One thing that I can say for certain is that those creative people at Playrix obviously do not suffer from ichthyophobia. The reason I say this is that if they did then they would not have developed so many titles based on aquatic themes and the building up of aquariums. The latest title to fall into this category is Fishdom 2 Premium Edition.
Get used to it as it will not go away Christmas is coming and this rather special DAB radio would make an ideal gift based on the Evoke 1S it has a rather high quality finish and look. This is certainly a gift that will be in constant use.
It is 21x8x15cm and weights 1524 grams. The top has a nice solid grab handle but unless you purchase the optional ‘charge pack’ that allows it to be run on batteries I doubt it will move around much. The top also has 65cm seven piece rod aerial gold in colour. Overall the unit is covered in black leather with the corners having black plastic padding for extra protection. Both sides are clear as is the base apart from four chunky feet.
As a long time user of the various versions of Paint Shop Pro, I always look forward to seeing what the latest software can deliver. This time I encountered some good points and one element that failed to work.
With a pedigree that stretches back 18 years, PaintShop Pro has gradually developed from a graphic file conversion tool into a fully fledged application capable of handling the organisation, editing and enhancing of your digital images. The latest version of this software, now firmly entrenched as a Corel product, is PaintShop Photo Pro X3 (a less superstitious way of indicating it is version 13).
According to the Worx literature, the Sonicrafter is probably the most useful invention since the Swiss Army knife. While I think that is rather an exaggeration it is, nevertheless, an extremely useful and versatile power tool that is able to tackle a range of jobs that more conventional power tools cannot deal with. Consequently, it could well enable one to deal with a difficult task and thus be a useful addition to ones tool kit.
The Sonicrafter is not intended to replace your existing power tools but to complement them because it can deal with many of those jobs which are beyond their scope. It could well be worth having because it will plug a gap in the tasks that can be handled effectively with the tools at your disposal. This tool operates in an entirely different manner from your other power tools.
Frying Pan, Saucepan and Pressure Cooker all from Tefal. The first one of the range bearing Jamie Olivers name. All were replacing antiquated items and as with most decent new products you wonder why you waited to renew.
This was actually a gift but as I used two previously it replaced one that was bowed by heat so it gave a poor contact and the other was less than perfect in the non stick department. So two pans recycled and a bit more kitchen space. This is either 23 or 26cm depending on if you measure the base or the rim of the pan. It weights 890grams. A very heavy grade so it would stand a gas ring.
With Christmas want lists abounding one item high on a lot of them will be an electric guitar. Will this be something that is a fad or just possibly is your child a real musician? For £25 the Paper Jamz Guitar may just tell you if you should make the next step.
Unlike a lot of toys this unit has musical ability the fret board covers more than an octave and while initially the child can strum mindlessly to one of three built in tunes there is an in between mode that means they need to time their input correctly. However the real test is when they go ‘freeform’ and then all the work is their own. The maximum dimensions of the unit I had were 80cm long, 35cm wide and 2cm thick. The total weight was around 450grams.
Designed more for the painter rather than the graphics developer, ArtRage is a New Zealand product that has built up an impressive fan base.
ArtRage is a graphics product designed to appeal to users looking for a computer-based painting set of tools at an economic price point. Starting life back in 2004, when it first emerged as a free product, ArtRage quickly racked up sales well over the two million mark on the Windows and Mac platforms.
This is a media storage box, but not a normal one that will only work within the local network. You can access data providing youre my Ditto box is connected to your router from anywhere in the world securely using a USB key.
My unit is a dual disc box it is 19x16.5x8cm and weights around 2.6kilos with two discs inserted. Inserting and removing a disc is just a matter of opening a catch and then removing a tray. My unit came with a single 1TB drive. While the power lead was of a good length the Ethernet cable supplied was extremely short. Having two drives would enable you to set up a Raid arrangement.
Available for both Windows and the Mac platform, FileMaker Pro is a database product with a loyal following of users that includes myself.
Recently, during one of my infrequent tidying up sessions, I came across an old copy of FileMaker Pro software. This was version 3.0 of the product (it came on floppy disks rather than optical media) and it was my introduction to the database functionality offered by FileMaker.
Just because you are paranoid, it does not mean that nobody is watching you and recording your every action. Somebody could well be carrying out a surveillance operation right now with you as the subject.
Slyly take a look around now and see if you can spot anybody that might be wearing a wristwatch that looks like it has been fed a diet of steroids. If you notice such a person then that could well be me as I check out a couple of products from the Spy Net™ range developed by Jakks Pacific. I should point out that the various Spy Net™ products are hardly likely to feature on “Q” list of tools available to the likes of James Bond but you never know.
At a recent event from PC World to showcase Xmas items (sorry yes Christmas is coming) this 22inch TV was the main item that took my eye, quite small in size, light to move yet it still has a 22inch screen and has a DVD built in.
The Logik L22DVDB10 measures 52x32.5x7cm and on an oval stand maximum 30x20cm that raises it 4cm above whatever you stand it onto. The viewable screen is 48x27cm which gives a diagonal viewable size of 21.6inches. It comes with a large five point Quick Start Guide which is well illustrated and should certainly be enough to get anyone up and running.
Adding video capturing and communication facilities to your computer is the task of a webcam such as a high definition device from Microsoft.
The presence of a built-in webcam is becoming a fairly standard feature with a number of laptop manufacturers. However there is still a need for a standalone webcam that can provide better quality images and be mounted in various convenient locations such as a monitor or worktop. One such device is the Microsoft LifeCam HD-5000.
I always enjoy the occasions I get to look a DSLR unit. This will always be the pinnacle for any amateur photographer. It gives you the chance to capture images of the same quality as those who stand around in freezing, wet or hot conditions to capture images professionally.
The Samsung NX10 has one advantage over most DSLR units in that the TFT can be used to view and capture images. There is a very good adjustable viewfinder but anyone coming from a digital camera is often confused/put off by not being instantly able to capture an image with the TFT. Size is of course another thing to get used to as well as the 650gram weight. The dimensions I am giving assume it has the 18-55mm lens attached.
The connection between these items is of course no cable as they are both wireless. The first to give a non wireless PC that capability, and the second to enable devices such as a PDA or phone without a keyboard simular.
The vast majority of modern laptops have wireless. But there are still many PC’s that don’t. Here a USB adapter that updates them. It is small at 3.3x1.5x.5cm, in fact once inserted in a USB port only 2cm of it sticks out. The makers Conceptronic say ‘it is 3x faster and has 6x better range than an 802.11g device’.
The invitation from Alawar welcomes you to the club as you join in the hunt for the mythical Snark in the companys latest game.
Hard drives no bigger than a floppy drive (3.5inch version) are now the norm. What to a man of mature years still takes some getting used to is their capacity is hundreds of time the size and the stack of floppy disk would be huge.
It weights 150grams and will easily fit into a shirt pocket. I was less happy about the colour I was sent as it is close to err pink but I suppose it’s also close to a milky red. It has two white stripes (the GT bit) along the length. It is 11.8x7.5x1.5cm the only connection is a mini USB port towards the front of the left side of the unit. The base and sides are silver grey and each corner of the base has a small rubber foot for stability when on your desk.
Adding to its range of backup products, Acronis has developed solutions that now include aspects of Internet security into the mix. One of these solutions is Acronis Backup and Security 2010 which brings together its True Image Home backup software with Internet security protection on a one-year subscription basis for up to three computers.
Installing this software will require at least one reboot. In my case two reboots were required before I could move on to the next stage which involves activating the software. Even though I was working from a boxed copy of the product, I needed to go online in order to supply name, email address and password along with the product’s 16-character activation code so that an account could be created.
It is deerstalker, pipe and violin time as you use your magnifying glass to search for clues to help solve a number of cases.
If you can be ill or well we accept illness so why not wellness? Here two items from Oregon Scientific a Wake-up Clock and an Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser both from their new Wellness range of products recently launched.
Having reviewed two versions of a similar device from Philips I thought I knew what I needed to know to get this up and running, up to a point I did but the six pages of the manual that are in English and the Quick Start Guide are both helpful. It is 25x18x10cm. The first 8.5cm is where all the controls are and the last 16.5cm is the shade for the 60watt screw in bulb made interestingly by Philips.
While some like the reassurance of flashing lights to indicate activity, Belkin has opted for a single steady light to show power/connection with its new range of network routers.
A few months ago Belkin announced a new approach to home networking with the arrival of its range of Surf, Share and Play routers. Belkin claims that these new products have been designed to make it easier for consumers to get online and connect all the various computing and entertainment gadgets into a home network environment. Recently I have been putting the company’s top-of-the-range Play Max Wireless Router with a built-in modem through its paces.
