Tag Archives: Gadgets

Do You Buy Gadgets and Toys from ThinkGeek?


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Every so often, my friends at ThinkGeek will send me products to review. Sometimes, I buy things from there just to have for myself. One of the Geeks on our new Geeks community started a group dedicated to love of everything ThinkGeek. The group has an RSS feed with the latest products and product discounts that are available.

The group facilitator is TheSkull, who is a regular community member. He gave away a $100 gift certificate to ThinkGeek when the group hit 300 members earlier tonight. Congratulations to Andrew for winning that. Also, my friend over at ThinkGeek has decided they will give away another $100 gift certificate when the group reaches 1000 members. In order to win that one, you have to be a member of the group and have participated in at least one forum thread within the group. And by the way… if this goes over well, and the people at ThinkGeek sees excellent interaction… there could be many more giveaways in the future.

This is what I love about the community of Geeks. We look out for one another. If you haven’t joined us yet, what the heck are you waiting for? I’m not engraving golden invitations. Ok, fine. I will if you really insist.

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Why Is Popping Bubble Wrap so Addictive?


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Yes, I’m popping bubble wrap. It’s so addictive, I could sit here doing it all day long. Of course, since this is electronic bubble wrap, I can do it all day long! It may not be as fun as real bubble wrap, but it is fun. It’s also a great stress reliever. The Electronic Bubble Wrap Key Chain is, of course, available from our friends at ThinkGeek.

One of the single greatest gifts (and curses) to anyone who is a little anal retentive is bubble wrap. Sure it’s good for protecting packages, but the real joy is popping each and every bubble. You can’t let even one survive or your mission as bubble popper has failed. But what happens when you desire the joy of popping bubble wrap but don’t have the time to invest in popping a full 60′ roll? Welcome to the future, my friends; electronic bubble wrap is here.

Each keychain device has 8 rubbery little “bubble” buttons. They have a pretty close tactile feel to actual bubble wrap. Guess what happens when you push one? That’s right, you hear a little pop. In a nutshell, that is the simple beauty of the electronic bubble wrap keychain. But there is one bonus, and here’s where the OCD can kick in a little. Every 100th “pop” is not a pop at all, but a silly sound: a boing, a bark, a rude noise, etc. And since you can easily pop (pun intended) the keychain in your pocket, you’ll always have bubble wrap when you need it most (you know, like when your boss starts talking).

The tactile feedback is as realistic as it comes. The buttons are soft, pushed into a harder plastic case. It’s a great way to entertain yourself for a few minutes… or heck, even a few hours if you want.

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How Do You Organize Your Gadgets?


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You caught my trying to organize my gadgets. Normally, they sit over on a stand on the other side of my office. The problem is, I’m a neat freak. I don’t like to have them just sit around. So what’s a Geek to do? Go out and buy yourself a Gear Gripper, that’s what.

Chances are pretty good that, if you’re visiting this website, you’re either a geek, or love one enough to buy a geek gifts. Without a doubt, said geek has a substantial collection of tiny gadgets that need a home to call their own. Take a tour of ThinkGeek World Domination Headquarters, and you’ll see almost everybody’s desks are cluttered with the detritus of an unhealthy addiction to gadgets.

Most of our gadgets are shiny, and polished with only a little wear showing. As long as we keep them from banging into each other, they’ll remain relatively pristine. What we’ve found is the GearGripper desktop organization ribbon. Soft yet firm, GearGripper undulates across your desk in a wave, the nadir of each wave perfect for comfortably resting your toys.

Because it’s bendy, it can be shaped into different forms – whatever you need to give your gear a comfortable home. Mold it to your needs, make it your own! Just remember to submit pictures of your creations for our action shots!

It looks so much nicer than just having things sitting around. Am I the only one who wants to have my gadgets organized, and keep everything looking clean? I love having this sitting on my desk, keeping everything nice and neat. I’m pressed for space, and this makes things easy.

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Will You Adopt a USB Humping Dog?


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This would have been the best $10.00 I ever spent. However, ThinkGeek sent this to me to review for free! The cost for one of these little dogs is anywhere from $7.00 – $10.00, depending on what “breed” of dog you choose to buy. The Humping USB Dog will make you laugh for pretty much no reason at all. It’s just funny. What do they do? Plug them into a USB port on your computer, and they’ll do exactly as their name implies.

