Review: 1byone 4000DPI Programmable Wired USB Gaming Mouse

Rating: ★★★★


  • Very comfortable to use
  • Braided cable for extra durability
  • Performs well in game, easy to map buttons as per requirements
  • Inexpensive


  • Only 6 LED colours to choose from, no fully fledged RGB system
  • Would have liked more programmable buttons
  • Software can only be installed from CD

Buy now from Amazon

Learn more about this product at

I wouldn’t call myself a heavy gamer, but I do enjoy the odd PC game from time to time when I get the chance. Historically, I’ve very much been a controller-based gamer, typically relying on an Xbox 360 or Xbox One PC controller. 1byone got in touch with me and said they thought I should try gaming with a high DPI mouse designed for gaming, so i took them up on their offer to sample one of their latest models.

The mouse comes packaged in a simple cardboard box which thankfully doesn’t require any frustrating man-handling to open, and arrives together with a mini-CD containing the software required to use the mouse’s high DPI functionality. The software is fully compatible with most recent versions of Windows including Windows 10 but unfortunately can only be used as a standard mouse within Mac.


The mouse itself fits very nicely in the hand and is a good size. If anything I might have liked it to be a tiny bit larger but that’s just personal preference and most will feel it’s an ample size for the job at hand. Buttons are well placed with a button marked ‘DPI’ on the top which by selects each DPI profile that has been configured (and simulatenously changes the configured colour scheme ready for each profile). There are then two other buttons on the left hand side of the mouse which by default act as back and forward buttons for your web browser.

Getting started is simple. Simply plug in your new mouse and then run the bundled setup.exe program within the installation CD and in a few easy steps you’ll be good to go. Once the software is installed, you can configure up to 5 gaming profiles and even assign the profiles to an individual game. The profile can even be automatically selected when a particular game starts.


Bar a minor spelling error, the interface is well designed and allows easy configuration of gaming profiles.

Playing games with the mouse is very easy and the comfortable thumb rest makes use of the mouse for extended periods of time comfortable. I’m not sure how I’d use the mouse in my left hand as it does seem to be manufactured for right-handed gamers, but that’s likely to be an issue that won’t affect many. The two buttons above your thumb are well placed so you don’t hit them by accident and have a very decent level of feedback and a loud click upon pressing.

Every button on the mouse including the left and right mouse button can be mapped, which can be particularly useful if you want to avoid using a keyboard almost altogether. One of my criticisms is the lack of buttons for you to be able to map – I’d like to have seen a couple more custom buttons myself but overall feel that the choice 1byone made is reflected well in the price.


My biggest gripe with the mouse is the lack of downloadable software for it. At the time of writing, the only way you can install the software (which is absolutely mandatory if you want to do any form of gaming with the mouse) is to use the provided mini disk. If you don’t have a CD drive on your computer (and let’s face it, many of us don’t these days) you’re going to find the software difficult to install unless you have another computer with a CD drive kicking about. 1byone could however easily fix this!

Aside from those relatively minor niggles, this is a solid budget gaming mouse with as much accuracy as most will ever need. At around £15, it fits nicely within its price range and certainly feels well built and designed to last. If 1byone could fix the software download issue this would be suitable for all games no matter how their computer is configured. If you’re in need of a reliable gaming mouse that won’t cost the Earth, this is a good choice.

Buy now from Amazon

Review: Nuance PowerPDF 2 Standard – great all-rounder at less than half the cost of Adobe

Rating: ★★★★ VALUE CHOICE


  • Inexpensive – sells for around £80 while Adobe’s equivelant is £282 upfront
  • Easy integration with Microsoft Office
  • PDF editor is quick and simple to use if a little basic
  • Wide array of security options including password protection and certificate implementation
  • Easy creation of interactive forms – ideal for making data collection more user friendly


  • UI a tad dull and feels plain
  • Mac version not included (limited version available seperately)

Learn more about Power PDF 2.0

Rendering PDFs is something that is now a lot simpler than it used to be. Microsoft Office has had built in PDF support for some time allowing you to export most documents as a PDF and there are numerous online converters that will translate images and documents into PDFs in a single click. However, the task of actually creating PDFs from scratch or using more advanced PDF functionalities such as encryption, write protection and built-in word processing capabilities is still a premium feature within PDF software. Nowadays, there’s quite a lot of choice in terms of software in this category – with the obvious choice being an Adobe solution, but they’re horrendously overpriced. The question is, can other providers do the same thing for less? I’ve got some new software in my hands to try!

