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Archive for January, 2008

Power Cable Safety Net is a USB JerkStopper

Have you stumbled across your laptop power cord while it was lying on the floor, jerking your computer off the desk? I have, and although no damage was done to my laptop, it did loosen my power connector inside the computer. If you are one of those unlucky ones who did some damage, chances are you spent between $100 and $200 for getting the power connector fixed. Ouch. Bob from JerkStopper, introduced me to a nifty little gadget that will save you time and money – a laptop power cord safety latch. It’s a simple plastic Cable Retention Device with a dummy USB connector which docks on your laptop. The rear of JerkStopper is where you thread the power cord and lock it into place.

power cord safety latch

The JerkStopper has three dummy configurations: USB, RJ45 and RJ11. For $9.99 you can purchase a set of three which is a wise investment for any laptop user.

laptop power cord safety

Bob has a good product here, and ideally I would like to see the dummy USB port as a working interface extension port, but the logistics of creating a quality JerkStopper and live USB access seems difficult. Here are some warning signs you might need a laptop power cord safety latch or JerkStopper:
  • The power LED and/or battery charge LED flicker when you wiggle the power cord and/or the AC adapter tip on the back or your laptop.
  • Laptop suffers from spontaneous and/or instantaneous power-downs for no apparent reason.
  • Laptop only runs when you keep the power cord and plug in a certain direction.. Movement of the AC power adapter plug causes power “glitches” or outages.
  • Strange “clicking” noises coming from the area near the power plug. Laptop switches from AC power to battery power intermittently.
  • Laptop refuses to start or charge a properly inserted battery. Laptop appears to be “dead” when you plug AC adapter.
  • Laptop suddenly shuts off without any warning. Sparks come out of the back of your laptop.
  • Laptop will not charge the battery and/or Laptop only runs on battery power

cable retention device

You can get the power cord safety latch at JerkStopper.com. Continue Reading

Wi-Fi Hot Spot Detector – Simple – Cheap – Why Not?

It’s a well known fact if you belly-up to a Starbucks or any other major coffee chain you’ll have wi-fi access.  However, many other hot spots are available which you just don’t know about.  This is where a wi-fi detector comes in handy.

wi-fi detector

I know a wi-fi detector would have been handy during the hField wi-fi extender review.  As I was driving through my business complex looking for signal, I found it oddly ridiculous to have my laptop booted up on the front seat of my car. The USB Fever wi-fi detector is a simple, cheep gadget where a click of a button can detect wireless hot spots.  With 4 LED lights to communicate signal strength, you can spot the best signal Continue Reading

U3 Software: 8 Ball & 9 Ball

u3 software game, 8 ballHaving a couple good games in your U3 drive is always a plus when looking to kill some time. The U3 MyPool 8 Ball fits the bill. With on-line features it’s easy to play against family and friends for a real-life [not really] experience. The U3 8 Ball software includes the ever popular 9 Ball as well. So do yourself a favor [if you are still a fan of the U3] and download MyPool – if that isn’t your style than try the addictive Drops or the fast paced and addictive ZACK. Continue Reading

iMono 80-in-1 High Speed Card Reader

Just last week I talked about the USB Fever 62-in-1 card reader thinking that was just about everything one would need.  Today iMono announces an 80-in-1 card reader.  It’s very likely either card reader will satisfy your every need, and I’ve still found a way for you to buy both [not that you would].

80 in 1 card reader

The USB Fever card reader is a 5.25 inch bay system making it ideal for a standard component on build out for numerous machines whereas the iMono 80-in-1 card reader is an external device making it an excellent sidekick for your laptop. I didn’t take the time to count out all 80 devices – which begs the questions:  Does anyone audit this stuff? In case you are asking, Continue Reading

GetUSB Dealz – $1.95 2GB Kingston USB Drive

The 2GB DataTraveler USB Flash drive is ideal for home office, small business, schools and promotions. It is affordable and puts mobile storage in nearly anyone’s hands. Now you can store, carry and transfer files quickly in a 2GB drive for only $1.95.  Here’s the deal:

2GB datatraveler

This offer is only good while supplies last, so act fast!  List price is $35 and on sale for $11.95.  With Google Checkout (new customers) you save an additional $10.00.  Driving the price down to $1.95 for 2GBs of data.  Nice. Grab the GetUSB Dealz now.  [Buy.com] Continue Reading

Wireless USB Server Groups Your Gadgets Together

Silex Technology rolled out their isochronous data transfer support for the SX-2000WG+ product today, making it possible to steam any type of data (or video and audio) from a USB device over a wireless network.  Here is a nice diagram to help get the point across.

wireless usb server

This might be the perfect tool for any parent to monitor their kids webcam activity as the SX-2000WG+ can stream audio and video from any USB webcam over a standard 802.11b/g network. What Silex has been able to do with the wireless USB server is breakdown the barrier of accessing USB devices from remote computers.
“With the addition of isochronous support, users can now share virtually any kind of USB device over a wireless or wired network. No other company can match our capabilities and compatibility in this market.” says Keith Sugarwara, GM.
The wireless USB server will be available for $150.  Mac and PC compatible.  Turning your USB gadgets into groupies couldn’t be easier. Continue Reading

USB Stomp Box Gets Musicians Ready to Rock

IK Multimedia is shipping their new USB stomp box, the StompIO for a plug-n-play floor contoller and audio interface for guitars. I’m a bit familiar with embedded designs and especially those related to USB, so the reports of the StompIO being delayed wasn’t a surprise.

