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As a nation of pet lovers, this next game features a case of bird-napping.
Sometimes an outside influence can direct me towards a specific game’s title.  In this case it was an article in a daily newspaper reporting on the escapades of a macaw named Jessie.  It seems Jessie decided to take a break from her comfy perch and took up residence on a neighbour’s rooftop in Cuckoo Hall Lane – where else would you expect a female bird to decide where to squat even if laying eggs was not on the agenda.
880253 VARIDESK Pro Plus 36 Height Adjustable Standing Des

VariDesk ProPlus 36

While whatever space you have on your desk will always diminish to the point that things have to be placed elsewhere is a rule, there is a possible solution in the shape of the VariDesk which in effect allows your desk to grow.
While this can even be a solution for those with back problems I would suggest that you get someone to help you put it in place as it is not light in weight and if standing it on your current desk make sure that is able to cope with the extra weight. This is a standing desk which surveys say is a more productive way of working, unlike other such desks this is variable height so tallish or short it should suit you. It arrives in a box that is 1.02 metres x 83 centimetres and 14cm wide.
When taking to the movie director’s chair, MAGIX can provide the tools.
MAGIX has taken a three-pronged approach with the 2019 version of its Movie Edit Pro software package.  Users are given the option of purchasing the Classic, Plus or Premium product depending upon their needs and financial situation. I have been looking at the Plus version of this video editing software for the basis of this review.
Earlier this year One Plus launched their new phone at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Park and they also showed these unique – as far as I know – wireless earbuds that when placed back to back stop the playback from your device. This is certainly a novel idea and that I why I requested to try a pair.
So in the box you get the neck band with gels attached (medium) two other pairs of gels together with smaller and larger sizes of fins. Also in the box are a rubber push open pouch that contains a 25cm long distinctive USB charging cable and a small six language User Guide. The total length of the behind the neck cable is 84 cm, the centre 38cm is stiffened in a semi-circle to fit around the neck with 23cm either side in a normal thin cable ending at the buds.
As part of its family of graphics products, Corel has just released the latest version of its Pinnacle Studio 22 software. Versions of this software are available in Ultimate, Plus and Standard editions.
When I checked out the previous version of Pinnacle Studio, I noted that the installation routine was not the quickest operation when completing this task.  The same can be said of this latest version.  Running the software’s installer module took 67 minutes to set up the Pinnacle Studio 22 Ultimate on my work system.
While the main purpose of this is to improve the air quality for those who unable to cope with less than perfect quality, I found quite by chance another feature of the product that might improve the chance of success with a partner.
Not the first one of these devices to get tested by myself. This unit arrives ready assembled but not ready to use as the filters although in place are sealed and need their plastic wrapping to be removed and discarded. So follow the instructions to open the unit remove the wrapping around the filters and replace in position.
The Homedics MyChill Personal Space Cooler operates on the evaporative cooling principle and can sit on the corner of one’s desk to provide a localised stream of cooled air.
Roughly 20 x 17cm and 20cm high, it is light grey and white in colour and has adjustable louvres at the front to direct the air flow which the makers claim is effective up to a range of about 4ft. On top of the machine there is the power on/off and the fan button which steps between the two speeds at each press of the button. Dependent on the speed, either one or two LEDs is lit.
Did you know that penguins like garden furniture? Me neither till I played this next game.
A Nanogram is a puzzle game based on the creation of mosaic type images laid out on a grid.  Originally featuring monochrome images, more recent versions of this type of game play have introduced the use of colour to add to the use of logic to solve these puzzles.  A recent example of this popular genre is Fantasy Mosaic 28 – Treasure Map. In this 28 edition of the Fantasy Mosaic franchise, you are involved in helping a family of penguins.
This is a 24inch curved gaming monitor from AOC as the title might tell you. While I have other curved monitors including the first TV that was widely available in the UK they have all been substantially larger than the 24inches of this offering.
It is 53.5x32x1cm and the curve difference between the edge and the centre is 2cm. The stand is V shaped and is 43cm across at the front and 10cm across at the back it raises the panel by 6cm. There is a lot of back tilt (more than 20 degrees) and a little forward tilt. The panel can also move up to a maximum of 19cm above your desk. It weighs less than 4.5 kilos.
Making tasks easier is the role undertaken by Parallels collection of tools.
When the subject of the Parallels company is raised, my thoughts tend to concentrate on the company’s solution for running a copy of Windows on a Mac-based system.  However this is not the only product available from Parallels.  The company has also developed a Toolbox product which is available for either the Windows or Mac platform depending upon the user’s needs.  This collection of utility style tools is supposed to consist of 30+ items.
This is an enthusiasts camera, quality in a small package, but still able to give excellent ‘auto’ images and if you know better then the various special scene and manual mode allow you to get that extra special image to say great.
The Olympus Olympus PEN E-PL9 measures 12x6.5x6cm when off the powered zoom can take the 14-42mm lens out to 9.5cm. It weighs 513grams with the supplied neck strap in situ. People who have fondled it say that’s heavy and my response is that is quality down to the dark blue leather that goes round the front and sides.
880192 PaintShop Pro 2019 ULTIMAT

