Rev. 2003-01-23, -07-14, -10-15, 2006-11-15, 2007-05-05, -06-29
I used work in a hardware store and when people ask repeatedly for things that I can't find,
Or I try to find feedback and can't inject my good (of course) ideas
I get frustrated.
Thus this Hardware Wish List
and this Google Earth Wish List
and this Graphics Search Wish List
It is likely in the near future that image searching will be available so that you can outline a portion of a picture like a face or a rose or select an image pattern - like a strong diagonal - and it will find all the pictures in storage that match within certain tolerances, which you will be able to pick from examples. 2007-05-06
Among the modes available might be:
Be able to view historical images in place
Be able to view historical changes with time
Be able to overlay one location to another
Be able to move historical images
1. Plug in switch
GE makes a plug in switch for 2 prong cords.
People ask for the same thing for a three prong
cord. Small, not a power strip.
A visitor, Carlos Albert Lacayo, enlightens me by pointing to a remote control
switch with on-off buttons on the body
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=0843&cpc=SCH about $4.50 in
2. Lumiline Ends
Once the Lumiline bulb as considered the poor
man's fluorescent. They are incandescent (a filament runs the
length) and power is applied at both ends. Now it is the owner's
wallet drainer. The GE bulbs cost $15-20 retail. GE still makes
the bulbs in two lengths, 40 watt and 60 watt, clear and white.
But Leviton, which used to make the snapon end caps stopped
making them a couple of years ago. And Phillips, which made bulbs
with the ends soldered on, stopped making those a while back. [Previously
So, when we hear a tale of "the painter threw the ends out with the trash." or "My daughter didn't know we had to keep them." or "One broke"
An alternative, that would keep people from having to rebuild the vent hoods these are used in, would be a bracket that would collect the power from the two small sockets the clips snap into and apply it to a fluorescent lamp. Neat would be a thin fluorescent fixture with the prongs on the back and a screw hole for mounting. [2007-09-21 Since this was written, much has been done to make small electronic ballasts smaller, so it is more feasible, although the market would not probably support development costs. It would be nice if the replacement unit cost under the price of a bulb plus end cap (under $30) and even nicer if the bulb were replaceable.]
There is a guy who will sell the ends, minimum 2, at $10-$20
so contact him
Email: email@example.com (Reid Allison)
3. Plug in shut down timer
People have a great need for a timer that will run anywhere from 1/2 hour to 8 hours and shut down at the end, in a neat package with a cord and an outlet, for turning off coffee pots at work and battery chargers. While there are dozens of kitchen timers that bong at the end, and plug in table top timers that go on and off every 24 hours, nobody I can find makes a combination of the two. The best I can offer is a table top timer with the on timer prongs removed, so it shuts off once (or more) a day and must be turned on manually, which is not the most obvious thing for a casual user to interface with. It is easy to put a wall switch in an electrical box, but ugly.
4. Dimmer and Switch in the same unit.
People who have two switches (a dual toggle, or doggle as some people call it) one above the other want to replace it with a dimmer and a switch that control two things, a light dimmed and another light or a ceiling fan. Current dimmers are housed in such a big box that it is difficult to imagine squeezing one in a small space, but if one were to go the other way and add a switch at the bottom of a dimmer, it might work. On the other hand, once the volume is taken up by the dimmer, there may not be enough volume to wire two circuits per the NEC space requirements in boxes. [2002-10]
5. Intermediate and Candelabra Sockets
While intermediate base light bulbs are getting
fewer and fewer in kind (except for C-9 Christmas bulbs), it used
to be possible to buy sockets in the style of the medium base
brass used in standard lamps, and it used to be possible to buy
enclosed sockets for the more common candelabra base (including C-7
1/2 Christmas bulbs) but I can't find those either. In either case, with a
standard threaded mount (1/8" pipe as used in lamp making) to make a small lamp.
6. Bed Raiser Cones
For the hardware store, I want a cone to raise a bed about 6" for the college community and for the people who want to store stuff under the bed. There are a number of places that offer these on the web, mostly for making it easier to care for people in bed (as follows). I can't find a wholesale source. FOUND ONE!!! A square version is are now available in brown or white from Elliott's Hardware, $15.99 for a box of 4, or $4 each (some people need only 2 or need 5), plus shipping & tax if in Texas. 2003-07
[This is the text of a message to Omega about their new unit www.omegasays.com http://www.omega.com/pptst/HHM2.html] I am writing to complement you on your offering of the HHM2 talking digital multi-meter. While higher accuracy than competing choices, it is about the same price as talking thermometers offered for the blind, such as my wife, for health monitoring and cooking. We bought one of the last, crude, talking voltmeters from Radio Shack for under $100 and added an AWS temp to analog for my wife to do cooking.
I wish that Omega or someone would carry out my
long term wish list of a simple serial interface (say 4 wire RJ11)
to a speech module that would carry the display to voice and
provide that interface on many different instruments (windspeed,
ph, control parameters) putting the bare minimum in the
instruments and the complexity of speech in the speech module.
Contact Mike Firth