About Me

 

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 TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    Welcome! This is the home of

    The Giz Wiz & Gizneyland Studio

    + World News Now, MAD Magazine, TWiT, & more!

    The weekly "Giz Wiz Show" with OMGchad & me  

    is on our video channel: http://www.gizwiz.tv/

    Gadgets I show on ABC's World News Now are here:

    http://gizwizbiz.squarespace.com/world-news-now-abc/

    Navigation Bars in the center column of this website will take to other pages you're looking for.

    The Giz Wiz® and Giz Wiz Biz® Are Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off.

    Saturday
    May092009

    The Smallest Tripod Assistant Ever!

    Monday, May 11th, 2009, Netcast 826

     

     

    It’s the Bottle Cap Tripod! This neat little gizmo from Photojojo.com has a stretchy rubber base that fits on top of pretty much any kind of bottle; soda, water, beer, etc. On the top of this device is a standard tripod screw that will fit just about any camera. Although it will fit just about any camera, this is really designed for the smaller point & shoot models. Any time you need a tripod to steady your camera, or lend a hand while you shoot a self-portrait, just find a soda or water bottle and slide the Bottle Cap Tripod over the top and you're set. And this little tripod can go just about anywhere because it’s really tiny. Since it slides over the cap of a bottle you can even use unopened bottles. Actually they work best, because you need some weight to help hold your camera steady. If you only have an empty bottle you can always fill it with water for ballast. Another nice little touch is the mount; it pivots up to 15° in any direction. So you can even aim your camera for the best possible shot. And it's small enough tol fit  in almost any pocket. The cost is small too, just $10, plus S & H.

     

    http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/bottle-cap-tripod

     

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw826

    Tuesday
    May052009

    Tandy 5000 MC Professional System. Only $8499.00! 

    Dick’s Gadget Warehouse Friday, May 8th, 2009 Netcast 825

     

    After talking about the 7 year old Compaq Evo 500 mini-tower computer from the warehouse on last Friday’sDGW, folks started emailing me to tell me about other early computers. A half dozen people emailed me the ad you see on the left. It was just 20 years ago, in 1989 when the new Radio Shack catalog came out with their new computer line-up. Waiting for the yearly Radio Shack catalog was a real treat for me. When I finally got my hands on one I went through it page by page making a wish list! Back them a computer like this was way out of my price range and it was far too professional! And those amazing specs! Read for yourself! New for 1989, the Tandy 5000 MC Professional System. Fully loaded with 20 MHz Intel 80386 Microprocessor. VGA Graphics. 2 MB RAM (16 MB Capacity). Yes, 2 MB! And for only $8499.00 it didn’t include monitor and mouse. Other available models: Tandy 5000 MC with 40 MB Hard Disk Drive 6499.00. Tandy 5000 MC with 84 MB Hard Disk Drive 6999.00. Again, they’re talking MB, not GB! We’ve come a long, long way in 20 years!

     

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw825 

    Tuesday
    May052009

    Like LED’s? Here’s a high tech lamp with 66 of them!

    Thursday, May 7th, 2009 Netcast 824

     

    The Z-BAR LED Desk Lamp from C.Crane has an award winning design that makes it easy to aim its 66 bright white LEDs right where you need the light. Yes, you read that correctly, 66 LEDs. And the power they consume? A mere 9.6 watts. C. Crane says it the first LED desk lamp that takes full advantage of the lightweight, energy efficient qualities of LEDs to give you a lamp that elegantly mirrors form and function. What I like about it besides all those LED’s is the fact that if you have a crowded desk like I do, you don’t need to use the weighted base. The lamp ships with a bracket that lets you clamp to the edge of your desk where it doesn’t take up any desk real estate. And unlike bulky desk lamps that heat you up while you're working, reading or writing, the Z-Bar's LEDs cast a gentle light without the head. You can fully adjust the arms to aim the light directly at your specific task-at-hand. The LEDs typically last up to 30,000 hours-so you'll never have to change the bulb! 110VAC (9VDC). $134.95.

     

    http://www.ccrane.com/lights/light-accessories/z-bar-led-desk-lamp.aspx

     

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw824

    Sunday
    May032009

    Automatic Backup comes to a flash drive!

    Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 Netcast 823


    SanDisk, the company that created Compact Flash and SD memory cards, is forever coming up with new memory devices. One of my favorites is the Sansa View for watching videos on the go. The latest entry from SanDisk is their Ultra Backup USB Flash Drive. It offers one-button backup with some very techy software built in. It’s a touch longer than most USB Flash Drives and the Backup button near the top of the drive is unlike any found on standard flash drives. There’s a slider button that retracts and extends the USB connector. That’s convenient for travel because there’s no cap to lose. An orange indicator light glows bright and then dims through the translucent slider button when the drive is plugged in. You can have the drive do a complete backup or select the files and folders manually. As you select backup material, the software quickly recalculates how much space is required. In the software there’s an Update Icon, but it’s not to update your files. It checks the SanDisk site for software updates. Something I don’t recall seeing in any other backup software is the ability to select how many different versions of a file you want the device to save. If you're working on a project that keeps changing, you can save up to ten versions. I could have used that a few hours ago. I had 2 versions of Daily Giz Wiz gadgets and only one was complete. I overwrote the complete with the info from the incomplete one. Doh! Right now the backup software is PC-only. It’s the sophisticated software that drives the higher price for the Automatic Backup flash drives. So you wouldn’t buy this Flash drive just to use it a place to drop files manually. The Automatic Backup USB Flash Drive is available from 8 GB to 64 GB. Prices range from about $40 to $200, but do a web search because memory storage prices change pretty much daily! With a new gadget they’ll drop as more places carry it. Also prices are highest on the manufacturer’s website. They don’t want to be compete with their dealers, so they have the highest selling price.

    http://tinyurl.com/d54xla

    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw823

    Sunday
    May032009

    It’s another Turn The Table Tuesday and Leo comes up with ZephIR

    Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 Netcast 822

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    I don’t have one of these, so I had to rely on the company’s website for info. The ZephIR (pronounced zeffer) is a device that connects to a computer through a USB port.It enables you to use your computer to control almost any piece of equipment designed for infrared remote control. It is commonly referred to as an “ir blaster”. It can control DVD players, receivers, VCRs, satellite boxes,  cable boxes, televisions, and a host of other equipment. It comes with its own software and looks like a tiny black box with little LED’s on the front of it and a USB cable hooked to it. It is completely USB powered and requires no batteries or wall warts. On Macintosh computers, the ZephIR is applescriptable. This means that it can be controlled by other applications such as EyeTV, RealBasic, and others. With this scriptability, it becomes a very powerful tool to control your home theatre. The ZephIR provides the missing link to your hardware in home automation. Although it is currently available only for Macintosh, it will soon be available in a Windows and Linux version. E-mail the company to find out the current Windows/Linux status.

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    http://www.thezephir.com/ZephIR/Home.html

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    Hear this Netcast: www.twit.tv/dgw822