Thursday, April 1, 2021

CES 2021 VIRTUAL ~ A Look At Samsung’s Appliance Innovations (Please note that Google’s BlogSpot, the provider we use to publish this monthly column, has changed the allowable format style. So, if the column’s format looks a bit strange it’s due to Google and BlogSpot, not THE GADGETEER.) BOB SKIDMORE CORRESPONDENT © 2021 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED This year’s annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was not held in the traditional on-site manner, but rather virtually due to COVID-19 in early January. Therefore it was difficult for me to report on the show in my usual mode. Consequently I received numerous reports and press releases of new technology to be released in 2021. With that in mind I’ve opted to zero in on two particular products. Better late then never, so here goes…. I’ve chosen two unique products from Samsung. The JetBot 90 Ai+ that cleans your floors with innovative navigation technology and Samsung’s Series 8800 washer-dryer pair that takes the guesswork out of doing laundry. Both these outstanding products received this year’s CES Innovation Awards and will be introduced in the USA in the first half of 2021.
JetBot 90 Ai+ Vacuum The JetBot 90 Ai+ is the first truly smart robotic vacuum that’s powered by Intel® and incorporates a combination of sensors and Ai-enhanced object recognition technology. A Lidar sensor, much like that used in self-driving cars, detects distance and tracks location for exacting its movement. A 3D sensor recognizes the difference between objects such as a toy, or a leg chair. It can even detect small objects on the floor and recognizes a room’s shape to aid in the navigation process thus seeking the most efficient route. Best of all it can detect when your pet has made a mess, avoid it and send you a notification so you’ll know to clean it up. The JetBot 90 Ai+ then uses this information to clean closely around items on the floor maintaining a safe distance from fragile objects and can also automatically lower itself under furniture. As it cleans the floor it maximizes the suction power to trap dust from the air and dirt from the floor. The self-cleaning brush picks up dust from hard floors and can reach into tight crevices. When the cleaning process is completed it automatically heads back to its base that also serves as a disposal system. It now empties the collected debris into a bag that you replace every two, or three months. The JetBot may also be operated via your Smartphone when the Samsung SmartThings app is installed. This feature allows you to control the vacuum process from anywhere. And if that’s not enough you can connect up with its onboard camera to monitor your home and your pets while you’re away.
Samsung WF8800A Series Washer The Samsung washer/dryer series 8800 with Smart Dial Technology learns your preferred cycles and settings, and then prioritizes them for quick access in a simplified, easy-to-use centrally located control panel. It also suggests specific cycles based on intelligent learning of past cycles run on particular days of the week, or at specific times. Its powerful OptoWash feature detects the laundry load’s weight and uses a Turbidity Sensor to determine the ideal amount of water vs detergent to use in the cycle. It also computes how long to wash clothing thus ensuring that your clothes come out the cleanest possible. Using a stacked washer/dryer is made easy with Samsung’s MultiControl feature. This allows you to fully operate both the washer and dryer from one centralized panel on the washer thus keeping all controls within easy reach. You can also use the previously discussed SmartThings app to receive “end of cycle” alerts, remotely start/stop your wash, schedule cycles, and much more from your Smartphone. The DV8800A companion dryer automatically optimizes its cycle too, so you no longer have to check to see if your clothes are dry at the end of the cycle and perhaps have to calculate how much time you have to add, because this dryer does that too. When using the super speed drying cycle, your clothes can be dry in as little as thirty minutes. Without a doubt these Samsung household appliances set the new standard for household appliances for many years to come. By the looks of it I hope a comprehensive operational tutorial video is made available and your local service technician is up to speed. Lol!!! GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★ Graphic credits: Google Images Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer, or any legal resource. The manufacturer generally supplies products and press releases at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. ## Check out THE GADGETEER’S Twitter page for up to the minute gadget news. Available at: https://twitter.com/bskidmore

