Here I am looking at two items that both use dice to play. Neither of them use the normal 16 type dice. The first is very simple in its construction its called Letter Cubes. The second requires more input from the users called Talking Dice.
This has the main ‘rules’ on the face of the pack of twelve dice each face has a different letter and each letter has a score associated with it. The rules are 1)Throw the dice. 2)Build a word. 3)Score points. Turn to the back for a detailed explanation and variations thought of by the inventor but the basics are exactly the three points listed. Stated for an age range of ‘7+’ it is likely that the best games will be for people of closely matched vocabularies.
Born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Ehrich Weisz was to become one of the more charismatic characters of his generation before he died of a ruptured appendix on October 24, 1926 at the age of 52. Perhaps if I mention that Ehrich was better known by his stage name of Harry Houdini then everything will become clearer.
As well as his interest in magic and escapology, Harry Houdini became interested in the occult. Using the skills he had learned through his stage and circus work, Houdini was able to expose the tricks used by so-called mediums. His end came about when he was unable to resist a challenge to perform one of his signature tricks by allowing a student, named J. Gordon Whitehead, to punch him in the stomach. Houdini died shortly afterwards from a ruptured appendix.
Way back in 2012 I attended a presentation where Thecus were involved, I heard nothing from their better known UK partner but a trickle of press releases emerged from Europe which eventually led to the unit arriving for review.
While the largest NAS I have previously looked at was a two drive offering. This five drive offering does everything to make the expansion easier. However it is still small enough to sit on a desk should that be required. It is 18.5x23x24cm the last figure the depth is without anything connected, add another 3cm for mains lead and Ethernet connections in the rear. Also at the back are four USB, HDMI, VGA and a range of audio connections.
It has been several months since I last took a look at an Epsom printer. Bringing this period to an end is a new multifunction unit in white.
After a steady stream of lacquered black devices of the multifunction persuasion arriving for review, it made a pleasant change to open up the latest product to reveal a pristine Apple White unit from Epsom. The product in question is the Epson XP-605. This multifunction unit provides you with the ability to scan, print and copy documents using a choice of USB and wireless connectivity. This multifunction device also features a CD/DVD labelling option.
Adding to its series of Weird Park titles, Alawar sets you the task of rescuing children trapped in various Fairy Tales.
It all begins with a night-time car journey. There you are driving along with loud music blaring out of the radio to ensure you do not drift off to sleep while at the wheel. Shortly after passing a sign for Fair Gate Town your concentration is broken as a young girl appears in the passenger seat and speaks to you.
This camera has a removable lens, mine came with a 20-50mm offering that is fine for a lot of normal images. However its small size could possibly have it confused with a basic digital camera, this it certainly is not.
It is 11.5x6.5x11.5cm, it weights 400grams without the provided neck strap. My preference was to use it as a digital camera and while you would need a capacious pocket it easily fits into a bag. The hold grip for the right hand is comfortable. The left side has only the anchor point for the neck strap. The right side has the opposite anchor point as well as a door that hides micro USB and mini HDMI sockets. The base has a door behind which the solid battery and any SD card you use will rest.
It is not just celebrities who can benefit from a digital make-over. Now you can use a software package to tidy up your own image.
The digital age has totally disproved the old adage that “the camera never lies”. No longer can we put our trust in the displayed image will give us what actually existed at the moment of capture. Often referred to as “airbrushing”, this technique can be used to remove unwanted items and blemishes plus add what was never there in the first place especially with regards to the physical appearance of the individual subject.
Some say size is important, certainly for this All in One lack of size is vital as this is a portable unit that has a battery for when mains power is unavailable. It connects via Bluetooth or USB so no leads are required for the former.
It is 34x19x8cm when closed, it weights just a tad over 3kilos. Lift the lid and the 8cm height becomes 38cm with paper loaded. Once the lid is lifted the small touch screen needs to be lifted 45degrees and that is about it. If you are using mains power then the DC lead fits in back left and the USB lead connects back right, there is also a USB port beside it. The ‘Home’ screen has just three options, Print, Scan or Copy. Touch any of the three to proceed to more detailed screens.
There is one product in the CAD market that people think of even if they never use CAD. However providing certain rules are adhered to there is no reason why others cannot work in the same arena here an offering from Corel.
Most CAD packages are not cheap and this offering from Corel does not break this rule. The name everyone knows was when I last saw a copy protected by a dongle. Unlike other Corel products you do not get extra bundled offerings. However the price is the offering here from Corel as it reads and writes even the latest version of AutoCAD files in .DWG format. While I have only used it in the Windows environment it is said to work just as well for those working in the MAC arena.
While I could never claim to be a fan of the lacquered black coating that decorates numerous electronic devices, I have to admit that the Canon PIXMA MG6350 has a certain visual appeal. With its rounded corners, sloping base and top, this All-in-One unit would not look out of place in either a work area or living room as it fulfils its function of a Print, Copy, Scan and Direct Photo model.
At a casual glance the MG6350 might seem a run-of-the-mill device providing print, copy and scan facilities. However closer examination of this lacquered black box with dimensions of 486 x 369 x 148mm (W x D x H) reveals some innovative features that sit alongside the standard arrangement of an A4 flatbed scanner mounted on top of an inkjet printer supported by two paper input options.
Another excellent offering in the larger panel field from AOC this can connect via VGA, DGI, HDMI or Display Port the last more commonly found on MAC computers. This is an offering from their professional range.
The screen of this AOC 27inch M2752P measures 64x39x2cm, with the visible portion being 59.5x33cm this gives the notional diagonal measurement of 27inches. The stand is round at 25cm and it raises the screen by a minimum of 6cm from the desk. The screen resolution is 1920x1080. Under the right front bottom edge are five buttons which in normal use are invisible, these allow you to make changes outside of Windows.
As regular as clockwork, Serif brings out upgraded versions of its graphics software aimed at the budget conscious user.
I must admit to having a somewhat soft spot for Serif and the company’s software. This feeling dates back to when Serif first appeared on the scene with graphics products that were developed as budget-priced alternatives for the then market-leading offerings that came with wallet-squeezing price tag.
Legend has it that once upon a time, Gods walked upon the earth as they dwelled with ordinary mortals. When the time came for these beings to return to the sky, they left behind nine mysterious jewel boards through which they were able to communicate with those they left behind.
Over time the many wars fought resulted in all but one of these jewel boards being destroyed. The location of the one remaining board, known as the Oracle of Ur, was lost until a clue was discovered by a determined archaeologist. This clue was hoped to reveal the location of the last board and uncover the truth behind this 4,000 year old story. This is the background to iWin’s fourth instalment of the award winning Jewel Quest Mysteries series.
For those wanting to print a bit, scan a little a copy occasionally this could be the answer. This small unit is easily able to sit on a shelf or under a desk without causing any problems. Press the on/off and print, scan or copy.
The Canon AIO Pixma MP230 all-in-one printer measures 44x32x12cm when shut. Place A4 paper in the rear sit up tray and the 12cm height becomes 32cm and the 32cm depth becomes 38cm. This unit has no paper output door to open and output is delivered face up from the front base of the unit.
Although predominately a developer of products designed specifically to enhance the functionality of various Apple offerings, iLuv does occasionally produce kit that supports other brands.
One product that encompasses both the Apple and non-Apple offerings is the iLuv ReF™ range of on-ear headphones. The ReF™ is the first range of products to be created as part of the company’s Fashionology® collection. Fashionology® is an attempt to bring together a meld of fashion and technology so that appearance matches performance.
As the front of the Instruction Manual calls it, CD / USB / SD / DAB / FM Digital Sound System with dock for iPod and iPhone. As I would say a proper audio system to suit everyone apart from those who still play LPs.
The main unit is 17x14x24cm with cables inserted in the rear. The first figure the height would need to be increased by the height of your ‘i’ device as this sits above the height mentioned and a couple of centimetres to allow insertion of CDs. The pair of provided speakers are 17x12.5x7cm each. They are hard wired with a 2metre long lead to a double plug arrangement that fits into the back of the main unit, so the maximum spread of the speakers is 4metres.
This is another of the recent releases that I waited for a working copy of Windows 8 to review. If you are serious about editing your videos then this software can do it, transform, add, delete, modify and more then this can do it.
Like a lot of other packages doing simple things is easy, doing more complex things will require practice to achieve. If however you are willing to learn Cyberlink users online are often willing to share their hints and tips. As with other recent items the install needs to take place from the Desktop and not the glossy home screen that so far I can find no real use for. However that may change if and when one of the many touch unit’s lands on my desk.
As part of its male grooming product line up, Philips, with its mantra of bringing simplicity to peoples lives, has released its most advanced premium electric shaver to date. This is the SensoTouch 3D model which offers the male community the choice of dry or wet shaving from a single unit.
Launched with the claim of producing the ultimate shaving experience, the SensoTouch 3D comes with GyroFlex 3D technology. This technology uses a distinctive three-dimensional component set up that allows the shaver heads to follow the contours of your face. This feat is achieved through three floating heads that are raised above the body of the shaver and automatically adjust as the SensoTouch is moved around the jaw line, checks and mouth.
This is the first dual SIM phone to cross my desk. Surprisingly to me anyway it is running quite an old version of Android at 2.35. Having two SIMs may avoid the huge number of people I see using two different phones.
The Prestigio Multiphone measures 11.5x6x1cm and weights 124grams. As with most modern phones almost all the controls are via touch screen. The external connections are on/off on the right side, headphone (3.5mm socket) on the top, volume + or – on the left side and micro USB connector on the base of the unit. That is all of the units external controls.
Not one but two opportunities to explore the Dark Dimensions where evil forces have taken control of the local population.
As part of the Hidden Mystery Collectives, Focus Multimedia has released a Dark Dimensions double bill. Making up this two-game pack are Dark Dimensions City of Fog and Dark Dimensions Wax Beauty. Separate installations will need to be carried out for each title with individual profiles being set up for those playing the games. These profiles include the volume level for background and sound effects plus whether to opt for the special or standard cursor.
