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TECHNOWATCH

THE GOODS : Not Just a Mere Telephone, but a Way of Life

November 11, 1994|LYNN SIMROSS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Is it possible the little black book could go the way of dinosaurs and eight-track tapes?

It is. PhoneMate Inc. in Torrance has just introduced the Electronic PhoneBook 8775, a phone/answering machine/personal secretary that stores and dials up to 200 pre-programmed names and phone numbers. And it answers the phone, takes messages and reminds you of important dates.

When you want to call a number you've stored, enter the first letters of the person's name and the machine will dial. The number--up to 16 digits--is automatically displayed.

Each time you add a name to the directory, the Electronic PhoneBook automatically re-sorts all entries into alphabetical order. You can scroll the complete list at anytime.

The 8775's answering-machine function has an integrated speaker phone and a tapeless message with an operation that talks users through machine functions. It also has a voice that announces the time and day each message was received, and displays the number of messages.

If you're away from home, you can play, replay and save messages or change your greeting message from most touch-tone phones, pay phones and car phones.

Users also can record phone conversations or leave memos for themselves or other household members.

You don't have to worry about a power outage wiping out the system. The 8775 has built-in protection for that, so it saves all messages, remote code settings, the message count and information in the Electronic PhoneBook for up to a month.

You can even program it to remember your wedding anniversary, but, sorry, you have to send the flowers.

Electronic PhoneBook 8775 ($169.95) is available in the Los Angeles area at Good Guys stores. In December it will be available nationally at selected electronic and department stores.

No More Surprises at the Cash Register

It took 13 years, but Palmdale private investigator Gordon Sutton finally got his invention to market. It is Shopper's Helper, a unique calculator that attaches to the push bar of a shopping cart and keeps track of purchases, including tax, with the push of a couple of buttons.

It is simple to use, because, unlike regular calculators, there are no plus, equal or percent keys, or decimal point. Just put in the price of the item and the device adds it automatically. There is a correct key if you enter the wrong price.

Shopper's Helper's tax key can be programmed for the amount of sales tax wherever you live and add it on automatically. There's also a MULT key for purchase of multiples of the same item. If shoppers are using discount coupons, the calculator will subtract those from the total as well.

Thirty-two Target stores in the Los Angeles area, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and Las Vegas will begin test marketing Shopper's Helper for $9.95 by the end of the month. Or it is available from Sutton for $14.95, plus $2 shipping and handling: Shopper's Helper, 1711 East Ave. R-3, Palmdale, Calif. 93550; (805) 947-8773.

A Gift for Those Who Like a Good Deal

Cardinal Industries' Automatic Card Shuffler is a reasonably priced, thoughtful gift for anyone who plays card games, and especially for people with arthritis who have trouble shuffling the deck.

With its automatic, push-button operation, the device can shuffle one or two decks completely and it operates on two C-size batteries.

This low-profile product has been sold in gift and specialty stores for several years, but has just recently hit the shelves of Toys 'R' Us and Service Merchandise nationally. It retails for $9.99.

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