You were shooting madly throughout the year and now, during the dark, cold months of winter, you have settled down to process and post your successes.
The problem is that your desk is cold and that your wrist, where so many blood vessels are located, rests directly on that cold desk, radiating the coldness into your hand.
When your hand is cold, your entire body feels cold.
My right hand is cold most of the winter.
For years I have been hunting for a solution and until now, a variety of mouse pads with some insulation capability were the best solution I've come up with, but they fell far short of keeping my mouse hand warm.
On my latest search, I came across a heated mouse pad.
While this is not the first such model I have found, it is the first one that didn't have some restrictive tent-like or glove-like structure over the pad.
It was inexpensive, looked like it would work well for its primary function (a surface for the mouse), had a decent appearance (we're photographers – appearance matters)
and I didn't deliberate very long before ordering one.
For the price, I didn't have very high expectations for build quality, but I was far from disappointed with what I got.
The basic, nondescript, 8 7/8 x 10 1/4" (225 x 260mm) mousepad design features a smooth, 7 3/4 x 9 3/4" (197 x 248mm) matte aluminum surface (great for mouse friction and response)
surrounded by matt black ABS plastic (white is optionally available).
Four non-slip feet hold the pad in place.
Creating heat generally involves electricity or burning something and fortunately the designers chose the former option for this product.
Included is an approximately 5' USB cable that appears designed to plug into and draw power from the computer's USB port.
Upon plugging in the USB cable, my Dell XPS laptop immediately informed me that a device was requesting more power than the port had available.
I rely heavily on my laptop and that message sent a little chill down my spine, but no harm was done.
I unplugged and instead used an
A/C to USB wall outlet adapter
The next issue was trying to decide which switch position on the provided USB cord was "On".
This determination became easier when I realized that there was a faint blue light emanating around the port when the switch was in the "On" position.
As you would expect with a low-draw power source, the heat isn't instant.
But, the warm-up time isn't bad and the amount of heat provided after warm-up seems ideal for me.
The great news is that my wrist and hand now stay toasty warm on even the coldest days.
Eventually, even the mouse even becomes slightly warmed, at least near its bottom.
With the heated mouse pad on my desk, winter has become a little brighter.
Sometimes it is the little things that make life better and the heated mouse pad may have been the best money I have spent recently.
The heated mouse pad
is available at
For a limited time, Adorama
has the Audio-Technical ATW-1701L System 10 Camera Mount Wireless Microphone
available for $239.99 with free shipping. Regularly $449.95. Audio-Technica ATW-1701L Features
- Digital 24-bit/48 kHz wireless operation for ultimate sound quality and dependable performance
- Operates in the 2.4 GHz range - completely free from TV interference
- Ultra compact receiver size with multiple mounting options
- Selectable balanced and unbalanced output jacks with level control for use with most cameras and recording devices
- Internal rechargeable 12 hour battery
- Separate headphone port and volume control for local audio monitoring
- Multi-pairing function to link a single receiver with up to eight body-pack or handheld transmitters
- Three levels of diversity assurance: frequency, time and space
- Automatic frequency selection for seamless, interference-free operation
- Extremely easy operation with instantaneous channel selection, sync and setup
- ATW-R1700 Camera-Mount Wireless 2.4 GHz Receiver
- ATW-T1001 System 10 Digital UniPak Transmitter
- Lavalier Microphone
- Hot- or Cold-Shoe Adapter
- 2 Year Limited Warranty
From Canon: TOKYO, January 14, 2016
—Canon Inc. again ranked first among Japanese companies and third overall for the number of U.S. patents awarded in 2015, according to the latest ranking of preliminary patent results issued by IFI CLAIMS Patent Services on January 13, 2016.
Canon actively promotes the globalization of its business and places great value on obtaining patents overseas, carefully adhering to a patent-filing strategy that pursues patents in essential countries and regions while taking into consideration the business strategies and technology and product trends unique to each location. Among these, the United States, with its many high-tech companies and large market scale, represents a particularly important region in terms of business expansion and technology alliances. Canon U.S. patent rankings among Japanese companies 2005–2015
*Number in parenthesis represents Canon's ranking among all companies
Canon prizes its corporate DNA of placing a high priority on technology. And with regard to research and development results, the Company actively promotes the acquisition of patent rights in accordance with the management direction of the Canon Group and technology trends while conducting thorough pre-application searches to raise the quality of applications. Through close cooperation between Canon's technology and intellectual property divisions, the Company aims to improve its technological capabilities while further enhancing its intellectual property rights.
