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Many years ago I purchased a new hard drive with a capacity of approximately 100MB. The drive costs nearly £200. How things have changed.
Sometimes a product can arrive for review with a problem that has more to do with the reviewer (myself) than with the actual product itself.  This type of situation occurred recently with the arrival of a portable hard drive from Freecom.  The product in question is the company’s Mobile Drive Mg which is available in either 320GB or 750GB versions.  However before dealing with the problem lets cover some aspects of the product. The Mobile Drive Mg is a 2.
645379 logic3 istation 23 ipod docking statio

i-Station 26

An iPod or iPhone dock with a battery backup for the alarm clock – should you have a power cut – the ability to use it as MP3 or other auxiliary sources amplifier and FM radio all in one curved rather swish looking black unit.
The i-Station 26 from Logic3 measures a maximum of 28cm long 12.5cm tall and thickness has a maximum of 16cm with the retractable iPod out and power adapter lead inserted. This is not just a basic stereo system as it has two speakers front facing and a sub woofer rear facing to give decent sound. The top has a total of nine bar buttons to control the unit and there is also a fourteen button remote control that duplicates the controls. There is a 5x1.
While I personally am quite happy using a Trackpad I know a lot of people do not like them but in certain situations such as using a laptop on your lap there is nowhere to put the mouse not so here. Having a mouse platform then this is the ideal mouse to use with it.
Do not be put off by the terrible instructions this is a simple product and I have used it with a 10inch Netbook and two larger laptops, whatever the size the setup is the same, and yes I am left handed so it can fit either side of your machine. In all you will need around 20cm of space to one side or the other of your machine but this does not need to be firm space as it grips the side of your machine. The total depth required is 21cm meaning that there is 13x12cm area to move your mouse.
Founded in 2001, XING Interactive has built up a substantial; number of titles. Three of the latest additions are entitled Sushi Bar Express, Old McDonald had a Farm and The Flying Dutchman.
645380 samsung SH100 WiFi Digital Camer

Samsung SH100 Digital Camera

While most other small digital camera manufacturers use SD cards for image storage, Samsung have always used the micro SD, a little fiddly to get in and out and of course the other problem is they are always more expensive.
The Samsung SH100 Digital Camera measures 9.5x5x2cm and weights 130grams. It is black but not that horrible shiny black, if only the screen did not show fingermarks. This is made worse by the fact that this unit is almost totally touchscreen so keep a cloth handy to clean the TFT. The left side just says 14.
As file sizes increase in size, so the media developed to store these files have increased in capacity accordingly. Blu-ray now holds the mantle of providing storage for those requiring even more space on which to store their media.
While various desktop and notebook computers now come with a Blu-ray drive as part of their standard feature set, these systems are still outnumbered by the majority of products that feature a DVD drive for optical media use.  Plus there is a vast reservoir of legacy machines in regular use that do not have a built-in Blu-ray drive for playing movies and backing up important data.
A bizarre fair, punk airship and a dinosaur museum all feature in a hunt for a mythical creature that uses mirrors to hide its existence from would-be trackers.
For those who have not previously encountered the Snark, I should explain that this is a creature that has the ability to use mirrors as portals to travel between different dimensions in time and space.  As well as this unique (if you ignore Dr. Who), the Snark also has a weird sense of humour and likes to lead selected individuals on a merry chase as they attempt to capture it by collecting items to complete tasks.
645378 Nevada Sinfonie II Multi Region DAB FM Radi

