iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Small presents for your friends

You well know how it's difficult to make a present for your friend. As a rule, shopping and looking for something original takes a great deal of time, but as a result you just get something ordinary out of a gentleman's set. Once I happened to pop in a computer store and saw several pleasant trifles which can, though, become unusual presents for your friends.

The first one is E-mail Informer Smart Box from Waytech. In a small-sized box there is a device which connects to a USB connector of a PC and informs you about incoming mail. The software supplied with this box allows you to create an unlimited number of boxes and to set addresses of letters the informer should notify about.

When installing the device the Windows detects it automatically, no drivers from a CD are necessary, unlike a client program. During its installation you can choose an e-mail address from a list of addresses (it seems that the program takes them from Outlook Express). After that you adjust the post program in order to receive e-mail (I had The Bat!). You can set the e-mail to be checked at definite intervals. The interval can be set from 5 min to several hours in 5 min steps. Lack of prompts in case of problems with connection is a bad drawback of the software: the program just fails to show the received mail.

After installation you will see a bird sitting on a pointer on the desktop. In the control panel you will get an icon of the Action Mail program.

When letters are coming to you the bird flies off from its stick and sits down on a window notifying you about incoming letters.

Besides, this program can be used to set single, periodic and other reminders. The informer also has two buttons which you can set for almost any program in the Action Mail; at default they are a browser and a post program.

The informer costs around $20. It's an excellent present for your friends.

Another accessory I noticed was a CD holder. This one is to be installed into a 5" bay of the computer and is meant for 8 discs. Thus, you have close at hand the most frequently used discs all the time.

Well, some may not find any interesting in such things. Besides, many people just pass by without paying attention to them. But in near future I'm going to draw your attention to some other curious devices which have already found their places on my desktop.

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