It doesn’t serve any purpose, but it’s what they do. They are insatiable. And that’s all we really have to say. Harley is brown and Duke is black, and you can take your pick. Oh, and don’t worry – if the kids ask what the doggie is doing to your computer, just say, “He’s trying to jump over the computer, but he got a little stuck,” or “The computer is giving him a piggyback ride.” Either will suffice.

I even got a laugh out of reading the box the doggie came in. It says “USB meets love”. They’ve been ‘fixed’, of course. So, you’re safe to plug one into any USB port without worrying about little USB doggies turning up later on down the road. I just love ThinkGeek. They have fun little gadgets and toys that make a perfect gift for someone who has everything.

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How Do You Travel with Electronics?

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Jthermane24 from our live chat room writes: “Most of us like to travel. But when travel time comes… so does the electronics packing. I have made a set of top five tips for traveling with electronics.”

  • If you have a laptop, get a good quality laptop case. You need a sturdy one, so you don’t run the risk of the case or strap breaking, causing you to end up with a damaged laptop. When buying your case, why not take your laptop along? That way, you can see how well it fits inside, and how much room is left over for cords and other items.
  • Make sure you pack all the power cords for each device you are bringing. Even if you charged said device fully before leaving… bring the cord anyway. You never know when the device might die on you… just when you need it!
  • If you are traveling with multiple people, buy yourself a backpack to keep all your gadgets in. This way, yours won’t get confused with everyone else’s, and they’ll be easier for you to find when you need them.
  • Label all of your cords. You can use cheap plain white labels from the local WalMart for this, or even masking tape. Write on the labels what the cord goes to, and even where it plugs into if you aren’t sure you’ll remember.
  • Make a written list ahead of time of all the devices you are bringing with you. Check each item off as you pack it… and then refer to it when packing up to return home. You won’t forget a device at home OR in your hotel.

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Do You Like Taking Road Trips?

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At the time of this recording, I was visiting back home in Iowa at my brother’s house. We’re planning a road trip to Wisconsin to see a concert he had bought tickets for. It sounds like good music, and a lot of fun. Do you enjoy road trips? What should you bring with you on a road trip? Scott sent an email in to give us some tips on things you should bring along.

  • Power Inverter This plugs into your cigarette lighter in your vehicle, so you can then plug in regular power cords. You would be able to plug in your laptop, or any other device. Watch a DVD while traveling (NOT if you’re driving!).
  • Music Use an iPod or other MP3 player going over the stero in your vehicle. Who wants to carry a huge stack of CDs with them?
  • Radar Detector This can help you remember to keep your foot out of it, and save on costly speeding tickets. Legalities vary from state to state, so be careful about using something like this.
  • GPS Navigation These can be a lifesaver when you’re heading off somewhere new.
  • Check your car carefully Check your car’s tires, oil, transmission fluid and any other simple maintenance items that could cause problems when on the road.

So what do you recommend when going on a road trip? Send me your thoughts via a comment on this post, or send me an email to [email protected]

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Are These Good Reasons to Embrace Technology?

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It took me more than three years to convince my parents to give up dial up, and move to a better connection. I blame myself, for not giving them enough reasons to embrace technology. Here is an excellent list sent in by a community member, with five of the reasons you should embrace the newest technology.