An Ultimate Suite

From its humble beginnings, this next product is growing into a graphics suite.
Over the years, currently bubbling away at 28 and still counting, Corel’s Paint Shop Pro has undergone a number of make-overs since it was first released by Robert Veil as a file format changing utility available as a Shareware product.  Now firmly established as a member of the Corel family, Paint Shop Pro offers a range of graphics facilities and tools for enhancing images.
880182 HP ENVY 13 ad015na 1

HP Envy Laptop

It’s taken a while, 18 months in fact from change of agency to the first arrival of an HP notebook. Its thin its light and it has connectivity so what is not to like about this 13inch offering called very appropriately by the name of ENVY.
The HP Envy 13-ad015 laptop measures 30.5x21x1.5cm and weighs 1359 grams. It is matt silver grey in colour with four silver lines of two lengths that form a very clever HP logo. The left side has a USB port, 3.5mm headphone socket, USB ‘C’ port and micro SD card port. The front is clear the right side has USB ‘C’ port, USB port and charging port. Open the lid and the screen can go back to 135 degrees.
In a way a throwback to the past a mechanical timer which works solely by counting down from a set figure to zero and then ringing a bell to warn you, a simple process that should still enable you to extract things from the over without them burning.
It is circular at 9.5cm and slopes up from the front where it is 2cm up to 5.5cm at the back. It is made of stainless steel with the twist arm plastic so both are wipe clean. The clock is marked in five minute increments up to an hour with the areas between the numerals clearly shown by dashes so you could set seven minutes or forty eight minutes just as easily as five minutes or twenty five minutes.
Step into the Makoan world and embark on a rite of passage to become a legend.
According to Phoenix Online Publishing, “Every Game was a Story” and, in this case, the story concerned “A Rite from the Stars”.  Based on the concept of a “rite of passage” found within various tribal communities, this point and click adventure game is the debut offering from the Spanish developer Risin’ Goat.  Versions of this game are available for the PC, Mac and Linux platforms.  My review is based on the Windows PC product offering.
880181 Clip On Professional 22x Mobile Phone Zoom Len

Brando 22x Lens for SmartPhones

While modern SmartPhones can take excellent images and videos one thing that a decent DSLR camera often has is a good optical zoom, here is a kit that can give your SmartPhone the ability to get great zoom for your images.
I have tried this unit with success on three different Smart Phones all with single lenses, I do not think it would work on dual lens units. The complete kit comes in a fitted zip up case the 22x zoom lens which on close inspection is F1.8 250mm marked 4K 22x Telephoto Lens. It has adjustment at the camera end as well as at the lens end it weighs 150 grams without the supplied lens cap.
With a choice of five input streams, this next product belongs to Edifier’s family of speakers.
In the past I have looked at various Edifier speaker systems but this is the first opportunity I have had to check out the company’s take on soundbars with the S50DB model.  With dimensions of 112 x 12 x 10 cm (W x D x H), for this soundbar, Edifier has gone with a fairly standard design appearance of an elongated speaker unit that can either be wall-mounted or free-standing.  Keeping the soundbar company in this kit are a wall mount bracket, screws and rawl plugs, 3.
Being a diabetic I have to look after my feet, most socks tend to dig into my legs so socks with special tops are on my agenda. Here also socks for the airline traveller who – especially on long hall – need to be aware of deep vein thrombosis.
The company concerned was one of the few that pulled their finger out after the range of Christmas In July events that take my time during the recent hot summer weeks. Their socks have had several wearing’s since the event and although woollen socks in this weather may seem strange they do not tend to overheat the wearers feet. I found I had been sent two types of diabetic socks, first ‘Wool Diabetic’ that although for shoe size 11-13 fitted my size 10 feet fine.
Putting your digital photos to work can be achieved with this next product from MAGIX
As a result of the digital age take-over, the collection of captured image owned by users has grown substantially.  Taking up space on hard disk storage devices, these images are just crying out to be put to some useful service on our behalf  Offering to be helpful in this respect is MAGIX’s Photostory Deluxe software with the release of the product’s latest 2019 version of this slideshow creating product.
Most wireless earbuds still have a cord of some sort even if it’s just enough to link the two buds behind your neck. Here nothing more than the buds that fit in your ear. So the total weight is just an amazingly small 13 grams the pair. So as they say on the box ‘no strings attached’.
The no strings goes as far as charging as instead of attaching a cable to the buds they come with their special case and the USB lead attaches to the back of that so they are charged in a fitted case ideal for transporting them when not in your ears. As regular readers know I have a somewhat problematical existence with earbuds in that my ears swell and after less than an hour they start to become uncomfortable.
HTC has just announced, at a “media pre-briefing” its latest super-budget phone. Scheduled to be available late September / early October this 6 inch 18:9 FHD+ (1080 x 2160) phone will have a retail price of £299 which places it firmly on the middle ground between the premium products and the real budget phones.
Pack your bags with plenty of sun screen as you join a family on holiday.
With that strange object in the sky beating down plus the Met Office aggravating tourism chiefs by issuing an amber health warning and advising the public to stay indoors between 11.00 am and 3.0 pm rather than going out and about spending money it does seem appropriate to take a look at a game entitled Summer Adventure which is not to be confused with Summer Holiday.  This Summer Adventure game belongs to the Hidden Object genre.
880093 Acer Holo360 4K 360 Degree Camer

Acer Holo 360 degree camera

This camera is much the size of a mobile phone and like a great many mobile phones it runs on Android. While it has internal storage it can also accommodate a micro SD card and indeed initially slightly more puzzling it can also take a SIM card, this is however solely so you can send data that you capture while still out and about to various sites.
The Acer Holo 360 measures 11x5.5x1.3cm and weighs 141grams with the supplied wrist strap attached. The viewable screen is 6x4.5cm which gives the diagonal notional imperial measurement of 3 inches. Bootup is 15 seconds while shutdown is 3 seconds. Going around the outside has on/off on the right side with camera button below this, the base has micro USB port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone socket.
Offering to provide self-help with blood pressure monitoring is a device from Braun.
According to research conducted on behalf of the National Health Service (NHS), around 25% of the UK adult population suffer from high blood pressure often without them realising that they have the condition.  High blood pressure can occur as the result of smoking, poor diet and the lack of regular exercise.  I plead guilty to two of these.  The condition of high blood pressure has been known to increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and dementia.
880091 Fujifilm X Pro2 digital professional camer

FujiFilm X Pro-2

I see a good number of professional photographers at a range of events and while a lot of them have Canon offerings there are also Olympus and Fuji cameras. Here I get to try a recent mirrorless compact system camera that is very much in their professional range which really pushes my knowledge – or do I mean lack of knowledge – in this category of products.
While it is possible to attach a lens and focus on a subject with you taking the ‘easy’ way out and letting the camera make the choices it is designed for use for those whose knowledge knows as much as the camera so they get that ‘yes’ image. The FujiFilm X Pro-2 measures 14x8.5x11.5cm. The last figure with an 18>55mm lens fitted which can increase it to 15cm. It weighs 837grams.
Adding to its extensive portfolio of graphics products, Corel has introduced the world to its PhotoMirage offering
Designed to allow the user to bring photos to life with scroll-stopping animation, PhotoMirage software comes with the claim of being as “easy as 1-2-3” which certainly brought back memory of office software of old.  But back to the present day with PhotoMirage which is aimed at photographers, artists and digital marketers. It has to be admitted that PhotoMirage did not get off to the best of starts.
880066 BenQ GW2780 27 Inch FHD 1080p Eye Care LED Monito

BenQ GW2780

As you might get from the title this is a 27inch panel. Like most recent offerings it manages to take a minimal amount of desk space and also to supply an excellent image while at the same time looking after your eyes with flicker free 1920x1080 resolution.
The BenQ GW2780 measures 61x36.5x1.5cm, its stand is an inverted T with the top of the T being 31cm long and 9cm thick and the upstroke linking the stand to the support arm 7cm wide. It lifts the panel by 10cm from your desk. There is around 30% of back tilt and close to 10% of front tilt. With the stand attached it weighs just under 5kilos. It can be wall mounted should you wish and the weight without the stand is less than 4kilos. The viewable screen is 60.5x34.
880097 Alcatel 3V Spectrum Android Free Smartphon

Alcatel 3V smartphone

The Alcatel 3V 5099D is a 4G LTE smartphone with a 6 inch screen which is competitively priced and offers a range of features comparable to those of the premium brands.
Are you ready to undergo a test to see if you are suitable to join the Unavowed?
Whenever I encounter the words “Wadjet Eye” in connection with a game, I am immediately taken back to a time when a player was meant to use their imagination to embellish the more basic environment created by the development team.  In the case of the latest Wadjet Eye offering of Unavowed, this journey back also includes the appearance of a set-up file for the Window’s environment used by the game.
While for some a kitchen scale able to measure up to 15 kilos may seem overkill for others especially those using large copper pans will say at last. As the dimensions are bigger so to the great relief of those with less than perfect sight is the display.
The Salter Max digital kitchen scales measure 34x26x2.5cm and the weighs 1.365kilos. The scale can weigh from a single gram up to 15 kilos or 33 lbs. Most kitchen scales will measure amounts up to 3kilos or more recently 5kilos they are small in size and that - when not in use - is a plus but when larger bowls or pans are placed on the scale there are two main problems firstly things can weigh too much and it is also hard to read the display especially if a bowl or pan covers the display itself.
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