Advent Calendar Answers for December 21st

Can we convert you to our point of view on this one? Will you change the record?!

Oh me, oh my, it’s the U-Record Music Converter. Of course.

If you don’t believe us (and you should, we know some people), then have a look here at the full-size affair:




Dust off your vinyls and get converting, squares!

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The Pytheas Club Atlantic Row

The Woodvale Atlantic Rowing Race is, by all accounts, a bit tricky. In essence, a load of two-man boats have to row the Atlantic (from the Canary Islands to Antigua), not only enduring the swelling seas and turbulent conditions, but enduring them for about 7 weeks. So we’re extremely chuffed to be supporting out the Pytheas Club as they embark on this amazing adventure (look out for the IWOOT logo on the side of their boat, The Spirit Of Montanaro).

The Pytheas Club are Adam Rackley and James Arnold, two gung-ho outdoorsy sorts that seem to literally thrive on near-impossible challenges. They’ll be taking it in turns to row for two hours at a time each, meaning that they spend literally 12 hours a day rowing. They’ve elected to send any sponsorship money they can raise to Save The Children, so it really is important that they make it – a worthy course, we’re sure you’ll agree.


Now, we’re a considerate bunch here at IWOOT Towers, so we’re sending them off with a few select IWOOT bits and pieces which they’ll show off proudly as they row themselves silly. We’ll keep you updated on their progress and let you see those handy products in action (we were thinking of sending them a couple of inflatable wigs, but it turns out they’ve already got lifejackets), so make sure you keep checking back.

Weather permitting, they’ll set sail (well, set oars, I suppose) on Tuesday 29th December. You can read more about The Pytheas Club here, and more about their challenge here. Good luck guys!

La Gomera, the starting point for the challenge.

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IWOOT muck about in the snow

Anyone with either windows or jobs will yesterday have realised that we had some hectic weather conditions yesterday. So, with the all-clear to try and get home early to avoid any potential traffic/transport nightmares, we decided that the best course of action was to muck about in the snow and go to the pub. Sensible, eh?

It turns out that some were luckier than others in the great rush to get home – KieranWoot took about half an hour just to get out West Norwood, JimboWoot was jammy as anything and managed to hop on the last London Bridge train for a good hour, and DinoWoot, JennaWoot and myself had to stand on the platform at West Norwood station for what seemed like ages. There was very little community spirit.

Still, we did do this:

Good times.

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Advent Calendar Answers for December 18th-20th

It’s a bumper beginning-of-the-week answer-fest, here come the terrible jokes: A little bit of elbow-grease will see you hopping out of bed early… wine-ot check below for the solutions?

It was the Robotic Arm Kit, the iPod Alarm Clock and the Vinturi Wine Aerator. What a haul!

Here are some bigged-up versions of the thumbnails:





Step one towards robots enslaving the human race. And a great gift!

Wakey-wakey, IT'S TECHNOLOGY!

Bottoms up!

Now off you go to have a look at today’s visual conundrum.

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Advent Calendar Answers for December 17th

Well bowl me over with this pint-sized little prize! (I’m sorry).

Obviously, it’s Gnome Bowling. Many thanks to the person who put ‘Knome Bowling’ as a comment on the Christmas Playlist blog post – nice try!

Here’s the full size product in all its tiny glory:

Throw it like you mean it.

Don’t forget to enter the advent calendar fun for your chance to win a lovely IWOOT product – off you go!

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Why didn't it take off? #1: The Sinclair C5

The Sinclair C5 – a retro design classic, but synonymous with failure. In the first of a new, occasional series (that’s blogger-speak for “we need some content to fall back on!”), we poke around in the darkness of an invention that looked all set to succeed, even innovate, but just didn’t take off. We’re keen for suggestions of other designs that didn’t quite set the world alight so we can gradually build a compendium of forgotten, obsolete technology. Cheery, eh?





So, the C5. What was it? Well, it was a staggeringly good concept, in essence. An electric vehicle that was neither a bicycle nor a car, it resembled a mix between something from Logan’s Run and a tiny Roman chariot. Keeping its rider close to the ground (and its three wheels), the idea was that we would become a nation of battery-powered, low consumption road users and bask in a greener, safer world. With a top speed of about 15mph, it was surely set to be a slightly slower one too.

The inventor of the Sinclair C5, Clive Sinclair (clearly a man who loved the sound of his own name), had a remarkable success rate until the 1985 launch. Previously he had been the brains behind an early version of the pocket calculator and the ZX Spectrum, but the C5 was a colossal failure. The problem was, in short, that until the nation subscribed to the idea that we’d all get along much better if we each had a slow, tiny, electric and environmentally friendly car, it just wasn’t going to succeed. We move too fast as a nation for the innocence of the C5 to have worked. That and the thought of ploughing to work in the snow at a measly 15mph was only a cretin’s idea of fun.

