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Gizmos, Gadgets and Goodies Guide - April 2003

By: Shawn Baker | Guides | Posted: Apr 30, 2003 4:00 am

Anyware Computer Accessories


Anyware 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 Cables


Two 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.



As this got bigger and bigger, companies started producing their own line of rounded cables using proper covering and giving you a better overall finish. Later came different colors, UV Reactive then followed and now we have come to the point where wrapping EL Cable around has became the in thing.


EL stands for Electro Luminescent, which in other words emits light. The cables are very easy to install and simply just involve plugging them in like a normal IDE cable as usual and proceeding to plug a molex connector in to power the light. Defiantly a funky product which gives modders something else to light up their case - if you are after some rounded cables it may be worth checking these ones out for the extra funk they offer.



- USB Flexi Cam


Some people enjoy the ability to talk to people over the net with the inclusion of a camera; it gives you a more personal feel. There are literally hundreds of web cams on the market and a lot are cheap and nasty, either build quality is very poor or the picture will be so bad or chuggy that it seems pointless - let's not even begin talking about driver issues, either.


The camera we are looking is very basic and is defiantly aimed at someone who wants to simply jump into using it straight away at a reasonable price. Being USB based, as soon as you plug it in Windows detects the device and prompts to install drivers, which is a simple case of inserting the CD. Once that is completed the camera is ready to roll.



Currently being off broadband internet the best way to test it was to simply load up Windows Movie Maker which comes with the default installation of Windows XP and hit the record button.


The first thing you notice is the picture and its blurriness, simply going to the camera and adjusting the focus fixed this issue almost instantly. Frame rate sticks at a very high 30 FPS making play back very smooth. Recording at the highest quality, a movie was recorded for 5 minutes and was 25mb in size. The quality can simply be adjusted so the file is a 1/3 of that size, or even smaller.



It is defiantly a very easy to use web cam and with the ability to just bend it any which way you like shouldn't give a problem trying to get a picture. Image quality is what you would expect from any standard web cam, as you can see from the capture screenshot above of the mints box.


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