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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, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on But wait, there's More »

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    The Targus Easy-to-pack, Easy-to-carry Universal AC Adapter.

    Back to Dick’s Gadget Warehouse, Friday, July 31st, 2009, Netcast 885


    I thought this was so neat the first time I saw it. It was an ultra-thin, ultra-light and ultra-portable, Universal AC Adapter from Targus. Instead of lugging the power adapter brick that came with your laptop, this one was easy to pack and way lighter. Just ½ inch thick and it weighed 8.5 ounces. It was also a perfect choice if you had to replace a lost or stolen original adapter. This universal adapter featured patented Targus PowerTips technology. They automatically controlled the voltage to match your notebook's requirements. And you could change both ends of the power block. One end could use an AC plug or the Targus Auto/Air Power Adapter for on the road or in the air. Of course airline seats with Empower capability are fading faster than the Targus Universal AC Adapter. New planes, and some older planes, which have been upgraded, now have regular AC power at the seat. In addition to powering your laptop, you could also purchase PowerTips for cell phones, PDA’s, digital cameras, portable printers, and more! It shipped with with 5 PowerTips. The output voltage (2-24 volts DC) was determined by the PowerTip that was attached. It was rated at a maximum of 70 watts. In the year 2000 retail was $120.00.

    Here’s a deal on a Mobility Laptop/Accessories charger for just $35! (Deal was good as of Thursday, July 30th. I have not used this adapter or bought anything at this place. I found it by doing a web search. But it looks like a good deal to me.)

    Hear this Netcast: 


    Will you Envy the new LG EnV3 (VX9200)?

    Thursday, July 30th, 2009


    The EnV3 is the third in a series of very successful EnV phones from LG. Each new version updates the camera and other features. I’ve had all 3 versions. The newest version uses Verizon’s high speedEV-DOnetwork. It features a nicely redesigned keyboard and an updated 3 megapixel camera with LED flash. TheEnV3 has a small, easy-to-read  (1.6”) external display. The numeric keypad is now much larger, with easier to push keys. When you flip the phone open, there’s larger 2.6” internal display and full QWERTY keyboard. Push the dedicated button if you want to compose and send a text message quickly. When I travel, I use that a lot. Unlike the earlier models, this one includes a single charge/data cable. The USB end of the cable goes into the AC plug adapter to charge the phonevia a wall socket. It still uses microSD cards, and it still has a 2.5mm headphone jack. I wish that had changed to the 3.5mm standard. Since the EnV3 supports Bluetooth stereo, having a 3.5mm headphone jack may not be that important. As with all 3 of the LG phones, it has what I consider remarkable sound from stereo speakers which must be tiny, because the phone is so compact! The only strange thing about the keyboard is that the space bar is very small, but it didn’t turn out to be a problem when texting.  A 950mAh battery powers the phone, and I was surprised how many texts and emails I could read and send on a single charge. The earlier version had just 9 speed dial locations; this one has 998. Now I need to get more friends! It’s $79.95 with 2 year contact, and of course that's after the rebate. It’s available in Slate Blue & Maroon. I have the Slate Blue, but it sort of looks like black to me. The maroon does look maroon! Either color, I think this is a great value in a cell phone. Verizon only.



    Hear this Netcast:


    An easy way to charge four devices at once.

