GGG April 2003 - IntroductionIntroductionDown under here at the TweakTown labs we get the opportunity to receive some of the latest and greatest hardware released to the market. When we receive a piece of hardware there is a certain structure we have to follow, we like to keep the word count to a minimum of 3000 for products that can't be benchmarked. The problem with this is that there are a lot of products on the market that we couldn't write about in that many words, so our readers don't get the chance to see some of the cheaper or smaller items on the market. The TweakTown team concluded that a monthly article consisting off all these smaller items that we receive from Australian companies and abroad would get its very own section - the Gizmos, Gadgets and Goodies Guide also known as the GGG Guide. Items will have anywhere from two paragraphs to one page written about them to give our readers a good knowledge of these items in a smaller amount of words compared to our usual larger reviews and articles.Depending on the success of this article, we will decide if it is worth doing one every month to give people the ability to know what is happening on the lighter side of computers. We know that people don't have the ability to buy the latest $220 motherboard or $500 processor.This month we will be looking at some new items onto the market like Vantecs EZ Swap Hard Drive Caddie, some new case modding items from Flexi glow with anything else we can find lying around the lab. So without further ado, let's continue on!
GGG April 2003 - FlexiglowFlexiglowFlexiglow are a company that we have seen around for a little while though unfortunately we had never received the opportunity to look at any of their products, until now. Recently they were kind enough to send us over three of their more recent products to look at and we thought it would be an excellent way to start our very first GGG Guide. For more information on Flexiglow products their website can be seen here.- Cold Cathode Bubble LightCase modding is defiantly one of those parts in the computer world which is growing quicker then people ever expected. Like most people probably know, case modding started back in the day with installing more fans to help push more air through your case; this of course resulted in cutting your case which in other words was modding. The first item we are looking at this month is the Bubble Light released by Flexiglow recently. The bubble light kit consists of two smaller cold cathodes, instructions, on/off/flash switch and an inverter which is everything you need to get it installed into your case and start seeing some new lighting. Installation is an absolute breeze and nobody should have a problem installing them, unfortunately the first thing you notice about them is how they are nowhere near as bright as your normal cold cathode. This instantly gives the feeling that they are designed for people to see and not emit a huge amount of light.Flexiglow are trying to push to have light externally attached to your case and you should find with a simple drill hole you shouldn't have any troubles mounting it to the top, front or side - even at the rear of the case if you wanted to light up the back.
GGG April 2003 - Flexiglow ContinuedFlexiglow Continued- Cold CathodeEvery company who produces case modding products have a cold cathode product of some form, being the most popular product due to its brightness, size and price. Anyone interested in case modding will find themselves purchasing one sooner or later. Before people start thinking "well I will just go get any light, they all look the same", it is worth taking note that there is a big difference in cold cathodes.Firstly the build quality but the most noticeable being the amount of light each emits. To date my favorite cold cathodes have been from Sunbeam due to its excellent build quality and high brightness. As soon as I plugged in the Flexiglow Cold Cathode, I thought this was all about to change. The amount of light these cold cathodes emit is huge, while some people may say the borderline of being too bright; others will say they are on borderline of being the most kick ass cold cathodes on the market.
GGG April 2003 - More FlexiglowEven More Flexiglow- Sonic DriverSo, you have all your lights installed in your case and they simply sit there on all day? Why not get them to dance in tune with the music around you. This is where the Sonic Driver comes in, it's not an unusual product, as a lot of companies are beginning to include Sound Sensitive Modules standard with cold cathode kits these days. It is a very simply product which consists of a microphone housed in a plastic covering, a dial which gives you the ability to adjust sensitive, and two cables that can be connected to the Bubble Light or Cold Cathode just like we checked out on these previous pages.
GGG April 2003 - PC Case GearPC Case GearPC Case Gear is a well known Australian case modding shop that has been around for a few years now, specializing in case modding items in all shapes and sizes - it has always been easy to find something new and interesting for sale. This month from our friends at PC Case Gear, we have the opportunity to look at Zalman's latest CPU cooler, along with Vantec's new hard drive rack, some caffeinated mints and a few other goodies of interest. - Vantec EZ Swap Mobile RackSome people use removable hard drive racks for security purposes, others use them to making transferring of files easily between two computers. Which ever reason you use them for; mobile racks are becoming more and more mainstream. You can spend anywhere from US$10 - US$50+ on a hard drive rack, it really depends what you want to do with them. More expensive racks come with such options as being hot swappable or being made out of aluminum to give extra strength and security to the drive.The caddie we are looking at today would have to be one of the nicest looking racks on the market. One of the first things you notice when pulling it out of the equally impressive retail packaging is the LCD on the left side of the caddie, underneath it is three buttons and to the right side a latch which when opens reveals a lock, as pictured below.our Rheobus Roundup which we published earlier this year. If you're in the market for a Hard Drive caddie and it doesn't bother you spending an extra few dollars, this solution from Vantec may be just what you the doctor ordered.
GGG April 2003 - PC Case Gear ContinuedPC Case Gear Continued- Penguin Caffeinated MintsIf you're someone who takes your gaming a bit more serious then others and enjoy going to the odd LAN Party or two, you will know how important it is to be prepared for that long night of hardcore gaming.Not only do you have to make sure you have everything hardware and software wise to enable you to play the game of your choice, but it doesn't hurt to throw in a few cans of Jolt Cola or Red Bull so you can stay awake that little bit longer, there is nothing worse then being in the final for your game and being so tired that you can't make the "T" out of the "CT" in Counterstrike.While coke, Jolt Cola, Red Bull and other energy drinks give you your caffeine shot, by the end of the night if you drink too much of it, you may be feeling a bit ill the next morning. This is where these marvelous mints come in, the caffeinated penguin mints seem to be the latest caffeine shot to hit the streets and people are taking to it pretty quickly according to PC Case Gear who are struggling to keep customers at bay. fUnc Pad which was, as far as we were concerned, the best mousing surface money can buy. This month we are looking at the new GS from Ratpadz to see if they can follow the success they had with their previous surface. Like the original RatPadz, the first thing you notice is the sheer size of the pad, being slightly wider then the fUnc it would defiantly have to be one of, if not biggest, surfaces on the market at the moment. Following the all black look and similar shape, the surface doesn't look too different. Some aspects were improved upon, mainly the bottom feet which are now bigger and thicker giving absolutely no slide when using the mouse pad and of course, a redefined mousing surface to make your mousing experience an even smoother one. The first thing you notice when moving from the fUnc pad is how the surface is not as smooth and you can feel yourself going across the ever-so-slight-bumps on the pad.
GGG April 2003 - More PC Case GearEven More PC Case Gear- USB Snake LightThe USB snake light has been around for a while now and it seems that still a lot of people out there haven't seen it. It's quite basic in what it is and the one we are looking at here seems to be a generic brand.USB snake light are designed for notebook computers that don't emit much light from the LCD display like larger desktop CRTs which can make it harder to see the keyboard in the dark. It's defiantly one of the simplest products you will install as all you have to do is plug it into any free USB port and away you go. From there it automatically switches on and you are able to bend the light in any which direction you please. It also can be used on a normal computer if you have USB ports on the back of your monitor or the back of your keyboard. Some people may choose to use it at the rear of the case as they might like a bit of light when they are doing things at the back of the case while their system is on.
GGG April 2003 - Anyware Computer AccessoriesAnyware Computer AccessoriesAnyware Computer Accessories is the Australian distributor for some of the larger companies in the enthusiast market like ThermalTake and Lian Li. They concentrate on computer accessories and we all know that some of the coolest computer components are accessories. Each month we will receive items that have just reached our shores down under and give you a little write up about them. This month, though, we have some new rounded cables with a little something extra, PATA to SATA adapter and a nice little, cheap USB camera.- El Wire Rounded CablesTwo of the more important items to case modding are Rounded Cables and Lighting, when you mix these both together you get a product that people will simply go "OH WOW" over. EL Wire Rounded Cables are defiantly something new and should take off in the near future. Like most lighting products, it does unfortunately add extra wires to your system but if you're like me - it will be all worth it.The rounded cable has been around for a while and was first started by enthusiast modders who had some electrical tape, a knife and a old parallel ATA cable, you then preceded to cut the individual strands into little piles and use tape to tighten them together, overall this gave you two things: an increase in air flow and a better, uncluttered look.
GGG April 2003 - Anyware Computer Accessories ContinuedAnyware Computer Accessories Continued- Iwill Serial ATA to Parallel ATA AdapterWith Serial ATA quickly becoming mainstream, certain motherboards are getting rid of the extra two PATA channels and replacing them with two SATA channels. Instead of having the four PATA channels we have became accustomed to, you are limited to two and people who have multiple hard drives, CD-ROMs and the like may find that they are out of space. This is where the SATA to PATA adapter comes in handy, instead of letting those two extra ports go to waste, you can now use them with your extra drives.The device is very basic; it is simply a small PCB with a PATA adapter on one end and a SATA on the other and a little plug for power. It doesn't take a genius to install this, simply plug the necessary cables in their locations. Once installed boot up your machine and your Serial ATA controller should pick up the extra drives.
GGG April 2003 - Quiet PCQuiet PCQuiet PC USA is a company dedicated to keeping your computers noise to a minimum as the name suggests, with such items as sound dampening products and fan controllers, they have everything to help keep your PCs noise to a minimum. This month we are having a look at a new product of theirs known as Quiet Feet.- Quiet FeetYou may be wondering to yourself what Quiet Feet are and how they will help reduce noise to your computer, the answer is simple. They are designed to sit on the bottom of external products (such as CD-ROMs) that cause vibration from its spinning mechanical parts. Instead of vibrating the desk and causing other objects to rattle, these products help absorb just about all the vibration preventing other items from rattling.While some people may not have any use for such a product, they are out there and could come in handy if required. Being available in multiple sizes, you shouldn't have a problem finding one to suit your product.
GGG April 2003 - ConclusionConclusionThis month we had to look at some of the latest products to hit the streets - some useful others not so useful. Overall we have presented you with a few products of which will interest you and some will not.We got a chance to look at some excellent products for your case insides and outsides and had a look at some of the more recent case modding items that are appearing around your local computer stores; do look forward to more of the same next month!
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