Great iMac Accessories, & Accessory To Crime April 18th, 2000
Gary: Whoa there, chompy! Exactly what are you trying to do?
Randy: Remember on the Discovery Channel how they were showing those people in Connecticut who were having that pumpkin tossing contest?
Randy: And remember how they built these incredibly complex catapults to do this?
Gary: Keep talking.
Randy: Well, I am thinking that if I use this window frame as a brace, I might be able to get a pumpkin all the way to Central Park.
Gary: First of all, there was a reason that they were doing that in a field in Connecticut. Second of all, no way would that wimpy rubber-band toss a pumpkin six long blocks. We'll need a much stronger piece of elastic and some sort of winch to pull it back far enough. Give me your credit card! I'll be right back!
(four days later)
Randy: Where the hell have you been? These pumpkins are getting pretty ripe!
Gary: It took some searching, but look what I got. A real rubber band, and an electric winch from a tow truck in the village. Let's get to work.
(four days later)
Randy: Woohoo! It's finally ready! I bet we can slaughter joggers and everyone all the way from First Ave. Damn joggers....
Gary: I still don't know what to make of your incredible hatred of joggers, but if it can force you to make an incredibly powerful pumpkin-tossing device, then go with it. Hey, have you ever seen pumpkins turn black before?
Randy: Whatever. Load it up.
Gary: Ready, set...fire!
Randy: Whoa!!! That was disgusting. Do it again.
Gary: You got it.
The Idiots: Aaauugghh!!!!
Randy: How the hell did we manage to get ourselves caught in the catapult?
Gary: I blame you.
(four days later)
Randy: Hey, someone's knocking at the door.
Randy: Delirious moron. Hey, come in! We need a little help here.
Gary: I like pie.
Randy: Thank God! It's your little brother, Daniel. He can get us out of this.
Dan: I don't want to know. Here, let me loosen this, and...
Randy: Yeah, I was noticing the same thing. What's up, Dan?
Dan: Well, I just came over to tell you about these cool accessories I got for my iMac. They kick butt!
Gary: Tell you what, Dan. Dial 911, and while we wait, tell us all about it.
Dan: Done and done. As you know, Contour Design makes a lot of cool Mac products.
Gary: And how!
Dan: Uh huh. Well, anyway, they specialize in USB mice, but they also make a lot of other cool things.
Randy: Oh yeah, I have been a fan of Contour Design for quite a while.
Gary: I like Contour Design and pie.
Dan: That's nice. Anyway, they make several neat improvements for your iMac, including replacing that awful hockey puck of a mouse. I don't really have a problem with losing orientation on the standard iMac mouse, but I can assure you that Contour's mouse is way better. I got the UniMouse, along with its companion mouse pad, the UniTray. They come in all six iMac colors and the UniMouse has three buttons, so I can finally right-click to get contextual menus, instead of that ridiculous control-click that Apple would have us do.
Randy: That is the most needed change for the Mac OS. Understanding that users want a multi-button mouse.
Dan: Well, I can see Steve Jobs desire to keep a one button mouse. For example, Mom was using the new mouse and instead of clicking the left button, she kept clicking the middle button, thinking that it was the main one. She never has had a need for multiple buttons and the three button mouse confused her.
Gary: Man, is she dumb or what?
Dan: Dude, this is going out in your column.
Gary: No! I don't know what I am saying! I am completely drunk right now!
Dan: You have been trapped in a giant rubber band for four days. How can you be drunk?
Gary: I like cake.
Randy: What else did you get, Dan?
Dan: Two other things. I got a UniRiser, which is a stand for your iMac that looks exactly like the legs that come with the big Apple monitors. It elevates your iMac into a much more viewable position and provides convenient storage compartments below your iMac. And it comes in a perfect match of the ice color, so it blends in very well.
Gary: That is true. The iMac is a killer design, but it does tend to sit kind of low.
Randy: I wouldn't call it a complaint, but that is the comment I hear the most from Mac users that are used to having a CPU below their monitor. They almost always mention that it is so low.
Dan: It really helps. And the last thing I got is a UniSwitch, which is so obvious that the iMac needs this, I can't believe Apple didn't put this on the thing themselves.
Gary: Tell us more!
Randy: Oh, yes!
Dan: Idiots. Anyway, whenever you have a hard crash (which isn't often, I do give credit to Apple for a very stable operating system in OS 9), you have to find a paper clip and press the reset button on the side of the iMac. The UniSwitch simply adheres to the side of your iMac, and provides a convenient button to push whenever you have one of those hard crashes. And it only costs five bucks, so if you don't have one, get one.
The Idiots: Five bucks!
Dan: All of Contour Design's products are very affordable, so I recommend them to any Mac user who wants to improve their peripherals. Now let's get back to this pumpkin catapult thing.
Dan: Have you considered adding a basket or something to increase the payload? I mean one rotten pumpkin is great, but what about five?
The Idiots: Even better?
Dan: That's right, even better! Now let's get to work!
Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.
The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.
You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .