First a voice controlled USB powered lamp and then a card reader and USB hub. How does this innovative Hong Kong company keep finding more devices that are available to use from your USB ports?
Time to put your detecting skills to the test as you tackle a hidden object game with a difference from GoGii
Developed by GoGii and now available as part of Avanquest’s GSP Click & Play series, Private Eye is a puzzle solving game that combines hidden object game action with quick reaction interludes to keep you on your toes. In this game, as the title indicates, you take on the role of a Private Eye who has recently graduated from the Private Investigation Academy. The game allows individual players to set up their own profile with some personal information.
This looks rather like the Grundig machine recently reviewed however there are differences; one is that it has features such as the ability to set HD recordings in advance for ITV programs via the improved program guide.
The measures 30x26x4.5cm. The face, like the Grundig, has no visible clock and all that can normally be seen is a red button on the left together with a similar button on the right when recording while the unit is not being tended. The six sides of the A4 Quick Start Guide4 should be enough to get even the novice user up and running. The 32 page A5 instruction manual has little more detail.
Memories can be transient especially over the passage of time. It is for this reason that we often take the precaution of storing special moments using the technology that was current at the time.
Unfortunately that which was created by yesterday’s tools is often incompatible with the modern devices developed using today’s technology. Put simply, content stored on VHS tape is in danger of being lost due to issues such as deterioration caused through moisture and geomagnetism as well as an inability to replace faulty equipment because manufacturers are no longer making the kit as they switch production to disk-based PVRs (Personal Video Recorders) and the like.
When the year in focus is 1912, the thoughts of any student of maritime history should concentrate on the RMS Titanic and its disastrous maiden voyage which resulted in massive loss of life.
Titanic Secrets of the Fateful Voyage is a game in the Hidden Mysteries series and part of Avanquest’s GSP Click & Play catalogue and is described as a point & click adventure game. In this game you take on the persona of Margaret Ashley, newly married and about to start a new life in America with her husband.
This is a very thin 500GB portable USB hard drive that displays the free space available even when no power is available (or even connected to a PC). Could this unit be the way that all external hard drives will become?
This is really easy to attach via the 50cm USB cable supplied, to any –preferably- USB 2 port and after a few seconds Windows will recognise it as an external drive. There is a tiny Quick Start Guide with two pages in English and a folded (equally tiny) sheet of paper with a single side in English explaining why 500GB means 465GB. It is also stated to work on MACs. The hard drive already has the User Manual and Nero Back It Up Essentials 4 on it.
With its expertise in the area of telephonic devices within the home/business environment, it is hardly surprising to discover that Doro is also active in the manufacture of headsets designed to add functionality to the basic landline phone set up.
One such product is the Doro Prosound hs1910 DECT device. This is a wireless DECT headset. It has been designed for those who seem to spend a great deal of their time either making or receiving phone calls. While the various Doro phones that I have looked at, whether of the traditional, DECT or mobile variety, have prided themselves on their basic functionality and ease-of-set up, this wireless DECT headset attempts to be extremely flexible in how it can be used.
How ever big the area surrounding the keyboard there are always times when it is just not large enough. I often find the 30x20cm area set aside for my mouse to move around in taken by notes, cups or even a plate.
While the size of the Air Mouse Elite is not that different from a conventional one the shape does vary as there is a deep notch cut under the unit that allows your thumb or finger to sit flat under the unit to hold it securely. It is 12x5.5x3cm (maximum dimensions) and to use it as a conventional mouse requires no thought if on the desk or in the air. The mouse weights 90 grams.
Here I am looking at two units from Jabra. First the Jabra Extreme that works to reduce external noise and this unit even includes a car charger. Second the Jabra Clipper that allows you to work with iPhone and iPod units.
This tiny unit is 4.5x1.5cm that will stick out from your ear, the thickness is a maximum of 2.5cm but less than 1cm of that will be visible. Its weight is only 10grams. The top of the unit has the USB connector, the right side has the on/off switch while the face has two buttons to increase and decrease the volume. There is a third control (between the volumes) that answers calls this is a slightly raised 1.
When it comes to number crunching and logic, the computer is in its element. It is therefore no great surprise to come across a new title from MumboJumbo that combines these two features in a game entitled Everyday Genius: Square Logic.
Developed by TrueThought, Everyday Genius: Square Logic take takes a leaf out of the Sudoku methodology by working with square grids that hold numbers that are not allowed to be present more than once in each column or row. While there are some similarities between these types of puzzles, there are more than enough differences to make Square Logic stand out from the competition.