The Scuderia FS1 is a wireless Bluetooth speaker dock. The product forms part of the Ferrari by Logic3 collection of audio offerings. As you might suppose from the Ferrari influence the Scuderia has more than a touch of Italian style in its general appearance.
Opening the rather sturdy box (little chance of this product being damaged in transit) revealed that the Scuderia FS1 was packed so securely that it took a little time and plenty of effort to remove the foam rubber casing that totally encased the speaker unit. Included in a separate box were power leads for use in the UK, Europe and America plus an audio lead with 3.5mm jack plugs at either end.
This is a camera that a proportion of the users will love as it uses AA batteries. It looks almost basic in its design however it offers a decent zoom and a large image size yet it is small enough to fit inside the majority of pockets.
Almost all PowerShots used to run on ‘AA’ batteries, then in recent times they had solid batteries but still kept the very nice hand grip shape on the right side to allow a firm grip. This unit however runs on two not four ‘AA’ batteries and so the ‘bulge’ has gone. It is 11x7x4cm when off the thickness increases as soon as you switch on as the lens emerges by 2.5cm and this can increase by another 2.5cm when you are fully zoomed.
While you may not always be looking your best when a photo is taken, this next product could help smarten your appearance.
While there are numerous photo-editing packages of various complexities and different price points, those that concentrate their expertise purely on the face are few and far between in number. One such product is Portrait Professional from Anthropics. This digital facial make-over tool is now up to version 11 and is available in a choice of Standard, Studio and Studio-64 versions with different price points to reflect the functionality of each product.
A 2.1 speaker set that can be used with a PC or notebook to give it extra fizz in the sound department or a set of speakers to let you hear the true sound when attached to an MP3 player or any other device with a 3.5mm jack.
The two satellites are each 10x9x5.5mm. The Sub woofer is 21x17x16cm with cables inserted in the rear for power and MP3. The bass of the sub woofers chassis is 27cm from front to back and it is as wide as the sub woofer. The shape of the units is unusual, some may call them stylish, perhaps most importantly they give a good sound. Both the speakers have silvered frames that lift the speakers by a couple of centimetres at the front.
I have a long memory - its just yesterday thats a problem sometimes and I remember a shareware product that easily fitted on a floppy disc. That was long before JASC was purchased by Corel the current version fills a CD-ROM.
While I have reviewed most versions in between this one was stated to be compatible with Windows 8 so I waited until I had a stable Windows 8 system to review it. As with the few other Windows 8 items I have looked at you need the Desktop to install from and those who have tried Windows 8 know its one level down from the shiny icons. The install itself works just the same, you need to enter a 31 character key before it happens and then you are encouraged to register.
Those pesky aliens are causing more trouble. This time Fort Nightingale is the centre of their activities in a new game from Alawar Entertainment.
Forbidden Secrets Alien Town is a new Hidden Object Adventure game from those inventive people at Alawar. The game, which is in Collector’s Edition format, is set in Fort Nightingale, a city that has never featured on a map. Little is known about the place apart from it has a research institute about which even less is known.
Having reviewed TV recording devices from early VHS tape devices through most other methods including those using external memory sticks and hard drives this still came as a shock because of the units sheer lack of size.
This is a Freeview + HD box with a 500GB recording unit inside and the quality to include Dolby Digital Plus sound. It is 27x20x1cm, yes the thickness is just one centimetre. With cables inserted in the rear the depth becomes 25cm. You are totally reliant on the remote control as the unit itself has a single on/standby button with an LED beside it. The rear is where the connections are, Aerial Out, Aerial In, HDMI out, Ethernet, two USB and finally the DC input.
The name of Tunbow Electrical may not be all that familiar to you. This company is a Hong Kong based Chinese technology manufacturer with over 3,500 employees and 140,000,000 products that are sold in 30 countries around the world. Recently Tunbow Electrical set up Aves Digital as its first subsidiary brand operating from a UK base in Milton Keyes. I came across Aves Digital at the London version of The Gadget Show. Included in the Aves Digital portfolio of products is one known as the Diamond which is the subject of this review.
Looking for bargains and then selling them for a profit is the work undertaken by the American Pickers
According to information gleaned from a quick Internet search, American Pickers is an American (not surprisingly) reality show that appears on the History Channel. Travelling around American are Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz who search through cast-off items that they can purchase and then sold on at a profit. Managing the Home Office is Danielle Colby-Cushman whose role is to line up locations for the two boys to put their pack rat skills to the test.
It could be the baby, an elderly relative or even just your home when you are away. There are devices that can tell you what is happening no matter if you are in the kitchen or maybe in New York, they are security cameras.
This is not a ‘cheap webcam’ it can work in darkness and a webcam certainly cannot do that. It is designed to fit on a ceiling or beam to see all from above. Look in any large store or supermarket and you will see similar items. So while this can be used in the home it is far more on the security end of the spectrum than the item I am looking at further down this article. The kit supplied consists of the 360 degree camera, an Ethernet cable and a DC adapter.