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Issue 1.5

REVIEW

PowerMate

Issue: 1.5 (April/May 2003)
Author: Brian Jones
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,142
Starting Page Number: 8
Article Number: 1503
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

The collection of input devices we all use for our computers have been around for a while now. There have been many new ideas that have come and gone, and some that have stuck around (that little scroll-wheel in multi-button mice, for example). I have never been attracted to any of them. I'm set in my ways and have never felt the need to learn new tricks. When I saw the PowerMate from Griffin Technology, however, I was intrigued. Very intrigued.

The sleek brushed metal casing ringed along the bottom with coolly glowing blue LEDs will catch anyone's eye; however, this product's functionality can really make those folks stick around and pick one up for themselves. It's a multimedia control knob that sits on your desk rather than on the face of your stereo or video editor. The default behavior is that of a volume knob: rotate right for volume up, rotate left for volume down, or click to mute. For anyone listening to music on their computer, these shortcuts provide a bit of fun in and of themselves, but the real fun begins when you create your own behavior for the device.

The PowerMate supports six actions: rotate left, rotate right, click, long click, rotate left during click, and rotate right during click. Each of these actions can be associated with a range of behaviors: volume up and down, scroll up and down, moving the cursor any direction, and sending keystrokes. The user can create unique profiles for each application describing any of these behaviors for any of these actions. The result is a highly customizable new input device that can be used to maximize your efficiency and convenience.

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