IMG_20141207_154354Here’s another stocking filler Christmas gift idea for the ebook nut in your life – including yourself, if no one else has the wit to buy you one. With a wind-up charger like this you need never be dependent on a wall socket or even a battery for emergency power again. And it even doubles as an emergency torch.

Given that most modern tablets now charge on the same rating with the same sockets as cell phones, any portable digital device can probably be charged by the same wind-up mini-generator. And although their use on camping trips and for outdoors in general is obvious, they could also find huge application in developing countries without proper electricity grids.

The type illustrated in this article is an over-the-counter model available in Budapest, but there are many, many other varieties. A quick search on Amazon or elsewhere will turn up a huge number at all kinds of price points, from ultra-portable to heavy-duty. If you want to stay well connected wherever and however, and off the grid but online, they seem a great way to go.

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Paul St John Mackintosh is a British poet, writer of dark fiction, and media pro with a love of e-reading. His gadgets range from a $50 Kindle Fire to his trusty Vodafone Smart Grand 6. Paul was educated at public school and Trinity College, Cambridge, but modern technology saved him from the Hugh Grant trap. His acclaimed first poetry collection, The Golden Age, was published in 1997, and reissued on Kindle in 2013, and his second poetry collection, The Musical Box of Wonders, was published in 2011.


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