Friday, 6 February 2015

Ultimate Playstation Trivia Book. Vol. 5

Ultimate Playstation Trivia Book

We’ve gathered together over one thousand of the juiciest facts, figures and shocks from the world of playstation to educate your brain and tickle your funny bone. Topic 404-500.

404. Carrie Swidecki holds a world record for playing Just Dance 4 for 49 hours straight.

405. Tomb Raider model Nell McAndrew was fired after appearing in Playboy. Core Design took legal action to get the game’s logo hidden by a sticker on the magazine’s cover.

406. In Uncharted 3, you can find a newspaper with the headline ‘Scientists Struggle to Understand Deadly Fungus’, referencing The Last Of Us. Technically it was a leak as the game’s announcement had been pushed back but the studio forgot to remove the Easter egg.

Lindy USB 3.0 To SATA-3 Drive Adapter

Lindy USB 3.0 To SATA-3 Drive Adapter

Tired of large external drive caddies? Time for something smaller and faster

We often have the problem of suddenly coming across an old hard drive, found in the bottom of a drawer, and wanting to know its contents without having to open up a PC case and fit it. Similarly, we have a few spare, smaller capacity SSDs lying around that could be put to good use as backup drives. Again, though, we don’t fancy cracking open the case to fit the drive.

There are, of course, a number of solutions available that allow us to connect a SATA hard drive to a USB port. Some are cradle devices; others are just simple cables with different ends. Most, however, rely on older USB and SATA technology, except for this device from Lindy.

Acer Aspire Switch 11

Acer Aspire Switch 11

Can Acer make the hybrid PC an affordable option?

Having recently covered the high-end Dell Latitude 7350, I’ve been interested in seeing a similar concept that doesn’t cost nearly a grand.

The Acer Aspire Switch 11 has many design similarities but costs just a third of the Dell. The Acer might be more affordable, but does it address any of the other issues?

What we have here is another in the long list of Microsoft Surface-like designs, where the machine will operate as both a tablet and a laptop, depending on your specific needs.

Zoner Photo Studio 17

Zoner Photo Studio 17

Organise and edit your digital camera and phone photos

Zoner Photo Studio has grown from a simple image organiser into a multi-function toolkit with a wide range of features. The idea is that it's a one-stop shop for all your photo requirements. This latest version packs in more features than ever, but it has a price that is close to Adobe Photoshop Elements and Corel Paintshop Pro X7 Ultimate, which are both excellent and tough competitors.

Samsung Portable SSD T1 Series 250GB

Samsung Portable SSD T1 Series 250GB

Samsung takes it SSD technology on the road

Always looking for new ways to ship flash memory modules in volume, Samsung has just launched its T1 Series portable SSD.

What struck me initially is that I’ve been using 2.5” SSD drives in USB 3.0 caddies for at least three years, yet it is only recently that the module makers have woken up to this common activity.

To be fair, the T1 series is slightly different in that Samsung has used what appears to be an mSATA module inside a custom case, making the whole ensemble marginally smaller.

Download Paid-For Software For Free

Paid Software

The best programs and apps come at a price – most of the time. Jane Hoskyn reveals our favourite secrets for getting paid-for software for free

Petrol prices may be falling, but everything else is getting dearer. Broadband prices, after years of happy decline, are up by 6.5 per cent. Rail-fare rises seem faster than most trains. Even coffee prices rose by one-fifth in a week recently.

If you’ve got an iPad or iPhone, the news gets worse. Apple has just raised the minimum cost of paid-for apps in the App Store from 69p to 79p (see News, Issue 441). An increase of 15 per cent overnight.

It doesn’t help that Apple rarely seems to bother with exchange rates. Often the only difference between the prices of identical apps in the US and UK App Store ( is the pound sign.

Any software you download from the internet suffers from similar exchangerate unfairness, though the difference isn’t usually as bad as with Apple. Adobe, Microsoft, Dropbox and Spotify all charge more in the UK for software that costs less in the US, Australia and Germany.

Intel Compute Stick

Intel Compute Stick

Soon you’ll be able to transform your TV set into a computer using a device no larger than a pack of chewing gum

What is it?

A four-inch dongle, powered by a quad-core processor, that comes pre-loaded with either Windows 8.1 or Linux. You can plug it into the HDMI slot on your TV, effectively turning your set into a computer, with your Desktop appearing on screen. You can then control it using a wireless or Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (which you’ll need to buy separately). The Compute Stick can also be fitted into any monitor with an HDMI slot.

On the official page for the Compute Stick ( Intel says it’s “everything you love about your desktop computer in a device that fits in the palm of your hand”. That’s a pretty good description.