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Category: review

BGG apps for Android – a review

Note: I’ve been a BoardGameGeek user for a few years now, but only after I got my first Android phone did I really start using the features the site has to offer, as I got an app that uses its API. These tests have been performed on an HTC Desire, running Android 2.2 (Froyo).
 
Crossposted to Boardgamegeek.
 
At the moment, there are two apps for BoardGameGeek available for Android phones. One is called BoardGameGeek, and is developed by Dennis Bond, the other is called BGG Mobile, developed by Skulupus.
 

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The iPad reviewed

First off, I know I said I wasn’t going to get an iPad. That decision was based on the hype and buzz about it, after laying hands on one myself, though, I’ve got to say I was simply wrong. Probably not about my concerns, as I still feel they are valid, but about my decision not to get one.
 
What it all boils down to is this; do I think it is worth paying the cost, and accepting the limitations for what I get?
 
Quite obviously, my answer to that is yes. If it hadn’t been, you would not have been reading this, now would you? The question to answer, then, is not if, but why it is worth it to do so.
 
This post will be part rationalisation, part review, and I ask you to bear with me in that respect. Still, though, here goes…
 

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The Asus Eee 1101H reviewed

I recently decided to get a new laptop. My old laptop was looking like it was going to kick the bucket soon, and I wanted to exchange it sooner, rather than later. I was originally planning to get a high-end Dell, but looking closer at the contents of my wallet, I decided to forego the high-end one for now, and rather go for a cheaper netbook-style computer. In the end, I decided on the Asus Eee 1101H, opting for a large screen and decent specs.
 

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The iPad

Yesterday, Apple announced the long-anticipated, much hyped iPad. Looking like an overgrown iPhone, it sports a 9.7″ screen, with a resolution of 1024×768, multi-touch and your choice of WLAN (all models) 3G (some models) and 16, 32 or 64 GB memory.
 
A commenter at NRK Beta said it was disappointing that it didn’t have some sort of eInk technology. Now, while eInk is GREAT for reading comfort and battery time, it has a deadly flaw for a device like the iPad; it has a screen refresh rate on par with, well a book (never mind the fact that eInk is so far only available as black and wh … err … gray).
 
To me, the iPad is NOT ideal for reading, for the exact same reasons why a device with eInk is; backlight and screen refresh. The backlight and screen refresh makes your eyes go tired much quicker, and, eInk having neither, it is actually like reading off darkish paper.
 
The book function being less than interesting to me, my interest, which, I admit, is piqued, is fading. As a websurfing device, well, it just doesn’t fo it for me. If I want an instant-on, touch screen device, I’ll use my phone. If I want to seriously surf the web, I want a computer, complete with a mouse and a keyboard.
 
Playing music? Sure, I could, but why not use an iPod or a Creative Zen; they’re smaller and have better power usage times. As for reading and editing documents, I’d rather have a computer to edit and either paper or eInk to read, so that’s out. Photo viewing and editing? Again, I want a computer.
 


The iPad

 
The form factor looks good, but I am still critical of both the weight and how long the battery will last. I notice that, like the iPod and iPhone, the iPad does not look like you can exchange the battery yourself, which I find a curious choice. Sure, for a tiny unit like the shuffle, I can understand it, but for an everyday usage unit like the iPhone? I don’t get it.
 
Using iPhone OS is an obvious, albeit exciting choice. Apple are basically saying that the iPhone OS is mature enough and powerful enough to be used on this kind of device. Also, by all accounts, it does exactly what an OS for a device like this should do; IT JUST WORKS.
 
While the tech geek in me goes “OOOH! SHINY!”, the sensible guy sitting somewhere deep down, right next door to the justification department, is going “Meh. Yet another device I have no use for.” And that, really, is what it all boils down to, isn’t it? The answer to the question “Do I have any real use for this?”
 
When all’s told, my interest is piqued, but I am not convinced, and I doubt that I will shell out the $499-$699 for one of these units. There are three main reasons for this:
 

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Opera revisited

It’s been a while since I last wrote of my trying out Opera. Since then, my tech-savvy friend has taken it upon himself to bring me into the light. A calm evening of beer and pizza quickly turned into just that, with the addendum of him prodding me to use Opera in no uncertain terms. Indeed, so much so that he convinced me to download and install Opera to my EeePC so that I could see the marvels of Opera in all their splendour.

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Quick Heal PCTuner – reviewed

One of a few things I do on my spare time is review software. The last piece of software I reviewed is called PCTuner, marketed by a company called QuickHeal. Marketed as a simple solution to the classic problem of a computer getting slower with time, it is said to “…cleans and optimizes your PC safely and automatically. It also protects your privacy by cleaning various common application traces.”
 
Installing it is now hassle, a simple “next”, “next”, “accept” and “install” routine is implemented as with most other software installs. Similarly, it is simple to use, with at most three clicks to perform any task. Here is what the main window looks like:
 
PCTuner Main Window
 
Features
Here are the features, as presented by QuickHeal:

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