Posts Tagged ‘gadgets’

Because I’ve grown to trust the Costco buyers, I didn’t hesitate to snag this gizmo online when my furtive attention fixed itself upon the need to secure the slides and photos our family had accumulated.

Many hours of digitization later, I have no regrets.

I rock with delight as I discover slide-bound memories one at a time in the process of scanning them into the iPhoto library of my MacBook Pro. iPhoto or the software that comes with the PrimeFilm PF7265Ou permits the rescue of legacy-rich but tragically underexposed (or overexposed) slides.

I could hardly be more enthusiastic about the value of this product. You can go upscale and secure greater control of your images, as a friend urged me to do. Or, you can tread the economical path and come away, as I have, one very happy scanner-camper.


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For mostly sentimental reasons, I have an attachment to HP printers. I do wear them out with some predictability. When the time came to replace my recently defunct all-in-one model, I moved up to the wireless version of the OfficeJet 6500.

After a frustrating start, during which it seemed I had joined the legions of (user-group-savvy) customers who were frustrated with an initially slow wireless connection, I have settled down to a life of tranquil satisfaction with my 6500.

I use the scanner and printer regularly, though not the fax feature.

The first thing to note is the exceptionally low price of all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/fax units in general and the low barrier to entry into the world of HP quality. Simply put, you get enormous capacity at a very low price. Now the business model has evolved in the direction of hitting you hard for printer cartridges, so there is a sticker shock to be suffered, albeit a delayed one.

The OJ 6500 produces truly fine print quality. It sets up and meshes well with my MacBook Pro. I have not had paper jam issues, which strikes me as an improvement on previous generations of printers and all-in-ones.

Aesthetically, I find the mostly-black-clad unit to be quite handsome.

I can’t imagine a potential buyer with home or small-office needs going wrong with the HP OfficeJet 6500. Pay the premium for the wireless version and you won’t regret it.

It just does what it says it does, providing quality at a very modest price.

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This handy little app is a marvel for finding out the nearest pharmacy, gas station, coffee shop, and a shortlist of other categories based on its discernment of your present location. Some categories display a bit of mysterious overlap. If you’re suffering from chest pains, however, your dash to the nearest ‘hospital’ might take you through a couple of veterinary clinics before you get to somebody who knows about human hearts. Nonetheless, a helpful little icon for your iPod screen!

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Non-Muslims who need to know the Quran could do worse than begin with M.M. Pickthall’s English translation, here formatted for the iPhone. Scholars and the pious debate the merits of Pickthall’s renderings, but this handy and inexpensive app opens the door to those less interested in the minutiae who benefit from having Islam’s most holy book a tap or two away.

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Aeroguide Pro allows the inveterate plane-spotter to preview the plane he or she is about to board, now complete with the airline’s livery, in full color.

Curiously, I’m about to fly in a United Airlines 757 as I write this, and have stumbled upon the same missing UA 757 that a previous reviewer noted.

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In our home, a morning without coffee is not anything like a day without sunshine. It’s more like a dark and terrifying nightmare that never ends with a soundtrack of Eagles tunes sung by the young Madonna (‘You can check out anytime you want but you can never, ever leave’).

Much, then, was my joy when the Good Wife determined that the semi-human gasping sounds that accompanied every morning’s brew time on my old coffee maker now justified the purchase of a replacement. Having done her homework, she tracked down a Cuisinart DCC-220 Brew Central 14-Cup Coffeemaker for a song at the local Macy’s. (more…)

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This little doobie is just the thing if you ship more than a handful of packages each week. The physics of it make it a simple matter to get a tight swath of tape around your package without wrinkled tape and disproportionate cursing.

Trust me, you’ll quickly recoup the 25 clams you’ll invest via increased efficiency and fewer damaged goods en route.

Plus, with a little imagination, you could use this thing (it’s got teeth!) as a self-defense implement. You might end up buying a second one and storing it beside your bed for this very purpose. It’s cheaper than getting a dog.

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My basement office—a.k.a. ‘the man cave’—is for me not unlike the Garden of Eden. Still, about 20 mornings per year it’s just a little too cold.

I could attack this with the home heating equivalent of using a hammer to kill a mosquito, turning up the heat and arming every single corner of the place to about five degrees above the status quo. But that costs money.

Instead, I bought the Presto HeatDish Plus Footlight two years ago for those cold winter days when my favorite space in the house needs just a touch of extra warmth. It’s got good adjustment and, with a little practice, can be focused on the area where I sit in front of my desk in my stocking feet and do the thing I do.

I recommend this economical, highly concentrated, easily adjustable solution to one of life’s cold zones.

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I’ve owned five GPS units. The Sony NVU73T is the best of them. I picked mine up at a Radio Shack in a hurry when my Garmin fritzed out like those old 1960s black-and-white pictures of what would happen to your TV if the Soviets snuck one through our defenses onto, say, an unsuspecting Kansas City.

Googling ‘Russians drop atomic bomb’ has not yielded any news reports but I sure am glad I listened to the Seattle techie at the Shack who said ‘this is a new product and it’s better than anything you’ve ever seen.’ He was right. (more…)

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The Officejet J5750 is my first home-office move into an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/scanner device. I’ll never go back to multiple options.

That is not to say that the J5750 is the sturdiest or most reliable HP product I’ve ever owned. It is not. The simple HP1012 and 1200 printers, for example, easily outpace the J5750 on both counts. But then they don’t shoot for the same degree of difficulty as the all-in-one does, either. (more…)

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