A Mighty Wind

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Just in time to thwart the heat and humidity of summer comes a USB-powered fan embedded in a bamboo stand for your notebook. Finally, you don't have to type fast to create a soothing breeze. The Macally Adjustable Bamboo Cooling Stand is made from bamboo, so no trees died in the manufacture of the product. Dual 2.5-inch fans are built in, the air circulating through the bamboo slits.

The fans get their juice from a USB port on your computer. Running at 2300 rpm, the fans take fewer spins per minute than your computer's hard drive, but your hard drive can't cool you off, can it?

Okay, so it looks like a wash board. But when you're finished scrubbing socks, and the stand is dry and retracted, you can slide it into any computer carrying case that can accommodate a 17-inch screen. The notebook should fit, too. Weighing less than three pounds, the stand is built to support everything from netbooks to full-featured multimedia laptops.

The fans are relatively quiet, producing a 23.5dBA sound level. I particularly like the fact that the color and texture of the bamboo match my extended collection of clothespins.

Don't expect gale-force winds. For that you may want to shop for a more substantial fan like the Mole Richardson 24" Windmachine. Meant for theatrical use, the Mole Richardson is DMX-compatible with control boards and dimmers. It's also useful for drying paint, a real plus when the show opens tomorrow and the set is still under construction. Be careful where you point it, though. Since the Windmachine is capable of moving 4,400 cubic feet of air per minute, you don't want to place a notebook astride a Macally Adjustable Bamboo Cooling Stand in its path unless you're staging an updated version of The Wizard of Oz with a nerdy Dorothy in her room at the keyboard when a major weather event strikes.