Returning Found Gadgets, Desktop Organizer, and An Energy Saver: Three Cool Things You Can Do

A great many things are going on in the world of technology and the three things that I will be writing about are excellent examples of the credo “it just gets better everyday”. One part of the article talks about a web service that helps people reunite with their lost gadgets. Another talks about an ingenious way of using a hole commonly found in computer desks, and the last one is one more thing you can do to make computing more earth friendly.

Lost and found

You may have encountered a lost gadget while riding on a bus on the way to work. Well, if it was a mobile phone, finding out the owner is pretty easy. But what if it was a gaming gadget like a PSP or a Nintendo DS? If no identification is attached to the device, then finding out its rightful owner could be next to impossible.

A free web service exists for situations like this. Just register any gadget you own to SendMeHome. After the process, you are given coded labels that you can stick to your devices. When someone finds your lost gadget (94 percent of people surveyed will return found items), they just go to the SendMeHome website, enter the code, and the information required to return the lost gadget will be displayed. But why coded labels? For one, the labels won’t take up space on the surface of your gadget. If you change your address, there is no need to change the addresses of labels also. SendMeHome is actually not a unique idea. StuffBack does that and more primarily because it is a paid service. When web access is not possible, founders of lost items can call a toll free number. Likewise, the shipping cost required to return found items is paid by the web service. Lastly, the finder may get a reward in the form of StuffBack labels. SendMeHome is free but one can purchase labels that can withstand rain and scratches for four dollars. If you lose an item that has a SendMeHome label on it, there is a high chance (94 percent) that it will find its way back to you.

One more way to reduce clutter on your office desk

If you have a laptop that you use for the office, then you probably have a useless hole where computer cables used to pass. Not anymore because the In-Desk USB 4 Port Hub is here. The device fits snugly into cord organizing grommet holes and provides 4 flush mounted USB Ports. Not a bad way to reduce desktop clutter. The downside is that none of the USB ports have power in them so devices like an external hard drive will not work.

A hot key to turn off the monitor

When most of us where still using desktop computers, it was relatively easy to conserve power while the computer is on. All that was needed was just to turn off the monitor using its power button. But now when most of us are using laptops, there is no simple way of turning off the screen when we have to leave the computer for a while. By default, the screen will just turn off depending on the time you set on the power setting control panel application. But having to wait may not be a satisfying option for some.

VeryPC, an English company, has found a way to make computing a little greener. Using face recognition technology, once the webcam detects that you are not in front of your laptop, it turns off the screen. Likewise it turns the computer on when it detects that you have returned.

If there are hotkeys to make the computer sleep or hibernate, why is there no equivalent to turn off the monitor? Well you might say that my laptop has a hotkey. In fact some brands like Lenovo has a function key that dims or turns off the monitor. For those poorly designed laptops without this hotkey, there is a handy little utility called NirCmd can be downloaded so that with a key combination (ctrl-shift-M is the default) the monitor can be turned off. Hitting any other key turns the screen on. That’s what I call nifty! So the next thing to do is remember that key combination so that you can help save a few watts of electricity. Well if everyone does just that, think about the energy we can save.

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