Yes the manufacturers inform me the Modu is the worlds smallest phone. As such it has no keypad all the controls are via the screen. Should you want a keypad or a camera then a sleeve can be purchased. However then its not the worlds smallest phone.
So how small is the Modu? It is 7.2x3.6x.6cm and weights a mere 42grams. It works as I have made several calls from it but making them when you have to input the number is a slow task as you need to highlight each number on the 2x2.5cm screen and then press a key to accept then highlight the next number and press a key to accept. Of course if you are dialling someone in your address book it’s a lot quicker and very little different from a conventional sized phone.
Two different products from Veho although the second can be used as a powering agent for the first. A tiny movie camera probably its best use is for security and a charging unit for all those occasions when portable power runs out.
This is a tiny video camera measuring only 5.5x2x3cm and it weighing a mere 45grams. From the rear there is a strong clip to allow it to be fitted anywhere with something of around 1cm or less for grip. The jaws actually open to 1.5cm. The left side has Micro SD card slot and sound on/off slider. The top has a capture button. The right side has power on/off button. Finally the base has a mini USB slot to charge the internal battery.
Joining the merry-go-round of various printers and all-in-ones that have been incorporated into my computer set up if one of Canons new models.
To me this looks a very stylish piece of kit. A brushed metal silver grey item with a large touch screen surely a must have for anyone who wants to look the part. However being down to earth my question is does it do the job?
The LG Optimus GT540 measures 10.5x5x1cm and weights 115grams. The viewable screen is 6.5x4.3cm. Below the screen is a single slightly raised sculpted bar that is call, menu and end call dependant on where it is touched. Two soft buttons are above this but still below the screen. The right side has a door behind which is the micro USB connector. Below this the search button and finally the camera button. The left side has volume rocker button.
A visit to one of Londons tall buildings introduced me to a company that was expanding its technology originally developed for the automobile trade into the consumer sector.
A visit to a hotel is meant to be a restful experience but sometimes other matters can take over and make you work throughout your stay.
As more areas prepare to turn their Analogue TV signals off more companies are bringing out HD TV digital boxes, here an offering from Grundig that in my area anyway gives stunning pictures from the three HD channels.
The Grundig GUD300HD Set Top Box is 26x15x4cm and shiny black but as it need not be touched once in position then this does not matter. You will need another 4cm to the second figure the depth to insert cables in the rear of the unit so actual space required is 26x19x4cm. The leads supplied are a fly lead for those who need one or who still want to use Analogue while available and an HDMI lead. You should also be able to connect via SCART but no SCART cable is provided in the box.
Not everybody needs the power and functionality offered by todays notebooks. For some the lower specifications of a netbook will suffice.
As manufacturers add extra functionality to their notebooks, the various models increase in size and, if a recent example is anything to go by, also with weight. The result is that these machines are more suitable for the role of desktop replacements than as a travelling companion. Offering to fulfil this latter role is the classification of product known as netbooks such as the Acer Aspire One 533.
The Doro RingPlus ringer amplifier has an extra loud ring and a strobe flash both of which are designed to catch your attention when the phone rings. While actually designed for the hard of hearing, who will often use a hearing aid compatible telephone, a bit of lateral thinking makes one realise that it has a wider range of uses in residential and business scenarios.
The RingPlus is simple to install and setup without needing any direct connection to the telephone system. It is a 115 x 185 x 35mm thick rectangular white box with two keyhole slots on its rear face for ease of mounting. It only has two switches: power and the three-position sound/strobe/sound & strobe and one adjustable tone control. The mains power module has a two metre cable and, although the microphone sensor only has a 15ft cable, a 3.
This is Sonys entry into the Small and light Camcorder market. I have reviewed a number of units in this and so far my choice has been the offerings from Flip. Here Sony adds a couple of extras still images and 360 degree images or videos.
The Sony Bloggie camcorder measures 10.5x5x1.5cm and weights 125grams. It comes with a 4GB MemoryStick (the Sony variant) but it will accept the cheaper SD cards. The lens rotates up to 270° meaning that you can see over tall people or even take images to include yourself. There is an on/off button on the top part of the right side but you do not really need it as rotating the lens from its off (covered) position will turn the unit on.