From a company that makes professional and semi professional DSLR unit, they also have entry level models in the compact market. The Nikon Coolpix L110 is neither and sits above the compact and below the DSLR.
The Nikon L110 measures 11x7x9cm and add another centimetre to the last figure the width with the lens fully extended. It weights 415grams. To me this is a real crossover unit. For anyone who mastered the compact digital camera but is a little unsure about the jump to a DSLR, here you are approaching the weight and of course you get a neck strap (as opposed to a wrist strap) and the whole feel and some of the look of a unit with interchangeable lenses without the need to do so.
Recently I have felt like putting my laptop on a diet. The reason for this unusual thought was brought about by the need to test a laptop bag.
Laptops, notebooks and netbooks are all meant to be computer devices that can be easily portable when moving from location to location. However, apart from the latter category, you are rarely provided with the means to help you transport the particular product. Fortunately various manufacturers have come to the rescue with bags that have been designed specifically for keeping your portable computer safe and secure while you are on the move.
Join a mother who combines an archaeological expedition with a search for her missing children.
Developed by Artifax Mundi and published by Alawar, Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba mixes together elements of hidden object game play and puzzle solving. This game places you in the role of Joan Jade who is described as the archaeologist of the year and mother extraordinaire. From this you should be able to gather than the game involves some ancient ruins and problems affecting the younger members of the family.
This has the bold statement on the box Up to 14x faster and up to 6x better range than 802.11g Speed is of course useful and range is vital if you are using the wireless option at anywhere near its distance capacity.
The Conceptronic 11n Wireless ADSL2+ Modem and Router measures 20x15x2.5cm with cables inserted and black in colour. The front has eight small LED’s (hopefully green) and the right side a push button that I will go into detail about in a little while. The left side the top and base have nothing. This leaves the back.
For those of you that were introduced to corporate presentations in the form
of acetate slides and permanent markers things have come a long way.
Am I showing my age? Many were the important presentations where I lovingly drew multi-colour slides with charts and text ready to slip onto an overhead projector. That projector in itself was an innovation - as is this new little marvel from 3M the MPro 150. Acetate was seen off in the corporate field with the advent of laptops and then with bulky projectors that would plug directly into the VGA port.
While inkjet printers are the popular choice, there is still a place for a laser unit that can deliver good quality output at a reasonable speed for full page printing.
It was almost a case of déjà vu as I unpacked the latest Samsung printer to arrive for testing. I had only just packed up the previous model for returning to the company’s PR agency and now I appeared to be looking at its exact twin. I should explain that both models, the previous ML-2525 and now the ML-1915, were both mono laser printers. Yet I was still expecting that there should be some sort of visible evidence that would help identify these two models.
Until a few years ago certain consumer products from Microsoft used to have versions released every year, now some like Works are updated occasionally, others like Money are no more, here the 2010 version of AutoRoute.
I deliberately installed this on a not that powerful Windows XP machine just to see if it still would work on a ‘non power’ machine. It took 7 minutes to install from the DVD and used 2.054GB of hard disc space, this also installs Office Database, Visual C++ and Text to Speech module before the Auto Route package, all in all quick and easy. It comes in a DVD case sized box that contains a DVD case with the product and beside this a GPS locator unit.
First Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games (yes I know they are over but I can only review items when received), this sent by Woolthworth.co.uk and second 7 Wonders II another of the puzzle series from GSP.
Being Mario makes it something for the younger ones but with all the instructions and preparations required before you can perform I feel that maybe they will lose interest before they get very far into the various available events. The available Olympic events are Skiing, Skating, Snowboarding, Bobsleigh, Ice Hockey, Curling, Biathlon and of course Luge. While there are eight categories the total number of available events is actually 15 with variants.
If you can not find the content you want with terrestrial channels then maybe the Internet can help with software available from Avanquest.
It is a great big world out there when you ventured into that entity known as the World Wide Web in search of legal media for your entertainment. Offering to help in the search for and downloading process is the latest edition of AudialsOne, now up to version 4, and available from Avanquest. As part of the product’s installation process you are offered a number of options.
Despite its squat size I doubt this All In One from Canon will ever pass the lounge police. Perhaps it is the silver grey colour but more likely the black band around the top edge; however as a man what matters to me is quality and performance.
The Canon Pixma MP990 multi-function printer measures 44x39x21cm. There is a small lift up lid 17x8cm that sits towards the front centre of the scanning lid. There are a total of twelve buttons that sit under it (including the ubiquitous five position joystick) and on the reverse of the lid a TFT 9x7cm. The TFT opens to a position around 15degrees beyond vertical to allow reading from a whole range of angles.
