MICRO CENTER: COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS
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Tech Take-Apart
Griffin PowerMate
by rob

The PowerMate by Griffin Technologies is a 2-inch knob with a glowing blue light underneath. Griffin touts it as "the coolest volume knob your computer has ever seen" but in today's world, so many things are labeled "cool" that it seems cliché. I submit that there needs to be a new word for how very cool the PowerMate is. But don't just go by my opinion...

I have a PowerMate set up on my desk, and everyone who sees the throbbing blue light experiences an overwhelming need to touch it. They say "That's cool. What's it do?" The question isn't what can it do, but rather what can't it do?

Basically anything you would use your keyboard for, you could program a PowerMate to do. Out of the box, the software is set up to have it control your volume as you turn the knob, and it will toggle the mute when you click it.

But that's just the beginning. You can program it to do different things in every application. For example, take Internet Explorer (or Safari for you Mac users). When you're browsing agonizingly long web pages, does your finger get tired of using the scroll wheel on your mouse? Instead, you could program the PowerMate to zoom down the page easily. Do you edit movies or audio? The PowerMate could be your very own Jog/Shuttle wheel to scrub though frames in Apple iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker or jump from track to track in GarageBand.

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