TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Kool Tools

Volume Number: 22 (2006)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: Kool Tools

Kool Tools

by MacTech Staff

Plantronics CS50 and CS50-USB

What is it?

If you are a Skype user, or a heavy phone user looking for a good headset, then you've likely heard of Plantronics. We took at a look at the Plantronics CS50 and it's cousin, the CS50-USB. Both are wireless office headset systems that gives users the ability to roam up to 200-300 feet. Both use digital 900MHz technology and a noise-canceling microphone to deliver clear and digitally encrypted secure calls (between the headset and the base station). CS50 comes with a customizable headset, weighing 26 grams that can be worn over the ear or over the head. An optional behind-the-head model is also available. The headset also contains an online status indicator light. CS50 is powered by a Lithium Ion Polymer battery that offers eight hours of talk time, gets fully recharged in less than 3 hours and 80% recharged in 1.5 hours, and its standby time is up to 70 hours. The battery is compatible with most office or PBX-based telephones. CS50 is equipped with an integrated IntelliStand base unit that features the capability to automatically answer or end a call and it includes power, online, and charging status indicator lights. The optional Plantronics HL10 Lifter allows taking or ending calls remotely. CS50 also features one-touch volume control, mute button, and call answer/end functions.

The Plantronics CS50-USB is specifically designed for softphones, and other VoIP applications. The cradle is a bit slimmer than the CS50, making it easy to travel with if you need VoIP in your hotel room.



Plantronics CS50-USB

What we thought?

We've been using the CS50 and CS50-USB in real life use for several months. It's lightweight headset can be worn all day, and the battery life is substantial. Clarity is good, and it's nice to have a headset that puts the microphone close to your mouth rather than have the volume loss with a shorter boom.

If you need a headset for your phone or softphone, you should definitely consider these products.

- by MacTech Staff




FAST DVD COPY 4

PC users have a variety of ways to work with store bought DVD materials. While some are using pieces of software like this for nefarious reasons, others may want to simply backup up their DVDs, or make a copy to use for travel or kids.

If you do need to copy DVDs, and other types of digital content, FAST DVD COPY 4 is a digital technology copy software for Mac platform that can be used to copy DVD video collections, Audio CD collections, PlayStation 2 games, DVD-ROMs or CD-ROMs, without losing quality from the original. This software also allows copying of almost all DVD videos to blank DVD-R(W) discs, PlayStation 2 games to a DVD-R(W) disc, almost all Audio CDs to a CD-R(W) disc, a CD-ROM to a CD-R(W) disc, and a DVD-ROM to a DVD-R(W) disc.



It features one-click copy interface, leverages Macintosh dual processors for faster processing, removes CSS encryption and Macrovision protection, and guarantees privacy with no digital mark written on the copied discs. Free update patches for FAST DVD COPY 4 are available online.

FAST DVD COPY 4 comes with a number of DVD specific features such as copying an entire dual-layer DVD video to one single-layer DVD-R(W) disc, New Rip Only and Rip & Compress modes, support for ARccOS-protected DVDs, RCE protection handling, duplication quality viewer, option to send copy logs to technical support, fully copying multi-channel audio (Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS, THX), Apple iDVD compatibility, and freedom to choose all items or specific items to copy including menus, trailers, audio streams, subtitles, bonus material, and special features. Other DVD specific functionalities of FAST DVD COPY 4 include, movie only feature, to copy only the main feature without menus or bonuses, enabling playback of copied DVD videos on any recent DVD player, support for NTSC and PAL formats, support for Widescreen and Full Screen sizes, and region free DVD copies.

The minimum requirements for installing FAST DVD COPY 4 are any Mac running OS X, 17 GB free disk space, Apple SuperDrive or any DVD burner compatible with Mac OS X, blank discs (DVD-R(W) or CD-R(W)), and Internet connection for activation of the software.

Their activation method is a bit of a pain, but you can get through it. Not all DVDs will copy and play, but most will. Other than that, the software pretty much does as you would expect.

FAST DVD COPY 4 costs $99.95 for a single computer specific license, and is available from <http://www.fastdvdcopy.com/>.

- by MacTech Staff




Brenthaven Fusion MB Messenger Bag

First, there was radio. Then came the golden age of television, and after that? Color! So it was with the beginnings of home entertainment, so it is with the newest additions to the Brenthaven line of cases designed specifically for Apple portables.

