Taking photographs is fun especially when you are collecting visual representations of memories of important personal events. You can then store these images locally or in the Cloud knowing you can recall them when necessary. However why stop there.
Even photos captured by professional photographers could benefit from tools designed to enhance images and the same will apply to those of us who do not possess the same skill set when it comes to capturing images. Offering to help with the management and enhancement of your images is PhotoDirector. Developed by CyberLink, a company well-versed in digital image software, the latest version of this product is PhotoDirector 3.
Like some others, I regard shopping as a chore rather than a pleasure. This next title lets you look at this task from the shops point of view as you become manager of a shopping mall.
You would normally expect a product with “Spooky” in its title to appear towards the end of the year to take advantage of Halloween rather than at the beginning of the year as has happened with Spooky Mall. But maybe the ghosts, spirits and hobgoblins that inhabit this particular shopping centre have lost all sense of time and choose now to stock up on provisions.
This Android device will easily fit in a pocket or purse, the screen is however larger than you think as it hinges in the centre giving a view that is far larger than the overall size of the Tablet and certainly worth a look.
The Sony Tablet P measures 18x8x2cm the last figure is at the centre as the unit is a squashed ‘o’ shape and the edges are only 1cm it weights 365grams. The viewable screen is 12.5x12.
It is hidden object searching and adventure exploring time with a new title from Youdagames.
Put together a young woman with an inquisitive mind and an abandoned house, mix in a sprinkling of puzzles and copious amounts of hidden objects and you have all the ingredients for a Hidden Object Adventure game. In this case the game is entitled Youda Mystery: The Stanwick Legacy. Your ole in this game is that of Emma Stanwick who was packed off to boarding school when her parents died in mysterious circumstance.
The BETT (British Educational Technology Trail) has in the past proved to be a fruitful source of information and products ideal for the small business user, after all a school is certainly a business for those who attend.
This was a little larger than a normal inkjet but it does have something that most home or small office machines do not have that is the ability to receive emails – yes it has its own email address - and print them to be precise you can send items including images from anywhere in the world – now that is a wide network – and it will print them out on receipt. It is 45x44x33cm. The front edge has 26 buttons and three LED’s as well as the ubiquitous joystick around the 5x3.
First something ideal for iPod or iPhone users it requires no power source and gives a good sound the Travel Speaker System from Griffin. Second the JBL on Tour Micro a single speaker that connects using a standard 3.5mm lead.
This is ideal when you do not want to use earbuds or headphones as the sound is amplified to give a decent sound level but it takes power from your iPod or iPhone so you do not need any mains or computer source nearby. It is 18x10x3cm and is slightly convex, your iPod or iPhone fits in the centre 6.5cm part and the amount it protrudes above the top depends on which model of iPod you are using.
Picturesque Cornwall, a less-than picturesque demon and missing festival attendees all feature in a task-based Hidden Object game now available from Focus Multimedia.
Originally published by Big Fish Games, the Elephant Games developed Hallowed Legends: Samhain is now available as part of the Focus Multimedia catalogue in Collector’s Edition format. As usual with a Collector’s Edition title, you get a Strategy Guide made up of instructions and appropriate screenshots. You also get concept art, wallpaper, screensaver and music plus a bonus chapter which adopts a slightly different approach to many other such offerings that I have seen.
Not slim, not sleek and the cream colour makes it look a little strange. However the important thing is image quality and here I have no complaints, in fact this ultra compact model has other features not always found with other small cameras.
The Pentax Optio RZ18 compact digital camera measures 10.5x6x3.5cm, the last figure can increase by as much as a further 5cm when fully zoomed in. It weights 190grams. This is certainly not another small digital camera the MP size can be up to 16MP but the real star is the 18x optical zoom. The still capture sizes are 16MP, 12MP 1:1, 12MP 16:9, 7MP, 2MP 16:9 and 640x480. If I do not state they are all 4:3.
It has been a while since I last looked at a Netgear product. However a change of PR agency allowed me the opportunity to check out a new dual-band modem-router from the company.
The Netgear DGND3700 is a wireless dual band Gigabit ADSL2+ Modem Router that forms part of the company’s N600 family of products. On opening the box I was rather surprised to discover that no software CD was present. On checking the supplied content listing I was able to confirm that the lack of a CD was deliberate and not the result of an accidental loss. This fact immediately alleviates the chicken and egg conundrum as to which procedure comes first.
Developed by Stargaze and published by Alawar Entertainment: Mountain Crime: Requital is a Hidden Object and Puzzle Adventure game.
Like many other games that fall into this genre, Mountain Crime: Requital offers you a choice of two game modes. You can either opt for Regular mode with a quicker Hint recharge feature and highlighted interactive areas with sparkles or take the more challenging Expert route that does not highlight interactive areas and makes you wait longer for the Hint feature to become available after each use. In this game you take on the role of Dr.
For those who always think the weather forecast is wrong or who always think your own personal weather is different from what they say this may just be what you are looking for - your own personal weather station from Oregon Scientific.
