5 different uses for your everyday electronics

Your ordinary electronics can be so much more than you think.

USB typewriter

USB_Typewriter

Transform your dusty old manual typewriter into a modern computer keyboard by connecting it to your Mac, PC, or iPad. Depending on your skill level with a soldering iron, this can be a fun project, and with the “Solder-It-Yourself” conversion kit from instructables.com, it should take between four and five hours to complete. You’ll need a soldering iron and solder, a Dremel rotary tool for sanding, tweezers and pliers, a hot glue gun, wire and some tape. Though the kit works with the majority of manual typewriters, there are some exceptions. Read More

Replace credit cards with an electronic wallet

The next generation of payment works anywhere your cards are accepted

Most of us carry around wallets stuffed with multiple credit cards and IDs, making them hard to find and easy to lose. With the high-tech smart wallet called the Wocket from NXT-ID, you can securely store electronic versions of your various plastic cards so you don’t risk misplacing them or having them stolen.

Wocket_Swipe

Swipe your cards into the Wocket to store your data.

To begin, new users swipe all of their magnetic-striped cards into the Wocket, which records their data and stores it in its onboard memory. Read More

Six green gadgets in honor of Earth Day

The 44th annual celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd will be buzzing with talk of our impact on the environment and what we can do to better live in harmony with it. If you want to show some support for Mother Earth, don’t think you have to abandon your electronics, because there’s certainly no shortage of eco-friendly technologies available. Below are six useful green gadgets that are beneficial to both you and our planet.

Water-powered alarm clock

Bedol_Clocks

Bedol’s colorful water-drop-shaped clocks run on tap water and nothing else. Wondering how that’s possible? The energy comes from a natural reaction between the water and two metal plates inside. Impressively, the smallest clocks run for six to 12 weeks before the display begins to fade, indicating the water needs to be changed. Occasionally, the metal plates need to be cleaned with vinegar. Prices start at $19. Read More

Four technologies that don’t realize they’re dead yet

An article I wrote for Electronic Products.

A look at some everyday electronics that are nearing extinction

Remember the days when you would patiently wait for the fax machine at the office to send over those important documents? Then you’d go home to pop your favorite VHS into the VCR? Though it may seem like it, that wasn’t too long ago, and now a fresh batch of electronics we use quite often are on their way to joining those devices in retirement. They just don’t want to believe it.

Computer mouse

Computer Mouse

Image via Microsoft.

The idea of not using a mouse to navigate your way through a computer was science fiction 10 years ago. Now, due to the use of tablets and smartphones, the mouse is on its way out. It’s predicted that in about five years, the cost of adding capacitive touch capability to screens will be so inexpensive that displays from large-screens TVs to laptops will have it, eliminating the need for an old fashioned computer mouse.

iPod

iPod

Image via dailytech.com.

The birth of the iPod completely destroyed the CD, and now it looks like the cherished music player may be next in line. In the past few years, the iPod has been seeing dramatic falls in its sales—now making up only 2% of Apple’s income. Most smartphones, including the company’s beloved iPhone, make perfectly good MP3 players, resulting in the iPod’s deadly decline. Read More

Four handy tech gadgets that don’t require electricity

An article I wrote for Electronic Products.

Feeling powerless? It may not be such a bad thing after all

It’s always those times when you’re nowhere near an outlet when your smartphone or tablet uses its final breaths to flash a red light or slowly power down as it warns you of its nearing death. For the most part, electronics are nothing without power, right? Fortunately, that doesn’t always have to be the case. Check out the list of “powerless” tech gadgets below that can serve as useful devices while simultaneously charging your electronics.

SpareOne Plus emergency mobile phone

SpareOne Plus

Image via realsimple.com.

Even if you’re without power for an extended period of time and all of your other electronics have failed you, the SpareOne Plus will be ready to assist. This phone contains a special battery-isolator tab that keeps its single AA battery from draining, allowing the phone to offer 10 hours of talk time without electricity. If unused, it can survive up to an impressive 15 years. Also included is a built-in LED flash light for 24 hours of continuous light, a panic siren, and an SOS torchlight on top that flashes Morse code. Though it looks like something fresh out of 1998, it’s a good idea to keep this handy phone nearby and stored in a safe place.

Price: $80

Buy now. Read More