It's not often I watch so called reality TV and even less often will I find myself admitting to actually liking it, but every now and again one of these programmes just hits the spot in a way that somehow makes for compulsive viewing. The Hotel Inspector is one such programme that I often find myself being drawn into and I even gave The Restaurant a regular sideways glance. However, the undisputed champion of the current crop of reality TV programs is Dragons' Den. It's combination of snide and disparaging put downs, hilariously bad presentations, and equally appalling inventions juxtaposed by the occasional genius idea - you've got to try Reggae Reggae sauce - makes it not just great entertainment but an occasionally interesting and informative programme.
All well and good, you may be thinking, but what does this have to do with plug sockets? Well, one of the poor saps to risk personal humiliation and commercial downfall by appearing on said show was showing off an apparently exclusive new invention that he'd been working on in his garden shed. This invention was a type of multi socket extension that, when the device attached to the 'master socket' was turned off, would automatically switch off the rest of its sockets. It was a truly brilliant invention and I was instantly sold and so were the Dragons.
Unfortunately it turned out the inventor didn't actually have the worldwide patent he claimed, primarily because someone had already beaten him to it, and the whole deal fell through. Fortunately for the energy saving conscious amongst us, though, a quick bit of rummaging around the Internet revealed that one company, namely OneClick, is already making these wondrous devices in the form of the Intelliplug and Intellipanel, adapters and extensions. So a few emails, and a visit from our friendly local delivery man, later we have a couple of Intelliplugs in our offices ready to sink our reviewing claws into.
To recap then, what these things do is turn off attached devices when the master device is also turned off. The perfect example, and primary target, of which is a computer with all its peripherals like monitors, external hard drives, printers, networking devices, and speakers that need to be turned off when you've finished with the computer. You plug the Intelliplug into a normal mains socket then the computer into the master socket and all the peripherals into the peripheral sockets. Then, when you turn your computer off, the Intelliplug detects the drop in current draw and after a short delay (approx 5 seconds) turns all the other devices off - saving you the trouble of having to turn them all off by hand. Then, when you turn the computer on again, it will turn all you peripherals back on as well.