Monday, March 1, 2021

FEILIFAN CABLE CLIPS ~ Cable Mounting, or Simply Multiple Cable Organization…. (Please note that Google’s BlogSpot, the provider we use to publish this monthly column, has changed the allowable format style. So, if the column’s format looks a bit strange it’s due to Google and BlogSpot, not THE GADGETEER.) BOB SKIDMORE CORRESPONDENT © 2021 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Several issues back I did a column featuring the STAGEEK CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. https://bit.ly/3p3xVIG This system lends itself well for hiding short as well as long cable runs while accommodating a number of multiple cables. But what do you do when you have only one cable to extend on a wall, or you simply want to tidy up a spider web of hookup cables that connect to your computer, or similar electronic gadgets? FEILIFAN CABLE CLIPS has a quick and simple solution. Available in two gauge diameter sizes, these self-stick clips attach to various surfaces with the supplied double-sided self-stick tape. Since no screws are needed it’s easy to attach and remove the clips while never leaving unsightly traces of their removal. The FEILIFAN CABLE CLIPS are available in black, white and clear as well as two different gauge sizes that should accommodate most cable sizes. Cables are inserted in an over/under clip fashion that makes for quick and easy cable installation and removal. I’ve used them for 30+-foot Cat5 cable runs in hard to reach places such as wall/ceiling joints. An easy, inexpensive solution to what could be a difficult problem solver. GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★ MSRP: $9.96 (60pcs Small diameter) $10.99 (48pcs Large diameter) For more information go to: https://amzn.to/2I6xaOs Graphic credits: Amazon Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer, or any legal resource. The manufacturer generally supplies products and press releases at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. ## Check out Bob’s Twitter page for up to the minute gadget news. Available at: https://twitter.com/bskidmore

Monday, February 1, 2021

A SIMPLE GUIDE TO OVER-THE-AIR TV

CUTTING THE CABLE CORD ~ A Simple Guide To Over-The-Air FREE TV (Please note that Google’s BlogSpot, the provider we use to publish this monthly column, has changed the allowable format style. So, if the column’s format looks a bit strange it’s due to Google and BlogSpot, not THE GADGETEER.) BOB SKIDMORE CORRESPONDENT © 2021 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Have you wanted to drop your cable provider for some alternative to the traditional cable TV service? Perhaps it’s a desire you’ve had, but don’t quite know where to begin, or even what’s available much less the cost savings and how to understand it all? These days cable costs have skyrocketed since the inception of early cable TV, plus all the hidden charges can kill your budget. Andrea Polk is a former criminologist turned freelance writer, housewife and mother. She’s not a techie by any means, but just simply someone who decided to explore the options for providing broadcast television at an affordable price for her family. After much research she discovered many options that are either free, or available at a low subscription, cancelable cost. This persistent research provided her the knowledge to author the book, “SIMPLE GUIDE TO OVER-THE-AIR FREE TV”. This book is written in easy to understand, layman’s terms. Andrea takes you through her pros and cons and the steps she personally experienced to aid her in making it happen. It’s broken into fifteen chapters that include subjects like how to make the cut, explanations of technical terms in layman’s language, digital and over-the-air antennas (OTA) and easy steps to make it all happen. An explanation of Analog and digital broadcasting is explained as well. As she points out some stations transmit different programming on several different digital channels they transmit. An example would be 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and so on, all from the same station. A bit more explanation for the reader would have been helpful on this topic, as few people understand the concept. She explains how to obtain broadcast services like ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and independent broadcast stations for free. She also includes an extensive list of low-cost subscription apps and services that provide specific types of programming that can easily be received on a subscription basis with an add-on device such as Roku. This information is most valuable in that she includes the type of programing they provide and typical associated costs you could expect plus how to become a subscriber and what equipment you may need to make it all happen. One does have to consider that this book was originally copyrighted in 2014 and updated in 2019, so the fees and providers that she mentions may have slightly changed plus even more services may have become available. Also included is a section on international TV programming, something that normally could be difficult to find. “SIMPLE GUIDE TO OVER-THE-AIR FREE TV”, is an easy to read and understand step-by-step book that easily guides you to cutting the cable cord. You’ll want to keep this one handy, as it’ll become your reference for many years to come! GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★ MSRP: $6.99 paperback (Also available in a Kindle Edition) For more information go to: https://amzn.to/3elKqur Graphic credits: Google Images Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer, or any legal resource. The manufacturer generally supplies products and press releases at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. ## Check out Bob’s Twitter page for up to the minute gadget news. Available at: https://twitter.com/bskidmore

Friday, January 1, 2021

CLCKR STAND & GRIP CASE COMBO

CLCKR STAND & GRIP CASE ~ For iPhone PRO 11 & 12 Users…. © 2021 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BOB SKIDMORE CORRESPONDENT (Please note that Google’s BlogSpot, the provider we use to publish this monthly column, has changed the allowable format style. So, if the column’s format looks a bit strange it’s due to Google and BlogSpot, not THE GADGETEER.) In a previous column we featured CLCKR’s universal Phone grip and stand, a very useful accessory easily attachable to most smartphones. https://bit.ly/3epinKD Now CLCKR has introduced the CLCKR STAND & GRIP CASE for the iPhone 12 PRO. We tested a case specifically marketed for the iPhone PRO 12, 6.1” model, but found this model also nicely accommodated the 11 PRO version as well. I noted a slight, but tolerable up/down slippage of the inserted phone. The CLCKR STAND & GRIP CASE includes both the collapsible stand and grip features that are all built in to a fabric type of material. It prevents dropping your phone and fatigued fingers in constant use situations. This style case also offers some protection to the phones housing while still allowing access to the side buttons, lower mic, speakers and the lightning connector. Obviously, it can’t prevent the glass from breaking since it has no protective covering over it. Perhaps the best feature is the ease of positioning the phone on a surface for landscape, or portrait photography as well as making FaceTime, SKYPE and ZOOM calls. It may take a little usage of the grip to get it to position itself without it wanting to return back to its collapsed position. A visit to CLCKR’S web site will reveal various models, sizes and versions of this useful accessory. Considering the low cost it should be an easy decision and a worthwhile addition to your iPhone accessories and picture taking fun. MSRP: $34.99 GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★ For more information go to: https://www.clckr.com/us/clckr-case Available at manufacturer’s web site above. Graphic credits: CLCKR Check out Bob’s Twitter page for up to the minute gadget news. Available at: https://twitter.com/bskidmore Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer, or any legal resource. The manufacturer generally supplies products and press releases at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. ##

