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Monthly Archives: April 2006

The TCC Kitchen Center, A Modular Cooking Apparatus

tcc food processing system

By David Ponce

I’m a big fan of all things modular, and while this isn’t technically being sold as such, if you think about it… it’s precisely that. The TCC Kitchen Center‘s Power Base goes right on your kitchen counter. Within, you’ll find a robust 600W motor, with speeds going from 7,000 rpm to 18,000 rpm. Outside, you get a universal adaptor of sorts, on which you simply dock all sorts of kitchen appliances.

Want a smoothie? Take the blender “module” (minus the blender motor), place it on the Base, and blend away. Feel like mixing up a cake? Take the Stainless Mixer out (again, minus the mixer motor) and place it on the adaptor… Well, you get the idea.

The advantage is that you can do away with electric cords, and redundant motors. Saves you space, a bit of time and some hassle. And what’s even better with all this is that it’s not actually that expensive. The Power Base will set you back $300, while the accessories range between $35 and $110.

[TCC Kitchen Center] VIA [The Appliancist]

The Ultimate in Force Feedback: The 301 From Force Dynamics

301 force feedback

By David Ponce

You know that something will cost you an arm and half a leg if the site openly admits that it’s got direct distribution deals with Switzerland and the UAE (well, and Australia, but that’s beside my point). They must know that only places filled with people with bottomless wallets will be able to afford what looks like the very best in force feedback: the 301 from Force-Dynamics.

It’s basically a gaming/simulation rig that will shake you around pretty good. It’s got 3 degrees of freedom, 2Gs of vertical acceleration, +/- 30 degrees of pitch and roll, and its very own 51.5″ projection display.

Of course, no amount of description can quite capture the impact of a video. So come inside, and watch some dude getting a hell of a ride on the 301.

You have to contact them to get a price. And you know what that means.

[Force Dynamics] VIA [TecheBlog]

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OhGizmo Review: Tom Bihn Super Ego & Brain Cell

tom bihn super ego
By Bruce Eaton

Everyone loves their laptop, mainly because it?s not tied to a desk. So when it comes to hauling it around, you want to be able to do it not only in style but with the peace of mind that it is safe from everything: water, falls, waterfalls, etc.

To be able to not only carry a laptop, but also a few books, pens, a pda, a PSP, and two 1L water bottles would also be nice. And how about tossing some interchangeable strap buckles and a suspension system for protecting the laptop, one that can also be carried on its own? Well, that?s exactly what Tom Bihn did.

The Super Ego, from Tom Bihn, is in my opinion, one of the best laptop bags around. The bag itself, with the Brain Cell insert (a hard plastic-lined laptop suspension sleeve system) will provide the protection that only a safe provides for money.

So, out here you get the links, and inside, a full review with photographic goodness.

[Tom Bihn] and [Super Ego]

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THE BRAIN CELL ? Suspending Laptop Damage

The real technology and very important part of a Tom Bihn bag is the Brain Cell, a laptop sleeve that works with the bag to provide the ultimate in protection. Colored to match your bag, the Brain Cell has 8mm thick soft foam wrapped around a 4mm thick, hard plastic that together suspends the laptop from the bottom of the Brain Cell. With sides made up of cross-linked closed-cell polyethylene foam, there is nothing that is going to damage the computer inside except running over it with a car.


The top opens very simply with two flaps that close with Aplix strips, just like Velcro but longer lasting. Inside you will see a very soft surface on which your laptop has contact with, so no worries about scratches. As I said, inside the foam is a hard plastic that is probably hard enough to protect your laptop from someone hitting it with a sharp object, such as a pen or scissors. When you put a laptop inside the Brain Cell, it is very snug and feels secure on account that they sell them in almost any size, so just make sure to indicate which one you need.

There are two handles that, just like on the outside bag, feel very tough and sturdy. There is also a webbing pocket that can hold things such as wireless cards or a mouse. There are, just as on the bag, the 6 rows of stitching for the D rings here that allow you to attach a shoulder strap. So if you choose to just carry the laptop without the bag you can still sling it over your shoulder. Tom Bihn provided the Terra Grip strap which is their super-no-slip strap. It’s made from soy-based polymer materials that make it soft and flexible even at -40 degrees and is U.V. stabilized (meaning no fading or cracking).

It is not too comfortable and I personally did not like it for day to day use as I am not clumsy, but I will say that even spinning around in my living room didn?t get that damn thing to slip off so it does what it says.

On thing that bothered me about the Brain Cell is that since it suspends the laptop to prevent damage, if you turn the Brain Cell on its side, it will not work for protection. You have to order a separate, vertical version of the Brain Cell if you are going to use it in a backpack. You have to keep the Brain Cell in the orientation of the type you ordered to get the protection that you seek.


After carrying the bag around for about two weeks now, I can say I love it. The Super Ego has become my new bag, going to the office, to a friend?s house, to the local coffee shop, it is with me. The Brain Cell product is an ingenious way, despite drawbacks, to protect your laptop and seems to prevent damage altogether. And Tom Bihn managed to do all this, while keeping it stylish and trendy.

+Very stylish
+Quality feeling in the product
+Brain Cell is changeable, removable, and extremely protective
+Doesn?t slosh around and carries well
+Lots of options in terms of styling (straps, strips, colors)

-Hard to use internal snaps when attaching Brain Cell
-Brain Cell does not work in both orientations
-The Super Ego is a very large bag, too big for small women to easily carry
-Terra Strap could feel better if wider

The Pet Master

The Pet Master (Image courtesy Excalibur Products)By Andrew Liszewski

Many people have been ringing the death toll for the PDA, but those people have been blind to the real killer app that will save these devices and that of course is managing your dog or cat’s busy schedule.

For the pet owner who has everything the Pet Master is a ‘pet-centric’ PDA that allows you to easily manage all of your vet appointments, medication schedules and even play-dates since that apparently can be overwhelming for some. Other features include a pet care shopping list, a list of pet-friendly motels for when you’re on the road and in addition to your vet’s contact info the Pet Master can also store the phone numbers and locations of nearby emergency clinics.

As an added bonus for every Pet Master purchased a donation will be made to an animal charity, though the website is a bit vague as to which ones.

The Pet Master is available for $29.95 from Excalibur Products.

[The Pet Master] VIA [The Luxist]

Peter Potty

Peter Potty (Image courtesy Visionaire Products Inc.)By Andrew Liszewski

And for the wee lad who has everything these days (and most of them do) how about his own personal urinal? The website claims the Peter Potty is the “world’s only flushable toddler urinal” and has a few marketing-related gems like “Little girls need to sit, but with the new Peter Potty, little boys can stand like Daddy.”

Depending on where it’s used the Peter Potty can be mounted to a wall or simply attached to an included adjustable floorstand, which also allows the Peter Potty to ‘grow’ as your child does. It even includes its own push button flushing mechanism so junior can learn proper urinal etiquette while still young.

The Peter Potty is available from Visionaire Products Inc. for $49.95.

[Peter Potty] VIA [Uneasy Silence]

Aquasonic Underwater Loudspeakers

Aquasonic Underwater Loudspeakers (Image courtesy Clark Synthesis)By Andrew Liszewski

This summer the music might be blaring poolside but what about for all those persons actually in the pool? What are they to listen to besides their ears filling with water and chlorine? Well with these Aquasonic Underwater Loudspeakers everyone at your summer pool parties can enjoy the music no matter where they are, be it above or underwater.

Originally developed for use by marine biologists, Olympic swim teams, the US Navy and even Cirque du Soleil’s “O” show in Las Vegas the Aquasonic speakers are now available to “water-loving audiophiles around the world.” Using powerful compression drivers not unlike the “tactile sound transducers” used in home theaters the speakers produce sounds that are easily conducted through the water producing a muted but “feel-it-in-your-bones rich sound.”

The Aquasonic speakers can also be installed in one of three ways. If you’re in the process of building an inground pool they can be permanently mounted underwater using a standard pool light fixture. If the pool already exists they can be simply dropped onto the pool floor (with a waterproof cord running up out of the water) or can be attached to a floatation device which actually allows the sound to be enjoyed above and below the water’s surface at the same time.

The Aquasonic Underwater speakers are available from Inyo Pool Products for $595.

[Aquasonic Underwater Loudspeakers]

New Line Of Bamboo Monitors Hits The Market

bamboo lcd

By David Ponce

The nice thing about bamboo is that it’s a grass, rather than a tree. As such, it grows like crazy and doesn’t face the same problems that massive deforestation does. So, if you’re going to try and make an environmentally friendly product, incorporating bamboo is not a bad choice. Especially when the particular bamboo chosen is one that’s so hard that Pandas won’t even miss it.

That’s why I’m totally feeling this new line of LCD monitors sold at UK company PlayEngine. Not only are they low-plastic and lead free, but the use of bamboo adds a nice sort of warmth I wouldn’t mind having on my desk. They come in 15″, 17″ and 19″ sizes and the specs are pretty good. The 19″ has a native resolution of 1280 x 1024, a contrast ratio of 700:1 and an 8ms response time.

It goes without saying that the bamboo has been treated so that it’s as durable and as solid as plastic, so no worries there. The 15″ model sells for ?239, while the 19″ goes for ?323. The company is currently waiting for the first production batch to arrive, in the next couple weeks, and will then be able to give next-day delivery.

[PlayEngine’s Bamboo Monitors]

The [email protected] Office, A Portable Cubicle

standby office

By David Ponce

Perhaps useful if you’re managing a fleet of evil telemarketers and having a completely mobile, relocatable-in-an-instant “boiler room” can help you stay one step ahead of the law. Whatever you decide to do with these, they seem to me to have quite the potential for usefulness. They’re modular cubicles-on-wheels called Standby Office, designed by the German studio K?nig+Neurath.

These offices are made from steel, aluminum and wood and measure 190 x 146 x 74 cm. They come with an integrated WiFi access point, so all you have to do is add a chair and computer.

Your fleet of evil telemarketers better be good at separating grandma from her money though, cause each of these will set you back a cool 5,000 Euros. They’ll hit the market in Spain in the next few months.

[Product Page (click on “[email protected]”)] VIA [Xataka]