Nuance isn’t new to the PDF market – their previous Power PDF software was well received by critics as a good value choice for working with PDFs. Their recently released new version, Power PDF 2, is designed to build on previous success and provide some new functionality to bring up to speed.

Using Power PDF 2 is a piece of cake. The simple controls along the title bar work in a very similar way to Microsoft Office, providing simple tabs to find key controls. In a similar way, it also has a “ribbon” type menu under the file menu, making usability a key highlight in this program.

You are able to import documents to form PDFs in a number of ways using the simple tiles within the “ribbon” menu, and one of the key new features in Power PDF 2 is the ability to import from and export to cloud services such as Dropbox and Evernote. You can even import multiple documents simletaneously to mould into a single PDF document – great if you need to stick together multiple collaborated files or simply want to stitch together a document and spreadsheet into a report.

All of the usual security features are present and accounted for – with the simple security panel you can encrypt your documents, restrict editing, prevent copying and even create certificates for providing authenticity.

Power PDF 2 also adds new integration into Microsoft Office – making it easy to transport any document, spreadsheet or presentation into the software and apply any advanced functionality a simple conversion wouldn’t offer.

Power PDF 2 Office plug-in

Power PDF 2 adds an easy to access tab to each of your Office applications, making exporting as easy as can be.

One of the most powerful features of the software, in my view, is the ability to really easily create fillable PDF forms from existing documents. Isn’t it really irritating when you’re asked to fill in a document online that you have to print, fill in by hand and then scan? With Power PDF 2, you simply open any document that has space for a user input, select the FormTyper function, and the software automatically works out where text inputs or checkboxes can be filled in. This is almost flawless, managing to work out around 95% of the user inputs in my sample NHS doctor registration document.

Power PDF 2 automatically creates text and data inputs for your existing forms, making them completely interactive in a couple of clicks!

Power PDF 2 automatically creates text and data inputs for your existing forms, making them completely interactive in a couple of clicks!

My only real gripe with the software is the UI and design. Don’t get me wrong – all of the important functions are really easy to access and Nuance have done a good job of going halfway between the Microsoft Office ribbon and the Adobe sidebar controls. It just feels a little dull and uninviting – something I’m sure business users will be undeterred by, but as a home office user, it’s a little uninspiring!

Overall, though, it’s easy to see that the software is absolutely solid. At just £80, it’s reachable for a fraction of the cost of the Adobe Acrobat software while offering mostly identical features. It would have been nice if Nuance had made Power PDF 2 Mac compatible too – but they do offer a cut-down alternative for Apple users (at an additional cost). If you need to use the advanced features of the PDF platform but don’t want to shell out huge amounts of money to Adobe, this is the way to go – and I’ve given it a value choice award for its attractive price tag. Power PDF 2 is avaialble now directly from Nuance and should eventually be availalable from other third parties, too.

Buy now from Nuance direct – best price at time of writing £79.99

Guide: Make almost any printer AirPrint compatible with a Raspberry Pi in 20 minutes!

Got a printer kicking around that you wish had AirPrint? Maybe it’s one you’ve had for several years, or maybe it’s a cheaper one you recently picked up and wished it had support for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. In any case, if you’ve got yourself a Raspberry Pi, have 20 minutes to spare and a tiny bit of experience with SSH, you can get your printer working natively in AirPrint in a flash!

It doesn’t matter whether your printer connects via USB, Ethernet or Wi-Fi – this trick will still work. I’ll guide you through the process!

