside the laptop. It comes with software for Windows-based laptops. Once installed, users pre-select backup sources by individual files, folders and/or file types. Then the device backs up and encrypts the userís data, images, music and other files Ė automatically and continuously Ė from the computerís hard drive to the memory card. Backup occurs as soon as there is a change to a designated file, or when a file is added or deleted. And the application has a handy screen indicator to show the amount of storage available, along with a taskbar icon that displays the ongoing backup status. Available in a month or two with a suggested retail price of $29.99 (memory card sold separately).
Another Turn The Table Tuesday and another week where Leo doesnít have to be embarrassed.(Whatís up with him anyway? Heís killing the joy of making fun of his picks!)
Leo was really impressed with his brand new Tom Bihn computer bag. Since I donít have a Tom Bihn bag, hereís info from their website:
At TOM BIHN, we design and manufacture sophisticated laptop bags, laptop cases, laptop backpacks, messenger bags, briefcases, travel bags, and accessories in our Seattle factory. We offer eye-catching designs and unusually attentive customer service. We use the best quality materials, bomb-proof construction and Tom's 30+ years of design experience to build a better laptop bag. Our bags are available for order through this Web site with worldwide
A new mouse both Leo and I found independently and like. The Logitech VX Nano Wireless Laser Mouse for Notebooks
Itís a travel mouse that about 60% the size of your typical desk mouse, Logitechís wireless VX Nano mouse gives you the comfort of a contoured, rubber grip body. Logitech says it offers fast, precise mousing. Hmm, mousing is a new term to me. Just plug the tiny (said to be the worldís smaller, for now anyway) receiver into your USB port, and forget about it; itís small enough to stay plugged in, even when you put your laptop in its case! If you want to take the receiver out of the laptop it stores in the bottom of the mouse. Then the mouse fits into its own travel case, which ships with the unit. 6 Buttons and Tilt Wheel. The laser VX Nano offers you smooth cursor control on nearly any surface, and high-speed, low friction tilt scroll wheel lets you fly through your documents, side-to-side or up and down. If you press a button for precise click control or press it again for free wheeling if you have to ďflyĒ through documents. Lowest price I could find was at New Egg:under $46.
Backpackshield is a bullet proof * backpack. (*Make sure you visit their website for important information on what bullet proof entails with regard to this device. The company says Backpackshield is the highest level IIIA ballistic resistance for handgun bullets. They say there are over 30,000 gun related homicides a year in the US. From their website: ďWhile we can not control gun related violence that we or our loved ones may encounter, we can choose to actively do something to improve our odds of getting through it (a true survival advantage). Being "PROACTIVE" vs. passive against unexpected violence is up to you. The bullet proof * BACKPACKSHIELD ~ like a seat belt, a little bit of protection can go a long way, it might even save your life. Please see what this product can do. Use it as a Bullet Proof Shield. Although it can protect your back, itís intended to be held in front and pointed squarely in the direction of gun-fire. Its intended use is that of an active Bullet Resistant Shield. If you get low, and get your head and heart behind the BACKPACKSHIELD then if gun fire strikes it, you have some serious protection. I know this is a strange item for the Giz Wiz, but I thought people should know that is exists. But again, go to their website for all the important details and read everything carefully. Cost is $155.00. www.backpackshield.com Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw524 Back to the Warehouse Friday March 14th Netcast 525 See in the Dark! Itís about 1994 and I got a demonstrations of ITT Night Vision Monocular. Manufactured by ITT Industries, Night Vision pretty much lets you see in total darkness.I went into a totally black room, turned these on, looked into them and was amazed at how much I could see. On the water they're great for picking up non-illuminated buoys. ITT is now up to Gen 3 night vision devices. And now you can even use them for photography with the new ITT Night Quest 6010 Gen 3. Night Vision devices are not cheap. They retail for about $5,000, but you can often find them at a discount. Be aware there are far lesser units that will let you see ďin the darkĒ but not in total darkness. They can range down to a few hundred dollars. But the top of the line Night Quest 6010 Gen 3 Night Vision Monocular can be used to capture amazing video or still photography. The I.T.T. Night Quest NQ6010 Night Vision scope is a light weight, compact, multi function Generation III pocket night vision scope that can be used as a camera night lens system for video and 35mm SLR cameras, hand-held, head-mounted or tripod-mounted. I found a place on the web that sells it, but I never shopped there, and I don't know if it's the lowest price. But it is a good place to get more facts. http://shmyl.com/mcqpson
New! New! New! Okay, it's not so new. It's been around for almost six months!
It has L.E.D.s... It glows! It changes colors! But it does more than put on a mini-light show next your computer day and night.
It the GizWiz.Biz USB Smart Button. It plugs into any available USB port and it starts glowing and changing colors immediately. But there's more! Anytime you want to go to my website to play the "What The Heck Is It" game, or check out a gizmo we talked about on the Daily GizWiz, you merely push the center of the glowing button. In seconds my website pops up! What could be easier? And my logo is there too. Why it's a dream come true. (Well my dream will come through if a bunch of people buy them!) A few times a month people ask if I have a donation button. I don't, but I will make some money if you decided to buy a GizWiz.Biz USB Smart Button. I think they're pretty neat. You can see one in action here:
From the mail: Hello Dick, The GizWiz.Biz button is awesome!! I finally have a use for my keyboard USB 1.0 port.
