$SHINY

My parcel from the Apple Store finally arrived, and suddenly my life is subtly but distinctly better. No, really.

First up: JBL Creature speakers. Not only are these things nicely packaged (literally – even the box is a bit cool, and unexpectedly rather funny). Not only do they look terrific. Not only do they have colour-coded and physically keyed connecting plugs (which could still be replaced with standard jacks)… but they also sound rather spiffing too. Not to put too fine a point on it, they rock.

Next: Griffin Powermate. Mmm… rotary controller, with pulsating blue light. Just as cool as everyone says, this really is the only way to scroll: stuff that wheel mouse nonsense. That said, I might still pick up a Contour SpaceShuttle A/V and send this thing to Martin. When I ordered it it was vaguely supposed to be a pressie, or something.

Next: PowerBook power supply. I’ve had a PowerBook G4 on my shelf for three months. It’s not mine any more, but the (probably) rightful owners don’t seem interested either. So I’m kinda slowly claiming it. Ah, it’s good to have a PowerBook again, even if the possession is both dubious and implicit.

Finally – and perhaps most significantly – Bluetooth. Oh. My. Heavens. Mobile phone/address book/calendar/telephony/SMS integration. This is the most amazing thing. If you have a Mac and use a mobile phone (a.) get a Bluetooth mobile, preferably an Ericssony one, and (b.) get a Bluetooth USB dongle, or a Mac with such stuff built-in.

Rock. on.

2 Replies to “$SHINY”

  1. what are you using the pwermate for? i’m lookinmg into it for controlling imovie but i would like to get a user’s experience before. and maybe evern compare to the spaceshuttle av.

  2. I use the Powermate for scrolling, habitually, but mostly when reading web pages. Somehow, it interferes less with the reading experience to twiddle it with my left hand, rather than to grab a mouse with my right. Possibly because it stays where you put it, rather than skittering over a wide area. It’s a subtle difference to pin down, but it works for me. It’s less successful for scrolling in Word (too jerky), but most other apps are OK.
    As a jog wheel for iMovie and Final Cut, it’s only OK. On my G4/933, there’s a tendency for the app to not quite keep up with the wheel, with the result that the video keeps going for a few frames after you’ve stopped twiddling. Backwards is worse, and on my PowerBook G4/667 it was really rather frustrating. But the real git is that it’s purely a jog wheel, not a jog/shuttle controller. And you really do want both.
    I haven’t seen the cheaper Contour Shuttle, but the full-on thing is excellent. There’s still a tendency to overshoot, but it’s more predictable and hence you adjust soon enough. It’s a very professional product, excellent with Final Cut, and but for a lack of desk space I’d have one of those as well. The cheaper version may well be just the job if you need a Shuttle but hanker after a Powermate.
    But for the moment my Powermate is a fixture; there’s little chance of it disappearing in a hurry (sorry, Martin). I find myself reaching for it whenever I’m sitting at a different desktop, which is the surest sign that it’s wheedled its way into my working habits.

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