Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The isharpener - a USB powered pencil sharpener

There I was in my local PC World shopping for a new mouse after my old one decided to start behaving as if it was being dragged screaming over cobbles every time I moved it - when I saw it - the isharpener.

So what is an isharpener?

Well - it looks a bit like a conventional battery powered pencil sharpener - squarish, transparent screen for the bit where all the shavings go.

However it has a secret. Not only does it have no batteries (although it can take 4) but it also plugs into.........a USB socket. That's right, it plugs into my USB hub right next to my laptop.

"Wow!" I hear you say. But there's more.....

When you insert a pencil, it emits flashing LEDs - yes folks, that's flashing lights - in three different colours - while you sharpen your pencil in a sharpener plugged into a USB plugged into your computer

A girl could be seduced! But that's not all..........

It sharpened three of my coloured pencils (very nicely!) and then it cut out - nothing. I did the usual 'test all connections' bit and then scratched my head - the way you do when something fails three minutes after you set it up.

Later I discovered the answer. It can only manage a short performance and then needs to rest for a long time.......

My rating: it's unnecessary but very flashy and quite amusing however it fails to sustain performance and to please a girl the way a really good sharpener should! Remind you of anything?

13 comments:

Robyn said...

Ha, ha! Now I've seen everything! I did actually drool for three seconds. Nice to know another gadget freek. ;)

Katherine said...

I'm not always seduced by gadgets but I've been having a lot of problems with sharpeners recently (due to overuse/wearing out probably!)and can now spot sharpeners in a store at a 100 paces!

The weird thing is that in one of the sites I looked on Google to find out more about it, it was listed as a boy's toy - and, wait for it, "poledancing for pencils". I did think about putting that in the post title and then thought better of it!

Tina Mammoser said...

Heehee, you've got a little bit of geek in you! Does this mean I can get my usb-powered coffee cup warmer now? No?

Are you specifically looking for a powered sharpener? I love my little one: http://www.faber-castell.de/docs/index.asp?id=18913&domid=1010&sp=E&addlastid=&m1=10329&m2=24486&m3=18913 It's a canister with 3 holes, so very portable. But I reckon you're sharpening a lot more than I do! But it's more portable than a usb one and your laptop. ;)

Katherine said...

Yup - teeny weeny bits of geekiness do leak now and again.

I did look twice at the USB powered heated coaster for putting my mug on but decided there are only so many wires I can tolerate on my desk!

Now a heated wireless coaster would of course be a different proposition!

Tina - the Faber Castell sharpener is a favoutite of mine too however I have damaged tendons and very bad tenosynovitis in my right hand so I have limited ability to grip and need to use a battery powered or electric sharpener for most of my sharpening needs. And as all dedicated coloured pencil artists know - sharpening is a science!

Rita said...

Oh Katherine! "Remind you of anything?" What a loaded question (and yet I can imagine women the world over nodding their head in agreement :D)!

Despite it's shortcomings, what a neat little gadget. I must admit though that I'd probably just sharpen my pencils to see the light show, whether they needed it or not.
I'm partial to a simple steel hand-held sharpener myself, but since that's not really possible for you (a friend has tenosynovitis who tells me it can be very painful!) have you ever tried any of the Boston electric sharpeners? I've heard only good things about them?

Katherine said...

:) Rita!

I've heard for years now that the Boston Sharpeners are excellent but I've never ever seen one in the UK. However having just watched the news and seen that the current exchange rate has changed yet again and I can now get $2.10 to a £1 I think it might even be worth looking to import!

Jeanette said...

One of the women around the world nodding her head in agreement... :)

I like gadgets sometimes, but they have to prove their claim to fame and be more than just a pretty face. I go with the reliable old electric sharpener. At least it doesn't fall asleep and snore after sharpening two pencils.hehehe

Cathy (Kate) Johnson said...

*Snort!!!* You, my dear, are a naughty girl!

But yeah, sometimes gadgets are soooo much fun. Better if batteries are not required, they tend to go dead at just the wrong time. So, it seems, do USB port-run ones. Guess we'll have to stick to the basics...

"POLEDANCING FOR PENCILS"!?!?! Oy...

Quilt Knit said...

I will only HINT! I ordered HBO and Cinamax for my son, home to visit from Iraq in July -August. I do not know if He even watched it. However, I fell asleep watching Jurassic Park and woke to the most astonishing Moaning!!! and gasping!! I looked up and nearly fell off the couch. I could not believe what a couple of men had attached - Note Men! had attached to every type of mechanical device found in your kitchen and Electrical workshop. ( There is a website- no never and not going there.) I am in hysterical laughter thinking about how They are going to fix this gadget up. Oh, the stangest thing was the women going to the shop.
I want say anymore. Not ever again, Three differnt flashing colors and lots of rest. Well, now you know why the drill or mixer is slow.

Quilt Knit said...

Oh, I forgot, I used to have a Boston, they are terrific.
I now just have a battery operated sharpener and the Faber Castell sharpener, and I have some of the Black pencils. Just opened the package. today. I bought the battery sharpener at Wal~Mart and it has not failed me yet. I really like its compact body and how it feels in my hand, does a great job on all pencils.

Ha Ha!!

Sherrie

Jo Castillo said...

Thank you for saving me buying one of these. I don't do colored pencils so don't need one anyway. :)

Jo

Susan Borgas said...

LOL...... I just acquired the best medicine a crook girl could have by reading this post and the follow up comments that you received Katherine.

Katherine said...

I have to confess - it was the 'poledancing for pencils' remark which triggered this post.

When I was very young, being an accountant meant I used to work in what was an almost exclusively male environment at a time when political correctness had not really taken hold. As a result, a girl had to work out a few strategies for adjusting the dials on some of the humour which they liked to indulge in. One of the ways I used to do this was to follow a "what's source for the goose is sauce for the gander" strategy - and it worked a treat every time. But times have changed and I rarely need to 'indulge' much in similar strategies these days - although it was certainly interesting to see just how many could share a "girlish giggle"!

Hopefully little digs like this post (and the big grins which resulted) may also reduce completely inane copy from the online copywriters. Gents - let's see if you've got it in you to do better than the "poledancing for pencils" type of comment!!!

I think I'll now bring us all to order before we get too excited by those flashing lights and call a halt to this amusing interlude - and I'll be posting another 'straight' item on sharpeners on Friday. See you there!

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