Sinfonie II DAB and FM Radio

This Nevada DAB/FM radio is easy to use. While most will use it on mains it is possible to run it from 6x‘C’ batteries. The plastic finish makes it easy to wipe down so ideal for use in say a kitchen where there could be spills.
The Sinfonie II DAB/FM Radio measures 20.5x14x7cm and weights 730 grams without batteries. The size I have given is without the rod aerial being raised. The eight piece rod aerial is 70cm long and should pick up stations even in low reception areas, where I live I used it successfully with around half that height but you should fully raise it for the initial channel scan process.
As files become larger they tend to take longer when transferring them between devices. One way to speed up this process is through the use of the latest technology.
By far the most common method of attaching peripherals to a Windows computer is through the use of USB connectivity.  This technology, which initially promised the ability to daisy-chain units but failed to deliver this feature, in its various guises has appeared in approximately 6 billion devices sold to date since it was first introduced in January 1996 with a transfer rate of 1.5 Mbits/s.  Moving forward to September 1998 saw the arrival of version 1.
The first a name often coupled with expense and more normally with headphones rather than earbuds. The second a name that I associate mainly with speakers but they do of course also make earbuds amongst other items.
Not a flash back to the past in posh schools but a rather nice set of earbuds of course the fittings of them are gold plated. The leads are 1,2metres long and feel rather like post shoe laces rather than plastic as the actual leads are coated. You can use them as a microphone as well as the left bud incorporates a microphone 15cm down the lead. There is just over 32cm before the two leads join and then there is a clip to attach to a shirt or blouse, the lead ends with a fairly substantial 3.
Medical devices to help both, the first something most will encounter on a visit to their doctor a blood pressure monitor. The second something most will get in a hot summer a mosquito bite and they normally itch a lot.
Earlier this year I had been feeling unwell for a few days, I was due routine visit to the Asthma clinic, the nurse remarked that I looked very unwell – although my Asthma was fine – and she insisted I see a doctor. The doctor examined me consulted with a senior colleague and although both had no idea what was wrong insisted I went to hospital as I had extremely low blood pressure.
As it had provided me with excellent service over a number of years, I was only too pleased to grant my laser printer a short break as I checked out a new arrival from Brother.
The arrival of a new version of Windows can result in some casualties.  I am referring to those peripherals that, while working fine with the previous version of the operating system, refuse to operate when faced by the new version due to the lack of an appropriate driver.  Occasionally waiting for a while will see an updated driver appearing but this is not always the case.  This situation arose when, several years ago, I took the decision to move from Windows 98 to Windows XP.
645375 canon ixus 115HS compact digital camer

Canon Ixus 115HS

If I keep saying it long enough I might believe it, it’s not pink, it’s not pink it’s purple. Here I am looking at one of Canons latest Ixus cameras, the 115HS. Its purple but I am very pleased to say that is only one of the colours it comes in.
The Canon Ixus 115HS measures 10.5x5.5x1.5cm and weights 138grams. Mine was pink sorry purple. This full HD offering has 4x optical zoom. The Ixus range has always been small and recently so few controls that you might think that it is a basic unit it certainly is not. Let’s start with the face the silvered lens surround dominates and the tiny 2.7x.4cm flash mounted above and to the side of the lens is only 1.7x.
While Cisco’s plans for a multi-faceted consumer brand may have suffered a hiccup and not been as successful as it had hoped, the company has still managed to produce a number of stylish products that are both easy on the eye and functional. Into this category falls the Cisco Linksys E series of wireless routers.
The latest model in the Cisco Linksys series is the E4200 Wireless-N Router.  Making up this product are the Router device, power adapter and lead, Ethernet cable, software set-up CD and a multi-language Quick Start Guide. Adopting a slate shape, with dimensions of 224 x 29 x 157 mm (W x H x D), the E4200 is predominately matt charcoal grey in colour.
Sometimes ghosts can hang around because they need help and offer to reward those who provide this assistance. This is the concept behind a new game from Alawar.
Ghosts have become a popular feature around which many games have been developed if the titles I have seen recently have anything to do with it.  I seem to have been fed a game playing diet that has been heavily flavoured with spirit entities that need releasing from the ties that bind them to an earthly attachment.  The latest such offering to come my way is The Treasures of Mystery Island: The Ghost Ship which, despite its title, contains many more ghosts that just a ship.
The first item is from Iomega and is the first 1TB drive that I have seen that does not need external power even on a Netbook. The second is a device around the size of a credit card and as such will probably be kept in a wallet.
While in some quarters size is said to be important, lack of size can in others be desirable. Here a sleek black hard drive the first I have seen at 1TB that does not require external power. I tried it on desktop, Notebook and Netbook the latter two both running on battery and I could both read and write without any problem with the unit.
Currently sitting next to my work desk is a new multifunction device from Brother. This unit offers laser printing with duplex capability.
Adding to its range of printing devices, Brother has released the DCP-7060D.  Mixing together a combination of charcoal and light grey, the Brother DCP-7060D is a mono laser multifunction device that provides print, copy and scan capabilities.  The “D” part of this product’s designation indicates that this multifunction device has duplex functionality for automatic printing on both sides of the paper.
645373 samsung netbook nc11

