While the pandemic may not have increased your expenditure, have you figured out how much have you spent?
According to recent research, as an average adult, I should pay out nearly £1 million during my lifetime. This expenditure does not just apply to me but to anybody who is regarded as an average adult which probably means YOU. While concentrating on the expenditure aspect, the research, as far as I can tell, has failed to address the issue of where the money required to cover these outgoings might come from.
This is a piece of software that I have used for many years, sometimes it’s a single file that I need to get back but twice now it’s been that Windows refuses to bootup and I have been happy to say in one case it was only a few hours work to get up and back to a few days previous, the other occasion took longer as I needed a new hard drive but in both cases it saved me.
The latest version states it will protect you with Active Protection for Ransomware Attacks, Malicious Files, Zoom Injection Attacks, Illicit Cryptomining and Malicious Websites and of course what it was first designed for to protect you from inadvertent delating of files and folders and allows complete reinstallation of Windows even if your PC fails to boot. All these extra protections do come with a downside in that the overall complete backup takes a little longer.
I must admit to have heard little of ViewSonic recently, that is until the company showcased some of its home/office products.
With its headquarters in Brea, California and a presence in over 100 cities around the world, ViewSonic has built up an impressive reputation for producing comprehensive hardware and software solutions. Bearing the ViewSonic brand name are products that include monitors, projectors, digital signage, ViewBoard® interactive displays and myViewBoard™ software ecosystem.
Normally I get a lot of ideas from ‘Christmas In July’ events, of course with the Pandemic there were none but one clever PR company sent links in a very large PDF file with some of the items available to review during what is normally a quiet month August and here is the first of those offerings a pair of pocket pruners that are also a multi-tool.
I am certainly not a gardener and I am sure anyone who spends hours in their garden everyday will have several pairs of secateurs of different sizes. However someone who has a few plants may think this is a great set of tools as it not just a collapsible pair of pruners but also a total of thirteen tools in the arms of the pruners. On day one I was cooking a tinned pie the sort you get from Poundland and my can opener would not go through three points on the tin lid.
Looking back into my game playing past was certainly a thought provoking experience.
While conducting one of my infrequent tidying up operation, I came across a hard drive which I had completely forgotten about. This was an old external Seagate unit which I had used in the past to store games that I had become bored with at the time. It certainly brought back memories in a few cases while several titles failed to stir even a glimmer of remembrance.
When travelling on a very long journey these headphones could let you listen to your favourite music from start to finish.
Trust Electronics, a leading value-for-money brand for digital lifestyle accessories, has released four new affordable wireless headphones and earpad products. Given the choice of the Nika Touch wireless earphones, Primo Touch Bluetooth wireless earphones, Tones Bluetooth wireless headphones or Eaze Bluetooth wireless headphones, I opted for the latter model which, incidentally, was the most expensive unit in this quartet of products, priced at £34.99.
A substantial Tablet in that the screen is over ten inches, it runs Android 10, however as you probably know Trump had a falling out with Huawei and because of that certain features cannot be included, probably the biggest miss is the Google Store for Apps.
The Huawei Mate Pad 10.4 measures 26.5x15x.8cm and weights 453 grams. The viewable screen is 22.5x13.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 10.4 inches. The screen resolution is 2000x1200 pixels. By default it wants to use Gestures to navigate which may seem a little daunting to those used to Home, Back and Opened Apps.
TCL, one of the world's best-selling consumer electronics brands and leading technology companies, made a number of announcements regarding new and forthcoming products at the IFA 2020 extravaganza. I have selected three of these announcements for this report.
It’s been a while since a pair of shoes or trainers has passed over my desk. Here an offering from Brooks that will support the complete foot. When I first took them from the box I thought that they looked a little small but a comparison with what was currently on my feet disproved that.
Like clothes shoe sizes do vary and I have in the past been happy and comfortable with some shoes that are sold as 9½ but others need to be 10. I loosened the laces as they arrived tightly tied and then loosened them some more and still my foot resisted and then I realised that the top edge of the trainer was rubberised for extra grip and so while the laces do have a job to perform you need to push quite hard to insert the foot but when in the trainer the foot is held very securely.
Dipping my hand into the goodie bag of past games brought forth Magicville - Art of Magic. The result of my blind search is described as a Match 3 Adventure game with more than a touch of magic.