  • Efficiency With the development of technology, the speed at which we can achieve our goals is greatly increased. Processing data and transferring information has never been faster, and we are able to access information much quicker and with greater ease. Data storage and retrieval has developed so much that it’s almost hard to believe that we were once carrying 1.44Mb floppies. Those floppies held very little data in comparison to todays’ hundreds of gigabytes of storage capacity on backup drives and servers. Also, the physical size of these storage devices has reduced as well. Can you imagine 500GB of 1.44Mb floppies?
  • Connectivity Connecting with people all over the world is by far more achievable with the development of the humble telephone, fax, cellphone and the Internet. Apps such as Email, VoIP, and Instant Messaging have made things so much easier. Snail mail used to take as many as 3-4 days even in your own state or city. It now usually take 1-2 days, and and a parcel can be sent to another country in as little as 5-8 business days (less if you chose more expensive courier services etc.). Email is almost instantaneous. VoIP is becoming a very popular way of keeping in touch with people all over the world and is extremely cost effective. If you are already paying for Internet service, then you basically have a communications network at your disposal for free. There are plenty of ways to connect through many different VoIP companies/networks. Technology in general has become more affordable for the average user.
  • Productivity With the amount of technology on the market – both in hardware and software – the productivity rate has increased tremendously. Desktop PCs have become more powerful and more affordable to the average user, allowing more people to be connected to others. Portable computers and Internet available almost anywhere at any time for those that need it enables work to be done “on the road” so to speak. Applications and tools from word processing to music and film editing have become far more sophisticated… yet more user-friendly. This allows more people access to a multitude of ways to get things done. Mobile devices like cellphones and PDA’s allow for more mobility to the user. The term “technology” does not only refer to computers and Email. With the development of the computer, other technologies such as cars, ships , buildings and manufacturing/ production have increased dramatically. For example, in Beijing a container is loaded from a truck to a ship every 30 seconds. This would never have been possible 30 years ago.
  • Comfortability The developments in technology in the home and at work have made our lives much more comfortable, and enable us to have things from light and heat… to watching the latest movies or shopping from home. Traveling has become more efficient and more pleasurable as airliners have in-flight entertainment. If we dont like what they’re showing, we can always plug ourselves into our mp3 player or other mobile device. The next development in airline travel is the exploration of Wi-Fi in-flight for users to access the Internet.
  • Gadgets are cool!!! There are literally thousands of gadgets and devices that we dont really need. Us gadget lovers want to buy all of them. Well… a lot of them. We don’t crave them because we really need them, we want them just because they are cool to play with.

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How to Save Money for Gadgets

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A community member writes: “Being 14, I find that 99.99% of the time, no one will help me buy my geeky gadgets.I have created a list from my experiences on how to save money for your tech-related stuff.”

  • If you are short on cash, start a small business. Since I am only 14 and cannot get a ‘normal’ job yet, I sell computer parts on eBay. I have my own eBay store where I make a little over $100 a week, just from selling RAM and Hard Drives. The point is that on some websites, you can make money on the side with little effort. All you need to do is post a blog with AdSense or try to put up an EBay listing. These are very efficient ways to make money without much time or effort.
  • Don’t spend your money on stuff you don’t need. You don’t need to go to the movies 3 times a week. You can spend a little money once in a while, but put it towards the things you really want. Also, don’t buy a new notebook instead of paying your rent. Priorities come over tech items. How are you going to play XBox Live if you forgot to pay the electric bill? If you casually watch your money, you will notice quickly that buying your gadgets is not such a difficult task. Buying the store-brand items is not that much of a difference, other than the brand name items. Speaking of this, software is very similar. There is almost always a Freeware or Open-Source alternative. A very good example is GIMP or Seashore compared to a very expensive Photoshop.
  • Put a little money away. Instead of buying a fancy $60 meal, put $5-20 away a week. This adds up quickly. You won’t believe how quickly you will have money to buy the latest video game or something similar. Putting the money in the bank is also a good idea as you cannot touch it as easily as it would be if you had it in your wallet.
  • Look for good retailers, and discounts. As I know Chris has some really amazing coupons for software and things like that. Newegg is an amazing electronics retailer. I buy almost all of my electronics from them. It is like the Costco for Geeks. I have bought my Hard Drive, RAM, external Hard Drive and more from them. I highly recommend buying from retailers that sell the same product, but at a more affordable price. Just look around, before you pay an extra $100 for an item.
  • Most geeks have a bunch of Tech items that we don’t need, but others want. I bought an iPhone a few months ago, so why would I need a 5th gen iPod Classic? Sell the unneeded items on eBay or Craigslist to “save” money on another gadget. This works very well with video games, as EB games. They buy your old games for cheap prices, and you can use that money to buy a new game. Sell your old Hard Drive… get rid of the RAM you just upgraded from… you get the idea. If you don’t need something don’t throw it away… sell it.

POST UPDATE Tom wrote in after this was posted, to offer his method of saving for gadgets to us all!

I wanted to follow up that post by sharing one of my own little methods of saving money for gadgets. I use a simple spreadsheet to track what I have saved, and what I would like to buy. It tracks all the contributions I’ve made to my gadget fund, and tells me how much more I would need to save in order to buy each desired gadget. I primarily use this to save up for photographic equipment, which can be quite expensive. It’s not a very advanced spreadsheet, but it’s not supposed to be… it’s meant to be more of a psychological tool to encourage responsible spending. Sure, I could just grab the money from my short-term savings and pay it back later, but impulse spending is entirely too destructive in the long term. Instead, I prefer to put away small amounts of money over a reasonable amount of time. In the end, it’s much more fulfilling, not to mention responsible.