Step 1: Ensure your Raspberry Pi is up to date.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll find yourself installing out of date software if you don’t keep your Pi’s sources up to date. Open up a VNC connection with your Pi and then open Terminal. Run the following:

sudo apt-get update


sudo apt-get upgrade

If there are any upgrades listed, type Y and press Enter to continue installing updates. Once that’s done, you can start installing your device.

Step 2: (If you’re connecting via USB) Connect your printer with its USB cable.

If you printer normally connects via USB, now would be a good time to connect it to your Pi’s USB port. If you’re currently connecting your printer via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, run straight to step 3. Don’t panic about unplugging it from about PC that it was connected to before – it’ll be a wireless printer soon!

Connect the printer to your Pi and reboot the Pi with the following command:

sudo reboot

Once it has rebooted and you’re back at a desktop, run Terminal again and then run:


All devices that are connected via USB should be listed at this point. If your printer doesn’t show, make sure it is turned on and functioning normally.

Step 3: Install samba and CUPS.

At this point you can start installing the backbone software that will provide the printer networking. In terminal, run the following commands:

sudo apt-get install samba

You’ll probably see apt asking to install a relatively large number of packages – don’t worry about this, just press and then Enter to continue. When that’s done, then run:

sudo apt-get install cups

Again, you’ll see apt wanting to install an assortment of packages. Carry on as before! After that, you just need to add a printing administrator so that CUPS can manage printers on the Pi. Run the following command:

sudo usermod –a –G lpadmin pi

Step 4: Add your printer. 

You now need to add your printer to your print server. To do this, you need to navigate to the CUPS user interface. Open up a web browser on your Pi and then navigate to You should see something like this:


CUPS admin homepage

Click the Administration tab, then click Add Printer. You may be asked to switch to SSL at this point – just follow the link it tells you to go to. You’ll then be prompted to log in – just use your normal Pi credentials (username is usually Pi and the password either raspberry or whatever you might have changed it to.

Once you’re logged in, you should be given a list of currently connected printers. Find yours in the list – it should show up however it is connected (either by USB or over your network). Select it, then click Continue.

At the next step, give it a name (you can keep the default if you wish), a description (this is how your printer will be identified to your iDevice) and a location (optional). Make sure you tick Share This Printer and then click Continue.

Next, you need to select a driver. With any luck your Pi should have already identified a suitable driver – if not, you may need to scroll through the list until you find a suitable candidate. Then click Add Printer and select any default preferences you may have. Click Set Default Options when you’re done and that’s the hardest bit done!

You can check the printer has been added successfully by heading over to the Printers tab and ensuring your printer is shown. To print a test page, select your printer from the list, click the Maintenance dropdown and then click Print Test Page.


Hopefully your printer is listed at this point!

Step 5: Fine tune a few settings.

A few settings should be fine tuned here to get best performance. Return to the Administration tab and check Share printers connected to this system. If you want to be able to manage CUPS (i.e. add new printers) remotely in future over your network, also check Allow remote administration. Then click Change Settings, the server will then reboot and you’re all good at this point.

Step 6: (Optional) Add Samba support for Windows networking

If you want to use your printer with a Windows device after this setup, you’ll need to activate Samba for Windows. To do this, run Terminal once more and run the following:

sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf

Scroll right to the bottom and then paste in the following:

# CUPS printing. See also the cupsaddsmb(8) manpage in the
# cupsys-client package.
printing = cups
printcap name = cups
comment = All Printers
browseable = no
path = /var/spool/samba
printable = yes
guest ok = yes
read only = yes
create mask = 0700

# Windows clients look for this share name as a source of downloadable
# printer drivers
comment = Printer Drivers
path = /usr/share/cups/drivers
browseable = yes
read only = yes
guest ok = no

Now, do CTRL and type in workgroup, followed by Enter to find workgroup configuration. Your workgroup is probably already correctly set it if you haven’t ever changed your workgroup before – if you have, set the correct name at workgroup =. Then change wins support = no to wins support = yes.

Then do CTTL + on your keyboard, followed by Enter, to save that configuration.

Restart samba with the following command:

sudo /etc/init.d/samba restart

Your printer will now work on a Windows network.