It could’ve worked, though. The advent of climate awareness and a renewed attentive streak towards the environment means that we humans have started to embrace the electric car (and it’ll be even better when we can afford one). Sinclair had the right idea, but was perhaps too far ahead of his time. If he’d had access to today’s technology, who’s to say we wouldn’t still be using the C5 now?

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Advent Calendar Answers for December 16th

Cool your jets man, this one’s picture perfect! (Seriously, I need to get some TV work. This stuff is gold).

Yesterday’s answer was the Fridge Magnet Photo Frame, silly! Well done if you got it.

Here’s what it looks like:



Use your own pictures, obviously.

And you can enter today’s festive hilarity here.

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The IWOOT Christmas Spotify Playlist

After much deliberation, we’re thrilled to share our Christmas Spotify Playlist – just click the link to hear it, Spotifiers!

There’s a list below with the names of all those who suggested each song – a few were added by some IWOOT people too, so there’s a fair old mix. So pour yourself some mulled wine and chow down on a mince pie – it’s Chriiiiiiistmaaaaas!



The IWOOT Christmas Playlist

1. Andy Williams – Carol Of The Bells (chosen by Liz Edmunds)
2. The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride (chosen by Cathy from Customer Services)
3. The Darkness – Christmas Time (chosen by Merle Gray)
4. John Lennon – Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (chosen by Debbie from Customer Services)
5. Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas (chosen by Ruth Crothers)
6. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You (chosen by Holly Morrison and James from Creative)
7. The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York (chosen by loads of people)
8. Mike Oldfield – In Dulci Jubilo (chosen by Nicola Sumnal)
9. Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Mistletoe And Wine (chosen by Cat Purple)
10. Wham! – Last Christmas (chosen by Cass from Customer Services)
11. blink-182 – I Won’t Be Home For Christmas (chosen by Jenna from Creative)
12. Aled Jones – Walking In The Air (chosen by Rich James)
13. Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) (chosen by Dan from Creative)
14. Badly Drawn Boy – Donna And Blitzen (chosen by Paul Tuck)
15. Johnny Mathis – It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas (chosen by @madbird32)
16. Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby (chosen by Carol Hinn)
17. James Brown – Hey America (chosen by Jonny Riches)
18. RUN-DMC – Christmas In Hollis (chosen by Sagar from Tech)
19. Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry (chosen by Daniel Hainsworth-Sayer)
20. Bad News – Cashing In On Christmas (chosen by Chris from Customer Services)
21. The Drifters – White Christmas (chosen by @papasken1960)
22. Elton John – Step Into Christmas (chosen by Jackie Harris)
23. Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (chosen by Jamie Cubiss)
24. Tony Christie – Merry Xmas Everybody (so many people picked Slade, so we thought we’d jazz it up a little…)
25. Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas? (chosen by Tom Clamp)
26. Mud – Lonely This Christmas (chosen by Georgie Williams)
27. Doug Kershaw – Dominic The Donkey (The Italian Christmas Donkey) (chosen by Sergio from IWOOT)
28. Jimi Hendrix & Band Of Gypsys – Auld Lang Syne (chosen by Elliot from Marketing)


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Advent Calendar Answers for December 15th

(To the tune of the Prince classic) “Could cube be… the most challenging game in the world?” In a word, yes.

Yesterday’s product was the NeoCube of course, and if you’re quick you should still be able to order one for Christmas. It’ll keep the kids quiet, anyway.

Here’s what it looks like as a fully-grown adult:


As always, the Advent Calendar resides here until Christmas.

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IWOOT Kitschmas Party 2009

Office Christmas Party season is upon us once again and you’re probably already looking forward to the prospect of Malcolm from accounts photocopying his arse before passing out under his desk. Obviously we’re no different at IWOOT Towers (though we’ve no idea who Malcolm is), and we celebrated the coming of Jesus/Santa/Friday with due mirth, frivolity and costumes. The theme, in case you can’t tell from these pictures, is Kitsch.

That jumper came from eBay, that shirt came from the office. Depressing, eh?

The Kitsch Factor finalists battle it out for a shot at Xmas No. 1...

Team Creative (featuring Carlton from the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air)

Anyone else a little scared of Customer Services?

Not really, CS are lovely, see?

You may remember what happened last time Rob got a microphone in his hands – for those of you who don’t, why not have a little look here. Everyone else can surely imagine what the audio equivalent of this picture would be. Wow.

I preferred his work with Another Level.

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