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$50.00 ThinkGeek Gift Certificate

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Our friends over at ThinkGeek gave me a $50.00 gift certificate to use in a giveaway! I’ve done many videos in the past, demonstrating different products they offer. They have a lot of fun gadgets and gizmos, and I can never get enough! The requirements for this giveaway was the same as for all the others:

The requirements to be eligible for our weekly giveaways are simple. Here is what you need to do:

  • You must be present in the chat room at the time of the giveaway. We don’t announce it much ahead of time, so you pretty much need to be a regular visitor!
  • You need to be subscribed to my YouTube channel.
  • You had to have left a recent comment on any post in my blog.

That’s it! That’s the sum total of the requirements to be eligible. When a giveaway starts, all chatters in the channel lose chat ability. This is to help us be able to see only the winner talking, so we don’t miss out on their pertinent links. Then, our new automatic bot picker will choose a random name. That person has to give us their YouTube link, as well as the name they used to comment on the blog. We then verify the information… and have a winner!

Congratulations to the winner of the $50.00 ThinkGeek Gift Certificate Dr_HOBO (aka emc2serv) .

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Radio Shack and Electronics Store Secrets

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Have you ever had questions while shopping in a Radio Shack, or similar store? Did the employees know the answers? Here are some secrets about stores like this that I bet you didn’t know, sent in by an anonymous Radio Shack employee.

  • If there is an item you wish to buy that is not carried in-store, visit the Radio Shack website. Many times, the item(s) can be bought and delivered to your local store, saving you the cost of shipping. The same holds true when buying “online only” items.
  • Even if the store has excellent customer reviews… check into purchasing a service plan. Something many people do not know is that you can return to a store within two weeks of purchase to get the service plan after all. If you don’t buy it during the original purchase, you can always return. Also, you can call the Radio Shack 800# yourself for techincal assistance. It’s the same number a Radio Shack employee would call for help if you took your item in to be fixed. Save yourself some time, and make that call from home.
  • When buying a new cellular phone or service, check at your local Radio Shack. Believe it or not, you can often get the same cell phone at a much lesser price than you will find anywhere else.
  • iGo Universal Chargers are around $30.00. Charge your wireless phone, PDA, MP3 player and more from your car with just the switch of an itips smart connector! You’ll never have to carry multiple chargers for your car again. Works with most wireless phones, PDAs, MP3 players and digital cameras with the switch of a tip.
  • Most people don’t realize that Radio Shack can get any product you may need… at any time. If they don’t have the item in stock, they’ll be happy to call around to other stores and locate one for you.

Radio Shack Coupons:
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After the posting of this blog, I received the following email. It is something I think you all need to see.

I work for Radio Shack. We recently got a new District Manger. He wants us to have full time employees and two part time employees in my store. One guy was switched to full time. In the meantime, I only get three hours per week… total. Instead of getting rid of the new kid, they fired the guy who has been working in the store the longest… right in front of everyone. Even though I wasn’t fired, I will be forced to quit to find something with more hours. The Radio Shack corporation doesn’t fire people unless they do something horribly wrong or illegal. Instead, they make working conditions impossible, causing you to leave voluntarily. After working for them for a few years, I believe their corporation to be a disgrace. They sell things like audio wire at the astronomical price of $32.99, when they only pay just under $4.00 for it.
They create a condition where we as employees are forced to manipulate the minds of the buyer into thinking that a particular product is great, and in order for it to work… you have to buy all these extra things to make it work. Most of their products are actually “old”, believe it or not… they are mostly an outlet store anymore. You will rarely see the newest computers in Radio Shack. The models are usually at least a year old. Also, the products tend to not be what they say. A Gold contact isn’t even gold anymore. It is just a cheap gold coating. Inside is the same thing wire you originally had on say your tv. Yet, the Sales Associates are forced to tell you that their “gold wire” will give you much higher quality on your television. Face it, folks. This is the SAME wire you would use if you bought a standard red and white 12 foot AV cable at the local WalMart.
I have worked for this company for a long time, so I know what I’m talking about. Once I have left here for good, I will never step foot inside a Radio Shack again.

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