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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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    It’s Another Visit to Dick’s Warehouse.

    Friday, May 1st, 2009, Netcast 820

    Let’s go back just about seven years to the summer of 2002. Compaq introduces the Compaq Evo 500 Ultra-slim mini tower. This mini tower was one of the first of a new generation of computers that were up to 75% smaller than standard computer towers. It was powered by a1.3-GHz Celeron processor, and had a 20GB hard drive, and a 128 or 256MB of RAM. Price started at $699.00 The CNET review is still on line and here are a few lines from that: “The D500 can sit horizontally as a desktop or vertically as a tower (Compaq provides a stand for the latter position). Inside lies Intel's latest 1.3GHz Celeron, along with 128MB of SDRAM and an Intel 815e graphics chipset. A roomy 5,400rpm, 20GB hard drive completes the basic setup. The stock 24X CD-ROM drive can pop out to make room for a US$189 DVD-ROM drive, a US $249 CD-RW drive, a US $99 floppy drive, or even a second US $160 10GB hard drive.“ Amazing, isn’t it, that an additional 10 GB hard drive would be $160.00! The 15” matching flat screen monitor added $499! And for about $150 more, you could buy a stand that would hold the monitor & mini-tower together. Imagine what you can buy today for that same amount of money!

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    A companion to the Wonder Wash --- The Mini Countertop Spin Dryer

    Thursday, April 30th, 2009, Netcast 819

    When I first heard about Mini Spin Dryer I wondered how much drying it could do when it only uses 82 watts! And only costs $69.95. But then I read this notice from the company: Important: please note that this is a spin dryer, not a regular tumble dryer. It extracts much more water from the clothes than a regular washing machine spin cycle; they come out slightly damp. So it doesn’t dry your clothes completely which would require probably 1500 watts. But after using both the washer & the spin dryer, I see they are a great combination. The clothes come out of the Spin Dryer damp and you might want to hang them up for an hour or so to dry more. Some felt dry enough to immediately press. That way the ironing would finish they drying process. But it does works in only 2-3 minutes. The drum is translucent so you can see the water flying out of the clothes as the drum spins. It’s really neat. You have to balance the load carefully since this is a very small unit that weighs just 11 pounds. It has a 2.2 lb capacity (about 1-2 pairs of jeans per load). And it’s fast spinning at 1600 rpm’s. It’s compact, measuring 13.5" x 13.5" x 15". For tiny apartments, for single people, for people who want to use very little power the Wonder Wash & Spin Dryer is a perfect combination. The Spin Dyer is $69.95.

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    Can you believe – a hand operated washing machine?

    Wednesday, April 29th, 2009, Netcast 818


    It’s call Wonder Wash. It washes a 5-lb. load in just a couple of minutes. It has a patented pressure system that forces detergent into the fabric at high speed for a fast, efficient, economic and very easy wash. This sounded a little strange to me, so the company sent me a Wonder Wash to try. Surprise! It does work. My socks needed to be washed a second time, but the t-shirts and underwear came out perfectly clean! It’s geared toward campers, single people and even for the housewife with small frequent loads like hand washables and diapers. As you can guess it uses far less water than even hand washing. Size? 12" x 12" x 16" (L x W x H) According to the company, the Wonder Wash washes: 7-8 dress shirts or 10 T-shirts or 30 pairs of socks or 2-3 pairs of blue jeans. You put warm or hot water into the drum, put on the lid and screw it tight. The air inside the drum absorbs the heat of the water and expands which creates pressure inside the drum. The pressure forces the detergent (which is diluted into the water) into & through the fabric (which is porous) about 100 times faster than you could by hand or machine. You can try it for yourself too. They offer a 30-day, no-hassle money back guarantee. The price is good too. $42.95



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    Another Turn The Table & Leo gives a plug to the Pogo Plug. 

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009  Netcast 817

    This is a gizmo I showed on World News Now some time back. But when I showed it, it was just in the prototype stage. I had to return my unit right after the show, but Leo was the first person I know of to buy the final ready-for-market production Pogo Plug. And Leo says he loves it! Pogo Plug lets you get files from your home or office computer – depending on where you set it up -- from anywhere in the world via the Internet. The set up is easy. You plug an external hard drive or even a USB Flash drive into a USB port on the bottom of this device. Then you run a cable from the Pogo Plug to your router. Then plug Pogo Plug into an AC out. That’s it. Now where you can get files you need from your device over the Internet. You access it via the Pogo Plug website. Using the included software you drag & drop files into the Pogo Plug icon on your desktop and then those files become available via the Internet. Cost is $99


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    Daily Giz Wiz, Week of April 27th 

    Monday, April 27th, 2009, Netcast 816

    Utility knifes don’t have to be scary!


    My fear about utility knifes is that someone is going to put one in my tool without retracting the blade completely. Then while reaching around for tools I’m going to cut myself. Ouch!! That shouldn’t happen with the new Rapid Edge from Rapid Tools. It’s features heavy-duty die-cast construction with excellent ergonomic comfort – BUT it has a feature that I think is great! It’s called Safe’T’Vue. As soon as the blade tip comes out, an LED light alert comes on! It also features a Slide’n’Lock button so you can have different secure cutting blade lengths. The light does more than just alert you to the exposed blade; it’s great for cutting carpet, drywall, etc. in dark corners of your home. The LED light illuminates the area you’re working in. It makes it easy to follow any line you’re cutting along. It includes 3-patented Rapid Edge serrated blades. And the cost is $8 or less.


    Rapid Tools also makes the Shark. It’s the first & only tool to combine a utility knife with a wire stripper. It comes with 5 Rapid Edge blades, their own the patented, serrated blade that lasts longer & cuts easier. The pliers-style, wire-stripper grip locks securely into the body of the knife when not in use. There’s a spring-loaded wire cutter that opens easily and cuts comfortably. The precision ground stripping holes easily remove insulation from 10 to 18 gauge wires. And built in also is a wire cutter & crimper. The one-button, quick blade change is easy & saves time. No tools required to change the blades. And the four-blade storage compartment opens wide for easy blade access. It’s under $20.



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