We usually spend our time at Digit reviewing all the latest techno-wizardry, but in all this mania, we seem to have lost track of little, unappreciated things that can be so useful sometimes. So I heaved off to Mumbai's Lamington Road, and came back with these.
USB Vacuum Cleaner
Where From: Literally anywhere. I got it off a street vendor, and found it on nearly every tech-shelf I saw.
How much: Rs 120 (may vary across vendors)
The vacuum cleaner comes with two attachments-a brush and a rubber tube for cleaning between keyboard keys-and a little LED to illuminate the area you're vacuuming (if you're cleaning in the dark, for whatever reason). There's also a button to switch to "high power" mode for extra suction.
But don't expect a Hoover in this one-it won't remove days' worth of encrusted grime from your keyboard, but it does suck up the "invisible" dust that you don't notice till it accumulates and becomes visible. The high-power mode is a little better.
And really, you know you want your co-workers staring at you during your morning cleaning ritual.
KrishTech Multi-cord Binder
Where From: A variety of shops, each offering it for a different price. Visit the company Web site at www.krishnaimpex.com
How Much: Rs 350 - 400, depending on where you go
While the price is a wee bit steep, this is an incredibly useful thing to reduce the clutter of cables behind your PC. The design is pretty ingenious too-put your wires into the clamp that comes with it and run it through the tubing that comes with it. The model here will hold all the cables you'll find behind a typical PC; you can even get a thinner version for Rs 200 that will hold all but your power cables.
ComfortPad Gel-filled Mousepad
Where From:Any street vendor
How Much: Rs 20
Everyone I know takes the "optical mice don't need mousepads" adage too seriously. The fact is that your hand needs a mousepad too-to shield it from your hard desk. The ComfortPad takes some fidgeting to get used to, but the unnamed goo in this thing does provide a good cushion for your wrist, especially during periods of extended mousing. The surface material works well for both optical and ball mice, and lends itself well to some casual gaming too.
Cell-phone Charger Kit
Where From : Any street vendor
How Much : Rs 200
Recent experiences have taught me the importance of having a backup charger for my cell phone (which this kit comes with), but the best feature here is the emergency charger-pop in four AAA-sized batteries and you can use it to charge your phone on the go. Don't expect it to replace your regular charger, though-its purpose is to give you enough juice for a few critical phone calls before your phone's battery croaks. The original charger for your phone will cost you as much as Rs 400, and at half the price, this gives you more even if it doesn't last as long.
USB To SVGA Adapter
Where From : Adline Systems, Karol Bagh, New Delhi (www.adlinesystems.com)
How Much : Rs 4,000 taxes
You can still have yourself a dual-monitor setup if you're just using your onboard graphics card with this tool-what's more, you can do it with just about any PC with a USB 2.0 port. It comes with its own drivers, and supports resolutions up to 1024x768 at 16-bit colour. Don't expect a graphics accelerator, though-this is strictly business. So if you've read The More The Merrier in our last issue and feel left out, fret no more!
Where From : J. S. Equipments, Mumbai
How Much : Rs 4,200
Ridiculous name aside, if your job entails making loads of presentations on a regular basis, then this wireless PowerPoint remote should prove more than handy. It's plug-and-play and features all the controls you need for your PowerPoint presentations, including black screen and white screen, and it works within a range of 40 feet. It's even got a laser pointer built in, complete with a disable function to prevent you damaging your eye.