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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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    Welcome! This is the home of

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    We did it! We made it to Daily Giz Wiz #900!

    Friday, August 21st, Netcast 900!!


    Thanks for all the great "thank you" emails! I know you would have enclosed cash if it was possible, but it’s the thought that counts!


    From Dick’s Gadget Warehouse we go back to a mail-order ad for Copper Botton Cookware from 1986!


    Here’s a few of my favorite copy lines from the ad:


    Why are we giving away Famous Nationally Advertised J.A. Bornschaft Cookware for only $19.95 (I thought “giving away” something didn’t involve paying money! And $19.95 in 1986 is equal to about $55 today.)


    These are the most popular and expensive copper-bottom cookware of their kind ever sold by this multi-million dollar firm. (Wanna bet they are also THE ONLY copper-bottom cookware of their kind ever sold by this multi-million dollar firm!)


    Heat resistant handles let you lift them quickly and safely while cooking. (I thought lifting a pot quickly depended on the person, not the pot! And why does lifting a pot quickly even matter??)


    There is a limit of 2 sets per address at this price, but if you order in the next 11 days, you may order up to 5 sets. (Gee, I wanted to order 12 sets! Damn! Fortunately they don't say which 11 days you have to order by.)


    Actually over time I bought about a dozen sets of these pots and pans. The quality was so bad and the metal so thin I could bend the frying pan in half. And doing that was a great visual for TV. So I bent Bornschraft frying pans for Sally Jesse, Phil Donohue, Regis, even for Leo in the TWiT studio! In a way I probably keep Bornschraft in business for a few extra weeks because I had to keep ordering new sets to bend!


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    A message from the Giz Wiz:


    Thank YOU for listening to our silliness! Many of you have listened to all 900 episodes! And fortunately continue to listen.  I LOVE doing the Daily Giz Wiz, and I appreciate your emails and your support. The lovely and talented Leo Laporte and I have already made plans for Daily Giz Wiz 1000! We expect to record it “live” at CES in Las Vegas, around January 8th or 9th, 2010! We'll keep you posted in case you can join us!


    Here’s a pocket camera so small it can fit a shirt pocket easily.

    Thursday, August, Netcast 899



    It’s the new Casio EX-FS10 and it has a lot of features. There’s a slow-motion movie mode and a high-speed burst mode that can shoot 30 images per second.  In the high-speed mode, it shoots photos at 6 mega pixels, not the full 9.1 megapixels the camera is capable of. On the Wine Train I shot some slow motion video, which looked neat. There’s a separate button for slow motion, which I accidentally pushed, but I liked the results. (Of course I didn’t bother looking at the instruction book first.) Other features are High Speed Anti-Shake and High Speed Night Scene. I didn’t try any nighttime shooting. The camera body is less than 0.65 inches thick. Casio says the EX-FS10 is the world's smallest High Speed camera. (Wonder how long that claim will last, but it’s a lot of camera for such a thin design! There’s a 2.5 inch color LCD screen and a optical zoom. The zoom works totally inside the camera case, so nothing sticks out the front even when you’re shooting photos. If you like to show off your videos, there’s a YouTube Capture Mode! And finally a couple more neat features: Face Detection, HD Movie, and of course, regular movie mode. It’s uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Unfortunately, the battery charger uses its own docking station, with a heavy-duty power cable. I wish this mini digital camera had one of those mini battery chargers with a flip out plug that requires no cable at all! There’s a little bit of built in memory, great if you forget the memory card at home. Otherwise it takes SD memory cards. When I showed this camera to Leo he said it would be ideal for his son, Henry, who wants a tiny, easy-to-pocket digital camera. And this is small! Dimensions - 3.8 W x 2.4 H x 0.6 D (97.1 x 59.4 x 16.3 mm) Weight - 4.3 oz. (121g) Casio says the “street price” is $299.00. But I did a web search, and at B&H photo it’s only $235.00 once you put the camera in your “cart”.



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    The Giz Wiz tries his first Netbook. The Acer Aspire One 11.6" Wide Screen.

