Pack your bags; it is time for a sea cruise. You better make sure you include your magnifying glass and puzzle solving hat as you will need them if you hope to survive the trip.
A sea cruise is meant to be a relaxing and beneficial experience. What with sea breezes, enjoyable company, sumptuous surroundings and attentive staff at your beck and call – could you wish for anything more. But, of course, that was before those devious people at SpinTop Games decided that an element of mystery and adventure was missing from this scenario. The result of this intervention can be seen in Escape the Emerald Star, a new game that is published by PopCap.
This is a company owned by Hauppauge who were one of the first to produce TV cards in the UK. Of course with more notebooks sold than desktops you need a USB stick and not a PC Card, so is this what we all now need?
I have reviewed a few other USB sticks but always although the aerial connection has been the same performance has been less than sparkling. So would this unit fail to shine or would a manufacturer has got things right. The USB stick/receiver is 8x2x1.5cm with the aerial adapter inserted in the end. The only possible problem is with USB ports stacked on top of each other where you may require an extender lead (supplied) to make all ports available.
My first disk-based computer stored its operating system and additional software on a single 360K floppy (yes it was bendable) 5.25-inch disk. Oh how things have changed.
Sometimes when friends and colleagues get together, the topic of conversation can turn towards the subject of size. An occurrence of this situation arose recently but while the topic was size related, it was more to do with the lack of, rather than excessive, size.
This is the size of a Netbook but it is an Android tablet, as far as I know this is the first non screen type device produced by Hanns.G although of course it has a screen, a rather nice touch screen at that, but its all about what’s inside.
It is 26x17x1.5cm and weights 750grams. The viewable screen is 22x12.5cm that is 10.1inches diagonal measurement. The back is matt black, the edges are silver why then must the screen surround be shiny black and show all the finger marks! The screen is also rather reflective so when out and about in sunlight you need to get the angles right. The bottom left of the face has three LED’s power on (green) charging (red) and wireless connected (green).
The first device for all those who have important data on IDE drives, the second for those with more modern kit who simply want to copy – or clone – the data onto another drive. The first needs USB and second can work independently.
Ever needed to transfer data from one device to another, those who know can easily do so from one similar device to another in a PC however older IDE and PATA drives often no longer have a home so this device can help. For SATA drives you just place them in the top of the unit, connect the power lead and the USB one and the PC you connect the other end of the USB lead to sees that drive just as it would any other USB device and it gets a drive letter.
As we become users of multiple devices that we find it difficult to manage without, so the problem increases as to how to ensure these devices are charged when we need them.
Despite efforts from some manufacturers, there remains a wide variety of connections for linking to a power source. This would not be a problem when access to a number of power sources is available but sometimes only one power socket is currently free. For situations such as this, a product that could handle power-charging for a range of devices would be useful.
The 500GB Hitachi LifeStudio Mobile is an external 2.5inch hard drive does not require external power. It is in an attractive light blue and grey shell and comes supplied with desk cradle complete with a double-headed cable about 1 metre long plus a separate USB cable about 50cm long. Thus, together, the user is provided with the cradle for desktop use and the short cable for use while on the move.
Software is supplied, not on a separate CD, but on the drive itself. It was straightforward to install. Unfortunately, it also requires Adobe Flash Player 9 and requests that it be downloaded from get.adobe.com/flashplayer. As there is no reference on the box to indicate this, and I had no broadband where I was staying, I had to wait till I returned to the office to complete the installation. Once that was done the drive was ready for use as it was pre-formatted FAT-32.
The first item for those who like to record what they are doing even with still images or video while out and about. The second is a lead that is always not where it should be or just not long enough to connect without movement.
While I have reviewed a similar type of unit previously this is the first one that has a degree of waterproofing built in. The camera itself is 5x3x2.5 and weights 28grams with a micro SD card (not supplied) inserted. There is then a silicon sleeve and finally a sturdy plastic outer that increases the overall weight to 65grams. Overall dimensions are 6x5x3.5cm. The outer case has a tripod screw in the base and a slide into fitting on the back, several accessories are provided in the box.
Do you flaunt it? Or maybe you opt for a more low profile approach during your travels. To avoid any confusion and to stop wild flights of fancy, I should clarify that the “it” referred to is your notebook / netbook and your choice of receptacle for carrying a portable computer between various locations.
Many of the bags currently being used for carrying your notebook or netbook have been designed to make a fashion statement and, as a result, do give a clear indication as to the content of the bag. This type of bag also has a third unintentional attribute which will certainly not appeal to the user but it will be like a beacon to those others who are only to willing to relieve you of your property.
Be warned as this next title can grow on you as you build up points to progress through levels and collect the treasures of Montezuma.
As the title of Alawar’s Friday Games “The Treasures of Montezuma 3” indicates, this is the third offering in this Match-3 game series. Following the pattern set in the earlier titles in this series, this game belongs to the Match-3 style of play where you have to exchange two adjacent tiles or tokens in order to create a horizontal of vertical group of three or more of the same colour.
