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Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, Tech Guy Labs on TWiT and on Computer America. But wait, there's More »

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    The Latitude Z - It has wireless charging and wirelessly connects to displays too.

    Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 Netcast 977

    The Dell Latitude Z is a slender .57 inches thin and weighs in at 4.5 pounds. At this minute (12:05 AM, Saturday, 12/05/09) it is said to be the lightest and thinnest 16-inch notebook on the market. Of course the thinness means there’s no internal optical drive, but you can add programs with an external drive or via WiFi. Leo loves the soft-touch lid and the sturdy magnesium alloy chassis. He showed it on camera so we could see the sort of strangely angled chrome plated hinges at the back. The AC power goes on one side of that hinge and a network cable on the other, although you’ll most likely be using wireless. You can charge this laptop the old-fashioned way, by plugging it in, but for about $200 more you can charge it wirelessly. The Z has power coils built in to the base so it charges wirelessly when you merely set the Z down on the magnetic inductive stand. But wait there’s more! Leo also showed us the wireless dock! Yep, for about another $200 you can hook up all your peripherals (printer, monitor, mouse, etc.) to the wireless dock rather than to the computer. Then it uses Wide Band technology to communicate with the notebook!  The Z comes with the Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 (1.40GHz), 2.0GB DDR3 Internal Memory and Windows 7 Professional. The primary Solid State Drive is 64GB. Base price is $1799.00. But adding in the wireless charger stand, the wireless dock, and upgrading some of the components – you can have two SSD’s installed if you want, Leo spent about $2600.00. Actually, I think he spent more because he also bought a “slice” battery that clips to the bottom of the laptop for extra hours of computing on the road. But for a high tech exec, this is quite an eye catcher.

    Hear this Netcast:


    It’s needs a shorter name, but this is a great stocking stuffer for the student.

    Daily Giz Wiz, Week of December 7th, 2009

    Monday, December 7th, 2009 Netcast 976

    The BookMarker Flag Pen & Bookmark is a clever note-taking tool. It integrates a ballpoint pen, sticky flags and a bookmark that fit inside your book without breaking the spine. But there’s more! A convenient elastic strap allows you to keep your book closed while on the go. The BookMarker (The a better, shorter name!) is completely refillable/reusable with standard-sized sticky flags and mini pen refills. It's a nice innovation designed for students, note takers, journalists, etc. The writing pen that fits in your book and although it looks very strange and uncomfortable, writing with it is quite easy. And so you don't mark any of the pages accidentally with the pen, there's a guard that slides down over the tip when you use the device as a bookmark. You use the entire device as a bookmark to keep your page. And you use the transparent write-on self-stick flags to tag pages or highlight text. I used it to make places in my SuccESP manual – which is this Friday’s Dick’s Gadget Warehouse selection. You get 100 self-stick flags with the BookMarker. About $6. A touch cheaper if you buy two or three, depending on where you buy them.

    I found it at the link below for $.5.95 with free shipping. (I haven’t shopped here.)  


    Hear this Netcast: 


    Look how far technology has advanced (and prices have dropped) in just 5 years!

    Friday, December 4th, 2009, Netcast 975

    It’s 2004 and Seagate introduces the Pocket Drive. (It won a 2005 CES Innovation Award.) I thought the Seagate Pocket Drive looked like a hockey puck, while others said it reminded them of that little round mouse that could be bought with the first iMacs. (Since they’re still for sale – I just checked Amazon – I’ll talk about them in the present tense.) The Pocket Drive is circular in shape with an inner rotating wheel that houses the built-in short USB cable. That’s a nice touch because you never have to worry about taking along a USB cable or worse yet, forgetting to bring one when you traveled. There’s a single blue light on the top of the drive to let you know it was getting power. The same blue light blinks to indicate any sort of data activity. Although there was a Pink Version released for Breast Cancer Awareness, most of the Pocket Drives are silver and black. They were (and still are in some places) available in 2, 4, 5, 6 & an 8 GB models. Problem is, with the plummeting prices of memory, the prices I saw on Price Grabber were very high. Almost $200 for the 8 GB version!

    Hear this Netcast:  


    Thinking about a Solid State Drive for your next computer?

    Thursday, December 3rd, 2009 Netcast 974

    People who have bought computers with Solid State Drives, or have replaced the drive that came with their computer with a new SSD, say the performance improvement is really great. Leo says his SSD equipped computer boots in seconds and the performance enhancement is well worth the extra cost of a solid-state drive. If you decide that you’d like to switch to an SSD, it’s been made a lot easier thanks to Imation's M-Class Solid State Upgrade Kits. Imation says SSDs will change the way you look at computing. Lightning fast boot times, applications that load in a fraction of the time, the power to run graphics, design applications and games the way they were meant to run! So if you’re looking for a simple way to add the performance edge of a solid-state drive Imation's M-Class SSDs are available with an upgrade kit. It’s a complete kit for upgrading an existing system to an Imation SSD system without losing your current operating system, applications or data. You get the software and the necessary SATA connector and power cables. First you transfer everything from your current drive to the SSD Drive. Then you replace your current hard drive with the SSD. But there’s more! Then you use the HDD enclosure to turn the drive you took out of your computer into a stand-alone hard drive! Imation’s M-Class SSD Upgrade Kits are available in both 2.5” and 3.5” SSD drives and in 64GB and 128GB capacities. The kits also include Acronis True Image HD drive imaging Software to speed and simplify data transfer and backup without losing your current operating system, applications and data. Prices start at about $220 and go up from there. As always, do a price web search to compare prices.

    Hear this Netcast:


    Have you ever bought a “mystery box” said to worth a lot more than you paid?

    Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009 Netcast 973

    This is the remote thermostat control. But I have no thermostat!Okay, so I like X10 stuff. And I like bargains. First a little background: X10 sells remote control devices to turn lights, appliances, and even security systems on & off. With some of the modules, you can dim lights, or increase their brightness. And they make a computer program so you can computerize your entire house. On the Daily Giz Wiz, I did a show about their TV remote control that not only controls 5 devices, but with the push of the X10 button, it can also control the lights and anything plugged into the remote modules:  So when I received an email saying that I could get more than $60 worth of X10 stuff for $19.95, plus $6 shipping, I thought, “this sounds good. I'll buy it!” The box arrived and I saved it so I could open it and unpack my goodies right on the Daily Giz Wiz. At first I thought it was a windfall, when I saw a beautiful controller pictured on the box. But alas, the picture was something I needed to  buy to connect my remote control thermostat to. But I don’t have anything in my apartment that needs controlling. The building provides the heat. (That gizmo sells for $20) And then there was an on/off remote modules--- and another one, and another one --- 3 in all.  (They sell for about $13 each) So the mystery box was worth just about $59, but really nothing I would have bought on my own, so it was a disappointment. (Actually as I write this - a BIG disappointment.)  I guess Leo summed it up best when talking about buying "mystery boxes": You expect some real goodies – but basically they’re just going to send you a box of stuff that doesn’t sell! Need an X10 thermostat control and some lamp modules – cheap?

    Hear this Netcast: