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

NetShade 8.3 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN servers spanning 17 countries. NetShade masks your IP address as you... Read more
Adobe Animate CC 2020 20.0.1 - Animation...
Animate CC 2020 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $20.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Flash Professional customer). Animate CC 2020 (was Flash CC) lets you... Read more
Adobe Acrobat DC 19.021.20058 - Powerful...
Acrobat DC is available only as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud, and can only be installed and/or updated through Adobe's Creative Cloud app. Adobe Acrobat DC with Adobe Document Cloud services is... Read more
Adobe Acrobat Reader 19.021.20058 - View...
Adobe Acrobat Reader allows users to view PDF documents. You may not know what a PDF file is, but you've probably come across one at some point. PDF files are used by companies and even the IRS to... Read more
Adobe Flash Player 32.0.0.303 - Plug-in...
Adobe Flash Player is a cross-platform, browser-based application runtime that provides uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across browsers and operating systems.... Read more
Adobe InDesign CC 2019 15.0.1 - Professi...
InDesign CC 2019 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $20.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous InDesign customer). Adobe InDesign CC 2019 is part of Creative Cloud.... Read more
Adobe Lightroom Classic 9.1 - Import, de...
You can download Lightroom for Mac as a part of Creative Cloud for only $9.99/month with Photoshop, included as part of the photography package. The latest version of Lightroom gives you all of the... Read more
Shredo 1.2.7 - $6.99
Shredo is a beautiful, functional file-shredding and privacy scan utility. It permanently shreds files, folders, and external volumes' contents to keep information secure and impossible for anyone to... Read more
Visual Studio Code 1.41.0 - Cross-platfo...
Visual Studio Code provides developers with a new choice of developer tool that combines the simplicity and streamlined experience of a code editor with the best of what developers need for their... Read more
calibre 4.6.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

King's Throne, the hugely ambitious...
King's Throne: Game of Lust is a deeply immersive medieval-set idle RPG which sees you playing as an ambitious prince, and sole heir to your father's kingdom. On a seemingly ordinary night whilst wandering the king's castle, you make the shocking... | Read more »
Abyssrium Pole is an upcoming aquarium b...
FleroGames' upcoming Abyssrium Pole has recently hit one million pre-registers, which is very impressive, particularly for a fairly casual looking game. Those who have pre-registered will receive 1000 Pearl when the game launches on 8th January... | Read more »
Two Spies is pretty fun, but it's h...
Two Spies just dropped on the App Store this week, and it looks pretty neat. The game has two players capturing various cities across Europe, with the goal of eventually spotting and striking the other spy down. It may be simple-looking, but after... | Read more »
Two Spies is a turn-based game for iOS t...
There aren't too many games that feature pass and play multiplayer and there are even less where you can only play against people you know, even when playing online. But Two Spies does both of those things and you can get it for iOS right now. [... | Read more »
Solve your way through new low-poly puzz...
The best escape-the-room games don’t just test your creative problem-solving skills – they look great, too. Released in October this year by Antler (the developer of the succesful VR puzzle SVRVIVE: The Deus Helix), Krystopia offers everything you... | Read more »
Get ready for an epic adventure with Pea...
Following a hugely successful pre-registration campaign, Pearl Abyss' much-hyped MMORPG, Black Desert Mobile, has finally arrived for iOS and Android. With some of the most impressive visuals on mobile, a vast open world to explore, an in-depth... | Read more »
Elder Scrolls: Blades has ditched chest...
Elder Scrolls: Blades started out as one of the most hyped mobile games of 2019, boasting some impressive visuals and no shortage of promise. Our hopes were somewhat dashed when it eventually launched and we all became privy to its mishandled... | Read more »
Hands-On with the Pocket City December U...
At the end of last month, Codebrew Games announced an update coming to their popular city-builder, Pocket City some time this month. In this update is the promise of expanding your city out into other regions, enacting policies, and more. The full... | Read more »
Black Desert Mobile is available for pre...
