Digital | ON: TECH

Dust off those game cartridges for the Retro Freak; Break the ice in just six minutes; Parents can ditch the paper trail

by Chiho Komoriya

Dust off those game cartridges for the Retro Freak

Many game consoles have come and gone, and many are still loved — even sought out — by die-hard fans of retro games. If you’re still hoarding your old game cartridges, too, then CyberGadget have released the dream console for you. Aptly named Retro Freak, this is the ultimate device that can play games from 11 kinds of other consoles.
The Retro Freak has a cartridge adapter with slots for Famicom, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Mega Drive and more. Its console, which has various settings, can also support USB controllers, so you can use ones you may already have from a PS3 or PS4. Also handy, the Retro Freak allows you to download games from cartridges to the console, so there’s no need to keep using the adapter.

On sale from October, the Retro Freak is priced at ¥20,000 or ¥23,000 if you also want a PC Engine and Famicom controller adapter.

www.cybergadget.co.jp/retrofreak

Break the ice in just six minutes

Kakigōri, shaved ice topped with a flavored syrup, is a traditional summer dessert in Japan, but it’s not something that’s easy to prepare at home. Rather than pay for what is essentially frozen water, you could try appliance company 405’s new ice machine, which 405 says can prepare crushable ice in just six minutes.

Simply pour water into the machine, turn it on and wait. Depending on the size of ice blocks (you can make small or large) and the amount of water you put in, six to 12 minutes later, you’ll have a box of ice chunks. They’re a little odd-looking, like miniature frozen cups, but still perfectly acceptable for chilling drinks as well as making kakigori.

The ice machine costs ¥19,800, is compact — about the size of most tabletop kitchen appliances — and can make about 12 kg of ice per day. Though useful for any time, it was developed for when you need ice quickly and can’t wait for the freezer, rather than for everyday use.

bit.ly/405ice

Parents can ditch the paper trail

Kindergartens and elementary schools still deliver a lot of information on paper — letters, leaflets, reports — and it can be a pain for parents to keep track of. Otayori Box (“otayori” means “message” or “note”), Nifty’s smartphone scanning app, however, could help them stay on top of things.

The app allows its user to scan documents with a smartphone camera, clip the scanned image to whatever part is needed and then label it with a color or image for easy retrieval. Not only this, but memos, dates and alarms can be added to the scan, which is useful if the document relates to an event. There’s no need to worry about distorted images, too, since the app can compensate for scans that are not taken from directly above.

Parents can arrange documents by colors and images of their kids, but if you’re not a parent, you can just use it to keep track of notes and documents anyway. Otayori Box is free and available via Google Play and iTunes.

otayori.nifty.com