Friday night, I had a little fun. OK, I was pooped from working Black Friday (let's just say Holy Moly!) at the Apple Store, but I came home and played a bit with some new techie toys.
Toy One: Airport Express.
I've been looking for a way to set up my 3 printers in a space directly behind where I sit. So imagine, the chair swivels around 180 degrees and there are my printers. I got a little tower of sorts by customizing one of those wooden folding bookshelves. Worked great. But how to connect all those printers to the powerbook? Anywhere I considered putting the printers was just too far for the normal USB cable/extension. A powered relay would be needed. Next I considered a D-Link wireless print server. That would be cool but most of the ones I looked at only fed two USB printers and maybe one via ethernet, and were in the 180-200 dollar range.
So I sprang for an Airport Express. I moved the tower o'printers, found a power bar, untangled all the cables and sat down with the instructions. A few minutes later, the first printer was up and running! Now the real test: Unplug the USB cable from printer one and plug in the cable from printer two. Whaddyaknow?! Printer two magically appeared in my rendezvous printer list. Cool. I can live with plugging in the printers as needed. Elegant and relatively cheap solution!
Toy Two: SightFlex by MacMice.
Arrived Friday at work and I couldn't wait to get it home. Unplugged the iSight's clamp and firewire cable and plugged in the SightFlex. Plugged the SightFlex Firewire cable into my hub. Voila! A very positionable iSight. Perfect for spying on cats. More importantly: perfect for capturing close ups for quilting demos etc. Imagine if you will -- iSight poised and positioned near sewing machine. Computer hooked to projector. Students able to SEE what hands are doing while quilting etc from my perspective, rather than from whereever they're standing. Cool.