Pearl Abyss' stunning open-world MMORPG, Black Desert Mobile, is set to launch for iOS and Android on December 11th at 12 AM PST (8 AM UTC). However, those looking to get in early and test out the in-depth character customisation will be able to... | Read more »
Extraordinary Ones, NetEase's innov...
NetEase's inventive 5v5 anime MOBA, Extraordinary Ones, has now opened for pre-registration ahead of its global launch in early 2020. The game seems to have received a fairly warm reception from fans after its soft-launch earlier in the year,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Watch Series 3 models on sale at Amazon...
Amazon has Apple Watch Series 3 GPS models on sale for $20 off MSRP, starting at only $179. Their prices are the lowest available for these models from any Apple reseller. Choose Amazon as the seller... Read more
Sunday AirPods Sale: Amazon drops prices to a...
Amazon has new 2019 Apple AirPods on sale today ranging up to $30 off MSRP, starting at $139. Shipping is free: – AirPods Pro: $249 $0 off MSRP – AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $168.95 $30 off... Read more
Holiday 2019 sale: 11″ iPad Pros for up to $2...
Amazon has new Apple 11″ iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $200 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their Holiday 2019 sale. These are the same iPad Pros sold by Apple in its retail and online... Read more
B&H has 12.9″ WiFi iPad Pros on sale for...
B&H Photo has new 12.9″ WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $150 off Apple’s MSRP as part of their Holiday 2019 sale. Overnight shipping is free to many addresses in the US: – 12.9″ 64GB WiFi iPad... Read more
Find the best Holiday 2019 prices on Apple’s...
Our Apple award-winning price trackers are the best place to look for the best deals and lowest prices on Apple gear this 2019 Holiday shopping season. Scan our price trackers for the latest... Read more
13″ 2.4GHz/256GB Silver MacBook Pro on sale f...
Amazon has the Silver 13″ 2.4GHz/256GB 4-Core Touch Bar MacBook Pro on sale for $1499.99 shipped. Their price is $300 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the lowest price currently available for a 13″ 2.4GHz... Read more
Sams Club one day sales event December 14th:...
Through midnight Saturday night (December 14th), Sams Club online has several Apple Watch Series 5 models on sale for $40 off MSRP as part of their One Day sales event. Choose free shipping or free... Read more
Total Wireless offers iPhone 6S models for as...
Total Wireless has Apple 32GB iPhone 6S models available starting at $99: – 32GB iPhone 6S: $99.99 – 32GB iPhone 6S Plus: $149.99 A no-contract Total Wireless prepaid plan is required with your... Read more
Get a 4 or 6-core Mac Mini for up to $170 off...
B&H Photo has 4-Core and 6-Core Mac minis on sale for up to $170 off Apple’s standard MSRP as part of their Holiday 2019 sale. Overnight shipping is free to many US addresses: – 3.6GHz Quad-Core... Read more
Amazon restocks base 13″ 1.4GHz MacBook Pro f...
Amazon has restocked the base 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro for $1099.99 shipped. Their price is $200 off Apple’s MSRP, and it’s the cheapest price available for a new MacBook Pro. Amazon... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Mobility Sales Professional - Best B...
**750138BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobility Sales Professional **Job Category:** Store Associates **Store NUmber or Department:** 000471-Mt Vernon-Store **Job Read more
*Apple* Engineering Specialist (ITC ) - Gene...
…Suitability clearance, per contract requirements. Currently, we are seeking an Apple Engineering Specialist in Washington, DC The responsibilities for candidates in Read more
Senior *Apple* Endpoint Engineer - Leidos (...
…Medicaid Service (CMS) End User environment. Perform specific duties as an Apple Endpoint Engineer in support of the infrastructure operations, hardware, software Read more
Perioperative - RN - ( *Apple* Hill Surgical...
Perioperative - RN - ( Apple Hill Surgical Center) Tracking Code 59281 Job Description Monday - Friday - Part Time - Days Possible Saturdays General Summary: Under Read more
Lead DevOps Engineer - *Apple* - Theorem, L...
Job Summary Apple is looking for a seasoned Lead DevOps Engineer that can lead multiple projects and teams while delivering high quality and performant solutions in Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.