While no longer the market leader in the field of computer graphics software, CorelDRAW still has a lot to offer the digital designer.
While some products appear briefly, with their 15 minutes in the limelight, others have a long and distinguished existence with numerous versions showing their popular appeal. The arrival of the latest version of one such product with long lasting appeal, CorelDRAW 2017, got me thinking about when the first version of this graphics product first made an appearance. Believe it or not, CorelDRAW first arrived as a vector-based illustration package in 1989.
The Sat Nav makes sure you get to where you want to go and the camera means that the idiots who make you run into the back of them do not end up costing you your hard earned no claims bonus. Putting the two together should mean your peace of mind.
The MiVue Drive 55 LM measures 14x8.5x3.5cm where the last figure to the front of the forward facing camera. The viewable screen is 11x6.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5 inches. In the box is the Sat Nav/Camera described above plus the windscreen fitting, a 16GB micro SD Card as well as an adapter to make it fit into a standard SD card reader, there is also a 1.25metre mini USB to cigar lighter lead.
This is an analogue watch but it also is a full featured health and fitness device that works in conjunctions with your Android or iOS device, so it can truly be called the best of both worlds a timepiece and even possibly a life saver.
Anyone looking at the 36mm round face will see a conventional stylish analogue watch, as the name suggests it is stainless steel and has what looks like a conventional winder on the right side. Look closely at the dial and you will see larger flashes every five seconds round the dial and smaller flashes for the other four. There are two smaller 1.2cm dials top and bottom of the display.
As part of Edifier’s extensive range of speaker products, the company’s MP700 model features a retro look.
The Edifier MP700 is a portable Bluetooth speaker. In general appearance the MP700 reminds me of a portable radio I bought myself when I first moved to London from my Northern birthplace. There was the same rectangular box-shaped base unit with a rigid, swivel handle for easy portability.
Those of you who read about my trip to Glasgow in November last year would have been waiting for the next part of the Swift/Spin/Switch story the three groups of new notebooks launched there. The Swift arrived swiftly and you can read that part published at the start of January, the Spin has just arrived at the start of March but it does – joy of joys - have Windows Anniversary update (1607) pre-installed.
There are several models in each range and what you get – hard disc, processor and memory etc. - will depend on where you purchase it. The unit I was sent has an Intel i5 quad core Processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB Drive and as stated it comes with the Windows 10 Anniversary edition (1607) pre-installed. It weighs 2070grams, and it is 38x24.5x2cm the last figure reduces to 1.5cm at the front. This is both a Tablet and a Notebook hence the name ‘Spin’.
No doubt you will have noticed, and perhaps come to regard as a fact of life, that many devices, classified as portable, tend to arrive without any form of covering for protection during transit. Laptops, tablets and smartphones are devices that immediately spring to mind in this respect. Naturally manufacturers will only be too happy to produce accessories that retailers can sell you to protect your new expensive purchase when you embark on your travels.
Recently I have had the opportunity to check out a bag that has been designed to protect a laptop and some other devices. This is the Radial 15-inch Laptop Messenger bag from the Australian STM company. Offering the user a choice of attaché style handle or adjustable, padded shoulder strap carrying solution, the Radial bag is available in black, steel or, in the case of my review sample, Moroccan blue.
Entering the world of Harmonia, you are set the task of rescuing family members from the forces of evil.
The Seawise Chronicles – Untamed Legacy is a game that belongs to the popular Hidden Object Adventure genre. This game is set in the world of Harmonia which is a magical land inhabited by goblins and other bizarre and fascinating characters with some being friendly and others of the unfriendly type. Your role in the game is that of a rather young looking 16-year old who is set the task of rescuing his sister and grandmother from the forces of evil.
Having recently told you about internal and external security cameras that are controlled by Apps here I go one stage further with a complete Security System, they do different configurations the one I was sent does not include a camera but they do internal ones and I was sent a camera to add to the other offerings in the complete Security System.
I was sent what they call a ‘Starter Pack’; this contains one of each of the four items, Cube One which contains a 110db siren. Contact Sensor designed to go onto anything that opens like doors or windows. Motion Sensor which detects movements in a 90 degree arc from where you place it and a remote Tag that allows you to arm the system without opening the App.
Adding power and extra storage to your LAN is the task undertaken by the Buffalo TeraStation.
Classified by Buffalo as “an affordable larger capacity NAS device with robust RAID 5 capability”, the company’s TeraStation™ ES series is available in a variety of capacities. I have been taking a look at the TS-XEL/R5 unit which is available as a 4-bay fully populated device. My particular unit came with four 500GB drives giving the product a total capacity of 2.0 TB of storage.
SSD drives always carry a substantial premium over conventional hard drives, however the price of storage is one of the few things that continue to drop, while we are meant to have low inflation few have seen real wage growth for many years.