For someone using even a 17inch display with 1280 x 1024 screen resolution, upgrading to a 19 inch wide screen display with 1440 x 900 is unsatisfactory. After all, the lesser vertical resolution is inadequate. Consequently, a reasonable approach is to upgrade to a 22 or 24inch widescreen monitor with 1920×1080 WUXGA resolution and, ideally, to one such as the Viewsonic VX2433wm 24inch which provides both performance and a good degree of future proofing.
At first sight the large amount of desk space occupied by a 24 inch wide screen monitor is over-powering. However, the VX2433, with its slim polished black bezel, and anti-glare screen, is stylishly designed and so one soon gets used to it and starts appreciating its benefits.
When problems occur with your computer, the excuse of out-of-date drivers is often put forward as the reason for any conflicts. Perhaps you should consider some form of driver management.
Your computer system relies a great deal on drivers to carry out many of its functions. Like other forms of software, drivers are constantly being upgraded with new features and bug fixes. While these drivers are freely available to those who need them, the task of searching for them, before downloading and installing them, can be time consuming.
What would you do if you received a letter dated ten years earlier? Edwina Margrave decided to set out in order to find the sender.
When looking for hidden objects what better place to start than in a house especially if it is an old dwelling with plenty of rooms plus various nooks and crannies that can provide a multitude of locations in which to conceal items. Throwing in a missing relative plus a 10-year gap to add a touch of mystery with a possibility of foul deeds and you have the basis for a Click & Play game entitled The Secret of Margrave Manor available on the GSP label.
This device can check what, how and when causes the astronomical electricity bill. Every modern device tells you somewhere how much power it uses, unfortunately normally few people tend to initially take much notice.
The Owl CM119 consists of two parts, the first magnetically wraps round a wire from your meter this ends in a wireless sender (powered by 3x‘AA’ batteries supplied). The wireless signal is sent the second unit that displays a range of information this can be up to 30metres (ideal conditions) away and this is also powered by 3x‘AA’ batteries (also supplied).
While the paperless office continues to be a myth, software does exist to keep electronic documents under some sort of control.
A rather different PC in that all you get is a small box not a lot bigger than a video cassette and a wireless keyboard and mouse. This can even be mounted on the back of a panel or a TV so maybe ideal for the occasional user.
The computer is 20x19x3.5cm, it has shiny black sides with the edges being off white, it will just about stand unsupported but a stand is provided (clips into the base or it can be fitted so that it fits parallel to the back of a TV. The whole unit is slightly tilted back, on the top is a USB port, the back has a multi card port, two 3.5mm jack ports for earphones (or external speakers) and microphone and an eSATA socket.
Not everyone wants - or can afford - an iPod. Here a fairly basic offering that looks rather like a USB stick and second a player for those who cant bear to be parted from your music even when swimming or taking a bath!
Normally items from Brando come with a manual in Chinese and English. Here only the former, I do not read Chinese. However there is enough information on the website (in good English) for anyone to use this item. It is 7.2x1.6x.6cm the top pulls off and it can be inserted into any USB port, behind the connector is a port for you to insert and micro SD or SD(HC) card and on this you can copy any MP3 music of your choice to play.
Yet another new title emerges from that treasure chest known as Alawar. This time it involves a young boy helping his mother and father escape from danger.
Not to be confused with a singer/songwriter who had several hit records many years ago (Google his name for more details), Anka is a point and click adventure that revolves around the activities of a young boy named Anka. The game’s opening sequence introduces you to Anka and his mother who, I must state, looks more like an older sister.
This is the third and dare I say the most futuristic Dolce Gusto coffee machine I have reviewed. Firstly I must thank espresso club who pointed the existence of this machine to me long before it was made available for sale in the UK.
Leaving the totally different design for the moment the main difference is that a higher pressure is used to brew the coffee. The machine is shaped like a rather squashed ‘0’ with the actual cup placed in the centre of the ‘0’. The dimensions are 32cm tall, 30cm wide and 18cm deep. The back is made of a plastic material which forms the water tank. The unit is silver grey and somewhat as a surprise to me anyway I cannot see the name anywhere on the box or the unit.
Not only does Duracell make exceedingly good batteries but it provides the means to drain them of power.
When the subject of batteries comes up, my first thoughts tend to gravitate towards Duracell - a name originally devised as a shortened form of 'durable cell'. I expect that the same thought process applies to many of you.