Reviews by Tim Boxer

Logitech Cordless Keyboards and Optical Mice
Dining In Toaster Oven
Black & Decker Utility Vac
Executive Software’s Diskeeper
Deauville Eau de Parfum
ZipZaps Radio Control Cars

Work on Your Keyboard
Without Strings Attached

RE you fed up with cords that add to the clutter on your work desk? You bought the computer to cut down on the amount of paperwork you used to churn out. Why don’t you also eliminate the annoying cords that snake around the top of your desk?

When you’re ready to go cordless, there’s one good way to go: Logitech.

The keyboard and mouse experts at Logitech offer three excellent cordless desktop keyboards that are highly recommended. Each comes with a cordless mouse. All three keyboards feature enhanced function keys and multimedia control.

Of course, they’re compatible with Windows and Macintosh.

After working cordless, you’ll wonder why you didn’t go Logitech sooner, eliminating the annoying clutter of cords on your desk. Here are three combinations of wireless keyboard and mouse.


Cordless Access Duo is the least expensive model at $59.95. All three models feature low-profile Zero-Degree Tilt, which provides a comfort zone that your fingers will thank you for.

Connect the cable to a USB or the standard keyboard PS/2 port and you’re in business, with your productivity expanding beyond measure. The receiver connects keyboard, mouse and computer in a six-foot range.

The keyboard gives you one-touch access to your email, instant messenger, webcam, music, videos, movies and the Web.


Cordless Navigator Duo, at $79.95, has similar features, and more. It offers a “powerful optical sensor for twice the speed and twice the accuracy of standard optical mice.”

Both Access and Navigator keyboards are molded in an attractive smokey gray finish.


Cordless Elite Duo, at $99.95, is the top of this trio. You will add style to your desktop with this black model. An ultra-flat keyboard is coupled with a high performance Cordless MouseMan Optical for optimal performance.

From the customizable keyboard you can access any application, including email and multimedia. The powerful iNav wheel on the keyboard affords easier application and Web navigation.

The mouse moves freely on any surface, on or off your desk, though I don’t know why you’d want to work off your desk (unless your desk is a mess, like mine).

Included in the package are compact USB/ PS2 RF receiver, USB to PS/2 adaptor, 4 AA batteries, CD with software, user’s manual and quickstart guide.

If you are looking only for a wireless mouse, then look no further than Logitech, which offers the largest selection of wireless items. I can recommend the following three mice. The first two are corded optical mice; the third is an outstanding cordless optical mouse.


MX300 Optical Mouse is a most affordable Logitech mouse at $29.95. Since there are no exposed parts, there are no balls to clean. That’s one hassle we can do without.
MX500 Optical Mouse at $49.95 has two Cruise Control buttons for continuous scrolling up and down. Two thumb buttons allows you to move between pages on the Internet. This one, too, has no ball, which means the underside doesn’t tend to gather any shmutz. Makes life easier when you don’t have to clean the ball.


MX700 Optical Mouse at $79.95 is the mother of them all, utilizing both optical tracking and digital radio cordless technology. It also has Cruise Control and Internet navigation, like the MX500. But with fast digital radio technology, the MX700 responds instantly to your quickest movements. The rapid charge base station is both receiver and charger making your mouse always ready to go.

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Counter Top Toaster-Oven
A Welcome Addition in Kitchen

ining-In Oven-Broiler from the folks at Black & Decker is a must-have in any serious kitchen. This convection counter top toaster-oven is so easy to use, even my Nina found it user friendly.

The oven circulates air faster for more even cooking, baking and broiling than traditional ovens. A bake pan and broil rack are included.

When making toast, you set the dial to light or dark. When the cycle is finished, the oven will automatically shut down and a bell tone will sound alerting you that your toast is done the way you like it.

Same with baking. Set the timer, and when the cycle ends, the unit shuts off automatically.

Cleaning the unit is simple. A removable tray at the bottom catches crumbs which are easily disposed. You don’t need any chemical oven cleaner. After using the oven you simply let it cool down, wipe with a soapy sponge, and dry with a paper towel.

The Dining-In Oven-Broiler (APP CT09000) is priced at $139.99. For more information visit


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Great for Cleaning Up
Indoors and Outdoors

et & Dry Utility Vac from Black & Decker has many uses inside and outside. The 10-gallon Vac/Blower is great for demanding household jobs. You glide to the job on caster wheels.

It has a six-foot power cord and an extended six-foot flexible hose to reach large areas. The 11.5 amps (10 gallon) motor gives you quick pickup power.

The unit easily converts to a portable blower to clean outdoor surfaces such as the patio, driveway, sidewalk, the decks, and garage.

You will use the Wet & Dry Utility Vac to clean up car interiors, mop up laundry room spills, scoop up wet and dry leaves, and safely soak up basement water with auto shutoff.

The product (UV1000B) is priced at $59.99 at


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Defragment in the Background

iskeeper 7.0, Home Edition, has set the industry standard for automatic disk defragmenter. It runs on Windows XP, 2000 Professional, Me, 98 and 95.

To avoid performance problems, you are highly advised to get yourself a defragmention program. And run it regularly.

The one I use is Diskeeper 7.0 from Executive Software, based in Burbank, California. It has a “Set It and Forget It” feature. You set the schedule and Diskeeper gets to work at the appointed time. It works in the background as long as your computer is on.

Executive Software discovered that IT managers were deploying Diskeeper 7.0 to help prevent system crashes, software conflicts and slow file access. I strongly suggest that you discover Diskeeper 7.0 for yourself.

Priced at $34.95 at


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Nina’s Lovely Scent

eauville eau de parfum lets you express yourself. Nina dabbed a little and voila – she’s ready to take on the world…or knock ‘em dead. She never smelled better.

Nina simply adores this French fragrance from Michel Germain.

The bottle is rather unique, designed in a distinctive nautical style. The heraldic lion embossed on the carton signifies the coastal region of France where Deauville is located. The ancestral home of Michel Germain, Deauville means “city of water.”

The invigorating fragrance comes in a 2.5 fl. oz. bottle at $59. Available at Bloomingdale’s.


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Miriam testing her ZipZaps

Zip ‘em Up,
Zap ‘em Away

HE hottest item among the young set this holiday season is ZipZaps. You’d think they were flapjacks, the way they were flying off the shelves at Radio Shack, the exclusive seller.

ZipZaps are pocket-size micro RC (radio control) cars that are fast and maneuverable. The cars come in all popular models, including Ford SVT Mustang Cobra, Porsche 911 Turbo and Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Starter kits, at $19.99, consist of body shell, stock chassis, wheels, tires, rims, 16,000 rpm motor, six-way controller/charger, manual and trading card.

ZipZaps Starter Kit

The portable controller/charger does its job in 45 seconds, allowing, as they say, for non-stop racing and play action.

With fine-tuned precision driving, these little cars kick some serious asphalt. Miriam David, a young 15 Minutes Pet (Product Evaluation Team), zapped her RC around the house with such speed that her brothers and sisters amazed at her driving skills. She’s now aiming for a driver’s license.


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For the Aspiring Donald

heedle, a fastplay card game for ages 10 to adult, will appeal to everyone who aspires to be a master at stock taking and deal making. It is another winner from Out Of The Box, which publishes card and board games out of Madison, Wisconsin.

After five minutes of instruction, from three to six players will be wheedling (Webster’s New World Dictionary: to get by coaxing or flattery) just like a startup Donald Trump magnate.

This freewheeling game of stock taking and deal making, is priced at $9.95 at

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