The Gadgets Page

May 4, 2004

Roundup: CD and DVD scratch repair devices

Filed under: Audio and Video,Reviews — Michael Moncur @ 1:46 pm

Skipdoctor CD Repair Kit

While CDs can survive minor damage far better than the vinyl records they replaced, they are still vulnerable to scratches. DVDs are even more vulnerable, since they store more data in the same space.

Since the 1980s, various devices have been marketed to repair scratched CDs, many of them completely worthless. In this review, we’ll take a look at some modern contenders and see if they live up to their hype–and their price tags.

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March 2, 2004

Review: Microsoft Office OneNote 2003

Filed under: Reviews,Software — Michael Moncur @ 1:48 pm

Microsoft OneNote 2003

Microsoft spent much of 2003 evangelizing its Tablet PC platform. While pen computing still hasn’t made keyboards obsolete, one of the tools Microsoft created for that platform, OneNote 2003, is a surprisingly useful program even for those with old-fashioned desktop PCs.

OneNote is an information manager of the casual variety. Rather than storing records with exact fields like a contact manager or database, it allows you to create simple outline notes and organize them in a variety of ways. This simple idea combines with multimedia and Web features, along with handwriting features for those with Tablet PCs, to create a useful program with a minimal learning curve.

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February 2, 2004

Review: Logitech MX700 Cordless Optical Mouse

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals,Reviews — Michael Moncur @ 1:50 pm

Logitech MX700 Cordless Optical Mouse (930754-0403)

In the early days, using a cordless mouse meant settling for poor tracking compared to a corded model, and dealing with new issues like interference and frequent battery replacement. The Logitech MX700 is the first mouse to offer great cordless performance without compromise.

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January 25, 2004

Review: Zip Zaps Special Edition Remote-Controlled Cars

Filed under: Reviews,Toys and Games — Michael Moncur @ 1:52 pm

zip zap

A couple of years ago, when the first pocket-sized radio controlled cars were introduced, Radio Shack’s Zip Zaps models were flying off the shelves, and often hard to find in stock. Having finally caught up with the demand, Radio Shack has introduced the new “SE” line of cars with additional features like proportional controls and working headlights.

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January 20, 2004

Understanding Resolution in Digital Cameras

Filed under: Articles,Cameras — Michael Moncur @ 1:28 am

Resolution is one of the most important factors to consider when you purchase a digital camera. If you already own one, you can choose different resolutions when shooting pictures. This article is a basic guide to camera resolution and how to choose the correct resolution for different needs.

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January 16, 2004

Review: Roomba robotic vacuum

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets,Reviews,Robots — Matthew Strebe @ 1:55 pm

iRobot Roomba Intelligent Floorvac Robotic Vacuum

The Roomba, by iRobot, is a self-propelled and self guided light vacuum/floor sweeper. It’s the first robotic device for home use that is actually useful, and it’s so useful that it will actually make a positive permanent change in your life by eliminating a daily chore.

After three months of testing in a home with two toddlers and an inordinate amount of spilled crackers, dropped gummy snacks, and directly imported dirt from the yard, we highly recommend this device. We use ours two or three times a day.

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January 1, 2004

Review: Sony DCR-DVD300 Handycam

Filed under: Audio and Video,Reviews — Matthew Strebe @ 1:57 pm

Sony DCRDVD300 MiniDVD Handycam Camcorder

Sony wasn’t the first to market with a DVD camcorder–Both Panasonic and Hitachi have released camcorders that can burn to either DVD-R or DVD-RAM. But neither of those formats is perfect for home users, as DVD-R doesn’t allow editing and DVD-RAM can’t be played in a home DVD player. Sony is first out of the gate with a camcorder that allows standard DVD-RW media that can be both edited and played directly on a home player–a huge advantage for typical consumers.

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