Today's Lesson: Input devices; in the beginning was the keyboard ...

Punched cards, paper tape, keyboards, mice, trackpads ... but what next? And can it be righteous?

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Credit: Flickr / DonkeyHotey

Old skool input

In the beginning were punched cards, which were unspeakable and unclean, then paper tape which was much the same and only tolerated as there was b***** all else. 

But then came the keyboard and the nerds smiled upon it for it was good and made satisfying clicking noises.  

After that cameth the mouse, which was also smiled upon, for it let us point and click and, eventually, had two different clicks and it could scroll. And it was good and the nerds were happy.


Mobee Magic Numpad

Then cameth the touchpad which all said was quite good but really needed help to become righteously useful. Thus, for the followers of OS X (praise be to Jobs), was the Mobee Magic Numpad created ($29.95 with a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5) which was way cool and allowed nerds to use the Apple Magic Trackpad as a number pad with custom keys which was great as the puny Apple keyboard lacks such grace.


BetterTouchTool management interface

Also, but only for the righteous on OS X (all others are Philistines), cameth the free BetterTouchTool (a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5) which:

... allows you to configure many gestures for your Magic Mouse, Macbook Trackpad and Magic Trackpad and also Mouse Gestures for normal mice. It also allows you to configure actions for keyboard shortcuts, normal mice buttons and the Apple Remote. In addition to this it has an iOS companion App (BTT Remote) which can also be configured to control your Mac the way you want.

This was also amazingly good and many were quite happy but yet many nerds did look upon the face of the desk and thought, “We need something else! Something new to control our computers but what could that thing be”? And lo, they sat around and scratched their heads and drank Jolt Cola and ate Cheetos knowing not what was the answer.

Then, from the product wasteland came the prophet Griffin and it was revealed: The Fourth Control Device, the Powermate Bluetooth … and it was seen to be good. 


Griffin PowerMate Bluetooth

The Powermate Bluetooth is a puck-shaped device that communicates over Bluetooth LE (being thus miserly with the juice) to your computer as long as you have:

… Mac OS X 10.8 or higher, and Bluetooth 4.0. Compatible Macintosh machines that support the Bluetooth 4.0 protocol include: Mid-2011 Macbook Air or newer /  Mid-2012 Macbook Pro or newer / Late 2012 iMac or newer / Mid-2011 Mac mini or newer / 2013 Mac Pro or newer / There are third-party USB dongles that confer Bluetooth 4.0 compatibility on older machines. Many of the same dongles made for PCs also work for Macintosh.

You can turn the PowerMate left and right, press short, press long, and turn left or right while pressing and, depending on which actions you perform and what application is active what you’ve told the control application to do wills be done. For example, you could assign a left and right turn while pressed to raising or lowering the volume of iTunes no matter what application you’re in while, if you were using Adobe Premiere Pro, turning without pressing could “scrub” playback forwards or backwards.

The PowerMate Bluetooth also has a nifty programmable blue light underneath which the nerds found pleasing to the eye and can be sync’ed to such as the volume level shouldest thou so desirest.

And once thou hast a PowerMate Bluetooth, thou willst never want to be without for lo, it is written, The PowerMate Bluetooth ($59.99) gets a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5 and it is definitely righteous.

So, here endth the lesson of the input devices.

May your gadgets go with you.

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