Musings from Mars Banner Image
For Software Addicts: Yes!MaybeNah!
Mars Report:

OmniDazzle: Dazzle is Too Weak A Word To Describe This! Try “Awestruck”

Published June 8th, 2006
OmniDazzle: Mesmerizing Mouse Movements OmniDazzle SoftwareDon't go too much by Omni Group's slogan for this new application, which just entered public beta mode. OmniDazzle has 11 distinct functions, all having to do with the mouse, but not all having to do with losing your cursor. Some are just plain fun, others seriously silly, still others marginally useful, and one or two mind-blowingly cool and useful. I won't get into all eleven... you really have to see for yourself. It isn't too hard, either. Omni Group has provided little screencasts for each of the eleven, and then you can download the software itself to try it out. (Believe me, you won't be able to resist!) Once you do, you're in for a 12th surprise: OmniDazzle has implemented the most amazing, intuitive, dazzling, and functional preferences system you've ever seen! This is one more implementation developers are making that uses Tiger's Core Image system to stretch the bounds of user interface possibilities. Simply awesome.

OmniDazzle's Preference Pane

I'm going to go ahead and recommend this creature without playing with it for more than 2 hours, because the feature I'm using now--which Omni calls "Focal Point" is just what I've been looking for. Focal Point draws a bright rectangle of light around the user interface object you're currently working in. If it's a form element--for example, the text box I'm typing in now--Focal Point brightly lights up that box. If it's a web browser window, then the whole window lights up. It's another example of the "Lightbox" effect that's become so popular with Ajax/DHTML web programming. Outside the bright area, the rest of the screen is dimmed... thus, the "Focal" aspect of the tool. I had previously used--and liked--a menubar widget called "Doodim", which did the same sort of thing, except it acted only on the front window, not on specific form fields within that window. But Doodim worked by a bit of Applescript wizardry that tended to be as distracting as it was useful. So far, Focal Point is just what the doctor ordered! These old eyes are growing a bit dim, and this really lights the screen up for me!

OmniDazzle's Preference Pane

OmniDazzle has an undetermined release date, but the current beta will expire some time in July. Enjoy it while it's still free!

  • Google
  • Slashdot
  • Technorati
  • blogmarks
  • Tumblr
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Mixx

Show Comments
Just Say No To Flash