Step 7: (If your Raspberry Pi is connected to your network via Wi-Fi) Change a quick setting here.

Skip this step if your Pi connects to your network via an Ethernet cable. If it uses Wi-Fi, you need to turn off power saving for its Wi-Fi adapter to prevent it going to sleep and isolating AirPrint. To do this, you need to edit a file in Terminal:

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/8192cu.conf

Add the following at the bottom:

# No power saving
options 8192cu rtw_power_mgnt=0 rtw_enusbss=1 rtw_ips_mode=1

Then do another CTRL O, followed by Enter to save changes.

Step 8: Install Bonjour for AirPrint

Nearly there, I promise! You now need to install the AirPrint software. This is a doddle, thankfully!

Still in your Terminal, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install avahi-discover

Let that install as normal – this shouldn’t take long! Once that’s done, it would be a good idea to reboot your Pi to let all these settings sink in. In terminal, run:

sudo reboot

Step 9: Test it out! 

All should now be up and running – you’ll be pleased to know that’s the configuration done! Grab an iOS device, open up an email or Safari page, and follow the Share icon until you find a Print option. Hit Select Printer and yours should (fairly quickly) appear. If it doesn’t, don’t panic! Give it a couple more minutes and then try again – it should appear after a couple of tries the first time.

Your printer should appear at this point.

Your printer should appear at this point.

If you click the (i), you might even be able to check ink levels.

If you click the (i), you might even be able to check ink levels.

Select your printer, adjust any preferences you wish, and then click Print. Voila! It might take a few seconds to spool with your printer – this is to be expected.

Once you've chosen the printer, adjust any preferences such as number of copies and page selection, then click Print.

Once you’ve chosen the printer, adjust any preferences such as number of copies and page selection, then click Print.

And there you have it! An AirPrint printer with a little configuration from your Pi. If you’d like to add more printers to your network, you’ll need to return to the CUPS administration panel and repeat Step 4. In any case, you should now have a printer that works over your network and on all of your favourite iOS devices, without the need for any third party app!

Review: Parrot Bebop 2 with Skycontroller and Flight Plan – fully kitted out!

Rating: ★★★★★


  • Very easy to fly thanks to well made app and unbeatable Skycontroller
  • Flight Plan makes flying completely autonomous and allows for flights over huge distance
  • Battery life dramatically improved over original Bebop – now around 25 minutes
  • Stunning footage (if lacking a little clarity) and impressive image stabilisation


  • Flying experience less fun without Skycontroller with less range
  • Flight Plan add-on costs £15
  • On-board memory not expandable

Buy now from Amazon – Bebop 2 only

Buy now from Amazon – Bebop 2 + Skycontroller

Parrot FreeFlight 3 app for iOS | Parrot FreeFlight 3 app for Android

I’m by no means new to the drone or quadcopter scene. In fact, I’ve owned several in the last few years and have experimented to various degrees and with varying levels of success. Most of the quadcopters I’ve tested in the past have been relatively basic – simple manually controlled quads with no ‘aritifical intelligence’ or automotive behaviour. The problem with the more basic quadcopters – such as the Syma X8C – is that they’re notoriously difficult to fly, borderline impossible to hover with and don’t take very good footage whatsoever! Their low price justifies them as they’re a very good starting point and basis for learning to fly – but they’re relatively useless if you want to want to take your quadcopter flying any further.

With that – bring in the Parrot Bebop 2! The Bebop 2 focuses on improving some of the drawbacks in the original Bebop. I was lucky enough to get to try the original Bebop last year, but unfortunately was let down by it’s poor build quality and terribly unstable connectivity with the app and Skycontroller. Not only that – but it really felt like a half-arsed effort, with a battery connector that had a cable hanging out and had to be tied in with velcro and a styrofoam type body kit! It was so poor that I even decided it wasn’t worth reviewing here – as I felt that most of the views I had were already online from some very frustrated customers!