Thanks again, -Paul
$17.99 plus $3.99 Postage. And I'll include an autographed copy of the newest MAD Magazine or MAD Special till I run out of buttons. That's a $4.99 value in itself! Sorry, available only in the U.S. and Canada only. Canadian address? Please see note below. So you'll get your USB Smart Button quickly, I'm upgrading all US orders (until I come to my senses) to Priority Mail. I pay the difference in postage from the regular ground shipping.
IMPORTANT: Postage to Canada is $8.95. PayPal should automatically change $3.99 to $8.95 when it recognizes a Canadian address. If it doesn't, order it anyway, I can send you an invoice for the difference in postage. Thanks. Dick De
Daily Giz Wiz, Week of March 3rd, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008Netcast 516
Shrink My Link!Okay, I give upÖ. what is Shrink My Link?
Well the name says it all - ShrinkMyLink shrinks long URLs and gives you a shorter one! Often a way shorter one. Are you are using URLs to promote or sell? Or just trying to send folks and friends a link to a new video or some photos you posted?
Long URLs are difficult to promote and they don't look very professional. Donít you hate those long links wrapped into two lines or more in email messages? Using ShrinkMyLink you can be sure that your links are always short!
Also some people wonít click on long links because they look so menacing. And some very long links seem to get broken into unusable pieces when you email them. That wonít happen with your short ShrinkMyLink. ShrinkMyLink does even more - it can hide the real web address shown in the browser's address bar if you like.
And this is the best part. Itís free.
Just go to www.shrinkmylink.com type in the link you want to shrink and itís done. Iím been using Shrink My Link for a few months now and so far I donít see any downside to this service! You see Shrink My Link in action in this weekís Turn The Table Tuesday. The Amazon link to the shaver Leo talked about was endless I shrunk it to a very short one in seconds!
Wednesday, March 4th,Daily Giz Wiz 518, Netcast 518
The HYBRIO Energy Station Charger Kit
Hereís another, ďDick opens a package as we tape The Daily Giz WizĒ episode. In the package was The Hybrio Energy Station Charger Kit.The kit contained the charger and four Hybrio Batteries. They call it ready-to-use technology; meaning you can use the batteries right out of the package, just like a disposable alkaline battery. The company says the advanced technology used in Hybrio batteries allows them to retain a long-term charge - even if they are not used for months. And they can be recharged up to 500 times, so you get the instant-power convenience of disposable alkaline batteries with the reuse and long life benefits of rechargeables. Not only is the Hybrio better for the environment because it is rechargeable, but it is also lasts four times longer than a standard disposable battery. The Hybrio will be available in a 4 AA pack and 4 AAA pack. Charges with AC, DC or USB adapter. You can also charge a Motorola or Nokia cell phone with adapters that are included along with four 21000mAh Hybrio batteries.
Ultralast HYBRIO Energy Station Charger Kit Regular Price: $28.95. I found it on the web for: $22.83.
A new solution to plugging in those giant AC transformer plugs!
The Socket Sense surge protector handles those big ďoutlet killerĒ power adapters with ease. Simply expand or contract the movable sockets to adjust for the best fit. Thatís right you can extend the strip sockets by about 8Ē inches but pulling on both ends. Compare this to a typical surge strip where power adapters typically block one or more sockets. Socket Sense can do the job of two ordinary surge strips. The fully adjustable sockets are also set on an angle to make sure a transformer plug does not block another socket. Itís a clever idea from Ideative which also makes the LeakFrog. We did on a Daily GizWiz Netcast quite some time back, in October, 2006. You can read about Leak Frog here: http://www.gizwizbiz.com/thedailygizwiz/dgwalloct06.html. .
Friday Ė Back to the Warehouse FridayNetcast 520, March 6th
A 15 year old gizmo that I discovered is still going strong!
The Porter Case II Standard with CART is engineered as a hard sided wheeled airline carry-on luggage case that easily rolls down the aisle of an airplane and will fit under many seats and/or in overhead compartments. So you can protect your most important and delicate valuables by rolling them on board. But hereís the real magic of Porter Case luggage. Pull two pins, fold down the hinged hard case and youíve created a heavy duty luggage carrier. Piles on those extra suitcases, boxes, and sales materials. Even golf clubs! No more looking for a Skycap, airport cart rental, or Bellman. Porter Case is an invisible CART, a protective carry-on, even a seat. It works equally well with trains, planes, ships or autos. Porter Case says itís Airline Regulation carry-on size. It weighs about 13 lbs. (5.9kg.). Durable HDPE Mil-Spec material / 4" ball bearing wheels / 42" padded telescope handle with exterior tie down strap. Carries up to 200 pounds (90 kg) / Combination Lock. At their website you can see that itís fully customizable. 3 year limited warranty. Size: 22" x 14" x 8"$297.00, but they have a new low priced line thatís about $120 to $150.