usb stomp box, stompio

None the less, the USB stomp box is a unique product which provides the musician with a host of benefits such as replicating numerous amps, mics, stomps, cabinets and rack effects on the fly. So here’s the deal, the stomp box is the first of it’s kind with high quality effects in a compact floor control design. You can operate every aspect of the software without connecting a monitor and keyboard. Connecting the box [via USB] to a host computer (Mac & PC compatible) , the StompIO is a powerful tool for recording making it an excellent [portable] solution for the touring and gigging guitarist. The StompIO is the only software-based guitar amp and FX that can truly be used live.  Since you need a computer for processing the effects, IK Multimedia sells a nice add-on computer to run the StompIO while on stage. The IK stomp system comes with five pre-loaded software packages. They are:
  • AmpliTube 2
  • Ampeg® SVX
  • AmpliTube Jimi Hendrixâ„¢
  • AmpliTube Metal
  • AmpliTube X-GEAR
The grubby details include StompIO having 51 stomps, 26 amps, 33 cabinets, 11 mics and 23 rack effects. The IK Multimedia StompIO will set you back $1,050 and is available now. IK Multimedia webpage. Continue Reading

USB Eye Warmer Ranks #1 For Useless Product

usb eye warmerOk, there are several items we need to discuss about the USB eye warmers. First – the picture is classic. Guy looks like sleeping at work – not a good image for selling product. At least put the subject in a hospital bed or white background so the first image running through your mind isn’t sleeping at work. Second – Warm your eyes to reduce fatigue and tired eyes.  Isn’t that called sleep? There might be some obscure medical research to back up the notion of warmth to the eyes [while not sleeping] reduces fatigue, but doubt it. Third – The website reports:
User controls temperature by hand and switching power on/off.
That statement is ridiculous. No sh!t power on/off would control temps. In Conclusion – Because of the items listed above, I’ve made a proclamation as editor of GetUSB.info: The USB eye warmer is the most useless product I have ever seen. Period. If you feel differently here is the link to the $13 gadget. Continue Reading

Strange Things Are Happening to USB Drives These Days

It’s always been a gas to report on those strange USB drives floating around and I thought we had seen it all with the Spongebob drive, Biscuit drive and Star Wars Pez drives, but today I bring you yet another. Minimoo brings us four new USB animal drives to place into our “useless novelty” category [although not useless, sure is goofy]. As the flagship product we have the USB turtle, Göran.

usb turtle

Next up we have Fredrick the USB gorilla, Jan the USB sheep and Maud the USB pig.

usb gorilla, usb sheep, usb pig

The common USB sizes are available which are 1, 2 & 4GB with prices between $43-$75. I’ve got a brother-in-law scared to death of turtles, so I’d love to get him Göran. The look on his face when a USB turtle is sticking out his USB port would be legendary. Although probably not to funny to you. Anyway – getting your veterinarian a “thank you” tech gift or starting your own USB animal collection would never be easier, thanks to Minimoo of course. Continue Reading

Yoggie Pico Personal Security Assistant

I wrote about the Yoggie Security System a while back and today found a special deal for the standalone USB security stick. To peak your interest here’s short quote from my previous article:
The Yoggie Pico device is a self contained mini computer on a USB stick which runs and manages 13 different security applications. At first thought – doesn’t seem like much – why not load up 13 security applications on your computer and save a USB port? Well, the beauty lies within the combination of a self contained unit, a processor to run it self and the combination of hardware and software to protect your computer.

yoggie pico usb security

Make the jump for my full article or click for the GetUSB Dealz. Continue Reading

JPEG Geo Tracker – Never Get Lost Again

I’ve never given geo tracking my pictures much thought, not until I came across Coolest-Gadgets post about putting GPS to your JPEG images. This gadget would especially apply to those frequent travelers, or travelers who love getting lost in the details during family slide shows.

geo track photos

The picture geo tracker is a standalone device that allows a photographer to tag their photos with GPS location. The Photo Finder is pocket sized and has software which syncs GPS location data into the saved photo file without PC connection or editing. Coolest-Gadgets reports the Photo Finder only supports JPEG at the moment, with plans to support KML route files so you can not only geo tag and plot your pictures, but sync up your Continue Reading

Expect Wireless USB to be Hot in 2008

CES 2008 is a couple weeks old and after poring over the gadget blogs, press releases and manufacturer websites it’s clear Wireless USB or WUSB will be hot in 2008.  For that reason, I thought it would be the right time to revisit:  What is Wireless USB?

wireless usb

WUSB is a high-bandwidth wireless extension for short range communication between computers, devices and gadgets.  The WUSB specification claims a transfer speed equal to USB 2.0 of 480Mbit per second.  Although that has yet to be seen (even with USB 2.0 wired products). The USB Implementors Forum based this wireless technology off the WiMedia Alliance’s Ultra-Wideband or UWB platform.  WUSB will work up to 9 feet away and then slow down to 110Mbit/s with a max range of 30 feet. WUSB works on the 3.1 to 10.6 GHz frequency range and spreads communication over an ultra-wideband of frequencies.  For this reason you will not see wireless interference between WUSB and Wi-Fi or Bluetooth wireless networks. If I have peaked your interest for Wireless USB, check out some other WUSB articles. Continue Reading

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