GyroMouse Pro doesn't need a tail because it's wireless

WHAT'S HOT

April 12, 1999

Diamond Multimedia's new GyroMouse Pro ($79.95 after rebate) offers dual wireless mouse capability. Take it off of its battery charger, put it on your desk, and it functions like every other mouse -- sans tail. Hold it in your hand and engage the gyro button and you can control your cursor from up to 40 feet away.

The GyroMouse is a breeze to install, in spite of sloppy instructions, which tell you to turn off your computer and charge the mouse's battery for 10 hours. No special software is required.

Operation of the mouse is fairly smooth once you get used to its eccentricities. It's a little heavier and thicker than is optimal, but still tolerable. The GyroMouse is especially great for viewing DVD movies on your PC or for presentations. I use it as a remote control on my PC's TV card. The unit has a handsome industrial design, with a pleasing shape and a matte black finish.

Like any pointing device, the GyroMouse will not be appropriate for everyone, but for PC owners who want to sit back and relax while they surf (the Net, a film, the tube, a PowerPoint presentation), this specialty gadget is a great solution.

Information: 800-468-5846 or www.diamondmm.com

Recording and transcripton without a secretary

Olympus' new D1000 Digital Voice Recorder ($299) is almost as much a piece of modern sculpture as it is a useful tool for the word worker. Its small, brushed silver-and-black case fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. Rather than using a cassette tape, the D1000 stores your utterances onto a 2-megabyte Digital FlashCard.

The standout feature of the D1000 is its ability to load your digital voice recordings into a computer where they can be filed away, edited, or transcribed into text with IBM's popular ViaVoice software. The D1000 comes with a PC Card adapter for connection to a laptop a laptop. For desktop connectivity, a special card reader is required that sells for $270. The D1000 is not that easy to set up, and the multilingual manual is a mess, but thoughtfully, Olympus includes a well-done multimedia tutorial on CD-ROM.

How accurate is the transcription? Adequate, but not great. Like any voice-to-text software, you have to be patient in the beginning to teach it your voice patterns and correct the mistakes it makes. It's also fairly finicky about the environment in which you're recording (low background noise, no echo, etc.). With all of the conditions perfect, you get only an 80 percent accuracy rate. But, if you have a lot of memos, letters, e-mails, and papers to write -- and especially if you suffer from repetitive stress injury -- the D1000 is probably worth the price and hassles of its delicate constitution.

Information: 800-347-4027 or www.olympusamerica.com

- Gareth Branwyn

You can find full reviews of these and other neat gadgets at www.streettech.com.

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