    Wednesday, August 19th, 2009, Netcast 898


    The Acer Aspire One AO751h is a dandy litte Netbook with some big features. It has a bright LED-backlit 11.6-inch high-definition screen (16:9 ratio) and a full-sized keyboard. I had no idea how powerful a Netbook would be so I put the Aspire One through a couple of mini-tests. It has an integrated Acer Crystal Eye webcam and built in mic, so I downloaded Skype and make a couple of calls. Skype worked well. My second big test (for me anyway) was downloading Slingbox. Nothing makes me feel more at home when I travel than watching my own cable box programs. There were a few glitches here and there, but in general the audio & video was fine and I was able to watch an old movie on my home DVR. Now as you can image, the speakers in this unit are small, but in a hotel room, the sound is fine. On an airplane you’ll be listening through headphones so you’ll be able to enjoy the Dolby Headphone technology. There’s a Multi-Gesture touch-pad that enables you to pinch, flick and swirl your fingers for photo viewing, sort of like using a touch screen. The AO751h-1192 (I wish it had a model name instead of letters and numbers) is powered by the 1.3 GHz Intel Atom Intel processor. Acer says you can expect about 7+ hours of computing from their 6-cell battery. Other features include a 160 GB hard drive, 1 GB of RAM, a multi-format memory card reader, WiFi networking (802.11b/g), and three USB ports. This model comes pre-installed with the Microsoft Windows XP. It’s one-inch thin and weighs less than 3 pounds with the extended life battery. Display resolution is 1366 x 768-pixels, which Leo said, is higher than most other Netbooks. Although some press materials say the price ranges from $349.99 to $379.99, depending on the battery, it seems to be selling for closer to $399.99 at most online stores. Once this Netbook gets into wider distribution, the price is apt to come down a bit. So far, I love this Netbook!



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    Leo gets yet another digital camera! The Olympus E-P1

    TTTT Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 Netcast 897


    When Leo first unpacked the Olympus E-P1 on camera, people in the chat rooms wondered why in the world he bought an old-fashioned film camera. While it sure looks like a throw back to a 35MM camera, the E-P1 is actually the world’s smallest 12.3-megapixel camera that has an interchangeable lens system. (Leo said that with an adapter he could use many of his old film camera lenses with this Olympus body, a big bonus.) The E-P1 blends the high-quality still images of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) with High Definition (HD) video, stereo Linear PCM audio recording and In-Camera Creativity. (Yes, that sentence came from the Olympus website!) I got to hold this camera for 30 seconds just to see how light it was, but I don’t own one.) It is an ultra-portable body considering all the multimedia features. The camera’s stainless-steel body and retro-chic look does turn heads. It’s small enough to fit comfortably in a jacket pocket or a handbag. (But not a shirt pocket!) Actual dimensions of the body: 4.75 x 2.75 x 1.43 inches (W x H x D) and the body weights 11.8-ounces. (Of course you better add a lens when you take it out for picture taking.) It’s available in either silver or white and it ships with a new small, lightweight Olympus ZUIKO Micro Four Thirds lenses: 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 (28-84mm equivalent) Price is $799.99 Leo likes this camera a lot! Since Leo tends to buy most things on Amazon, I included the link below. (But I’m not positive this is where he bought his.)


    Here’s more info on Amazon:


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    The First Alert FX-1B Multi-Color LED Flashlight

    Monday, August 17th, 2009, Netcast 896

    Before you get too excited about this product, I’ll start with the bad news. It was sold out in silver when I started talking about it on the Daily Giz Wiz, and I see now that it’s sold out in the other color that was available, black. Let’s hope it gets restocked because there has been a lot of interest in this flashlight. Two weeks ago I received three different emails telling I should get one of these 10-color changing LED flashlights. I wasn’t sure why I needed a flashlight that could shine with a purple, blue, green, red, etc. beam. But when I went to the Buy website and saw it was just $7.99, which included free shipping, I figured I needed one! I tweeted it and others RT my Tweet and it seems it quickly became a big hit. It’s the First Alert FX-1B LED multi-color flashlight with ten (10) different color settings, a durable weather-resistant aluminum housing and three different functions. When you turn it on, it’s white. Pushing a button on the side of the flashlight brings up another color. Or you can set it so the colors morph from one to the other. I can see the need for the red color beam. Boater’s and pilot’s use red light in cockpits to prevent night blindness. I’m not sure what the other colors are especially good for. I told Leo that perhaps if you’re in the woods, being chased by a bear, you might shine the green light on yourself and hopefully pass yourself off as a bush! You can still find this flashlight on line, but at prices that start at about $17, plus shipping.


    Amazon ($17):   


    Where it was $7.99. (But sold out for now.)


    Hear this Netcast: