Mac Pro owners have always been able to connect two displays, and if you have an iMac or Mac laptop, you can use its built-in display and connect a second one, for mirrored or extended display options. But if two displays are good, wouldn’t three be, oh, at least 50 percent better?
You can practice meditation techniques with biofeedback from these sensors. To us, biofeedback has always seemed like the natural direction for input devices, where sensors can hook up to your body and read subtle changes in brain activity that would control what’s displayed on the computer—or, in our most advanced sci-fi fantasies—what the computer does. Companies such as NeuroSky (www.neurosky.com) are developing EEG brainwave-reading systems to control machines. These applications could eventually lead to a retail product that lets you move the cursor with your mind. Healing Rhythms introduces us to a few other biofeedback sensors designed to teach users about meditation and quieting the mind and body. The hardware and software don’t control the Mac otherwise, but instead monitor your responses as you move through various exercises. We got a kick out of watching the software change with biofeedback, and we even learned a few useful basic meditation techniques in the process.
Take your photos and illustrations in hand with this gloriously large and responsive LCD tablet. Digital Artists, Designers and photographers need a way to edit photos, draw onscreen, and edit their designs and images. Without a pen tablet, clicking and drawing with a standard mouse can feel cumbersome and imprecise. With Wacom’s gorgeous (and pricey) Cintiq 20WSX, you can banish your mouse and write, scribble, and sketch onscreen with a stylus instead. This 20.1-inch drawing tablet merges a bright LCD with a touch-sensitive surface, giving amazing control in the apps that graphics pros use most. The result feels nearly the same as actual pencils and brushes, but with all the benefits of a digital workspace, like undo, layers, and scripts.
The Mini Surge is incredibly handy for recharging your USB devices while traveling. Back when FireWire was first introduced, one of its coolest features was that it delivered power and was a fast data conduit. At the time, USB’s trickle of electrons wasn’t enough to power much of anything. As devices became more frugal with their electricity, USB slowly turned into a recharging standard for many small gadgets. But there’s one major difference in how Macs handle these ports while asleep: FireWire ports continue to receive power, whereas USB ports don’t. So you can recharge a FireWire device while your laptop is asleep, but not a USB device. You have to leave the whole system running just to charge your iPod.
The GarageBand Microphone Cable is a lot cheaper than an XLR converter box. If you’re a podcaster who wants good voice audio in your podcasts (and who doesn’t?), you need to use an XLR microphone. Macs don’t have XLR connectors, but you can use Griffin’s GarageBand Microphone Cable, which features an XLR jack for your mic and a stereo minijack so you can plug into a Mac’s standard audio line-in port.
Touch it, love it. The guitar gods compel you! Sliding around the living room in your underwear with a hairbrush for a microphone might be cool…wait, wait, wait…that was never cool. If what you really want to do is learn how to play an instrument, it seems that starting with one that’s got a built-in cool factor is, well, cool.
The iMic can help you digitize your crates of vinyl records. What’s your excuse for not digitizing your vinyl copy of Dark Side of the Moon? Wait, let us guess - you haven’t figured out how to connect your turntable to your Mac, huh? The red and white jacks from the turntable don’t match any ports on your Mac. What you need is an iMic. The iMic is handy for connecting a turntable, tape player, or any other audio device to your computer.