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

APPLE TV 4K/HD - The Missing User Guide 2019

APPLE TV 4K/HD ~ The Missing User Guide – 2019 Edition (Please note that Google’s BlogSpot, the provider we use to publish this monthly column, has changed the allowable format style. So, if the column’s format looks a bit strange it’s due to Google and BlogSpot, not THE GADGETEER.) BOB SKIDMORE CORRESPONDENT © 2020 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED I’m sure you’ve heard lots about a device called Apple TV? No, it’s not a television flat screen, but rather an add-on box that plugs into a spare HDMI port of your flat screen. It’s much like Roku, Firestick and Android TV, but much more advanced. It comes with some preloaded apps and has the capability of adding many additional apps. All these apps generally are not selectable on your flat screen, or DVR, so Apple TV allows you to secure programming not normally available by broadcast television with these apps. Apple TV was first introduced in 2006 and released in early 2007, but since that time many features have been added including the possibility of adding to the app selection. Apple has also added Apple TV+, its own programming subscription service that offers original, made for Apple, programming. Look for the Apple TV App to be added to some new flat screen models in the near future. As I mentioned in my subtitle, APPLE TV 4K/HD USER GUIDE, is truly the manual that should have been included with your purchase of the Apple TV device. As is quite common these days most electronic gadgets don’t include much in the way of written instructions, but expect the user to already have the operational skills to use them. Such is the case with Apple TV. APPLE TV 4K/HD USER GUIDE, is a book that’s laid out in sectional topics as opposed to chapters. If there’s a question you have it relies on the reader to see if it’s listed in the index that show pages and then directs you to one of those 130 pages. Typical topics include setting up various functions, adding apps, linking most flat screen remote functions to Apple’s remote and how to use the unusual Apple TV remote control. I say “unusual” because most functions on Apple’s remote require sliding your finger on what’s commonly thought of as a discrete touch pad. Incidentally this remote is a very poor design on Apple’s part. I’ll be reviewing a SALT alternative remote in a future column that runs circles around Apple’s. This book is certainly filled with tons of valuable, good operational information even though the numerous grammar and spelling errors are surprising and do stand out. GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★ MSRP: $9.95 paperback (Also available in a Kindle Edition at less cost) For more information go to: https://amzn.to/3jVFJbJ Graphic credits: Google Images Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer, or any legal resource. The manufacturer generally supplies products and press releases at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. ## Check out Bob’s Twitter page for up to the minute gadget news. Available at: https://twitter.com/bskidmore Also, be sure to listen to the latest episode of “CONVERSATIONS WITH THE GADGETEER”. THE GADGETEER'S latest podcast is now published and available. This episode is entitled, APPLE WATCH AND MORE ABOUT APPLE. A PODCAST discussion about the Apple Watch and some other Apple products with Marc Saltzman author of his book, APPLE WATCH DUMMIES. Our discussion includes tips, tricks and features, and much, much more. Simply double click on the link, or logo below for quick access: http://thegadgeteer.libsyn.com/