This game brings together elements of Match 3 game play, bartering, puzzle solving and spell casting. These elements can all be required as you attempt to thwart the dastardly plans of an evil sorcerer. You d need to be aware that this is a game that I first played over five years ago and I was returning for a second look at his challenge. The game, which can be played in either Adventure or Time Trial mode involves a limited variety of challenges.
Since I last took a look at a Yubico product, the company has made some changes to its line-up including this next offering
Data is a valuable asset whether you are an individual or, more importantly, a business. The corruption, theft or illegal access of your data could cost a great deal of money and affect numerous people in many different ways. It is up to whoever owns the data, in the first place, to ensure that this valuable item is adequately protected. You can be sure that those who have attempted, and maybe succeeded, in stealing your data will protect the information they have gathered.
I rarely get a chance to see an Apple device as they do not seem interested in UK journalists. So it is nice when a telecoms company offer one for review. It looks very smart and while it uses much the same system to turn on you are met with a wall of permissions just to get to the Home screen.
The The iPhone 11 Pro Max measures 15.5x7.5x.8cm and weighs 222 grams. The viewable screen is 15x6.8cm which gives the notional imperial diagonal measurement of 6.5 inches, however there is a notch 3.5cm long digging into the top of the screen for the selfie cameras. The screen is 2688x1242 pixels at 458PPI. It comes with a 3046mAh battery, so a long day of battery life for most unless you spend it watching Apple TV+ that comes on the unit for a year.
For those wanting to don their video director's hat, Corel offers this next product.
Corel has recently added to its range of products with the release of Pinnacle Studio 24. This product is available in three different versions. You have the choice of Studio, Studio Plus and Studio Ultimate versions. My review of the product is based on the Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 24 software. When fired up for the first time, you are presented with a Welcome screen which provides links to a series of tutorials and new features that have been introduced with this version 24.
These earbuds are one of the best buds I have used, ideal for gamers, movie buffs or music fans. Certainly all three examples are improved by these buds they make the standard for those who prefer their enjoyment to be in ear. This is not just another set of earbuds.
These buds are for use on a Tablet or Notebook and also any USB ‘C’ SmartPhone that uses the port via an adapter for sound, you do not need the adapter just plug in the USB ‘C’ and hear your music, sound from your game or movie. In the box are six pairs of Gels to fit on the buds, the next to largest 15mm are fitted, however you get sizes from 10mm to 16mm and not just jumbled up in a plastic bag but fitted into the box.
Can you defeat a hungry dragon in this next Match-3 title?
When Dark Omens make an appearance it is probably time to make a visit to the mystical world of Lumina. Once there, in the company of two brave magicians named Tenebria and Alrik, you will need to make your way along a winding path as you attempt to restore the balance between light and shadow or good and evil. This is the situation you are faced in Mystika 4 - Dark Omens when an invasion of evil creatures is looming and a power-hungry dragon approaches.
During the ever-passing years, PaintShop Pro has undergone numerous make-overs. It would have taken somebody with the skill of a Nostradamus to get even close to how the original file conversion program would develop into today's graphics suite offering.
Now up to version 2021, the latest edition of PaintShop Pro is available as either the vanilla or ultimate offering. I have been looking at the top-of-the-range Ultimate product of PaintShop Pro 2021. This version of the graphics software comes with a collection of bonus items made up of Painter® Essentials™ 7, PhotoMirage™ Express and Corel AfterShot™ 3.
This is a large and heavy multi-function unit suitable for an office environment as it has the ability to set up all sorts of restrictions with times and users so you do not end up printing magazines for whatever local group. This is a colour laser All In One unit that comes with starter cartridges pre-installed. It is certainly a two person move at 35kilos.
The Canon i-SENSYS MF742Cdw measures 46cm deep 43cm from side to side and 48cm tall, these are all maximum figures and all leads used are contained within this footprint including the paper out tray, only if you use the second manual paper feed do these figures get exceeded and as the manual feed is a drop down to 45 degrees from the centre front of the unit this adds 15cm to the depth. You can use this via Wi-Fi or Ethernet or if required USB. Installation is from a CD or via the Internet.
Accidents can happen and a Dash Cam can provide evidence to help protect the innocent party.
Nextbase, producer of the largest Dash Cam brand in the world and holding over 80%, by volume share, of the UK market, has added to its product range line up with the release of its 622GW model. This new offering comes with a range of features that the company feel will enhance the critical evidence gathering that can occur thus allowing the driver to concentrate on the main aspects of the driving experience.