Samsung Netbook NC110

Often for the person who just does Word Processing, works the family accounts using a Spreadsheet, sends and receives Email, and of course browses the Internet a Netboot is all one will need. One to consider might be this Samsung offering.
I had the Samsung NC110 netbook for a few days before I moved it into daylight and realised it has a violet top. I knew it had a white keyboard with the screen surround make up of black with tiny grey dots and the base is of course the standard black. It is 25,5x17.5x3cm the last figure is the thickness and the 3cm applies at the back that curls down over the battery at the front it is only 2cm thick. The total weight is around 1170grams, this enables one hand to carry it comfortably.
Headsets are very popular ways to listen, here a choice of two. The first both conventional and unconventional as it lets you roam as its Wireless. The second intended more for gaming means you are tethered buts its USB.
Until you try a wireless headphone set you do not know the extra freedom it gives you, you could make a cup of tea, fetch a book from another room or visit the loo while still listening to your favourite music from the living room. It is 20x23x9cm while the sides can be 4cm less if required. The right earphone has five buttons on the bottom edge, all well marked, but of course you will probably use these while on your head so it will be a case of feel.
645270 Acer Aspire 5750G 15.6 inch Notebook Intel Core i

Acer Aspire 5750G

Walk into any branch of Dixons, Currys or Comets and you will be faced by numerous laptops from various manufacturers. One of them could well be the topic of this review.
A great deal has been said and written about Intel’s Sandy Bridge technology with its enhanced performance and subsequent recall due to a possible problem with certain batches of the product but its support from every major manufacturer has remained solid and is not in question.  One such company supporting this technology is Acer and it is this company’s Aspire 5750G which has given me my first opportunity to check out aSandyBridgelaptop.
644934 pure bug dab digital radi

The Bug Revisited

Pure Digitals ‘Bug’ designed by Wayne Hemminway is a very futuristic early DAB radio with extras. Some have its Re-view feature but almost none have what is for me its best the ability to save timed recordings to SD card.
I have used it for years to record certain radio programs that I am unable to listen to at the time they are broadcast. I started using a 16MB SD card and this worked fine but on saving it always displayed a spurious error message. Some years later I tried using a 256MB card and this needed a lot of hard work to get it to record but eventually I managed to get reliable saving and all was well but it did still give the same spurious error message.
644549 belkin soho 2 port kvm switc

Sharing Peripherals : Belkin KVM

This is a tale of a struggle with uncooperative cables and a piece of kit that did its best to frustrate me until technical support came to my rescue.
In the past I have a used a number of KVM devices.  For those not familiar with this type of product, I should explain that this kit allows you to set up a keyboard, video and mouse so that they can be shared by two different computers.  You simply switch control between the two computers either by a hardware toggle or hot key combination.  Recently I have had the opportunity to work with the Belkin OmniView SOHO KVM Switch with audio.
644932 kingston ssdnow solid state flash dis

