I’m on record as being a fan of the Ener…

I’m on record as being a fan of the Energizer Duo USB-powered battery charger. It charges AAs and AAAs off of a USB current and comes with a wall-plug adapter. (Actually, the adapter is almost worth the price admission alone: you can charge anything that normally charges via USB, like a Zune, from the wall with it.)

The Energizer Duo battery charger

The device is also, I have since learned, so lightweight and tiny that I’ll lose it in my backpack for weeks when not using it, and it’s durable enough to have survived three years of being hauled around campus with me.

Which is why it’s a damn shame that it’s being taken off the market. Energizer made a software “driver” (more like a “reader”, really) available that let you view battery status via the USB connection when you plugged the charger into a Windows machine. It also downloads a backdoor trojan.

I played around with the software when I first got the charger and was incredibly underwhelmed. It was veritably useless. I never bothered to install it anywhere else (thankfully), and have been using the charger by itself ever since.

After all, it doesn’t care what operating system it’s hooked up to: the USB jack will still put out the 5V it needs. Energizer should fix the software and keep cranking out these awesome little chargers. If not, I’ll have to go scoop up a spare before they disappear off of shelves, which would be a real shame.