Although Adobe Photoshop remains the popular and dominant choice in the field of graphic editing software, for many its price point puts it out of their budgetary range. For those who still want the kudos of working with Adobe software without the financial upheaval there is Photoshop Elements which is aimed more at the home enthusiast rather than the professional user.
Now up to version 8, Photoshop Elements offers the four pronged approach of allowing the user to organise, edit, create and share their photos and video clips. By default the program opens with a Welcome screen. This screen offers a choice of four tours to discover the highlights of Photoshop Elements 8 plus links to the Organize and Edit options.
Do vampires ever die or just hibernate until the next walking blood bank arrives on the scene?
While the names of Count Dracula and Van Helsing may be known to you, especially if you are a fan of the Gothic genre, those of Michael and Quinn Harker might not have the same familiarity. Yet these characters appear in the Tech Front Studios game entitled The Dracula Files now available on Avanquest’s GSP Click & Play label.
This is a program that I have known for many years. I think it was version two that I first used. Due to a change of agencies the previous version I reviewed (and in fact still use) was version 6. Now I am looking at version 11.
So there are numerous changes (including file type extensions) but on trying to open one of my much used databases it was only a case of renaming the file with an old extension and the new version had the required extension and opened with no problems in FileMaker Pro 11, while this database has only three fields one is a multi field entry and there are a total of close to 7000 files in the database, all were intact and opened without problem.
Although ratified towards the end of 2008, USB 3.0 devices are only just being to appear. An external hard drive is my introduction to the technology.
As sure as eggs are eggs, over the next coming months we are going to see various devices that come with support for the new USB 3.0 specifications. This technology has taken a little while to make the transition from ratification to device-enabled but the wait is over as products such as the Buffalo Ministation Lite USB 3.0 external disk drive make an appearance. This external drive is available in either 500GB or 640GB capacity.
Having looked at a smaller model the HC-20 around six weeks ago what has the bigger HC-30 got to offer that the HC-20 does not have? From the outside if you just think slighter bigger with all the fitments then you have it.
The Panasonic HC-30 measures 48x19x9cm and the last figure the width is less at the top of the unit. The 9cm only applies near the base where the aerial lead and mains power enter the unit on a protrusion at the rear of the unit. There are other differences the first is that it is wall mountable and quite a substantial bracket is provided to facilitate this.
Don't bother trying to link these two items, the best I could come up with is that with the hub you don’t need to ferret round the PC and the Vacufresh you feel better because you wine keeps longer, yes I agree very tentative.
This is on the face of it another very simple (but nevertheless very useful) item. It is a vacuum wine bottle sealer. It is 8cm long and 3.3 wide at the base. It weights 45grams. The one I tested was black. As it says on the packaging ‘pump out the air … and lock in the freshness’. So any wines shelf (or fridge) life is extended as the vacuum in the bottle means that little or no air born contamination can get in to spoil your wine.
Free-to-air HD television is now with us and available from a device such as Sagemcom HD PVR that also includes dual channel recording.
With all the hype that is emanating from various quarters regarding 3D viewing, it is possible that you might have over-looked the announcement dealing with the arrival of Freeview+ HD. Although the various adverts featuring actors performing against high definition backdrops should have helped drive the message home that Freeview now offers support for high definition content.
A small, easy to use and reasonably priced camera from a maker who does lots of more expensive units both pocket and DSLR unit. Every maker has to have something at the lower end of the market both in price and functionality.
It is 9x6x3cm and weights 173grams with the two ‘AA’ batteries inserted. With the lens fully zoomed it adds close to 3cm to the 3cm width. The flash is almost above the lens (actually very slightly to the right) and is never nearer than 2.4cm to the lens. The top of the camera has an oblong on/off button and a larger round shutter release to its right, the latter has a very fine trigger mechanism so the normal half way down to focus before capture can need practice to achieve.
This is almost one of those big red London bus moments. You know the kind of thing. After a period of waiting patiently, two products delivering media control arrive within days of each other. First it was the recently reviewed Verbatim MediaStation and now it is the turn of Conceptronic’s FullHDMediaPlayer Gigabit offering.
In the world of magic, nothing is what it seems as you quickly discover in a new game from Alawar.
This is said to be the world’s smallest A4 laser printer, certainly I have not looked at a smaller one. However it is a 16PPM mono offering that works with later versions of Windows without even having to install any software.
It is 34x18x22+15cm when paper input tray is open. It is black and weights a little over 4kilos so should work on a shelf. The unit has a simple design the front folds forward to make the input tray, the top folds forward to make the out tray. At the back on the right edge are the two connections, power lead near the base with USB lead near the top. The right of the top has two LED’s and two push buttons as the only controls on the unit, all very simple and straightforward.
Tired of waiting for data to be transferred using USB; then the wait could be over with the arrival of the latest 3.0 technology.
Unless you have been particularly quick off the mark, it is more than likely that your current system, no matter how powerful a speed hog it is, will not be capable of delivering the delights offered by SuperSpeed USB otherwise known as USB 3.0. This is the technology that promises to increase data rate transfers by as much as ten times over the previous version as well as offering simultaneously sending and receiving data through its duplex ability. While the USB 3.
When this first came out Corel started a trend - which they still continue today – of offering extra value. It came with lots of extra clip art and fonts. Remember initially there were very few of either around. They were also I believe the first to go from discs to CD.
However anything getting to version 15 must either have been rather naff in the first place – not so. Or have spread itself very thinly or added extra features. So if you already have version 14 (X4) should you spend on yet another upgrade. Having used CorelDraw from a very early time it bears little resemblance to early versions. It is a far broader product and in many areas now can challenge Adobe but of course at a smaller cost to the user.
Two rather different products the first for DIY fans that can save expensive redecoration bills as you can get an expect finish via good preparation. The second a tool that could save you a very expensive visit from a plumber.
It is described as a cordless multitool, at a maximum dimension of 17x6.5x4.5cm and weighting 294grams without any attachments. There are a total of 33 pieces all supplied in one bag. The tool, the charger and the accessories come in a single zip up holder. The base of the tool unclips to allow it to sit in the 13amp charger module to recharge the Lithium battery. The top of the unit has a two speed setting ‘hi’ on the left and ‘lo’ on the right.
Turn me, twist me, flip me over could well be the theme tune from a new addition to Acer’s Aspire series.
Unlike the netbook, which immediately gained popular acceptance, the panel PC has struggled by comparison when trying to ingratiate itself into the public consciousness. But maybe the arrival of the iPad, backed by Apple’s usual high profile marketing hype, could help kick-start this particular notebook concept.
Anyone with an Analogue TV will need either a new TV or a set top box when your area goes Digital. Some regions have already converted. While a few – disabled and elderly – will get some assistance others will need to deal with it themselves.
This is a very simple box with a SCART cable inserted in the back you need 21x21x3cm space to put the unit. In standby mode the EZBOX LT-105 Freeview Set Top Box uses less than one watt. It has a very efficient pass through enabling a fly lead to deliver perfect signals to the TV while analogue signals are still available in your region. It also means you can have the benefit of all the extra TV and radio channels now as soon as you switch the unit out of standby mode.
Nero and Roxio have been competing for domination of the disk-burning marketplace for several years. Both companies have added feature on feature with the result that the original disk burning facility could be regarded as a minor function.
Naturally this latest version of Roxio’s flagship product comes bearing the Windows 7 logo and supports a wide range of import/output formats for video, audio and photos. Installing the product seemed to be a little quicker than the Nero product on the same system although I neglected to take precise timings to prove this and have to rely on my perception. However both products fire up in 10 seconds to present the user with a front-end.
Every once in a while a game comes along that adds an individual twist to a popular genre. This next title could be said to fall into this category.
In the past I have played numerous games that were firmly entrenched in the Hidden Object genre. I can honestly state that each one of these games was based on a storyline of some sort that would lead the player through a series of scenes requiring items to be located with some mini-games mixed in to add some variety. Often the mini games would have little to do with the encompassing story.
Most people say if it has fax it’s a multi function unit, why then do Kodak call this an All In One? That I cannot answer but I can be more helpful by telling you about the abilities of this ESP Office 6150 unit from Kodak.
The Kodak ESP Office 6150 measures 41x37x22cm, add another 10cm to the depth when the paper output tray is pulled fully out. It weights 8.5kilos. There are five connections all in a vertical row on the back right of the unit but none protrude as the paper handling causes a protrusion on the rear of the main unit. From bottom up they are phone line in, phone line out, D/C power in, Ethernet out and USB out. The front has a panel that clicks up 45degrees from vertical that has a TFT screen (4.5x3.
The Garmin 1490T is a 5 inch screen GPS unit which offers, as well as the basic features, Bluetooth connectivity, traffic alerts and maps of Europe and not just the UK and Ireland. It is intuitive in operations, provides spoken street names and has a high contrast colour screen which is easy to read under most conditions
At first sight the 1490T appears enormous and one wonders whether, once it has been fixed on a car’s windscreen using the provided suction mount, it will obstruct one’s view and will prevent you from actually seeing the road. However, after a few minutes experimentation one finds a place on the windscreen where it can easily be seen, swivelled to a suitable angle and yet does not get in the way of one’s driving vision.