From PocketWizard: New Key Features: Compatibility with Mac OS X El Capitan (10.11.2):
Apple made significant structural changes in OS X El Capitan (10.11) compared to previous versions of the Mac operating system. As a result, PocketWizard Utility beta version 1.63 required significant work to integrate El Capitan’s differences.
Make sure you are using the latest iteration of El Capitan, OS X version 10.11.2. Previous OS X versions of El Capitan, 10.11.0 or 10.11.1, have only received minimal testing with this Utility and will not be tested further. Testing against OS X version 10.11.3, currently in developer and public beta, will commence soon. If you are using 10.11.3, we would appreciate any reports you may have about this Utility’s functionality in that OS.
Utility 1.63 remains reverse-compatible with the previous 5 versions of Mac OS X:
- Yosemite (10.10)
- Mavericks (10.9)
- Mountain Lion (10.8)
- Lion (10.7)
- Snow Leopard (10.6)
If your Mac OS X version is Leopard (10.5) or earlier, or you are using a PowerPC-based system, try PocketWizard Utility version 1.54
. It will not have the latest features of version 1.63, but should still work for most PocketWizard products with the exception of the Plus III and Plus IV. Continued compatibility with Microsoft Windows:
Both this beta version 1.63, and the prior official Utility version 1.58, are fully compatible with modern Windows versions:
- 10 - Version 1511
- 8.1 – Version 6.3.9600
- 7 – Version 6.1.7601 (Service Pack 1)
Other versions of the Microsoft OS, like 8 (prior to 8.1), 7 (no service pack), Vista, 2000 and XP were not tested for this release, but the Utility may still function. Operation in these operating systems is not officially supported. Added support for the PocketWizard Plus IV:
This Utility will be ready to support the PocketWizard Plus IV
when it launches (estimated Q1/2016). Simplified and Improved Workflow:
Based on your feedback, we have incorporated many improvements to streamline the Utility especially around firmware updating:
- Dramatically simplified firmware updating. Reduced and removed dialogue boxes and buttons to speed the process up, especially when “Advanced Mode” is unchecked
- Clarified the notification system that reminds you when a firmware update is available
- New radio firmware is automatically downloaded upon program install and launch if there’s an internet connection available. This speeds the firmware update process for multiple radios and allows for updating later when there may be no internet connection
- Removed the “Apply Changes” confirmation dialogue. Now, when you click Apply Changes, your settings are immediately updated. Please wait for the radio to reconnect (see it reappear in the Utility) to allow the changes to be completely applied as well as visually verify the changes you just made
- Reduced, removed, and clarified dialogue boxes in several places
- Moved Save Profile, Load Profile, and Replicate to the advanced area. Tick the “Advanced Mode” checkbox in the lower left corner (by the blue gear) to reveal these features
- Incorporated the latest security certificates for Mac and Windows operating systems
- Improved offline operation for a smoother experience when an internet connection is not available. This is in addition to workflow improvements noted above
- Added a delete feature to the Device Inventory. Device Inventory is located under the Settings Menu. Click the blue gear in the lower left corner to access it. When a radio is deleted from Device Inventory, the information is immediately and permanently deleted
- Fixed a bug where sometimes the context help window would be empty on some computers
- Fixed other minor display issues
For full details including installation instructions, please refer to the PocketWizard Beta Utility 1.63 Release Bulletin
carries PocketWizard gear
For a limited time, B&H
has the Vello Bluetooth ShutterBoss Advanced Intervalometer for Canon
available for $39.95 with free shipping. Regularly $79.95. Product Highlights
- Bluetooth Communication with iOS Devices
- Use Free Vello app
- Compatible to iOS 6, 7, 8, 9
- Multiple Shooting Modes
- Intervalometer with 10 Scheduling Modes
- 9999 Maximum Shots
- Powered by 2 AAA Batteries