While an external hard drive used to be almost as big as an internal drive, then when they went from 5¼ inch to 3½ inch things began to tumble in size as well as cost. Original USB drives needed external power as well as that provided by the USB bus, now few if any USB drives – however large – require more power that delivered by the USB bus. This drive is tiny at 9x5.5x1cm and weighs only 69 grams, with its box and lead its 156grams.
Having previously reviewed a Window Vac and lots of Vacuum cleaners, this was left to last of the three products I requested to review at the recent Karcher open day. The reason is it’s a new tool to me and is definitely not for a child to use.
Having suffered some burns in my past life as a chef I can definitely say those caused by steam were some of the most painful so a steam cleaner is a tool to be used with care by an adult once they have very thoroughly RTFM (read the £$%-&*# manual). What I was sent was the smallest size of their deluxe unit that not only cleans bathrooms and floors but any soiled or stained surface so that old discoloured tile grouting has met its match.
With Kickstarter support, this next title takes you into a community that allows you to body hop between characters.
Thimbleweed Park is a mystery point-and-click adventure game. This game has been developed by a team led by a trio of ex-Lucasfilm Games employees. No doubt gamers of a certain age will have fond memories of titles such as Monkey Island, Manic Mansions and Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade featuring the work of Ron Gilbert, Gary Winnick and David Fox. Now we have the latest offering to emerge from this hotbed of creative talent.
We all feel so much better when we are woken by bright sunlight, of course there are exceptions like if your alarm has failed to go off and you are already late for work and the boss has previously had a go at you for lateness.
Some days even in mid-summer you are not going to get bright sunlight so the solution to straighten up your body clock is to be woken by light rather than a raucous alarm. These tend to work somewhat differently by waking you slowly which may take a few minutes if you are in a deep sleep. If you are very lucky you may have around three hours during the night when you are in deep sleep the rest of the time it is a far lighter sleep.
As the Star Wars steamroller continues to carry on its merry way, this space saga brings a variety of gifts.
Like many fans of the series. I can remember queuing to see the first Star Wars film. I must admit that at no time did to imagine that, some forty years later, the series would still be going strong with new episodes to add to this money making franchise business.
If you travel ‘light’ then the last thing you want is to wait ages at the baggage collection carousel for your one bag. The solution is a bag that is just within the legal size for carry-on luggage and that is the RiutBag R25 a substantial backpack.
It is 50x37x15cm (maximum unfilled size) and weighs 1290 grams empty. The stated size is 55x40x20cm which I assume is when packed. The material of the backpack feels solid and a close examination of the stitching and zips shows a well-constructed item and perhaps most important it is well padded at the points where it matters on your shoulders and back. In fact when I opened the rear compartment – the one nearest your back - there is a label saying ‘hand made by 18 people’.
With its range of graphics products, Corel has taken the decision to give away the latest version of one of its titles to those who had purchased the previous version.
A popular saying states that there is no such thing as a free lunch but maybe that should not apply in the case of a free loyalty update. The loyalty update in question is the one being offered by Corel to its customers who have previously purchased the company’s Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate product which is a video editing package. The update, which is free, takes the product from its current version up to that of version 20.5 of the software.
While Android 7 phones are still in the minority this offering from Huawei has it. Until last year Huawei was a name I had not heard of. A huge launch brought the P9 to the world’s attention and although this was launched much later this is the latest version of the P8.
The Huawei P8 Lite measures 14.5x7.3x.8cm and weighs 147 grams. The viewable screen is 10.9x6.6cm and this gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 5.2inches. It comes with an Octa Core (eight) 64-bit Kirin processor and is 4G LTE which can support downloads up to 150mbps. The display is full HD 1080x1920, 3GB of RAM and has 16GB of internal memory with around 7GB free.
Most Karcher cleaning items use water – at least in part – to facilitate cleaning. Not this one as it is their entry into the vacuum market. Like a number of recent releases it uses the wand principle with the motor at the top of the wand.
It comes with a conventional shoe which can be removed for other cleaning jobs and one of the three supplied other attachments fitted. With the shoe on the wand extends from as little as .62metres high to as much as 1.22metres so no excuse for the kids not to do the cleaning. My next joy was the length of the hard wired lead its 9 metres so it is far longer than most cleaners in fact the longest I have reviewed was 8 metres.
Reveries: Soul Collector belongs to the popular Hidden Object Adventure game genre
Developed by ERS Game Studios, Reveries: Soul Collector places you in the role of a princess who is shortly to be married to King Richard of Misty Island. However before the marriage can take place, your fiancée is kidnapped by the Chaos Order. It is up to you to set out on the task of rescuing the King so the marriage can take place. This task will involve solving puzzles and playing an assortment of mini games and Hidden Object challenges.
Having recently told you about a Kurio Tablet that although designed for the younger user could equally well be used by an adult that comes with Windows 10. Here a Tablet that comes with a rubber sleeve that could withstand a knock or three.
Once booted this is a nice Tablet which could be used by an adult and you can clear 2.5GB of items from memory by removing the majority of the 51 games pre-installed. However if you do then the Tablet would no longer appeal to a child. It has 5GB of memory with the games loaded 471MB is available, and 2.48GB of free memory with them removed.
You better watch out when ghosts come out to play as some are not particularly friendly.
Developed by GameMill Entertainment in conjunction with Sony Pictures and Scholastic is a game based on R. L. Stine's infamous Goosebumps book series. In this game, which can be described as an adventure within an adventure, you are cast in the role of one of the schoolchildren living in a neighbourhood that has been overrun by monsters, such as werewolves and gnomes and the like (plus a white rabbit who likes to wear a top hat) who roam the environment threatening the local inhabitants.
I know it’s a long time since the last Canon printer review, partly caused by Canon changing their fulfilment house. Here hot off the press is the latest Canon Pixma offering the TS5050, this is a three in one unit meaning it prints, scans and copies.
While it still comes with a CD-ROM it wants to do the whole install from the Internet. The setup on the printer unit will probably take as long as the software installation – dependant on your Internet speed – the majority of the install time will be for the rather good ‘Image Garden’ software. This is a five cartridge unit small (normal size) that if you are a heavy user will not last that long.
Excuse me while I ignore the incoming phone call. It is probably one of the many call calls from various companies wanting to divest me of money.
As covered in an earlier report, British Telecom launched its BT Call Protect service at the beginning of the year. For the benefit of those who might have missed the original announcement, BT Call Protect is a free service that the company offers its customers. The service is aimed at cracking down on the nuisance callers, who regularly pester us while we relax or carry out important tasks at home.
A rather nice phone that has the ability to fast charge via wireless, I did not try this, sticking to the perhaps safer micro USB connection. The word ‘Edge’ is taken literally here as the screen has no border at all, so the screen literally goes to the edge.
This arrived shortly before mid-day Friday and after charging I left it on for three days all the time doing updates getting emails etc. and use on WiFi while getting to know the phone and still had 30% left which I think is good. Once emptied I did a full recharge by mini USB to USB cable in 140 minutes. On a ‘normal’ work day for me – if I have a normal day – around 45-55% would be used while out and about.
Four years ago I saw Kärcher’s earliest entry into the Window Cleaning market the WV 50. So here is the 2017 version unusually with a lower number than the original at WV 5. This is the top of the range of the three currently available units.
The cleaning unit has a 28cm wide head and all liquid it comes into contact with is sucked into the internal bottle so when you clean your windows you get results as good as the professionals with no streaks and best of all no wet arms. The unit is 31cm tall and a maximum of 8cm wide. The Kärcher yellow colour is predominate apart from the odd bit of black and the see through waste water container.
This event took place in London just before Easter 2017 and for the second year I was invited to be among the two dozen European journalists there. Of course the big Malware threat ‘Ransomware’ was high on the list of topics discussed however as always you left with many new concerns.
Firstly let me ask a question, how many connected devices do you have in your home? McAfee themselves have just gone through a big chance in the last week their ownership has shifted away from Intel (who still own 49%) and again they have become an independent company. May I suggest you look at a site that McAfee has created and in a lot of cases has found ways to help those who have suffered attacks.
The Karcher VC5 Premium is a compact, versatile and powerful mains powered upright vacuum cleaner which has been designed with the modern home in mind where storage space is at a premium.
In Karcher’s traditional black and yellow colour scheme the body of the machine incorporates the motor, filters and the bag-less dust container. The handle is built into the top of the body while the telescopic suction tube is at the lower end. When not in use the overall height of the machine is less than 30 inches and so the machine can be stowed unobtrusively in a cupboard or in a corner and just pulled out when needed. The machine weighs just 3.2kg without accessories.
As I was downloading the game of Gem Legend from the Gamehouse.com web site, I was expecting another session of Match-3 game play but I was in for a surprise.
Although the game of Gem Legend is classified as Match-3 on the host web site, it was based on a concept unlike those formats that I have come used to over many playing sessions. Instead Gem Legend had more of a puzzle feel to it although it is based around a series of grids housing different coloured tiles which the program refers to as chips.
Moving files – especially larger ones – between devices like phones and PC’s has always required extra thought, the trouble is they are often last minute thoughts? Here a solution from Kingston that is as easy as plug it in to a USB port.
A while ago their solution for micro USB ports arrived here a solution if your phone has a USB C port. It is 3x1.5x.7cm and weights a tiny 4 grams. The capacity sizes available are up to 128GB the sample that I requested to be sent was 64GB simply because not all phones will accept 128GB.
Unlike the previous Epson All-in-One which I looked at recently, the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 is of the more traditional type that uses ink cartridges rather than the bottles provided Eco Tank models with their ink supply.
Decked out predominately in black, the Epson Expression Photo XP-960 combines print, scan and copy functionality with a choice of WiFi, Ethernet or USB connectivity. You also get the ability to print images of up to A3 in size. As a very welcome bonus item, you are provided with a pack of 50 A3 sheets of glossy photo paper in the box.