PC Commlink Retractable Telephone Cable Interface

A wonderful phone connections cable.

This is your bog standard US style 8 foot long RJ11 cable, to connect your fax or modem to the phone socket. What is neat is that Fuji Photo Film Company sold the cable as a FujiFilm PC Commlink, packaged in a PCMCIA card sized cable winder.

The result is a neat, tidy, easy to carry phone cable. This is a wonderful little piece of design work. I picked up mine for $10 in the USA around 1995 ... and I wish I could get one in Australia. After that, they disappeared for a while.

Cassandra Murray reported in October 1996 that she had driven to every computer store in her area, and finally located them at Computer City, Smyrna, Georgia, but that other Computer City stores didn't know what she was talking about.

At the Comdex computer show in Las Vegas in November 1996, I actually came upon the company who make these gadgets. It appears Fuji had a one year exclusive licence to sell them. However this has now expired, and a variety of companies will be selling them in future. The company is Shape Inc, 2930 Calla Drive, Santa Cruz, Ca 95062 phone 408-475-8031 fax 408-475-3209 www.shapeglobal.com

Shape sell to distributors, so unless you plan to order a few tens of thousands, they are not the place to buy a PC CommLink.

Sebastian W Zettl (zettl@pipetronix.de) emailed me that "Thomas Rundel sells them for approx. US$7, and gee, they are worth it!" Site to buy from is www.rundel-d.com/

I'm not being paid to promote this idea, and have no association with Shape, Inc, the designers, except that when I saw them at Comdex in 1996 and enthused about how good the gadget was, they kindly gave me another one of the Commlink cable winders.

In March 1999, I saw them listed in a PAW catalog. They now appear to be sold by computer luggage specialist Targus, as a "Retractable Telephone Cord". Australian price is A$22.56. I have since seen them regularly on Targus stands at regular stores such as Office Works. Looks like they are now (2003) widely available.

I hope you have enjoyed www.ericlindsay.com.