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The Idiots Hardware Wishlist
December 15th

Randy: Well after last week's pathetic admission of sin and debauchery on your part our readers found out that not only will you NOT be receiving any Christmas presents from Ol' Saint Nick but you are most probably on an express train ride to Hell.

Gary: Weeeeee! I love train rides!

Randy: Forgive him. He knows not what he does.

Gary: Okay Johnny Bread Breaker. Since you seem to think you have been better than the number one son this year, what do you want under your Christmas tree .

Randy: Three simple words.

Gary: "Call the Police?"

Randy: No. Hardware, hardware, hardware!

Gary: Also good words.

Randy: Oh yea, and this year there's a whole host of goodies that gamers and time wasters alike would love to find stuffed in their stockings with care.

Gary: Uh the Pamela Anderson Lee doll won't fit in your stocking dude. At least not past the chest it won't.

Randy: Nice try but I was thinking more along the lines of maybe a killer USB game pad. I personally use the Gravis Game Pad Pro, but there are a bunch of great pads out there. I picked up the Gravis pad for a mere $19.95 at Datavision. But be sure and check out Macally's iShock pad. It offers even more buttons and hat switches than the Gravis pad and it comes in a cool translucent body to match the current Mac hardware skins.

iShock even has the PlayStation symbols on the right pad.

Gary: And CH Products makes a great pad with their Gamepad USB. This thing has a shape like the bat boomerang for extra comfy gaming. CH also finally came out with their Pro Petals USB for Macintosh. Fly! fans will be dig these with the CH Flight Sim Yoke LE USB for the hard-core flight sim experience.

Randy: For other hard-core gamers we found a deal on the Intensor™ LX 350. We have talked a few times in other columns about the ever so schweeet Intensor gaming chair from Imeron. This killer gaming chair has surround sound speakers built into the molded seat and backrest that will shake you with every sound effect a game had to offer.

Gary: Yea but the chair was kind of expensive for a gaming accessory. Even if it did have cool rolly wheels and all.

Randy: But check out DataVision. They have the whole set up, complete with four-channel sensory amplifier and rolly wheels for only $149.00! We had a hard time finding it on their web site but they are in-stock in their physical stores so you made need to call 1-888-888-2087 direct to order.

Gary: Sold!!!!

Randy: Thanks there Johnny Sins-A-lot. I'll let Santa know you want one when he delivers mine. I'm sure you'll get one by Christmas 3001.

Gary: Do you always take so much pleasure in someone else's despair?

Randy: No, just yours.

Gary: Fair enough.

Randy: So Johnny Coal Stockings, we were talking about great hardware for holiday goodies weren't we?

Gary: Well if I wasn't doomed to an eternity in present-less Hell, I sure would dig one of those Formac ProFormance cards. This card is built on the 128-bit Permedia 3 chip and supports 2D and 3D acceleration and QuickTime playback. According to Formac's tests, this card is almost twice as fast as ATI's Rage 128 card. It took them a while to get their OpenGL drivers out. but now they have the gold master of the drivers available at the Formac site.

Randy: But besides offering butt kicking 3D hardware acceleration, this card supports flat panel monitors and 3D glasses for an amazing gaming experience.

Gary: While it cost a little extra for this package, the good people at Formac have now bundled their own branded 3D glasses with the ProFormance card for $369.00. You can get this card sans goggles for only $269.00.

Gaming in real 3D. Oh yea!

Randy: If you haven't played a game with these killer 3D glasses you don't know what you are missing. Games like Quake Arena and Unreal Tournament are stunning. Missiles and rockets seem to fly right out of your monitor. Although I will warn you, wearing these lightweight glasses for and extended thirty-two hour frag-fest will bring on a massive headache.

Gary: But then again pretty much anything for thirty-two hours straight will bring on a massive headache so use your own judgment here.

Randy: Now what about the huge audience of iMac gamers and time wasters out there?

Gary: Uh, they should send their iMacs to me. I love those things, especially the new DV iMacs.

Randy: While I'm sure you and a lot of other people, including myself, would love to see a new iMac under the tree this year that may be a little steep for most Christmas budgets. (If anyone in my family is reading this, please don't let this last statement stop you from surprising me with an iMac DV Special Edition. I mean, if you were planning on it.)

Gary: Okay. You're probably right, but, there are some cool accessories that will make perfect Christmas gifts. For example, the new $99.00 iSub is THE perfect sound add-on to any iMac users set up.

No, it's not a heart valve replacement.

It's the iSub for the iMac!

This USB subwoofer, designed by Harman/Kardon, is made to round out the sound of the new iMacs with a 34mm bass woofer that really puts the punch your bass response. However you B&W and G4 owners will have to find a different subwoofer for your systems. This puppy is designed to work with the iMac only.

Randy: And if you, or someone you need the perfect gift for, have an older iMac and are still dealing with the less than stellar performance of the built-in Rage Pro video chipset, then spring for the iMac Game Wizard from the late Micro Conversions. This is the only solution we know of to get VooDoo 2 video performance into your mezzanine slot equipped iMac.

Gary: And these days, VooDoo 2 or better is really the only way to game. This card comes with 8 Megs of video RAM onboard to take your gaming entertainment to a new high.

Randy: Since Micro Conversion is no longer in business these cards are kind of hard to find. But there are still plenty out there for sale so check out places like Mac-O-Rama to order yours. After you seeing it in action you'll know it was worth it.

Gary: For the folks on your gift list that have an itching to control your own video input but don't have a whole lot of change to buy them a fancy video card check into the XLR8 Interview USB video kit for $99 bucks. They also make a PCI card version for $129.00.

Randy: This nifty little connector goes in your USB port and gives you standard RCA video and audio inputs, and S-Video too. XLR8 claims it can capture a full 30 frames per second at 640x480 and it comes bundled with Strata's VideoShop 4.5. A stupendous present for any budding filmmaker.

Gary: Man, there are bunches of Mac gadgets I want now. Especially with USB becoming so popular.

Randy: I know. And if someone on your list hasn't made the USB leap yet but has a PCI slot in their Mac, get them a USB card. For around $40.00 they can easily start taking advantage of all the cool devices that now work with Macintosh computers.

Gary: Since I probably won't be getting you any presents this year can I come and play with your stuff on Christmas.

Randy: Sorry. My religion prevents me from hanging out with godless pagans.

Gary: Dude I may have slipped here and there but I don't think I classify as a pagan.

Randy: Maybe you are right. Here. I went ahead and bought you a little present for the holidays.

Gary: Yes Virgina, there is a Santa Clause! Thanks man!

Randy: Well, I kind of felt sorry for you.

Gary: Oh... Hey...It's a DVD version of The Exorcist for my PowerBook DVD player?

Randy: Yea, I figured a dammed soul like yours could relate to a story like this.

Gary: Gee I don't know what to say?

Randy: Awww you don't have to thank me. Just start spinning your head and spewing the pea soup. And say hi to Ms. Blair!

Gary: Thanks anyway, ya big Christmas dope. Both: Happy Holidays everybody!

Randy: Wait aren't we a bit early for this.

Gary: Whatever, I'm in the holiday swing!

Randy: Ya know, I think I'm feelin' it too! Both Happy Hanukah everybody!…And Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy President's Day everybody. And awesome Valentines Day too!

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 .

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