gizmos Archives - HighTechDad


Post image for Drones, Beats and Radio Shack Means #GiftSmart Shopping

Who doesn’t like when holiday gifts arrive early! And normally, you just stick those gifts under the tree or save them to open at the appropriate time, but in this case, I needed to open the package right away. The funny thing is, I knew what the gift contained and who it was from. But that didn’t matter, I couldn’t wait to play…er…let my kids play with these #GiftSmart items from Radio Shack.

Radio Shack #GiftSmart present

Underneath the appropriately red ribbon and nestled in the box were three items found at Radio Shack, specifically, the 2.4GHz RC Surveyor Drone ($59.99) and the Beats by Dr. Dre Pill 2.0 Wireless Speaker ($199.99) – both of these also appropriately bathed in a Radio Shack-esque red. Oh, and there was a set of AAA Radio Shack batteries ($5.59).

My 10 year old daughter immediately took to piloting the Surveyor Drone. In order to make things festive, I connected the Beats by Dr. Dre Pill with Pandora’s holiday music channel and let her gain her piloting wings. Not to get sidetracked by this speaker, but it’s really easy to pair via Bluetooth, has quite good sound quality (bass and treble), and with the 2.0 version, you can charge a device via USB. Later on during the Thanksgiving holidays, I placed the speaker on various bookshelves around the house to fill rooms with musical cheer.

Radio Shack #GiftSmart Beats by Dre Pill and Surveyor Drone [click to continue…]

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I have long been an advocate and user of universal remote controls. I mean, who wants to have a drawer or table top full of remotes that you have to juggle around to control various devices. Nowadays, many remotes that you receive with a new TV or a cable box do have the ability to control a couple of other devices, but normally those controls are limited to just basic functionality, and you frequently have to pick up other remotes to complete the job of turning something on or tweaking a setting. The worst place is typically the living room or where ever you have you home entertainment system and most people have a variety of components and inputs that need to be controlled and set.

For example, if I want to watch a DVD, I have to turn on the TV, set it to the proper input, turn on the A/V receiver, set it to the proper input and turn on the DVD player. That would require 3 remotes. But then, if I wanted to watch TV I would have to touch those 3 remote and then another one for the DVR player. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply press one button and sit back while your remote interacts with all of those devices, turning them on and off as appropriate and setting the inputs properly? And how frequently have you had to write down or walk someone (like a family member or baby sitter) through ALL of the steps required to just watch a show?

This is where the Logitech Harmony One comes to the rescue! After just a few minutes of programming, you will have a touch-screen filled with various activities like: Watch TV, Play PS3, Play Wii, Watch a Movie, Listen to CDs, etc. This techy looking remote control can literally absorb all of the features and functionality of your other remotes, all within an stylish, modern universal remote control. The power of the remote comes from the brains driving it, namely the operating system. I have used a Monster Central remote for many years which actually shares the same functionality which meant that I was pretty used to how it works and how to set it up.


NOTE: be sure to read through the review as I will have information on a Twitter Giveaway where I will be giving away a FREE Harmony One Remote.

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I haven’t been on a plane for quite a few years, but on my trip up to Oregon for the Intel Summit, “Upgrade Your Life,” I has the pleasure of reacquainting myself with one of my favorite travel magazines, SkyMall. I guess that people actually buy the stuff in here because SkyMall has been around for many, many years. I actually saw a couple of products that I have reviewed in there as well (I won’t mention names for fear of embarrassing them). Perhaps it is due to SkyMall that I have such an attraction to gadgets. As a kid or even teen, I remembered thinking how I really wanted to get some of the items listed in there. However this time, I turned to SkyMall more for comic relief!


There are some products in there that qualify for the “what were you thinking” category. So I decided to quickly list out a few that really made me slap my forehead or groan or simply just laugh.

So let’s dive right in (these are from the “Late Spring 2010” catalog) and are in no particular order:

The Telekinetic Obstacle Course

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My 3 elementary school girls LOVE Taylor Swift. When I told them that I had a Cyber-shot TX7 camera that is laser engraved with Taylor Swift’s signature and that I was going to give it away, BOY did I get a lot of grief. So, I told them that I would embark on a campaign to get Taylor to come over to our backyard for a private concert instead. (I wonder how long that will hold them????)

From what I can understand, Taylor Swift is HOT among pre-tweens, tweens and teens. And I know Sony products a bit, having participated in the Sony DigiDads program a few months ago. So, this is a match made in heaven! Cool tech coupled with a cool singer!

And The Winner Is…

Congratulations to @graywolfpack who, via random selection using, won the Sony Cyber-shot TX7 with the laser engraved signature from Taylor Swift!

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That “Nagging” Voice – Getting Directions (#LoseTheLaptop)

April 15, 2010

Men refuse to ask for directions. Perhaps it is an “independence” thing or has something to do with pride. Women, on the other hand, insist on the careful organization and planning of trips, stopping and ensuring that the way is meticulously laid out. This could go as far back as the early hunter and gatherer […]

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Find Your Way with the Magellan RoadMate 1470

June 19, 2009

The last gadget that I’m going review right before Father’s Day is upon us (see my other Father’s Day reviews here) is something that every Dad would love to receive. But heck, if you are reading this review after the “magical” day, just know that you can bring a smile to any dad’s face and […]

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HTD Twitter List: Gadgets for Under $100

December 16, 2008

I’m trying something new here. I am going to run a quick series where I will ask a question to the Twitter-verse and then will compile the answers in a list which I will call the “HTD Twitter List“. The list will contain all of the recommendations (within reason) of products or services that people […]

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