No I have not started to speak in language post 1980, here I am looking at two of the three latest offerings from Jabra, what I believe are called by all, earbuds, first the mid range offering and then the entry level earbuds.
All three sets in this series come in a clear plastic tube so even on the dealers rack you can see what you are getting, easy to remove – no industrial scissors – great, but has anyone tried to put them back in the packaging again? The leads on this set of earbuds are 1.3metres to the left ear and 1.6metres to the right ideal for those who wind one lead around their neck.
A popular American television series, appearing several years ago, was entitled Hart to Hart and featured a husband and wife crime fighting duo. I mention this because the couple had a dog named Freeway which is also the name of a new device from Jabra. This Jabra Freeway is a Bluetooth speakerphone device for use in the car for hands-free operation. As an additional bonus, the Freeway has some entertainment based features.
No shiny black, is the first thing most will notice about this latest Notebook from Samsung, if only there was not a reflective screen nothing would be shiny at all. So what does the RC510 have to offer once you start it up?
The Samsung Notebook RC510 measures 38x25x3cm and weights close to 2.5kilos. The lid is matt black, as is the back, open the lid and the screen surround is grey, so is the area from the keyboard back, the area in front of the keyboard is shiny but in tiny silver and grey diamonds with the trackpad coated in a Teflon (dark grey) type substance and the only shiny bits are the two mouse keys that are chromed. It has a 107 key keyboard which unlike some 15.
Not the sort to appeal to children in fact they are sold from a catalogue that has medical items and even devices to make life easier for the disabled and elderly, the two I am looking at are Bridge Mate and Brain Training.
It is described as pocket size and is 12.5x6.5x2cm and weights 175grams with the required (not supplied) 3x ‘AAA’ batteries inserted. The viewable screen is 7.5x6.5cm. The left side has the on/off slider. The back is where you insert the batteries behind a door controlled by a Philips screw; there is another door for those who want to link more than one such device together. The controls to use while playing are all well marked below the display screen.
When you are in trouble and need rescuing from a dangerous situation, who do you send for? It could well be Veronica Rivers, the heroine of the next two titles.
Up until the arrival of this next product from Focus Multimedia, I had not encountered Veronica Rivers. This young lady is a rescue specialist and the central character in the dual offering of “Portals To The Unknown” and “The Order Of Conspiracy”. Each of these hidden object adventure games requires its own installation routine and places an icon on your desktop.
At a recent one evening exhibition to show off new products I saw much of the same that I saw last year however there were a couple of interesting items and this cube is perhaps the star of the show its ingenious.
Often the opening sentence says it all however I doubt anyone has the faintest idea of what this cube does from what is written above, however if you stop reading now I can guarantee it will be you who will be the loser. This is a truly innovative Internet radio. The First of its kind that I have seen. Simple in operation, it does one thing, its brilliant. It is a 10cm cube available in many colours. The only connections are on the back a mini USB to charge it. A 3.
Working for FBI is not always the glamorous scene portrayed in films and television series. Often it involves a lot of hard work as information is gathered and mind-bending puzzles are solved. This is the approach epitomised by the FBI’s outstanding puzzle expect Nelson Tethers.
Following his initial appearance in Telltales Games Puzzle Agent, Nelson Tethers returns for a second outing in the rather obviously named Puzzle Agent 2. While the FBI believes that Tether’s original investigation of Scoggins,Minnesotaand its eraser factory was brought to a satisfying conclusion and so closed the case, Tethers was far from convinced. He still had issues especially with the disappearance of the factory’s foreman.
While netbooks do not come with an optical drive there is nothing to stop you adding this useful facility to your portable device.
Netbooks continue to be a popular choice with users who are looking to enhance their mobile computing experience. However once the initial glow that often accompanies any new purchase has faded, as it surely will, you might feel a little like a second-class mobile computer users as your latest device does not have the means to easily add new applications to the system or even let you play the latest DVD movies to entertain you during those moments of leisure.
Two items for home use although the second could have uses almost anywhere. First a Blood Pressure Cuff for all those who need to keep regular checks. The second is a USB temperature sensor that works and reports it.
Not long ago I told you about a very nice Blood Pressure monitor, this one is slightly different and also keeps a lot of readings in memory. It is a rather different design and works in a slightly different way to produce the same result. Unlike in a doctor’s surgery or a hospital these units are designed to be used by the patient and for me anyway when fitting to yourself a little extra length of cord is always useful, this is not required when being fitted onto you.
Looking for a present that is both useful and slightly different then you might be interested in a new offering from iLuv.
In the past I have had the opportunity to look at a number of products that have been specifically designed to increase the volume level delivered from your personal portable music player so that more listeners can hear the music. I have also checked out a variety of products that offer to make it easier and possibly safer when carrying your iPod or other similar device. Now it is the turn of a product that combines both these types of feature within a single unit.