Kingston SSDNow 100V

At the start of last year I told you about an early SSD unit from Kingston. Now around 18 months later the next generation of units are available in sizes giving a much larger capacity and of course the real advantage faster access.
This to me is the ultimate upgrade as once the supplied disc cloning software has done its job you have your original drive available to be formatted and then with the drive enclosure provided a new external drive available. So while you now have a – in this case – 128GB SSD drive installed in your PC the original hard drive is still available in the drive enclosure which can then be connected to any PC you may own as a USB drive unit.
Tragedies, ghosts and betrayal are mixed in with a selection of hidden object game play and puzzle solving in a game from Alawar.
It is now time to meet Rose.  Just in case you were wondering I should explain that Rose is a young woman who has suffered four main tragedies in her life.  While managing to initially suppress the memories of these events, a recent “accident”, which results in Rose being rushed to hospital in an unconscious state, has resulted in these past events simmering to the surface.
645038 capture digital photography essential

Photography for the Family

Rocky Nook has just published two books on digital photography: one is aimed at children and the other aimed at the rest of the family. The latter provides explanations of various factors involved so as to provide a better understanding of what is happening and, often, why. The former, Photography for Kids; A Fun Guide to Digital Photography, will open the door for the youngster to the potential of the camera and photography.
With Capture: Digital Photography Essentials, which is not for children, the authors recognise that there are two classes of people: digital natives, who have always known and used digital imaging technologies; and digital immigrants who, on the other hand, learned their photography with film and bring their historical knowledge and experience with them. Consequently, many chapters open with text aimed at providing a useful perspective.
644357 xara 3d maker_tex

Xara 3D Maker 7

Now part of the MAGIX family, Xara continues to produce a range of graphics offerings including a tool for producing eye-catching titles.
While you may lack the expertise, equipment and budget resources to produce your own 3D movies to thrill friends and family alike, that is no reason to give up on your dream to produce eye-catching 3D animation.  With the appropriate software you can easily create 3D titles, headers and buttons to enhance printed and online publications with the latter also featuring some animation that will certainly impress your audience.
644931 nikon coolpix p300 compact digital camer

Nikon Coolpix P300

The name Nikon to anyone who knows anything about cameras means quality. Does this quality extend to pocket cameras? Here I am looking at one of their latest that is little more than an oblong black shape how does it perform?
The Nikon Coolpix P300 measures 10x6x3cm, the last figure the width increases to 5cm when the 4.3-17.9mm lens is fully zoomed. It weights 184grams. Given that Nikon made their name in cameras with large and complex DSLR cameras this is a very simple and easy to use unit. Other manufacturers might like to note that you do not need a plethora of buttons to make a decent unit.

Nero Free Software

I think the last FREE software package I reviewed was Skype in October 2004, while this may not be as all consuming as Skype was in those days, for a manufacturer who produces paid software to release a free version…
First of course this cannot do all the things that Nero full products can do and just like other such packages from other manufacturers it specialises in sorting and displaying your photos however this can also burn audio CD’s and should you want more functionality you can purchase the bits that you require from their site. The free download (link at the end) was 174MB in size.
Hidden Object games generally involve a series of scenes containing a jumble of objects and a shopping list of items that you need to locate in order to receive a reward and make progress. However not all games of this genre follow the general pattern, there are some exceptions which take a different approach.
Recently added to Focus Multimedia’s extensive catalogue of games is Nightmare Adventures - The Witch’s Prison which relates the tale of Kiera Vale and her attempt to discover the truth about her ancestor’s history.  The game starts with a static opening sequence as Kiera Vale is being interrogated by some mysterious strangers who want to know why she was discovered at the Blackwater Asylum.
Now 1 and 2GB USB sticks are common and cost not a lot, 4GB and 8GB are almost normal but 16GB are still something a little bit special. The smaller sticks are coming in fancy clothing even as a small paperclip type device.
The size of hard discs continue to rise so people expect the size of memory sticks to keep pace. With USB3 starting to attract attention moving larger files quickly is getting ever easier. Of course the more data you carry the more disastrous the outcome should unencrypted files fall into the wrong hands. Here lets deal with size. I have seen two of these such devices at 8GB and 16GB they are not light as they are made of metal and the USB plug slides out of the casing when required.
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