Not a new name but certainly the contents are a lot more powerful than the unit I reviewed three years ago. This is a light Notebook that is powerful at the same time; it can happily show a presentation onto an external HDMI panel so ideal for those that travel around.
The Acer Swift 3 measures 31.5x21.5x1.5cm where the last measurement at the back with the front being as thin as 1cm. The viewable screen is 30.5x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial screen measurement of 14 inches; the screen resolution is 1920x1080 which by default is shown at 150%.
Maybe not as complicated as recent royal issues, this next title takes a look at the life of nobility.
As you gather round the table in order to view and chat to others many miles away and this next product could help.
The arrival of this next product immediately caused a couple of flashbacks. The first of these involved the Amstrad company with its video telephone product. Unlike the earlier more basic offering of just vocal communication, this product allowed users to talk and view whoever they were communicating with at the time.
'How do I do that' or 'let me think' as I do not complete that task very often. Windows can do most things however it often makes the task difficult. Parallels Toolbox has a range of one step tools to complete the tasks that Windows makes more complex, some may even seem impossible this collection of over thirty different tools are in a simple package.
Let’s start with Archive, Block Camera and Break Time; I don’t think any need any great explanation the last named is perhaps the most important for those studying. The next three can all be done in Windows but each requires a separate two key selection to complete here they are simple for those who do this action infrequently; they are Capture Area, Capture Screen and Capture Window.
When transferring data, SSD can offer a fast solution for carrying out this task.
When I think of SanDisk my initial thoughts tend to drift towards memory cards although I do have fond memories of the company's small MP3 player which is still providing good service and its plans to release popular albums in memory card format. However the company does have other products including the Extreme PRO device which is a portable SSD for allowing fast access to video and photos stored on a computer.
Normally writing this first paragraph is easy, it just explains very briefly what the item being reviewed is, be it software, hardware, something for the home, something for the office or even something for the children. This box connects to the Internet using your modem but it is not exactly a router, it’s really for the Internet of Things, any wiser?
Can you help an awakened princess find the missing population she was meant to rule.
While you may be familiar with the story of Sleeping Beauty, this next tale relates a completely different set of events with its own slumbering lady. In this case the sleeping character, who is the Princess Sophia, awakens after a century length repose in the comfort of her castle, she discovers that she is the only human around. All the other humans seem to have disappeared.
Coming to the rescue of over-burdened iPhone/iPad devices is a data transfer tool.
Recently I looked at the SanDisk Ultra Disk USB Drive. This product provided a means of transferring data between devices with standard and micro USB connectivity. SanDisk also has a product which performs a similar function for devices, such as iPhone, iPad and computers, that rely on standard and Lightning connectivity. This product is the SanDisk iXpand™ Flash Drive Go which is the subject of this review. With dimensions of 53 x 12 x 12.
The Neos Indoor Camera was developed in association with an insurance company and their clients were the first to benefit from it. Here are two more items that can save the householders money by avoiding water damage problems and the second a sensor kit so you can know when a door or window is opened or movement is detected.
Both of these items are add-ons that also require you to have a Neos camera installed as they link into your Wi-Fi and then give you push notifications via the camera. However it is possible to have the camera unarmed with the Neos App open on your phone and get notified of an open door or window that the sensor is attached to.
Keeping your data safe and secure is the task of this next product from Western Digital.
Combining local network and Cloud accessible storage is the aim of the WD My Cloud Home product. Whether it is photos, videos, documents and other files, the WD My Cloud Home provides the capability to gather and store the relevant data from anywhere that has an Internet connection. The gathered data is stored on this central location that can be 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB or the 8TB of my review sample.
This is a scale that can help in the fight against Obesity. However it also does other things giving you other reading while on the scale, you decide from a list in the App and just for good measure it will give you the weather forecast, for those who weigh themselves first thing in the morning this may help you decide what to wear.
The Withings Body Cardio scales measure 32x32x1.2cm with a central bar to help you keep your feet apart. There is a 7x4cm display window. The numerals displayed are 2cm tall and very easy to read. While being naked during weighing yourself is not essential you do need to have bare feet to get the best from the scale as certain features require bare feet.
When a magician takes his act on to the street, you should be ready for some surprises.
Without any connection to the more recent removals of monuments, the VAST Studios developed Shattered Minds: Encore casts you in the role of a detective sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a series of famous monuments. These landmarks included the Statute of Liberty, Coliseum and the Pyramids.