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G8 GameTimer Review

From: "John J. Chew III" 
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 23:57:42 -0500
Subject: [cgp] G8 GameTimer review

The following is a review of a new product of interest to Scrabble
players.  While I received an evaluation (beta) copy of the timer reviewed,
I am not affiliated with nor do I know anything about its manufacturer.
For more information or to place an order, see

The "G8 GameTimer" is a welcome addition to the range of timers
available for serious Scrabble players.  Priced at USD 34.95 in single
quantity or down to USD 20.00 in large volume, it brings the price of
electronic timing down to an affordable level for schools, clubs,
tournament players and directors.  It's a versatile device that can be
set up to time all sorts of different games with up to eight players,
turn time limits, game time limits and other more esoteric features.

What's the catch?  There are a couple.   Because the timer is not
specifically designed for Scrabble, you have a little work to do when
you first set it up, and the configuration controls are more than a
little confusing.   Also, because the timer is designed for games with
up to eight players, the display shows the current player's time in
large digits above the other player's time in small digits, which takes
a little getting used to.  If you have trouble adapting to new
technology, this timer is not for you.

On the other hand, the timer is beautifully compact (about the size of
two Franklins), has a hard protective case, runs off a watch battery and
has a slot for a spare battery so that you can replace batteries without
interrupting a game, and lets you easily save game times if your game is
interrupted.  My wife Kristen and I are happy with the evaluation copy
we received, and will use it with our travel set on our regular Scrabble
outings at our local cafe.

Use the following values for Scrabble play:

Mode setting 1: 2 players 
Mode setting 2: 1:25:00 game time per player
Mode setting 3: default (no individual game time handicaps) 
Mode setting 4: 51:03 turn time per player 
Mode setting 5: default (no individual turn time handicaps) 
Mode setting 6: 0 (no total game time limit) 
Mode setting 7: does not matter (warning tones for running out of time) 
Mode setting 8: save the above settings as either A or B or both 
Mode setting 9: 0 (no delay between turns)

Using 1:25:00 of game time per player allows the clock to keep running
after the regulation 25 minutes elapse, and to display how far into
overtime you've gone.  The 51:03 turn time limit lets you use the
elapsed turn time indicator to estimate the expiry of 'hold time': after
three seconds, you have probably finished saying 'hold' and the turn
time drops to 50; after another sixty seconds, the turn time drops to 49
and your opponent will know it's safe to draw provisional tiles.

John Chew
John J. Chew, III * * +1 416 876 7675
Director, Toronto SCRABBLE(R) Club (National SCRABBLE(R) Association Club #3)