Jim Bray: A gadget inspired by Enron
- June 18, 2008 8:08 AM |
- By Michael Hlinka
By Jim Bray, writer of the Technofile.com web site in Calgary
(Listen to the original audio)
Have you ever found yourself in possession of sensitive documents you don't want to be caught with? If so, you might be interested in the Ziszor, a portable hand-held document shredder you can use to get rid of those compromising documents you just stole from a competitor's safe and photographed with your cellphone camera.
Of course you could also use it for more mundane uses such as protecting yourself from the scourge of identity theft, but where's the fun in that?
The Ziszor - spelled Ziszor - bills itself as the first premium, hand-held paper shredder to balance security with ease of use and portability, and that's a pretty apt description. The thing's only about 20 centimetres long and weighs only a few hundred grams. It looks kind of like a big tuning fork with a closed end, or maybe a small version of those wands airport security people wave at you like a divining rod as they annoy you before letting you get onto an airplane.
The thing runs on four double-A batteries, and the bottom snaps off to let you clean out those bits of paper that never go all the way through the thing and threaten to clog it up. The little slot through which you run the paper isn't very big, of course, so if you're shredding a letter sized document you'll have to fold it in half before it'll go through,
and you can only do a couple of pages at a time or it bogs down. But it's pretty cool.
The manufacturer says it'll shred up to five pages at a time, but if that's the case you're probably shredding tissue paper because I had no trouble bogging it down with fewer pages than that. But as long as you keep its limitations in mind, it works well.
When you hold the Ziszor in your hand your thumb falls right to the switch that activates it, in a nicely thought out example of ergonomic design.
I've been keeping a Ziszor on my desk, right next to a little portable scanner I have, where it's nicely at hand when I want to get rid of documents I've just scanned, or which I don't want hanging around - stuff like bills, second notices, demands for payment, govern-yourself-accordingly letters and the like.
The thing comes with your first set of batteries and three catch bags you can use to prevent the shredded pieces of paper from littering your floor - unless, of course, you're creating pieces of paper to line a gerbil's cage or something, in which case you'll just want to let the stuff spew from the slot and let gravity take care of the rest.
Ziszors sell for $50 US, though right now they're on sale at the company's website for 40 greenbacks. Thirty extra catch bags sell for $3.29, or you can use up those plastic garbage bags before they're outlawed.
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