The Fusion MB is a messenger style shoulder bag that takes on the usual high quality materials and design Brenthaven is known for. As you can see in the image above, the color comes on the flap, and extends over the back panel of the bag. It's constructed of heavy duty ballistic nylon, and high quality zippers. There are two pouches on the outside, both just big enough for plane tickets or a magazine. The flap is held with two clips (no Velcro, which would have been a nice addition). New to Brenthaven bags is a hidden water bottle holder. A small zipper on the side conceals the pouch that will hold a pretty wide bottle, a very nice new feature. The external features are completed with the padded shoulder strap, and handle.

On the inside, you've got a nice assortment of pockets for pens, PDAs, phones, and all the other little stuff. This grouping sits right under the bag flap, making it very accessible. Further within are two mesh pouches, and open space for files. A removable laptop sleeve is also included, and provides additional padding and shock protection for a computer inside. The owner of Brenthaven routinely takes his bags, and drops them, with computers inside, to demonstrate that the internal sleeve really does work. If you're tough on the equipment, the protective sleeve alone is more than worth the price.



Technically, this case is classified as a messenger bag. It is the heaviest messenger you'll come across, owing to the materials used in it's construction. Being as this is a messenger bag, though, it tends to have less open space inside than other shoulder cases. However, this bag is expandable. Zip the zipper that opens it up, and you've increased the capacity 20%.

My biggest complaint about Brenthaven bags has always been the single available color. Now, though, navy and silver colors are available, along with the always classic black.

The Fusion MB is designed for any Apple portable up to 15", and is available from the Apple Store for $99.95. Other products in the color line up include a color version of the Metro, and the Edge I and II.

- by Michael R. Harvey




NEC Multisync 20WMGX2

To begin, flat screen monitors are really the only way to go anymore. Their cost has come down to the point where they compete favorably with CRT displays. They are energy efficient like no CRT could ever dream about being, and they just tend to provide a better looking display. What's not to like?

The next issue becomes which brand to buy? Well, one very good choice would be the 20WMGX2 from NEC. This wide aspect ratio LCD monitor is packed with features. The front controls are about what you'd expect on any monitor. They feel a little mushy, and the button's a bit too sensitive. It includes integrated speakers along the bottom of the screen, with volume and headset jack on the right side. Interestingly, the power and audio signal lines are accessible, and can be unplugged from the back of the case, so you can attach your own set of speakers if you so desire. The 20WMGX2 includes a three port powered USB 2.0 hub, two of the ports accessible on the left of the case, the third in the back with the other connections. Tack on the usual assortment of DVI and VGA connections, and the back of the case is almost complete. The kicker comes next.

This display is also quite a bit more than just a monitor. Among the many connectors on the back of it is a coax in port for hooking up television. Also, S-video and component video connectors. The 20WMGX2 has the ability to do picture in picture. One screen is your desktop, the other is the TV signal coming in. This is an incredibly good set up for someone who needs to monitor, say, CNBC as well as work, but doesn't have the cubicle or desk space for a separate television. Plus, it's just cool. Oh yeah, and it comes with a remote control.

The image quality is what really sets the 20WMGX2 apart. It is bright. Really bright. So bright, you-gotta-wear-shades bright. In low light settings, it may be too bright. In high lighting environments, though, it's perfect. With NEC's OptiClear technology, and crisp image quality, the screen really shines through in overly lit areas, or with lots of fluorescent lighting overhead. In dark corners, you can turn down the brightness some.

The only thing I didn't like about The 20WMGX2 was that it is not height adjustable. It's not a killer, but there are other manufactures out there who build height adjustment into the stands, and it would have been nice to see that feature here as well. The 20WMGX2 however can be attached to a VESA compatible mounting arm, so all is not lost.

Only the 20WMGX2 has the picture in picture capability, and it runs for about $799 MSRP. There are two other models in the Multisync GX2 series, though. A 17" (70GX2) and 19"( 90GX2), each with a normal aspect ratio screen, most of the same features, and the same quality as the 20WMGX2. The 19" runs $499 MSRP, and the 70GX2 $399. These prices are highly competitive, and the superior quality makes any of these three LCD screens excellent choices.

