Every so often, I think I've seen it all when it comes to technology and then something comes along that makes me realize there's always...

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Every so often, I think I’ve seen it all when it comes to technology and then something comes along that makes me realize there’s always room for more. This time, it happened when I discovered something new that’s really old for your cellphone.

Nostalgia is wonderful, especially when it’s applied to technology. I’m seeing more earpieces being used with cellphones, especially the newer, wireless Bluetooth models that let you access the cellphone in your pocket. The coolest-looking models clip onto your ear and usually have a blue, glowing light.

Some even offer voice recognition so you can dial out and answer the phone without having to press anything. That’s today’s modern cellphone headset. And then there’s the Retro Phone Handset.

I ask you to visualize the following: You’re walking down a crowded street or sitting in a public venue such as a restaurant when your cellphone rings. You reach into your jacket pocket or your briefcase or your pocketbook to answer the phone.

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But what you pull out isn’t some sleek little cellphone or a tiny earpiece. No. You pull out a really big hunk of beautiful, hefty, jet-black molded plastic that is a perfect production replica of the Western Electric 500-series model telephone handset complete with the black curly phone-line cord attached!

Just imagine the reactions you’re going to get with this bad boy.

The Retro Phone Handset has been modified so that it will work with the headset jack of most cellphones or via a hands-free adapter kit that must be purchased separately. According to the instructions, the Retro Phone Handset will work with most cellphones that offer a 2.5-millimeter jack.

The unit comes with the handset and the classic curly phone cord with connector. Simply plug the handset into your cellphone and away you go. Just envision yourself walking along, talking on the phone with your cellphone in your pocket and the Retro Phone up to your ear.

Nostalgia aside, if you’re the type who likes standing out in a crowd, if you want to dial to a different drummer, then this is going to do it for you. Maxwell Smart, eat your heart out.

The Retro Phone Handset is available online from Think Geek (www.thinkgeek.com) and sells for $34.99.

Stow-N-Go Wireless Optical Mouse




You don’t have to worry about the batteries giving out while pointing and clicking with Targus’ Rechargeable Stow-N-Go Wireless Optical Mouse. That’s because plugging the mouse into a USB port on your computer can charge its two AAA batteries as you work.

When the batteries have juice, you also can use the mouse without a cable via its wireless USB receiver. When not in use, the receiver can be stashed in a compartment underneath the mouse.

— Deborah Porterfield

Gannett News Service





Prismiq’s new Mini-Fi makes it easy to jump online. When plugged into a USB port on a PC, the plug-and-play USB device provides wireless connections to home networks and public hot spots using both the 802.11b and 802.11g standards. Equipped with a built-in antenna, the slim Mini-Fi supports various encryption standards and works with USB 2.0 and 1.1 ports.

— Deborah Porterfield