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Stealth Switch Desktop Cloaking Device
Author: Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer: Stealth Switch
Source: Crazy PC
Purchase: Crazy PC
Comment or Question: Post Here
Page: 3 of 4 [ 1 2 3 4 ]
Stealth Switch Desktop Cloaking Device
March 06, 2006

Installation and Operation:

USB installation is simple... You plug the USB plug into your computer and Windows recognizes the Stealth Switch as a USB Human Interface Device. Next, drop in the CD to load the drivers and small utility application and you are done. All that is left is to configure the software to your needs and you are ready to continue your devious, I me top secret, computer activities.

Some of the operational features will be discussed in the software section, but the basic function of the device is quite simple. You tap the switch to enter stealth mode, and you tap it again to go back to normal. It works very well if you remember these two steps. But, I discovered it wasn't always that easy, and someone could be setting themselves up for big trouble by not paying attention to step two above.

If you tap the switch to go into stealth mode, it is possible to resume using your computer by clicking on the icons on your desktop or system tray. Even though you are still technically in stealth mode, anything you launch will run just fine. But, say you need to enter stealth mode again at this point... Big trouble! If you tap the Stealth Switch now, all of your current applications will now be joined on screen by everything you hid the first time! So, if you were hiding Solitaire initially, and then launched some Mine Sweeper without exiting stealth mode correctly, attempting to enter stealth mode again will simply place both games on your screen!

Imagine the scenario... You hear the boss coming, as you spin around in your chair to greet him you give the Stealth Switch a tap to hide Mine Sweeper, due to your confidence in the product you don't even look at your screen to see that it is cleared, and it is only until you see your boss glaring past you that you realize the doo-doo is now quite deep!

Software:

The software has a very simple interface with eight tabs that allow you to configure a variety of options on the device. We'll take a look at four of the screens, and I'll describe a few of the basic functions available.

Using the Stealth Switch in default settings has the screen cleared, so that nothing is showing but your desktop wallpaper. The below left screen allows you to change that by selecting a program, or programs, to load when you go into stealth mode. I tested it using Microsoft Excel, and it was able to clear the screen of all other windows and load Excel rather quickly. The below right screen shows other settings you can employ, if clearing all windows isn't enough. This will let you hide all desktop icons as well as your taskbar, if you should find that to be desirable.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

The below left screen shows that you can password protect your PC when in stealth mode, which might come in handy as a means of locking your PC if you intend to walk away for a few minutes. The below right screen shows some of the basic configuration settings, such as letting the software load with Windows, and selecting exactly which windows to hide when the switch is activated.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

Other tabs proved to be less useful. One simply provides product information, one allows for sound effects during switching, and one controls the system tray icon (which is where the program resides while loaded).

The sound effects option seemed ridiculous to me. As it is, when you depress the Stealth Switch, the housing makes quite a pronounced clicking noise, just like your typical mouse. If that wasn't load enough to give you away, you can set the software to make some sort of Star Wars like laser beam sound at the same time. Seems anti-stealth to me.

The taskbar options could come in handy, but leaving them alone was just fine to me. The default setup finds a static arrow in your taskbar regardless of which mode the Stealth Switch is in. You can select to have this arrow turn to a small dot when in stealth mode, or you can select to have no tray icon at any time (in which case you need to memorize the shortcut keys to access the utility).

Although I didn't find all of the software options to be useful, some might, and there is definitely a great deal of flexibility to customize it just the way you would like.

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