With so many things needing a PC or Internet connectivity this rather bucks the trend in that it does it all in the modules supplied so once you have it in position you can tell wind speed and keep you own count of rainfall and more. Everything you need is in the box apart from a screwdriver and something to drill holes; all the washers’ screws and batteries are supplied as well as the various modules.
A favourite series of mine is the Jewel Quest collection of titles that feature match-3 and adventure and hidden object searching.
The Jewel Quest series started life as games featuring match-3 jewel boards with an underlying story regarding ancient civilisations. Since those early efforts, the series has branched out to include a Mysteries section that brings together hidden object game play in different locations with some match-3 jewel board action. The latest Jewel Quest title to come my way falls into the Mysteries section and is entitled The Seventh Gate.
All you need is a USB port and an aerial then you can watch TV or even record programs anywhere. In theory the supplied mini aerial will be enough but that depends on the reception in the area that you are viewing from.
The PCTV Nano Stick just a USB stick with a connector on the end for an aerial lead, plug in to your PC or Notebook and install the software on the supplied CD and let it search for channels. Certainly I would initially use a roof or loft aerial to find the maximum number of channels, in my case it found 110, once tuned then – dependant on location – the mini aerial supplied may be enough. The receiver is 7x2.4x1.
First one designed for use with an iPad and by having Bluetooth it can also work with other systems even if it does not fit smoothly in. Second something the size of a Palm type device with a small QWERTY keyboard and large trackpad.
What I am looking at is a Bluetooth Keyboard that was designed to work with an iPad or such similar type device. Sadly Santa failed to bring me one of those - once again - but it works with any device capable of pairing so a PDA or Android device can be used without problem.
It is rare for a week to go by without another new title appearing from Alawar. This time it is a retro-style cartoon adventure.
Developed by Stargaze, The Jolly Gang’s Misadventures in Africa is a new cartoon-style game from Alawar. The game’s title gives a clear indication that this is an adventure game with a strong fun influence to keep you amused as you join the Jolly Gang in their escapade to track down treasure. The game’s opening screen gives you a variety of choices although a couple of them only come into their own once you have started playing your Africa adventure.
In the mass market Canon are best known for cameras and ink jet printers. For the professional photographer its the DSLR camera, for office users its possibly their laser printers. Here an All In One that can suit home or small office.
The Canon Pixma MG6250 all-in-one measures 46x38x16cm, you will need another 10cm on top of the 46cm depth when you have photo paper in the back upright tray. You probably need 10cm on the 16cm height for that purpose as well as placing items on the flatbed. The power lead is inserted back left while USB is inserted back right. The front right edge has a USB port and behind a door on the curve of the right front edge are three card ports that accept most common card types.
Watching a DVD movie on your laptop may be fine for a single person but when more are involved you need a larger display. A new product from CablesToGo offers to help in this respect.
If at first you do not succeed then try, try and try again. I took these words to heart as I set about installing the TRULink product from CablesToGo. For those unfamiliar with the company, CablesToGo is involved in the development of connectivity products. The TRULink device has been developed to allow the user to stream video from a computer to a remote monitor, projector or television set using Wireless USB (WUSB) Technology.
Following her introduction in The Mystery of Meane Manor, Becky Brogan returns in The Institute. As with the first title, The Institute is a Hidden Object game with some puzzles thrown in for good measure.
With just one level of game play, The Institute opens with a comic-book style sequence. This lays the groundwork for the story and explains how Becky has come across a report of a missing doctor and nurse as part of the research she was conducting as part of the Investigative Journalism & Criminal Science course she was attending. As this case had never been solved, Becky’s curiosity was piqued and so she sets out to investigate.
A phone from a service provider, not I think unique but certainly most seem to come from third party companies, often a phone for a period anyway are only available from a single provider, here the Vivacity from T-Mobile.
The T-Mobile Vivacity measures 11.2x5.6x.8cm and weights 120grams. Front and back are black with the edges all in silver grey. The viewable screen is 7.6x4.6cm that is 3½ inches diagonal for those who still think imperial. All the controls are touchscreen with the exception of the on/off on top of it and volume up/down on the right side of the unit. There is a fold out Quick Start Guide that covers most of the basics for anything else a mini CD is provided with a User Guide.
Music, photos and video clips make up a sizeable portion of the storage devices attached to our home computers unless, of course, you are in the minority. Managing and making use of the vast store of multimedia data can be quite challenging especially if you attempt this task without the appropriate tools.
Offering to help manage and deliver your multimedia content is Cyberlink’s PowerDVD software. Regarded by some as the daddy of multimedia management (earlier versions are often bundled with external drives), PowerDVD is now up to version 12 and comes in three flavours with a choice of Standard, Pro and Ultra. This review is based on the top of the range Ultra software which includes Blu-ray, 3D and social networking features.
For those who have laptops with an HDMI out then I guess this will be of little interest. However for those with a Desktop who want a second display then this little piece of kit from HIS, this could well be what you are looking for.
