In the Pipeline

Carpentry goes digital

There's more to fix-it jobs than hammering and sawing. Carpenters need to make calculations, too. That's part of the inspiration behind Stanley's new digital tape rule.

The IntelliTape is equipped with a standard tape measure. But its innovative digital display screen eases the number crunching by showing length in both inches and centimeters.

The gadget also computes a distance's midpoint - a handy feature for those wanting to hang a picture. And unlike low-tech predecessors, the device automatically ads the size of the tool itself to measurements.

Suggested price: $34.99

Let the battery do the work

Professional cyclists just keep pedaling, even when their energy flags. But for those looking for a low-impact ride, the E-Bike may be the answer.

The electric-optional bicycle is equipped with a 400-watt motor that powers the bike for 20 miles when the user engages a throttle. It can reach speeds of up to 15 m.p.h. and climb hills at grades up to 8.5 percent. The bike is charged by a removable battery pack, which takes about 4 hours to recharge.

Suggested price: $995 to $1,895

A space cooler

Space heaters are a boon in the winter months. Now, Italian manufacturer DeLonghi has made cool air just as portable.

The PAC 290 ECO is ideal for those without central air conditioning who are looking to cool off a few rooms at varying times. The machine is equipped with a timer that can be set to start cooling well before the family comes home.

The machine still needs to be placed near a window, however, so a connecting hose can vent warm air outside. And expect a little more noise than usual. Because the PAC isn't sitting outside, you'll hear more of the compressor's hum.

Suggested price: $1,200

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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