COMPUTERIZED CARVERS ON THEIR WAY TO THE HOME WORKSHOP

If you ever go to a manufacturing show, you’ll see lots of big, incredibly expensive machines cutting little pieces out of big blocks of metal and other materials. The machines are controlled by computers and can even work in the dark, with no human nearby. The system is called CNC, which stands for Computer Numeric Control. Now, you can get one of these for your home workshop.

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GIZMOS IN VEGAS

Here are a few items that appeared at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Check YouTube for online demos.

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9 GIFTS FOR THE ULTIMATE TINKERER

“9 Gifts for the Ultimate Tinkerer” is Engadget.com’s list of drones, robots and more.

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GOING LIGHT WITH A SMARTPHONE KEYBOARD

We did ourselves a favor last week and bought an external keyboard for our smartphone. Wow, what a pleasure to type on an actual keyboard instead of thumbing our way through the tiny keys on a phone screen answering email or anything. We bought a Logitech K380 on sale for $40 at our local Office Depot. This is a standard brand, been around since the last ice age, and it was wireless; we did not have to connect it to our phone with a cable. Typing on a screen was for the birds. Just because they hunt and peck, why should we?  Typing on a roomy keyboard is fun. So what else does it work with? Besides a phone, we […]

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THE RETURN OF THE LP

We’re thinking of buying one of Audio Technica’s latest turntables as a gift for our young relatives. LPs are so popular again that a rare version of Bob Dylan’s “Freewheelin'” has a starting bid of $100,000 on eBay.

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HERE’S TO NOT LOOKING AT YOU

We got one of the new $150 “Polaroid Cube+” cameras, which are billed as cheaper than the popular “Go Pro.” We haven’t tried Go Pro, but we doubt the Cube+ is going to push it out of the way.

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ROKU PLAYER VERSUS ROKU STICK

Why pay $130 for the “Roku 4 Player” when the Roku stick only costs $47?

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GADGETS

There are hundreds of gadgets out there and we rarely write about them. A lot of them are junk and some are even revivals of gadgets that we’ve seen years before: One time we were pitched on a supposedly new gadget that Bob had seen at a trade show 30 years ago.

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READER IS RIGHT

A reader doubted our recent comment that the Max Smart Home smoke and security alarm was bad for your ears. He’s right. We were wrong; it’s not bad at all.

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STAYING FLEXIBLE

Bob was wrong about Joe Biden running for president, but he may be right about flexible computers. He predicts that a computer that wraps around your arm will one day be the norm, not a smart watch on your wrist.

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