Moving on from that though, Parrot went back to the drawing and gave it a facelift ready for MK2! Not only that, but they re-thought many of the key aspects of the device, including power, bodywork and functionality. I’m happy to say that, in my view, the new Bebop 2 is a huge improvement on the original and deserves a warm round of applause to Parrot. I’ve managed to get my hands on the full kit – the Bebop 2 itself, together with the professional Skycontroller and the Freeflight 3 app with Flight Plan functionality. You can guess what the rest of this post will be about – right?

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UnoTelly – watch TV while you’re abroad with ease, eliminate geographic restrictions

Rating: ★★★★½


  • Easy, practical way to reverse geographic restrictions
  • Cost effective at $4.95 for DNS alone package
  • Clever interface with easy configuration
  • Fast VPN servers


  • VPN is a good extra to have, but don’t rely on it for security

Price: $4.95 (~£3.50) per month for DNS package, $7.95 (~£5.75) per month for DNS + VPN, discounts available on pre-payment

A hotly debated issue on the internet is the use of geographic restrictions on online multimedia. Some believe it’s a necessarily evil that protects rights holder’s interests while others think it simply restricts the concept of the internet. Whichever way you look at it, in most jurisdictions it is legal to use a VPN or “smart” DNS to circumvent geographical restrictions. It is normally down to the rights holder or streaming service to clarify whether using the service outside of its intended country of delivery is allowed or not. Just to be clear – I’m not condoning or protesting the use of these techniques to access services abroad – this is a review focused on the benefits of using UnoTelly.

This is by no means the first service I’ve tried with this objective. There are several ways of covering or manipulating your online location to access foreign services, but UnoTelly’s offering is an attempt to simplify the process and allow access to services not only on your PC or Mac, but also on devices such as the PlayStation 3 & 4, Apple TV and iPhone/iPad.

Using the UnoTelly website is a piece of cake. If you’re using the site from your desktop computer or laptop, you’re automatically prompted to set up DNS (and Dynamo if necessary) to be able to access your desired service. Once you’ve done that, there’s a built in directory of services that you can use. If there’s any specific guidelines for accessing a certain service, these are provided with clear simple instructions.

Using UnoTelly one other devices is a little more complicated but still relatively easy to do. First of all, you need to activate your network’s IP address against UnoTelly’s firewall. This can either be done manually on demand or automatically via a dynamic DNS setting on your wireless router. Once that’s done, you simply set the DNS server address on the device you’d like to use, configure the Dynamo setup to match the region of each service you’d like to use, and then fire up the relevant app! Thankfully, once you’ve done this the first time, settings are always preserved so you should only have to configure it once (unless you wish to change regions).

The service works seamlessly and made mince meat of my heavy demands and frequent server changes. The online interface is very easy to use and serves as a useful service guide.

All of the above is covered under the primary UnoDNS offering. The second offering that UnoTelly has is their UnoVPN service. A VPN is another way that geographical restrictions can be avoided, as all of your internet traffic is routed through a foreign server in the country you’re intending to view from. For some users, the VPN service will be simpler and quicker to use – particularly if you’re primarily going to want to benefit from UnoTelly on PC or Mac. For most people, however, the UnoDNS service will more than suffice and if you’re using set-top boxes or smart TVs you’ll find the DNS service much easier to set up.

That’s not to say the VPN is bad at all, though. Once you’ve got it set up (instructions are provided for many devices but the service is mainly aimed at PC and Mac users), it’s permanently configured on your device and can be switched on or off on demand. Speeds from the UnoTelly VPN servers were very impressive, with consistently high speed test results across all of their servers. However – be warned – if you’re intending to use your UnoVPN service as a security measure (as many VPN users do), you’ll be disappointed. The PPTP authentication method that UnoVPN uses is very basic and widely regarded as insecure. UnoTelly does stress, however, that their service is designed to be used for performance and not security – so don’t get your hopes up.

In conclusion, UnoTelly provides a very simple and user-friendly method of accessing international multimedia services and gives you the ultimate choice between DNS redirection and VPN routing. The service functions flawlessly, even if it does need a little time to set to optimal settings. As the saying goes, it “does exactly what it says on the tin”!

You can get a free 8-day trial here.