I suspect more of us will be resorting to soup and bread for lunch and while a lot of us crave Coffee Shop coffee I suspect that will soon be something else that will be experienced less. However good coffee can be achieved at home for around 20p a cup.
Last year I told you about a competitor to Bovril/Marmite –Toastmate - from him, now he has produced a range of soups that you just drink out of a cup, preparation time is however long your kettle takes to boil. I have tried them all normally with a slice of toast as a decent light lunch total cost of ingredients around 40p. I am not sure that now is the greatest time to produce an Organic range as more and more people will solely be concerned with making ends meet. The £1.
Sometimes first impressions can be misleading. Take for instance this next product from Kensington.
The Kensington LiquidAUX product is not, as I first thought, a FM Transmitter device. Instead this device, designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod products, is an auxiliary car kit with a remote control for the music loving driver.
This is the smallest projector I have seen; it is smaller than most mobile phones. However from two metres away it can display a bright clear image on any flat wall, in fact I even tried it on a ceiling but that would require you to be lying down on a floor or sofa.
It is 10x5x1.8cm and predominately black with silver/grey underside. It weights 110grams with its solid battery inserted. When I first saw this demonstrated in October last year I immediately thought of the Flip video recorder as a use. I was promised one the next week well three months later it arrived. Controls on the unit are minimal with the right side having a 2.5mm A/V input and a focus control. The front has the lens. The left side has mini USB and the three position on switch.
Canon has recently made some changes to the line-up of its PIXMA range of products. One of these changes involves the entry-level All-in-one device. This position is now taken up by the PIXMA MP190 model.
Maybe due to the current economic climate, this year’s Toy Fair definitely seemed smaller. One product that caught my eye was a helicopter manufactured in China.
While visiting the recent Toy Fair, held at the Excel Exhibition Centre, I was struck by, what appeared to be, a total lack of one particular toy that was heavily featured last year. Flights of fancy, via remote controlled helicopters and the like, were now conspicuous by their absence – but not quite. The thought had barely faded from my mind when, as chance would have it, I stumbled across the small, but welcome, Extreme Fliers stand.
This is a powerful product and also needs a beefy machine to run it. However for those who need the ability to manipulate to the nenth degree there is not really a serious alternative. Apart from maybe the more expensive Extended edition.
On a fast modern Vista notebook this took a total of 44 minutes to install. It required 1320MB of hard disc space. As the requirements are high I will add them here so you will know if your system can cope. 1.8GHz processor, Windows XP service pack 2 or 3 or Vista SP1. 512MB RAM. IGB hard disc space. 1024x768 display and a DVD drive. All the figures I have given are and the recommendation is often more.
One of my favourite episodes of Last of the Summer Wine involves bulky walkie talkies. Nowadays units are much smaller and more portable as can be seen with t product from Doro.
As part of its telephony-based product line-up, Doro has released its wt96 Pro offering. This product is a walkie talkie communication kit. Opening the box reveals a pair of walkie talkie handsets with accompanying docking stations, various power leads, ear-bud style headsets and two packs of AAA x4 rechargeable batteries that fit into each handset.
This is another in the range of marvellous Canon Ixus offerings that I have enjoyed reviewing over the years. Not only me but those of my friends who have taken my advice and purchased one of these little Ixus offerings.
The Canon Uxus 980IS measures 9.5x6x2.5cm and the last figure, the width, can increase by up to another 3cm when it is fully zoomed. It weights 178grams. Mine was matt silver with chrome sides and round the lens. It is also available in black. Looking from the rear the right side has the anchor point for a wrist strap and a bung covering A/V out. The left side is clear. The base has entry point for the solid battery and any SD/MMC card you might use, it also has the anchor point for a tripod.
Two items essential for those who want to just do their own thing. First a rather nice set of headphones from TDK that can block almost anything out. Second a way to occupy your mind, a book from Adrian Arnold, Computing for the Older and Wiser.
These are described as headphones for DJ and professional applications. Everything about them is quality. Starting with the bar linking the earpieces, good quality moulded plastic with a rubber insert on the top to stop sweaty fingers slipping, the underside is padded so those with less padding (or being crude bald) are still comfortable. Each earpiece moves through 120 degrees giving a snug fit for all.
Not to be confused with a 50-year old hit of Sir Cliff Richard, Move It is a new product from Nero, better known for its disk burning technology and software.
One of the common problems relating to media content is the variety of formats used for music, image and video files by manufacturers of mobile and personal media devices. Move It offers to help in this respect by offering a range of profiles designed to make the transfer of content between devices as simple and seamless as possible – or that is the claim made for the product.
Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 7 is a major enhancement of over the previous version and is widely recommended for anyone who wants to go beyond basic image editing. A useful complement to it is Photoshop Elements 7 for Dummies which is much more than being just a guide to the application.
Although it is pretty straightforward to get acceptable photos directly from today’s megapixel digital cameras, once the image files have been transferred to the PC one is able to use an editing program, such as Google’s Picasa, which is simple to use and ideal for many basic improvements. However, PE7, as well as incorporating a range of “autofixes” and other simple makeovers, is far more versatile.
This Blu-ray player was the one I used with the recently reviewed Samsung Series 6 Full HD LE32A656 however any full HD TV should allow you to see the full glory of Blu-ray. To hear the full cinema sound quality you will need a 5.1 or 7.1 sound system.
The Samsung BD-P1500 is 43x31x6.5cm with leads inserted in the rear. It has matt black top and sides with grey back and base, the front is shiny black. The following connections are on the back a hard wired (1.35metre) power lead, HDMI out socket, USB socket, Ethernet socket, Optical out and a set of six Component Out and A/V out.
Sometimes all you need is a mobile phone rather than the usual diet of multi-function devices developed by various companies.
Mobile phones come in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes and colour combinations. That is even before you consider the feature sets and additional attributes that have been integrated (some would say “shoe-horned” or bolted-on) into the device to increase the “wantability” appeal for users. Developers and manufacturers continue to try and out-do the competition with new features and stylish looks.
If you had a third arm, just what use would you put it to? Maybe this next product could be used to experiment with different possibilities
It is mainly silver but sad to say still unlikely to pass the lounge police, this is a neat and tidy All In One unit and little bigger than a standalone printer. It features the recently introduced idea of a built in tray underneath for documents and the rear tray for photographs.
When closed the Canon Pixma MP540 measures 44x35.5x15cm, the depth increases to 59.5cm when both the front receiving tray and the rear photo paper tray are opened the height goes up to 30cm. To the right of the landscape scanner cover is a separate portrait action lid that lifts just beyond 90 degrees to show a 4x3cm TFT screen and on the base it reveals 14 buttons, when using it from the PC the only one likely to be needed is the on/off.
From its early beginnings with flip-books, animation has developed into a skilled art form that can take full advantage of a computer’s processing power.
Animation was once the preserve of skilled artists with access to expensive equipment. Then computers came along and animation was made available to those who could afford powerful systems with top-of-the-range graphics capability and oodles of memory. Fortunately computer prices fell as performance improved and along came Reallusion. This company is responsible for a product entitled iClone which was priced within many users’ budget constraints.
Last year I reviewed the Edirol from Roland (25-7-08) it got a well earned highly commended. In some ways this is less easy to use, in others it offers more bells and whistles. So the choice if you want a serious portable .WAV and MP3 recorder that does not break the bank the choice lies between the two.
The ZoomH2 Handy Recorder is a little larger at 11x6x3cm but the first difference is that it has four microphones built in. It weights 158grams (with two AA batteries inserted). You can record from the front 90degree angle. The rear 180 degree and all round great for placing the recorder in the middle of a larger group. The right side has USB socket, Line In, External Microphone Input and three position Microphone Gain Switch.
Adobe Photoshop is probably the most full featured image manipulation package on the market. The latest version is CS4 in fact there are two versions CS4 and Extended. Here I am looking at two books the first ‘for Dummies and the second Digital Classroom.
I have read a good number of the Dummies books and while certain of them might be classed for novices it certainly is not the case here. While the bulk of the book is for the standard version it does mention the Extended version in the last of the main chapters, but if you have the extended version and want to get the best out of it then more detailed (heavier) books are for you. This is written by Peter Bauer who knows more about Photoshop than most.
While the main focus on Acer’s acquisitions of companies last year was on the Gateway and Packard Bell deals, it was all too easy to miss one further acquisition. Almost slipping under the radar was Acer’s take over of E-Ten Information Systems Co. Ltd.
This is the first 32inch full HD TV I have reviewed, not ‘HD ready’ but showing full HD and I can assure you it gives a far nicer view even when viewing standard TV down your aerial and is the first digital TV I have seen where I prefer the digital image to that available from the Analogue channels.
This is the first 32inch HD TV I have reviewed, ‘HD ready’ but showing full HD and I can assure you it gives a far nicer view even when viewing standard TV down your aerial and is the first digital TV I have seen where I prefer the digital image to that available from the Analogue channels. The unit is 80x51.5cm with the viewable area 70x39.5cm giving the diagonal measurement of 31½ inches.