Often to connect a second display to a PC will require a second graphics card. Here HIS have developed the first USB3 box that is capable of giving a signal to another display – it will work with USB2 – in fact they claim that up to six of these devices can be used from one PC giving the notional ability to connect seven displays from a single PC.
While Christmas is of course the biggest selling time for games, presents for other things such as Birthdays come at any time of year, two very different offerings here a box game of Angry Birds and a board game His and Hers.
Most things today tend to become ‘Apps’ here however is something that started life as an ‘App’ and has come the other way to become a physical box game that can be played without any electrical device required at all. I have come across many games that have been converted from board/box to computer or ‘App’ but this is the first that has gone in the reverse direction. I think this is a great idea otherwise kids will think only the screen can entertain.
With innovative scrolling and zooming scenes for searching, The Clockwork Man 2 is now available with a bonus game.
Introduced to the game playing public in The Clockwork Man ( ), Miranda Calomy and Sprocket, her robot companion, return for a second dose of Hidden Object Adventure action. Not surprisingly this second outing is entitled The Clockwork Man 2 with the subtitle of The Hidden World. Available as part of Avanquest’s GSP casual game catalogue, The Clockwork Man 2 comes bundled with the original Clockwork Man title.
I wondered when I saw a range of MFU items recently why Hero 6.1 was not in the range. They were all designated "home" products. Here is the exception the 'office' offering, scan, print, copy and fax all in the one package.
The Kodak Hero 6.1 measures 46x39x24cm and is not sleek, but as it is an office machine looks are not important only user functionality. I am no fashion guru but alongside the Hero 7.1 it looks bulky – probably because of the page feeder – and dare I say it a little last year in design. Still in an office the only thing that matters is its performance.
As the movement from analogue to digital gathers apace, it makes sense to further enhance the audio quality with tools such as MAGIXs Audio Cleaning Lab.
Now up to version 18 (exceeded only by the number of awards the program has won – 19 at the last count), Audio Cleaning Lab MX is MAGIX’s all-in-one solution for digitising and restoring your music collection stored on a variety of media in different formats. Supplied with an English language manual in small booklet guise, this MAGIX software comes on a single disk that also contains a free copy of MAGIX’s Mufin 2.
With a title that begins with the words Elementary my dear, you might think that Sherlock Holmes was involved in some way. However with Elementary My Dear Majesty, this is not the case. Instead the game has more of a fairy tale feel to it as it arrives with the claim of being the first 3D Hidden Object Adventure game.
Developed by Dream Dale, powered by the Neoaxis Engine and published by Alawar, Elementary My Dear Majesty can be played in either Casual or Expert mode. With the former mode the Hint feature will recharge faster, there will be fewer objects to find and you will be allowed to skip any puzzles that you might find to be too difficult. In Expert mode, there are more hidden objects, a slower recharge time and you can not skip a puzzle.
The Canon Ixus 230HS is another offering in possibly the best range of small pocket cameras around. This is the latest Ixus offering, Canon do another smaller unit the PowerShot apart from their many offerings in the DSLR market place.
The Canon Ixus 230HS measures 9.5x5.5x1.5cm and the last figure can expand by another 4cm when fully zoomed out. It weights only 138grams. While on the face of it a lot of other units have greater than 8x optical zoom, the quality is in the sensors within the camera and anyone wanting to zoom to that sort of level will need a tripod to get reasonable results.
My doctor suggests I should exercise and move about more. So I put his advice to good use as I checked out a set of Sennheiser headphones.
The Sennheiser RS120 headphones have not been designed to be used as your listening method of choice when out and about as you are entertained by your favourite portable music player. Instead this headset is meant to free you from being physically tied to the source of your listening material when in the home. The Sennheiser RS120 achieves this feat through the use of wireless technology to deliver the audio from the source to your ears.
The title above may be the understatement of the year, yes it is powerful and it is a torch but it is also so much more. The box calls it Bright Light Ranger Ultra bright, heavy duty LED light. It can be charged by mains, car cigar lighter or hand crank.
The box contains the light and mains lead as well as an Instruction sheet. So you will need to purchase a cigar lighter adapter should you wish to charge it in this way. The unit is 21x18x8.5cm and weights 1400grams. The 12 LED light 8x7cm is stored face away against the face of the unit to avoid possible damage. While the most typical action is to flip it through 180 degrees this will add 8cm to the height. It can be used in any point during the 180 degree flip it has no side to side movement.
On a very cold day at the start of February Microsoft launched a free app for Android. Those with long memories will know they recently purchased Skype a free online telecommunications product and also offered everyone a free 5GB Sky Drive.
One Note first launched in 2009 and my version was an option within Office 2010 (Office 14) in fairness it was not something I have used much until now but as we all have numerous devices using different ways of control, moving shared files around is something that one device on the Cloud (Sky Drive) is ideally suited to do. First some background to One Note, it comes as a part to most paid versions of Microsoft Office.