Tom has dug deep into his gadget wigwam and found the Sound Gizmo, which he received as a birthday present in about 1992. Made by Fundimensions in Singapore, it could generate 9 sounds effects, including Jet Plane, Gunshot, Train, Tone, Helicopter and Siren. You could also vary the pitch, volume and speed of the sound effect. There’s a little write-up here, and you can even look up the manual for the gadget.
Dick struggles with the name of the age-old device invented over 80 years ago which is still being made, in essentially the same form as the original – the Brannock Device (Episode 255).
Who’s this Tom Merritt?
Appropriately, today’s letter comes from Dr Mark Sukoenig from Syracuse, where the Brannock Device was born (see his letter in Episode 280). Dr Mark asks who’s this guy who presumes to take over the show from Leo. He doesn’t have a letter to read; he doesn’t do Leo’s great voices; he doesn’t have Leo’s great sense of humour; he doesn’t even shave as Leo does or sit on the ball when he does the show. His claim to fame is he gets to do shows with pretty women. Joking aside, does Tom merit his chance for filling in for Leo? Absolutely, and Dr Mark listens to all of Tom’s shows.
The Super Laptop Cooler from Cables Unlimited is made of aluminium with 2 cooling fans. Thrown into the mix is a 3-port USB hub (one of which is taken up by the device itself) and a multi-card reader. Dick gives it his whisker rating of 8 out of 10.
Feast of Slogans
For Tom’s benifit, Dick explains a couple of the show’s slogans – the Gravy Slogan (about the use of which Feast of Fools complained, see Episode 114); and “The worse your life is, the better we sound” (see Episode 391).
Dick’s Next Visit
Dick will be at TWiT Cottage on Saturday 2 October recording for Episode 1200. He’s already packed his schedule: recording on Saturday, meeting his new best friend Jennifer Laporte and camping with jammerb, and maybe even sparing a moment for Tom’s Sunday show East Meets West.
Gizneyland Staying Guest
At Gizneyland today is Myra Joyce again, who practically camps out at Dick’s studio.
A Suggestion for Tim: Gadget Reprise
Dick tweeted out to listeners asking them to write to Tom about the show which he has stepped in to host for Leo, to much popular acclaim. Zig obliges, and suggests that Tom should cover gadgets which Dick and Leo have covered in the past – after all, that’s what Dick and Leo do! Zig wouldn’t mind having the Roku Box (Episode 922) again, as he’d like to know more about how it works.
Tool Logic has been and still is making swiss-army-knife-style tool sets, but the one in the Gadget Warehouse, no longer made, is the Wine Companion – complete with a corkscrew, a foil cutter, a serrated knife, a bottle opener, a fork and a cocktail stirrer, all housed in a thin card-shape case.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Today’s intro by Tom is an adaptation of part of the text of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving; and the village of Sleepy Hollow happens to be in New York, too.
Christmas in July
Doug from Stanhope, New Jersey has been listening to Audible and fallen behind with the show. He’s just listened to the Christmas episodes from last year – his own Christmas in July event. In Episode 989, Dick and Leo were talking about some of the technology at Disney (Mr Lincoln), and thinks that they might like to know about the Pal Mickey, a plush toy which was an interactive tour guide for Disney World, introduced in 2003, available for daily rent or for sale for $47 at the time.
Another gadget from Dormco (see Episode 1108), this Dummy Camera looks like a surveillance camera. Its zoom lens and wireless antenna are fake, but it has a working motion sensor which, when activated by motion within 10 feet, will set the camera rotation back and forth and a red LED light to blink. Bluff and scare tactics might work.
Touch To Give
Ever since Doug Pompilio from Dayton, Ohio learned about the Click To Give (see e.g. Episodes 464, 658) Animal Rescue site, he’s been clicking every day to support the site. Thanks to a Genius suggestion in the App Store, he’s now got an iPhone app for supporting a number of Click To Give charities, including Animal Rescue, Breast Cancer and Hunger: Touch To Give.
The back straps of this School Backpack from iSafe Bags are criss-crossed to make it difficult for someone else to snatch it off. On one of the straps in front, under a velcro flap, is a cord which, when pulled, will activate an alarm from the speakers at the back and light up a series of red LED lights, to scare off bullies and predators.
Mike Meyering, the Spare Geek, recently purchased the Encore Dual USB Port Charger (Episode 1056). He was very impressed by it, and made inquiries with the manufacturer to find out the specs of the battery. It was a 1,700 mAh rechargeable battery; not bad for the price.
A Tip from Colleen, and Pontifications from Tom and Dick
Colleen once gave Dick a tip: get a power adapter and plug it into the power brick for the laptop, in place of the cable and plug that usually comes with the laptop. That way at least you save carrying one cable. Cables are the bane of modern technology, and Dick is still waiting for the truly wireless TV, while Tom would like all cables to be retractable, if they have to exist at all. The thought of a wireless world gets Dick remarking that open unencrypted wifi has become rather rare.