Sunday, November 1, 2020

CASIO HR-170RS ~ Mini-Desktop Printing Calculator

CASIO HR-170RS ~ Mini-Desktop Printing Calculator BOB SKIDMORE CORRESPONDENT © 2020 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED The CASIO HR-170RS is a simple, but powerful little calculator. It can be battery powered by 4 AA batteries, or powered with the supplied AC adapter. A twelve digit, 1-line display not only shows the numbers you’re working with, but when selected displays either the time or date which can also be a part of the printed receipt. Features include selectable last digit erase, paper print out, cost, sell, margin and correction functions. A reprint function lets you print duplicate copies while the double check feature corrects up to 150 steps. Once you’ve made corrections, the After Print function makes it easy to reprint the receipt. Automatic currency conversion is also possible. The replaceable CP13 ink roller allows printing in both black and red. The compact size, 11.61 x 6.5 x 2.5 inches, makes it ideal to transport to any job site. The CASIO HR-170RS is a fantastic feature packed calculator at a very reasonable price point. Many of its features/functions don’t even exist on much more expensive calculators. MSRP: $54.99 GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★★ For more information go to: https://bit.ly/2SJAukL Graphic credits: Manufacturer Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer, or any legal resource. The manufacturer generally supplies products and press releases at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. ## Please note that Google's "Blogspot" publication has changed its format. So, if this column looks a bit unusual it's due to Google. Be sure to catch the latest episode of “CONVERSATIONS WITH THE GADGETEER”. THE GADGETEER'S latest podcast is now published and available. This episode is entitled, APPLE WATCH AND MORE ABOUT APPLE. A PODCAST discussion about the Apple Watch and some other Apple products with Marc Saltzman author of his book, APPLE WATCH DUMMIES. Our discussion includes tips, tricks and features, and much, much more. Simply double click on the link below for quick access: http://thegadgeteer.libsyn.com/

Thursday, October 1, 2020

PYLE BLUETOOTH WIRELESS SPEAKER

PYLE BLUETOOTH® SPEAKER ~ Wireless 150 Watt Audio System…. © 2020 BOB SKIDMORE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BOB SKIDMORE CORRESPONDENT The PYLE PBMSQG9 WIRELESS PORTABLE BLUETOOTH® SPEAKER SYSTEM, is a 150 watt audio sound system with stereo speakers capable of 60db s/n and a frequency response of 100-16Khz that serves many purposes. It includes capabilities such as an FM radio with auto-tuning, a USB Flash Drive reader along with a Micro SD Memory Card reader, both for playing your MP3 prerecorded tunes, a Bluetooth® streaming receiver and an auxiliary audio 3.5mm input jack. All this is packed in a small twin-speaker case measuring 11.2 x 4.5 x 4.7 inches and including a rechargeable battery. The battery uses a standard USB wall charger, or computer’s USB port for charging with its supplied cable. (TIP: Do not operate while the speaker system is connected to the USB wall charger, or a USB computer port. The system is not designed to operate from the USB cable. While the system will function this way it will diminish the life of the battery. This, by the way, holds true for many other electronic items that require charging i.e. shavers, headsets, etc. Charging takes 3-5 hours. When charging is complete the red charging indicator will extinguish. The unit should not be left in the charging mode for longer periods of time even though you are not charging, or using it.)
Most of the features serve obvious uses, but the auxiliary 3.5mm input jack can be very handy. If you live in a condo, apartment complex, or just a homeowner who participates in small gatherings, the need for using a microphone with a small amplifier can be handy. Now I did mention that this amplified speaker system includes an “AUX” input. Such inputs do not support typical Low-Z microphones. So to make this work you will need to acquire a microphone preamplifier such as the Sound Devices single channel MP-1, or a pre-owned (no longer manufactured) Shure FP11, both commonly found on EBAY. They are easily connected with commonly available audio cables.
Prices on these external battery powered devices will vary from $300 (Sound Devices ~ new) to $45 (Shure ~ pre-owned). I found the sound quality of the PYLE PBMSQG9 to be exceptional. Higher sound output models with much more wattage are also available. However for small gatherings the 150watt model is just fine. My only negative is the FM Auto-tuner, It can be very difficult to locate/lock into a station and/or returning to that station once you’ve changed input modes and want to return to the station. The Bluetooth® receiver works very well in receiving a signal up to 30’ away, but is limited to working with streaming devices only. MSRP: $40.00 GADGETEER’s RATING: ★★★★ (Based on poor FM Tuning) For more information go to: https://amzn.to/3euGpm5 Available at Retail, Amazon and the manufacturer’s web site. Graphic credits: Amazon & Google Images Please note that BLOGSPOT.COM provided by GOOGLE has changed the Style/layout/format of our column. This is totally out of our control. Perhaps they will return to the previous layout after receiving numerous complaints from our readers. Sorry for the inconvenience! Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at bob.thegadgeteer.skidmore@gmail.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer, or any legal resource. The manufacturer generally supplies products and press releases at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings. ## Be sure to catch the latest episode of “CONVERSATIONS WITH THE GADGETEER”. THE GADGETEER'S latest podcast is now published and available. This episode is entitled, APPLE WATCH AND MORE ABOUT APPLE. A PODCAST discussion about the Apple Watch and some other Apple products with Marc Saltzman author of his book, APPLE WATCH DUMMIES. Our discussion includes tips, tricks and features, and much, much more. Simply double click on the link, or logo below for quick access: http://thegadgeteer.libsyn.com/
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