    Wednesday, July 29th, 2009, Netcast 883


    Charge4All is a new portable charging mat that makes it easy to charge four handheld device at one time for a single AC power source. True to form, as soon as I started to describe this device Leo was on the web buying one! It’s really simple to use. You unroll the soft, silicon mat, which is used as a secure place to lay out the small electronics you want to charge. The AC adapter plug goes into the wall socket and the other end plugs into the multi-charger, which has four charging ports. The Charge4All ships with the mat, the multi-charger and five of the most popular smart charging plugs, including: iPod/iPhone, Mini USB, Micro USB, Samsung SCH, and LG Chocolate. Even though they say LG Chocolate it works with other models. I used it earlier today to charge my new LG EnV3. This is an easy way to recharge all of your electronic devices, including iPhones/iPods, cell phones, mp3 players, Bluetooth devices, PDA’s, digital cameras, portable GPS's, and more. The company will offer up to 29 different additional smart plugs via its website that adapt to almost all handheld devices on the market today. You get the five smart plugs mentioned above with the kit, and can buy additional plugs for $4.95 each. A car adaptor is also available for charging devices on the road. (I believe Leo bought that too!) Remember that this is for charging small devices only. The company wants reporters to make sure people understand that the Charge4All Portable Charging Mat is not designed for charging laptop computers or other high-current devices. (But you knew that!!) Price is $29.95. (I was originally told $39.95, so the new price is really good to my mind.)


    For additional information, please visit


    Hear this Netcast:


    Leo comes up with a real nice gadget for his Turn the Table Tuesday!

    TTTT Tuesday, July 28th, 2009 Netcast 882


    Lucky Leo bought one of the first of the new Samsung Netbook model NC20. (It’s an update of the NC10.) This new Netbook helps blur the line between netbooks and laptops. It has one of the largest Netbook screens to date, at 12.1”. It uses a Via Nano CPU while most every other Netbook uses Intel's Atom processor. Leo not only loved the bigger screen, but he said the Samsung NC20 sports what feels like a full sized keyboard. (Samsung says it’s 97% full sized.) I asked Leo  if it could run video, like a movie recorded on a USB flash drive and Leo said the NC20 would be totally up to that task. I’ll give you the specs, which I found on line since I don’t own one of these gizmos. (I wish I did!) Leo has already replaced much of the standard components inside to make his own special TWiT high tech version. But from the factory it comes with a 1.3GHz Via Nano Processor, 1GB of memory, 160GB hard drive, VIA VX800 chipset, VIA Chrome9 HC3 IGP integrated graphics and Windows XP. The 12.1-inch wide-screen LCD display offers a 1,280x800 native resolution, which Leo said lets you see an entire page more easily. Dimensions (WD) 11.5x8.5 inches. Weight 3.3 pound, weight with AC adapter 4.1 pounds. List price is about $550.


    Samsung Page:


    J&R Music Price, under $500.


    Hear this Netcast:


    A Nifty New Tool Box.

    Monday, July 27th, 2009, Netcast 881


    I was down in Orlando, Florida for MAATS, the Marine After-market Accessories Trade Show.

    I was looking for new gizmos for both the Daily Giz Wiz and my Powerboat Magazine column At the show I found a neat toolbox called the Lift-n-Lok Professional Tool Box. I figured Leo would like it, and he did. He ordered one before I finished talking about it on the Daily Giz Wiz! Here’s the story: The current portable storage devices on the market frustrated a guy named Paul Purdy and he decided to design one for his own use. He came up the Lift-n-Lok Tool Box. It offers the normal thingsfound on toolboxes todaylike drawers for small parts and a storage bin for larger parts and equipment. But Paul wanted to add new features, like having no small parts mix between compartments and nothing able to jam the drawers while lifting or carrying his toolbox around. Paul went to workand produced a wooden model. The system worked so well he rushed outand filed for a patent. Here’s how his new design works. A cam attached to the ends of the handle lifts the drawers as the handle is raised. This closes the clearance gap between the drawers and interlocks them; it also fastens the lid. The handle can then be moved to the forward position for storage. With zero space between the drawers, nothing is able to shift around.To demonstrate how secure small parts areonce the handle is secured, Paul turned the toolbox upside-down & shook it up. When he released the drawers and opened them everything was still neatly where it belonged, and nothing got in the way of the drawers sliding open easily. For safety, the drawers and lid can be locked with a single 1.5” (40mm) padlock, which is not included. The Lift-n-Lok is 11.25" deep, 15.9" high by 16.5" wide. It comes in six color combinations. Price is $59.95, but there’s a $10 less introductory deal at the link below. Intro price here: $49.95

     Here’s a good demo video:

     Company website:

     Hear this Netcast: