Again looking towards Christmas two items to give as ideal presents, the first for someone with an urge to learn and the second for some who just wants to play, but even playing with this helicopter uses and improves dexterity skills.
A little like the Airfix kits I remember as a child this box has all the bits required to build six different items that all work using solar power. Perhaps a strange thing to promote as a Christmas gift but during the dark days you can build and then when the lighter days arrive the unit is ready to be used, all the best things are worth waiting for. The six items that you can build are a Revolving Plane, Windmill, Plane, Airboat, Puppy and Car all take advantage of the solar unit provided.
Not everybody needs a full featured notebook and so the netbook was developed. In the same way not everybody needs a high end desktop computer.
Adding to its impressive range of products, Acer has developed the Aspire Revo product which is based on the Intel Atom CPU 230 running at 1.60GHz. As a netbook is a king of notebook sub-species, so the Revo could be regarded as a sub-species of your desktop system. In other words the Aspire Revo falls into the category as a small, low powered desktop unit known as a Nettop.
It is always useful to have a small radio that is available for use as and when needed. This could be when sitting in the garden away from the house, when on a train journey or even when there is a power cut. The PowerPlus Cheetah is a pocket-sized radio which could fit the bill.
The dimensions of the Cheetah self-powered radio are 13 x 7 x4cm and it weighs in at just 205g. It has a built-in battery which is charged either by the hand-cranked dynamo or from a solar panel on top of the radio. It is claimed that cranking for one minute will give 20 minutes playing time. The solar panel appears to be quite effective as, even on an overcast day, the blue 'charging' LED was illuminated with the radio sitting on a window sill.
Another in a superb range of small digital cameras from Canon. This is the forth one I have looked at in the last three years. This one has three subtle tones from silver to grey and it looks are pleasing even to a style dunce like me.
The Canon Ixus 990IS Digital Camera measures 9x5.5x2.5cm and weights 180grams. The last figure, the width, can extend up to 4cm more when on full zoom. The rear is dominated by a huge 6x4.5cm TFT display and it is reasonable in all but the strongest sunlight. To the right of this are four triangular buttons two above and two below the ubiquitous five position joystick. I suspect all but the real camera novice will know what these do from their illustrations.
This natty device aims to provide your home computers with safe storage for important documents and a central store for shared media files.
I've reviewed a number of home network attach storage (NAS) products over the last couple of years that have promised much and delivered rather less. The Media Hub from Linksys, a division of networking giant Cisco, has focussed on delivering a robust, reliable product with a good core feature set. The focus is on simplicity and ease of use - a product that sits there quietly in the corner looking after your data! The Media Hub measures 11.1 x 19.8 x 16.8 cm (WxHxD).
Keeping your computer safe from outside influences is always recommended but occasionally it can bring a sting in the tail.
One of the longest established names within the field of personal computing is that of Norton. Ever since Peter Norton revealed that deleted files were not exactly deleted but just had their reference altered in the FAT (File Allocation Table), the name of Norton has been linked with various software utilities. The name of Norton is so well respected that Symantec continues to use it as a brand identifier for the company’s various security products such as Norton 360.
According to my Concise Oxford Dictionary, a bookworm is a “person devoted to reading”. Bookworm is also the subject matter of a series of games, published by Popcap, that involve creating words from a selection of letters.
Recently I have been testing my word creation skills with Bookworm Deluxe. The game gives you a choice of the more relaxed Classic game play or the faster moving Action mode. You are represented on-screen by a worm that has literacy tendency. This worm is named Lex, presumably short for Lexicon, and stands guard over the grid of letter tiles that can be used to create words. When creating words within this game, there are a couple of limitations that you need to follow.
First BounceBack Ultimate from CMS Products and second BackItUp & Burn from Nero. Neither review was without its problems, partly due I am sure to a notebook of mine that seems to dislike being backed up. However when used on another system both did their work as expected.
The install of this went as expected however although it can do a full system backup it is aimed at making things easy, so it lets you selects types of file to backup no matter where they maybe on your hard disc. So Photos, Music, Movies, Documents, Spreadsheets etc are all categories and you can easily just add others for any types not included.
I'm into reviewing on-line shopping experiences and I'm into quality. What a pleasure to find a website that offers both a swish experience and the best shoes in town. Check out www.rubbersole.co.uk.
It's nice to come across an original and easy to use shopping website that sells high quality products. If you've been looking for a shoe shop, accessible from your laptop, that will sort through a range of trendy international designer shoes of your size, and will dispatch the same day when you order before 4pm Monday – Friday, with no delivery charge if they are available from the UK, then you'll do well to look at .
The concept of a paperless office continues to be a myth as can be seen with this next product which combines traditional elements with modern day technology.
