Category Archives: Peripherals

Any posts mentioning computer or hardware peripherals will be put in this category.

3 (Three) “Mi-Fi” looks very interesting…

If you’re a big reader of the news from the rather large tech world, you may well be aware that UK mobile operator 3 (Three) are planning to launch a very cool new level of mobile internet.

They are dubbing it Mi-FI, but it is basically your own battery powered router for your 3 mobile broadband package.

It is [apparently] very simple to use – you just slot some batteries in, together with your 3 mobile broadband SIM, and then switch it on. From what GEEK! understands, it will then find the nearest internet connection from available GPRS, EDGE, 3G, and HSDPA connections in your area. As soon as it can connect to a network mast, it will start firing out a Wi-Fi connection that all of your Wi-Fi enabled devices can connect to.

The device itself will be available over the internet from September 17th and will be in 3 stores across the country from September 18th.

As for pricing, see below (quoted from ISP Review)

•‘Broadband 5GB 1 month’ is a one month contract which includes 5GB of data for just £15 a month. With this deal the wireless modem costs just £69.99.
•For an upfront charge of £99.99, Mobile Wi-Fi will also be available as a ‘Ready to Go’ kit. The deal includes a wireless modem and 3GB worth of data which can be used over a 3 month period. After the data has been used up, the modem can be used on a Pay As You Go basis.

So there you have it – looks exciting in my opinion. I wouldn’t say it was brilliant value, but if you’re a frequent user of mobile internet it is probably well worth the cost. I’m looking forward to seeing it in 3 stores.

Review: Logitech EX100 Cordless Mouse and Keyboard

I got this keyboard and mouse today from my local Curry’s store as I accidentally broke my old wireless mouse. I’ve been trying to cope with using VNC to access my computer without a mouse, but my patience didn’t last long so I decided I had to go and get a new mouse/keyboard.

I paid just under £20 for the mouse and keyboard, so I was relatively pleased as that isn’t too bad at today’s standard.

In terms of quality and performance, I’m really happy. Set up was really quick and easy. I simply connected the receiver to the computer via USB, placed the batteries in the keyboard and mouse, and off I went. I installed the optional software to provide the function keys on the keyboard, although this isn’t vital and quite a lot of people probably wouldn’t bother.

The keyboard has a really nice comfortable feel which makes it a pleasure to type on. It’s feedback to your fingers is really good – it’s not too hard to press the keys that it becomes tiring to type with, yet not to easy to press the keys that you start double-pressing keys by mistake. Compared to my previous Advent keyboard, it’s really good (my old Advent keyboard was just too hard to type with – made you tired of typing very quickly).

The keyboard’s function keys are handy. It has all the obvious keys you’d expect – Internet, Email, Music player, Skip Track etc. However, the keys are built in to the keyboard itself rather than using separate buttons which makes the keyboard very compact. It makes the keyboard very useful if you are using it on a small desk.

The mouse is also very good. It’s a fairly big mouse which I prefer (I’m not a fan of the mini mice!). It has the usual 3 buttons – left mouse button, right mouse button, and a scroll wheel in the middle with a clicker. The mouse has a really comfortable feel which I would be happy to use for several hours continuously.

The included software is pretty good. Not only does it let you handle which function buttons do what, but it also lets you handle things like “gaming mode”. I actually like the idea of this (I am aware that this is probably not unique to this keyboard). How many times have you been in the middle of a full screen game and then accidentally hit the Windows start key, and the whole game minimises and your start menu appears – arghh! Well that’s solved with this keyboard, as you can have the keyboard’s software detect that you’re in a game and disable the start key. That is a lifesaver.

On top of that, the software also alerts you if either the keyboard or mouse battery is running low, which is helpful. That neatly brings me on to the only downside I can really think of for this keyboard – it doesn’t have a mouse charging cable or dock. Instead, it just uses simple standard AA batteries. Of course, you could just use rechargeable batteries and charge them externally, but this can become annoying when you need the computer and the mouse batteries are on charge. But then for £20, it’s not going to be perfect.

Overall, I’m very happy with the keyboard and mouse. If you’re in need of a good cordless mouse and keyboard set on a budget, this one is a good idea.

Do you still use Dialup?

I have been on broadband for years now and never regretted the change over. 

If you are one of those people who feel broadband still isn’t really for you, here are a few pointers in the direction of upgrading.

You should change to broadband if…

  • You use the internet a lot – If you use a lot of internet, it’s well worth the few pounds a month it costs to have a faster connection. Especially if you are using pay as you go internet – the amount of money your using to pay for the dial up would probably pay for broadband.
  • You want to download a lot – Trying to download large files on dial up usually means leaving the computer on all night. When I had dialup I would get about 4kbps which is just pointless. Also, think about the amount of unnecessary power usage you’re getting through.
  • You want to use the phone at the same time as the internet – Yes, this is probably the biggest upside. I hate it on dialup that you can’t use the phone at the same time.
You can get broadband extremely cheap nowadays so try for yourself and see how long it takes for you to get used to it. I promise you, you wont regret the upgrade.