Keith ShawCool Tools Columnist / Multimedia Content Editor, NetworkWorld Follow me on Google+

The first gadget Keith Shaw ever wanted was the Merlin, a red plastic toy that beeped and played Tic-Tac-Toe and other various games. Since then, his obsession with technology, both small and large, has grown into the multimedia empire that is Cool Tools. A child of the '70s and teen-ager of the '80s, Shaw has been a fan of computers, technology and video games right from the start. He won an award in 8th grade for programming a game on the school's only computer, and saved his allowance to buy an Atari 2600. He took a side trip in the '90s to the world of newspaper journalism, and has worked at a variety of newspapers in New York, Florida and Massachusetts. In 1997, he combined his love of technology with his journalism skills, working at Computerworld for a few years before joining Network World in 1999 as the company's product reviews editor. In 2000, Shaw took over the Cool Tools column, which continues to appear in the print version of Network World weekly. Shaw started the Cool Tools video show in 2005, and in 2006 teamed up with Multimedia Editor Jason Meserve to create the company's weekly Twisted Pair podcast (RIP). Shaw has a bachelor's degree in newspaper journalism from Syracuse University. He won an award from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for a 2003 article on anti-spam testing, and a Gold Award in their 2010 Digital Awards Competition for the "ABCs of IT" video series. Shaw is also the co-creator of, the crunchiest site on the InterWeb, which has taste tested and reviewed more than 4,000 varieties of snack foods.

Not the iPod Type? Consider a Zune or SlotRadio

Analysis: If you're in the market for a digital audio player, take a look at a couple of offerings that present digital music differently than Apple's ecosystem.


Father's Day Gift Guide: Gadgets for Every Type of Techie

Whether he's something of a luddite or a true geek at heart, show dad you care with just the right gadget from this guide.

Wi-Fi Gets Personal With Mi-Fi

Sprint Mi-Fi 2200 has a 3G/Wi-Fi combination that lets users take advantage of 3G network access and provide Wi-Fi LAN coverage for as many as five other users.

Gadgets that Help You Hit the Road

The Interop show provided an excuse to try out some new travel-related devices.

Long Live the Mouse!

Some would write off our rodent friend after 40 years of faithful service -- but the mouse still has a lot of pointing and clicking left to do.

Putting the "Twit" in Twitter

Analysis: This video sums up the Twitter phenomenon quite succinctly.

Checking the Cool at DEMO 09

Just like the Consumer Electronics Show in January, this year's DEMO 09 (produced by Network World's events division) in Palm Desert, Calif., was affected by the continuing gloomy economy.

IPod Streamer Offers Cheap Alternative to Sonos

Octiv Air offers multi-room audio -- if you don't playing the same song on all speakers.


I Wanna Rock -- to Better Retro Bands

Rock Band and Guitar Hero need cooler classic tunes -- like the ones on my wish list.


It's Like Slingbox Crossed with TiVo

Unlike the Slingbox, Hava can transmit TV content over a wireless (802.11g) network.


Expand Your DVR; Clean up Your Laptop

Here's the scoop on my DVR Expander by Western Digital, about $150.

The Most Hummable Holiday Tunes

Mariah tops (one very personal) survey of favorite Christmas/holiday tunes.


Can a Keyboard Be Full-Size and Portable? Yep

The scoop on Atek's $30 OnBoard Travel Keyboard.

Slacker: Great Service, Lousy Device

We have the scoop on the Slacker G2 Personal Radio Player, by


Slingbox Pro-HD: Access HD Content From Anywhere

What it is, and why it's so cool.