- By Michael R. Harvey




 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Printopia 2.1.14 - Share Mac printers wi...
Run Printopia on your Mac to share its printers to any capable iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Printopia will also add virtual printers, allowing you to save print-outs to your Mac and send to apps.... Read more
Google Drive 1.24 - File backup and shar...
Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé, or... Read more
Chromium 45.0.2454.85 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 45.0.2454.85: Note: Does not contain the "... Read more
OmniFocus 2.2.5 - GTD task manager with...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more
iFFmpeg 5.7.1 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a graphical front-end for FFmpeg, a command-line tool used to convert multimedia files between formats. The command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does... Read more
VOX 2.6 - Music player that supports man...
VOX is a beautiful music player that supports many filetypes. The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all... Read more
Box Sync 4.0.6567 - Online synchronizati...
Box Sync gives you a hard-drive in the Cloud for online storage. Note: You must first sign up to use Box. What if the files you need are on your laptop -- but you're on the road with your iPhone? No... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.4 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
OmniGraffle Pro 6.3.1 - Create diagrams,...
OmniGraffle Pro helps you draw beautiful diagrams, family trees, flow charts, org charts, layouts, and (mathematically speaking) any other directed or non-directed graphs. We've had people use... Read more
Monosnap 3.1.2 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Capture: Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel perfect with... Read more

Goat Simulator MMO Simulator (Games)
Goat Simulator MMO Simulator 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** Coffee Stain Studios brings next-gen... | Read more »
Worms™ 4 (Games)
Worms™ 4 1.02 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.02 (iTunes) Description: The latest instalment in the worldwide mega hit franchise! Coming soon to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. When the guys and girls at... | Read more »
The Deer God (Games)
The Deer God 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: 30% off launch sale!!! “It can be a struggle, but it's all worth it when you're shooting fire out your antlers.” Kotaku “The... | Read more »
AppSpy's Patreon campaign kicks off
Occasionally you'll see us use AppSpy's videos here on 148Apps to support an article we've written. That's because we're part of Steel Media, and AppSpy is Steel's video arm, so we're all part of one happy family. [Read more] | Read more »
We're Sorry to Report that Moonrise...
Moonrise is a very promising-looking, Pokemon-esque monster collecting and battling game that we were really looking forward to reviewing, but unfortunately it looks like that's never going to happen. [Read more] | Read more »
The Latest Update for The Sims FreePlay...
Commerce has gotten a little more active with the newest update for The Sims FreePlay, making Sunset Mall more of a hangout than ever before. [Read more] | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: August 24-28, 2015
The Apps of August With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out... | Read more »
NASCAR in Real Racing 3? Sure, Why Not?
I have to give Firemonkeys credit - it's very cool of them to add NASCAR to Real Racing 3 via an update rather than making a separate game for it. But that's a different discussion for another time; for now let's sit back and enjoy driving in... | Read more »
The nuyu is an Inexpensive Activity Moni...
Today, Health o Meter nuyu has announced a series of health and fitness-related products, including the aforementioned activity monitor along with a wireless scale. All at a decent pricepoint, no less. [Read more] | Read more »
The Makers of Overkill are Trying Someth...
Craneballs, the studio responsible for the Overkill series, is taking a little break from all that violence (a little break) to bring us Cube Worm - a 3D take on one of the most classic PC/calculator games in existence. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Will You Buy An iPad Pro? – The ‘Book Mystiqu...
It looks like we may not have to wait much longer to see what finally materializes as a new, larger-panel iPad (Pro/Plus?) Usually reliable Apple product prognosticator KGI Securities analyst Ming-... Read more
eFileCabinet Announces SMB Document Managemen...
Electronic document management (EDM) eFileCabinet, Inc., a hosted solutions provider for small to medium businesses, has announced that its SecureDrawer and eFileCabinet Online services will be... Read more
WaterField Designs Unveils American-Made, All...
San Francisco’s WaterField Designs today unveiled their all-leather Cozmo 2.0 — an elegant attach laptop bag with carefully-designed features to suit any business environment. The Cozmo 2.0 is... Read more
Apple’s 2015 Back to School promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
128GB MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP,...
B&H Photo has 11″ & 13″ MacBook Airs with 128GB SSDs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $799.99, $100 off MSRP... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679, save $...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Read more
Apple and Cisco Partner to Deliver Fast-Lane...
Apple and Cisco have announced a partnership to create a “fast lane” for iOS business users by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps. The alliance integrates iPhone with Cisco enterprise... Read more
Apple offering refurbished 2015 13-inch Retin...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $270 (15%) off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 MacBook Airs available...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…field and consistent professional recruiting achievement. Job Description: Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Repair Techn...
Simply Mac is the greatest premier retailer of Apple products expertise in North America. We're looking for dedicated individuals to provide personalized service and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the greatest premier retailer of Apple products expertise in North America. We're looking for dedicated individuals to provide personalized service and Read more
*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…field and consistent professional recruiting achievement. Job Description: Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Read more
Simply Mac- *Apple* Specialist- Store Manag...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer for Apple products and solutions. We're looking for dedicated individuals with a passion to simplify and enhance the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.