This is one of those fairly affordable, simple products that falls under the "how did I get by without this" category. Elegantly simple, the Airfoil is an anodized aluminum tray that holds your laptop at a slight angle with a wrist rest at the front. This makes typing and using the touch pad easier, more ergonomic, and helps prevent repetitive stress injuries. There are also two completely silent fans underneath the Airfoil that are powered by the computer's USB port that keep the laptop cool. There is a second USB port on the Airfoil to replace the one being used on your laptop. There are two sizes: 15'' and 17'.' Even though I have a 12'' laptop, I opted for the 17'' so it would fit more models of computers and left it in our B-Room where guest engineers use their own laptops. My 12'' fits fine on the wider Airfoil and even sits in my lap fine. This just showed up this week, but I wish I'd had this last week when my wife and I went on a vacation to the Northern CA coast, and I spent several hours working on Tape Op in the car on my laptop. Having one of the batteries that Apple recently recalled, I had definite "Lap-Hot" syndrome going on. This is no joke, as several months ago, Tape Op contributor Thom Monahan was in my studio, and his PowerBook caught on fire in the control room! Who knows, the Airfoil might have saved Thom's computer from going up in smoke. This is a cool product. (15'' $69.95, 17'' $89.95 direct; www.rainrecording.com)
Accessories, Tools, Wiring | No. 52
by Andy Hong
Fellow gear reviewer Eric Tischler sent me this helpful tool. It's a key fob with a 1/4'' plug and four LED's, one for power and three for -32, -22, and -16 dBu signal level. You plug it into a jack,...