Oh how circumstances have charged with more resources and an improved enlightened attitude towards the presence of IT within the school curriculum.
During my time working at the chalk-face, admittedly several years ago, the prospect of one computer per child was considered little more than a pipe-dream. The allocation of a school's computing resources, especially in a multi-storey building, was one computer per floor.
It's september so as (recent) history dictates it's time for Steve Jobs to take
to the stage and show us what he hopes Santa will be delivering this year.
The changes this year though are more cosmetic than substantive. gave
us the innovative and totally cool iPod Touch and the video capable iPod Nano. This year
we have a new slimline Touch and a new nano that seems to have slipped back a generation
in design from that launched only 12 months back. Let's look at the new Nano first. Last year saw a migration from long and thing to short and squat.
This year sees a complete reversal of that back to tall and thin measuring 90.7x38.
LinkSys, a division of the networking giant Cisco, have taken a bet on the success
of 3G 'mobile' technology with the release of this hybrid gateway/router product.
There are many devices around now that allow you to share a broadband Internet connection with computers and other devices in your home or small business. The LinkSys WRT54G3G adds to the standard broadband connection the ability to slot in a wireless 3G data card. The device can effectively connect your local home/business network to both a wire broadband connection via Ethernet and/or to a 3G mobile network using 3G/UMTS data card (standard PC-card format).
To describe this as a hand blender is a vast underestimate. Not only is it that but with the various containers it becomes far more with the ability to be quickly attached to turn it into a variety of useful kitchen gadgets.
First as the hand blender it is 36cm tall, holding it at the thickest part of the rubberised grip it is 15cm round just about comfortable for an adult hand. The top 19cm is the rubberised piece and this is where the powerful 700watt motor lives. There are two push buttons on/off and turbo but above these near the top is a control wheel with speeds from 1 to 5 for various tasks.
The first is a conventional watch with a plus that it can also be used as a Wi-Fi finder. The second is perhaps a clock that is a talking point more than something to tell the time but it does that as well.
Wi-Fi Finder Watch The instruction manual calls it rather grandly an Alarm Chronograph Module. Well I suppose it is as it can be used as a countdown timer, Chrono Timer, Regular Watch with Calendar, Alarm Mode and by pressing a button at the base of the face finds any Wi-Fi networks in range. The watch is 3.8x4.2x1.5cm and comes with a fitted rubberised strap.
As I mentioned last week, manufacturers and developers already have Christmas product line-ups in place.
This week the spotlight falls on Disney Interactive Studios, the interactive entertainment affiliate of
the Walt Disney Company, with its range of multi-platform video games and entertainment products for
the young and young at heart.
This is the largest of three models that give a truly improved sound from the otherwise rather bland output available from the Apple iPod. While Orbitsound T12 unit comes with a sub woofer the really exciting stuff is developed in the main unit.
It is 53x13x10cm with leads inserted. The only thing I have not included is the height of your iPod above the top of the unit, simply because this will vary according to the model you use. The Orbitsound product produces 'airSOUND' from a single speaker giving not only an ordinary stereo effect but also a wide stereo. The nearest thing I have heard previously to this is a product devolped by Yamaha a few years ago but this was huge in comparison and was solely to give a decent output from a TV.
Cloning your hard disk by using appropriate software could come to your rescue in the event of disaster striking.
Like going to the dentist, making a back-up of your valuable data is often a task that is put off until a later date or perhaps forgotten about altogether. Even knowing that the results could have dire consequences seems to make no difference as many feel that disaster would never happen to them so why take the time and trouble to perform a backup.
Giving your table lamp a helping hand is easy and possible with a product available from Prezzybox.com.
Recently I had the electric lighting system in my home rewired. The positioning of some lights, which I am still adjusting to, was moved while, in a couple of cases, cord-pulled switches replaced other types of on/off methods. One innovative technology that I did not consider as part of the rewiring process was the use of hand movements to control various lighting conditions.
This is a 500GB external hard disk but that is far from all of itís abilities, apart from connecting to a PC it can also connect to a TV, DVD player or set top box and it can store your own digital movie and music library for playback on your TV or PC.
It is 19.5x16x5cm with cables connected and it is shiny black but as this will never pass the lounge police it could happily sit in a draw of cupboard with only a trailing wire to tell it was there. The front has an on/off button and a .5cm thin strip window that shows various LED through it. The left side base and top have nothing while the rear has four connections power input, A/V in and A/V out and a USB port.
As we become increasingly mobile with our computing activity, we do need to be sure we are protected at all times from malicious threats.
I first came across and wrote about DriveSentry last year ( ). In the intervening period, the company has been busy developing a new product which is currently available exclusively from the PC World chain of stores. This product is DriveSentry GoAnywhere. It has been developed to safeguard removable devices from the one million plus Internet viruses that have been identified by computer experts.
As a radio lover I was very interested to get my hands on this pocket DAB radio from Goodmans. Billed
as the "smallest personal/pocket DAB radio in the world" this could be exactly the replacement
for my pocket FM radio.
Despite being a great fan of radio (I admit it - a Radio 4 listener) - I actually have very little time in which to listen. The best times for me are either when gardening or when running, and with the weather this year precious little gardening has been done! The Goodmans GHDAB101 measures 69.5 x 44 x 21.4mm and weighs a mere 68 grams. Power is provided by two AAA batteries, something I fully applaud.
Not as you may think power tools but a couple of high powered torches and then all you need to keep stuff cool or warm providing you have a cigar lighter socket nearby so ideal for days out in the car.
Black&Decker Light Bar BDLB14 Now summer is officially over maybe we will have some decent weather for those outdoor activities, the only problem is nights are drawing in so light is needed, while an ordinary torch will light you way its probably a pain to read with and certainly for things like eating not really enough. Here a 26.5cm tall light bar, it can be hung or stood on any flat surface.
While this is a digital photo frame it also plays music and can even play .AVI movies both sound and video, in fact it is a rather nice product all round. There has to be a minus point and my tests have produced two.
It is 32x21cm around the outside, if you have it flat against something it is 4cm thick if you use the fold out flap stand this adds another 11cm. The viewable area of the screen is 22x13cm giving the notional 10.2inches. In theory it can be controlled from the buttons on the rear of the unit, in fact to start a screen show you need the supplied remote control. This is the watch/clock battery type with ten buttons and of course the ubiquitous five position joystick.
While in our time zone it may be at the end of August as we ponder on what became of summer this year; manufacturers and service providers seem to exist in a totally different chronological time period.
Companies are already well up to speed with their Christmas push of a range of offerings aimed at tempting us to part with our disposal income. Increasingly I am being asked (coincidentally the writing of this sentence was interrupted by a phone call from a PR agency attempting to make a pitch on behalf of one of its clients Christmas plans) what my plans are for Christmas features.
This review has taken longer than usual, partly as I have had a few computer problems, but probably mainly because it is rare for me to be challenged by such a good camera as I rarely get to review a DSLR.
I think the majority of professional photographers use a Canon unit of some sort. This is quite light and a semi professional photographer friend of mine was quite envious. Of course the real professionals have umpteen lenses and numerous tripods. What I tested was with a single 18-55mm lens. I rarely start with the weight but this was only 770grams with neck strap attached, the only extra a professional would need to use would be an external flash gun.
While Microsoft is better known for its software products, the company also develops various hardware items including a webcam.
Webcams tend to come in various shapes and sizes, often depending upon the whim of a design team. In the past I have worked with webcams that resemble a large eyeball, a cylindrical tube, and even an Egyptian-style statue. The latest webcam to emerge from Microsoft hardware department, the LifeCam VX-7000, reminds me of a metallic name badge, especially when viewed from front on, worn by company representatives.
I must confess that ironing does not rank near the top of my list of favourite tasks. In fact, if truth be told, I would position this particular job somewhere near, if not quite at, the bottom of those jobs I would be happy to tackle.
Needs must when it comes to reviewing a product and so I took the Tefal AQUASPEED Ultracord 260 product in hand and prepared myself to work through a pile of clothes, bedding and the like that were crying out for a session with this new iron. Almost futuristic in appearance, this purple and cream iron comes with a permanently attached wide base (135 x 145cm) that incorporates an anti-slip feature to help secure the iron when in an upright position.
One was version 6 the other was version 4 so to avoid thoughts of one being behind the other both these new versions will be called 7. They will be available separately or as a bundle together at a saving of around £30.
Everything I'm telling you about today was the result of a meeting around a month ago with Mike Lampietro of Adobe a demo and some slides, as and when the new versions are available which I am told is likely to be around the end of September I will try various things for myself in separate reviews.
First impressions do not always work out as you might expect but I have to admit that the Sony Ericsson K660i did not flatter to deceive and was one of those products that lived up to its initial appeal.
Measuring 104 x 47 x 15mm and weighing 95g, the Sony Ericsson K660i candy bar style phone is predominately black in colour with silver trims around the edges and a wine coloured bar highlighting the non-keypad controls. If this colour scheme does not appeal then the phone is also available with a lime bar on white. Situated above this bar is the handset's 2.0-inch TFT QVGA screen capable of displaying 260K colours. For general use this screen will default to portrait mode.