LOST IN THE DESERT

Searching for our cell phone charger, we found a wonderful new search engine called Retrevo.com. This turns out be an engine for just consumer electronics, and it finds lots of hardware. You can use it to find a product, research a product and troubleshoot a problem. Price deals are published every day.

Using Retrevo, we found the Soldius1 with iPod kit, a $100 solar-powered charger. It came with a set of tips that fit every kind of iPod, most cell phones and the Blackberry PDA.

The Soldius charger is about the size of a small paperback book, half an inch thick, and weighs 4 ounces. It slides open to reveal an array of solar cells, and these, of course, are the widget in the works that makes the wheels go round, as we used to say. Works on cloudy days too.

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