Although billed as a home cinema system this cool looking product from LG offers a range of multimedia functions.
The HT32S comprises a main system box, a large bass sub-woofer and two satellite tweeters. The main speaker measures a substantial 216x405x310mm (WxHxD) and weights a hefty 5.9Kg. The satelite speakers measure 118x230x115mm and weight 1.1Kg each. Power output is 150W from the subwoofer and 75W from each of the satellites. The design is very sleek with a curved main unit and side speakers. Accompanying the system is a comprehensive remote control.
Another in an ever increasing range of Netbooks from Asus, this one (sorry not shaped like a seashell or made from shell although they do make a different unit from Bamboo) promises 8.5hours of battery life between charges.
The latest EeePC from Asus, the 1005HA measures 26x18x3.5cm the latter is maximum at the rear feet it is 1cm less at the front feet. It weights 1290grams. Mine was black but I see they also do white. This was not sent directly to me from Asus and so some of the settings may have been unfavourably tweaked by the previous reviewer. In heavy use including attached USB devices I got four hours. In lighter use without external devices draining power it was just over six hours.
Brace yourself – ready or not – Christmas is not that far away. Here two items for the kids and no doubt the best way to cope is a little at a time. First a tradition Jigsaw from Ravensburger and second a new twist on the Rubik’s Cube.
This is apparently the twelfth limited edition puzzle produced by Ravensburger. I cannot talk about any of the first eleven as I have not seen them. This is a delightful puzzle of 1000 pieces and for me anyway quite difficult because of the amount of snow. It is created from an original watercolour painting by Roy Trower who studied graphic art at Norwich and graduated in 1984. It is one of Ravensburgers Premium Puzzles featuring their softclick technology.
Fed up with earphones that under perform? Want to reclaim your music? s-Jays earphones offer amazing quality and performance for a wide variety of uses.
s-Jays earphones featuring SIREN technology £45.24 at I have odd ears. I don’t know if it’s because I am a girl but earphones are not made for me. Either they are too big, they slip out or they just make my ears hurt. Some are good for dance music but are hopeless on speech tracks such as my audio yoga. Too many to mention just DON’T DO Classical or movies particularly well. Call me picky but I am not really into big headphones either.
Aimed more at the budget end of the market, the Sony Ericsson W302 handset is both lightweight and small in size.
My recent mobile phone companion has been a review sample of the Sony Ericsson W302 handset. Aimed more towards the budget end of the market, this mobile phone is of the candy bar variety. Decked out in midnight black (I believe there is also a white model) with silver embellishments, this handset has a rather unassuming presence due mainly to its small size. The phone measures 100 x 46 x 10.5mm (H x W x D) and weighs in at a fairly lightweight 78g.
As not every Office suite contain a DTP application, many computer users struggle to produce business cards, posters, invitations and a whole range of other publications using a word processor. Serif’s PagePlus X4 brings professional quality DTP within the reach of many small companies, clubs and even individuals.
DTP packages have often been seen as both too expensive and too complex for the average user. PPX4 is a versatile and powerful program and it appears that Serif recognises the fact that many people need to produce professional results as an adjunct to their normal work and not necessarily as a main stream activity. Consequently, the company has put a lot of effort into making it user-friendly.
First a wireless device great for the energetic that enables them to hear music or phone calls while indulging in exercise. Second a small speaker to enable your iPod, MP3 player or phones content to be heard by all.
Not just another wireless device. This is a set of earbuds with connections behind the ears linked by a wire behind the head. You then place your wireless device phone or whatever away in a pocket and no matter how vigoursly you jog or run the earbuds stay in your ears so no danger of losing your headset as the wire behind your neck holds the earbuds in place. All the controls are on the earpieces so it might be as well to study the manual before you depart so you what to press to control what.
One for the fashion conscious - a smart way to carry your gadgets around with Urban Bagz
Being the lady journalist on the Gadgetspeak team, I just love to get the girly stuff to review and was happy this week to receive a few samples from Urban Bagz. Urban Bagz are supplied by Belgium company Orkio at . Urban Bagz have designed a wide range of carriers for laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras and MP3 players. They're very stylish and practical at the same time. The fabrics are lightweight, yet durable and wipe clean.
Sometimes meeting up with an old friend after a long period of absence can result in a feeling of disappointment. Sad to say this was one of those occasions.
Back in the last century (alright it was less than a decade ago), most personal computers were run on a DOS (Disk Operating System) platform. Even Windows was underpinned by DOS until very recently. Numerous programs were developed to help users deal with problems that could arise through the interaction between DOS, installed applications and hardware issues.
Why wait for a crime to be committed before solving it? This Minority Report-like approach is the basis of a game in the Mystery Case Files series.