Power Mac accessories
IntroductionJonathan Ive’s innovative industrial design work at Apple has already won every prize going, so surely the Power Mac is perfect…? Not exactly. Most beige-box computers sit flat on the desk – but not Apple’s blue-&-white G3 Power Mac or Graphite G4, which rest on their tough plastic handles. This doesn’t make them any less stable, but it does create a pen-and-pencil trap underneath these minitowers. And the Mac’s top is slightly curved and therefore limited in flat space by those big handles. Taking the Riser
This 2cm gap between desk and tower base is a cunning piece of Apple design that aids the Power Mac’s cooling system. Feel underneath your machine, and you’ll discover a cheese-grater-like series of holes on the left-hand side of the base. Apple is proud of its computers’ low-level noise emissions – and any chance to reduce fan activity is taken. While you had your hand underneath your Power Mac, your now-dusty fingers probably brushed a couple of biros, a few paper clips and a couple of Post-It notes. Yes, that neat design feature that saves your ears an aural bashing also conjures up a ballpoint Bermuda Triangle. Enter Contour Design’s G-Riser, an attractive way to lift your Power Mac even further off the desk (a full four inches, in fact) – giving you ample room to tame that once-mysterious gap. Any stray pen is easily recovered – well before you start accusing the person sitting next to you of pinching it. The G4’s cooling system’s dust-and-dirt uptake is also reduced, as you now have sufficient space beneath the raised G3/G4 to brush away office debris. Contour claims that this deeper gap enhances the Mac’s airflow, resulting in cooler operation and therefore greater system reliability and longevity. This seems logical, but untestable in the short term. It does give you space to park your keyboard and mouse when you need all the space your desk can offer. If you keep your Power Mac on the floor, the G-Riser’s anti-dust capabilities become even more desirable – you can even fit a vacuum brush under there. The G-Riser certainly complements the Power Mac’s case style – especially the look and shape of the G4’s crystal-clear handles. Its shape – but not its colouring – matches the blue-&-white G3. Forget the Cube’s minimalism, get taller. On the Rack
The Power Mac’s curves are all very nice, but balancing CD burners, Zip drives and other stuff on top of it ain’t easy. Forget PCI slots, one of the joys of owning a tower is its vertical expansion. My old Power Mac 8500 was a real tower – with six different drives piled high on its flat roof. My G4, on the other hand, has a CD-RW wobbling on its head. Contour’s G-Rack is a neat solution, snapping on top between the G3/G4’s handles to create a flat foundation for upwards growability. The G-Rack also has 16 slots that you can stack CDs in, making the dormant top area that little bit more useful. Its clear plastic isn’t as crystal as the G4 handles or G-Riser, but it still fits in well overall.