There’s only one negative remark that can be made about the iSight: the cable is too long. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m splitting hairs when I’m griping about cable length, but (as a 12" PowerBook user) the included 1.8m firewire cable is about as practical as… well… anything that’s six times too big. A pair of pants, for example. If your legs were only twelve inches long you’d be rightly pissed about wearing 1.8m pantaloons; constantly tripping over that which is supposed to make you look hip and virile, having to roll up your trouser legs like some kind of deck–a–swabbin’ sailor… it hardly seems right.
That’s how my computer feels.
With nary a foot between the top of my screen and the firewire port at the side of the keyboard, the almost–six feet of the Apple–supplied cable is patently ridiculous. G5 iMac owners will no doubt experience the same problems (distance between display ceiling and firewire port, one and a half feet), as will new Cinema Display owners (two feet, maximum, and that’s on a still–yet–to–ship 30" behemoth), as will those long–suffering CRT eMac owners (one and a half feet). The only people that benefit from this incredibly long cable? People with older hardware (and, just for the record, old == uncool. Ask anybody).
To be more specific, the only people taking advantage of the full cable length are people with old–school cinema displays that don’t sport an in–built firewire hub… whose machine is underneath the desk… tucked away in another room. And something tells me these people are of a declining population.
Even more amusing is that Apple recently re–released the iSight hardware; missing a prime opportunity to ditch the longer, more expensive cable for something that actually fit with their machines (the rumors surrounding the ‘iSight 2’ were a little overblown, of course… the only visible change was the inclusion of a magnetic mount). In a fit of rage and with a desire to defect in one’s belly, one might consider looking elsewhere for his cable: XtremeMac’s 1–foot XWireGold, for instance, only to find (from a strangely apologetic support staffer) that the plug molding won’t fit the iSight mounting… nor will any non–Apple firewire mold. At the end of the day, though, when you’re ready to spin a noose and hang yourself with your too–long pearly white firewire cable, just chill out. Breathe. And go garrote somebody.
Other than that the iSight’s great.
Editing is such a prick of a business. Earlier today, sitting in the university refectory, sipping a vanilla coke, aching to go the bathroom (and wondering why I continued to drink the coke despite my bladder’s complaints), cutting and pasting and undoing and redoing changes, adding links, reading and re–reading, making sure I’m fit to hit ‘Post’ before allowing myself the pleasure of relieving an immense pressure in my gut (you’ll have to excuse the potty talk), and I lose my whole goddamn paragraph about the 0.5m cable in the Apple Store.
So yeah… the solution to my problem is a fifty–centimeter cable from Apple. Fits the mount, almost ideal length (even better suited to the aforementioned iMac, eMac, and larger PowerBook users), and almost impossible to get your hands on. For reasons that are beyond me the local dealers don’t deign to carry cables of such measly length.
A woman at DigiLife’s new mini–store in the Carillion Arcade actually denied their existence, and then had the gall to suggest I coil the original cable up and tie it off with a cable tie. Deviously clever, that one, but not bright enough to throw me off the scent. Long story short: I’ll be procuring one of these cables in short order along with a PocketDock, which will cut my cable load considerably for the trip at the end of the year. Because we all know how much room firewire cables occupy.