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Sunny Side Up!!

Sunny Side Up!!
by Gary Woods

We’re all looking for ways to keep our electronic gadgets cruising along. The one way that seems the coolest to me is Solar Power. I recently found three alternatives to harness the power of the sun to keep me in the fast lane of electronic heaven.

The Notepower 22 ($350) has three solar panels inside a convenient messenger bag, and it weighs just six pounds. The Notepower doesn't generate enough power to run your laptop but it will re-charge the batteries or any 12-volt rechargeable batteries for that matter. This device is industrial strength which is reflected in the price, but there are other solar solutions for considerably less.

The Solio ($100) charger from Better Energy Systems ( is another possibility. The Solio is a "Hybrid" Charger because it can accept power from either a wall socket or the Sun storing the solar energy in Solio's internal rechargeable battery. One hour of sun will give you enough energy to power your iPod for an hour and will also give you about 25 minutes of extra talk time for your cell phone.

A third option is the SC002 ($56) from Solar Style. The SC002 is recommended for standard mobile phones, PDAs, MP3 Players and other electronic devices. The kit includes 7 connectors for different devices and also comes with a car charger. Okay, there you go, so how come you're sitting on the side of the road with your batteries all run down??

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc