Saitek mouse

Photomouse I saw this in MacWorld this month and thought it looked quite cool, I initially thought they must have found a way to upload photos inside the mouse which will change when you move the mouse but alas no…it transpires you just sort of fold a picture inside the shell! This seems like an almighty letdown and not quite right in todays high tech world.

TimeShift for Xbox 360

Timeshift
I traded in Assassins Creed as it was a huge disappointment and frankly couldn’t be bothered struggling through to the end as the gameplay was too samey. In its place came Mass Effect which had been widely tipped as a "must have" and had been on the horizon for a long time. I should have taken heed from the reviews which compared it loosely to a game that I tried on the original xbox but couldn’t get into at all, Knights of The Old Republic, but didn’t.

Boy, what another huge disappointment. I know that Mass Effect has gone down fantastically well with gamers but it just wasn’t for me. Firstly, I hate squad based games and have no time for all that ordering squad members to go there or over here or whatever. I just like to get on with it myself. Secondly, I thought the action bits were a bit stilted and the gane I had suffered from frame rate issues. Thirdly, I’m not keen on the RPG aspect of it. So, that went back as well. That was two duffo games in a row for me so I was determined to pick something I knew I would like, was single player and was not squad based.

Enter TimeShift which I had previously tried out on a demo disc. I just fancied something that was going to be fairly simple and more of a shoot ’em up style. The reviews for the game which I read were mixed, nobody slated it but at the same time no-one said it was brilliant. It just got "okay" marks. So far, I’m enjoying it for what it is which is basically a bit of a no-nonsense romp. Graphically it is good, frame rate is very smooth and the character’s time-shifting abilities make light work of disposing of enemies. The premise is far from original and the story is so so but it’s good fun. Some shooters I have played over the past year or so have been a bit lightweight in the sense they have been too easy but this one is quite challenging. You have to get your tactics right and use the correct time-shifting skills or else you will be mowed down.

Cheapish Treo 750v in the UK

Treo_750v_vodafone_22
John Lewis are advertising the treo 750v for £299 online which is the cheapest I have seen in the UK for a new one. Not only that but you also get a "free" 2 year guarantee, the first year via Palm and the second via the retailer.

These seem to be the WM5 version but that’s a small price to pay for a decent saving as the WM6 is available free of charge and is super easy to install.

Treo 800w??

The chaps over at WMExperts seem very confident about the appearance of the treo 800w, not only that but they reckon it will be a top notch device. Let’s face it, it’s going to have to be to compete in the very crowded windows mobile marketplace. This is going to have to have wifi built in for all those power speccers and all the trimmings on top.

There is a "photo" of it, some kind of mock up or photoshopped  picture…I don’t know… and it doesn’t look very exciting. In fact, it looks exactly like a treo with a slightly bigger screen which the win mob version desperately desperately needs. I’m not even sure this could tempt me away from the iPhone, especially as it won’t be out until later next year, by which time I’ll be enjoying some sooper dooper 3rd party apps on the latter. Still, the 750v is a decent device and if the 800w takes what is good about the 750v and adds some spec improvements then it could be rather good. Personally, if I’m ever going to go back to windows mobile it will only be to a palm device simply because Palm still know how to make a device easier to use and do it better than anybody else.

Still no laptop…boo hoo

Macbook
I’d still really really like to get a laptop but it has sort of slipped off the radar the past few months for various reasons, one of which is the constant rumour mongering on mac sites about the possibility of new MacBooks coming out. With the Mac January doo dah coming up in that would seem the perfect opportunity to announce a new one then.

To be honest, I have been thinking instead of getting the low end MacBook Pro as the screen is bigger and I like the look of it a lot more. Sure, it’s more expensive but I have banked my ebay gadget sale money over the past month or so and it is still sitting there just waiting to be spent. I can then use that at home and give the 4 year old imac to my son for his room. I’ve promised him a decent computer for ages and this seems like a sensible idea….not sure though the wife will be as impressed by my logic. Mind you, I’m not sure it is "logic" or some convoluted and devious way of getting myself a new computer. Hmmmmm…

PodWorks 2.9.2

Podworksicon PodWorks has been called an essential iPod accessory and you can see why:

PodWorks is a Mac OS X application that compensates for the iPod’s only downside: Apple only allows you to copy songs to your iPod. If you have two Macs and want to use your iPod to transfer music from one to the other, or you only store your music and videos on your iPod and need to copy them back onto your hard drive after a disk failure, you are out of luck!

This is where PodWorks comes in: it allows you to copy songs and videos from any iPod or iPhone to any Mac running OS X 10.4 or higher. Its important features include:

  • iPhone support: PodWorks recognizes and allow transfers from your iPhone.
  • Superior performance: Many other standalone iPod song transfer utilities work by reading song data out of every song on the iPod–a slow process. PodWorks, by contrast, reads its data directly from the iPod’s internal database, resulting in nearly instantaneous display of your song list.
  • More metadata: Since PodWorks can read from the iPod’s internal database, it can also display and sort by song "metadata" not available through ID3 (including Date Added, Play Count, and Star Rating).
  • iTunes integration: In addition to copying songs to the Finder, PodWorks can send songs, playlists (registered version only), and metadata (star ratings, play counts, track numbers, etc.) directly to iTunes. It can also filter its song list to show you only the songs on the iPod that are not present in your iTunes library.
  • Playlists: PodWorks recognizes your iPod’s playlists. Entire playlists can be copied to your computer with a single drag (registered version only).
  • Song Playback: PodWorks allows you to preview songs before you copy them by playing them directly off the iPod (not yet available for iPhone).
  • Strong organizational capabilities: Copying large numbers of files can get messy, so PodWorks can automatically sort transferred files into directories and change their filenames according to your preferences.
  • Portability: PodWorks can be placed on your iPod for convenient access away from your home computer. It will work when run off the iPod, and will remember its registration information even when connected to a previously unknown machine.

Merry Xmas

Santa
I’m shutting up shop until the 27th but would like to wish everyone a Merry Xmas and to thank you for reading the site over the past 12 months.

It has been a very interesting year for gadgets, I have gone from windows mobile back to palm and then the same again and now, thanks to the iPhone launch here in the UK, have finally found an easy to use device that is a joy to live with.

I wonder what 2008 will hold in store on the smartphone front?

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