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Hardware, Software, Games, Gadgets etc! Check out the reviews and tests here.

Mould and mildew is a horrible thing to find in your house, they are both part of the fungi family and thrive in damp, dark environments with poor air circulation such as bathrooms and cupboards. They can both grow in warm airless environments and also cold draughty areas (like I’ve had by our master bedroom window). They usually form a thin covering that is either white, black or bluey-green in colour. When trying to remove mould and mildew you have to act fast and efficiently because mould release microscopic spores which hang around in the air and get pushed around the house naturally and can get everywhere. These spores are obviously invisible to the naked eye and can lie dormant for huge periods of time until there is enough moisture in that environment for them to germinate. The only natural way to kill ungerminated spores is with extreme heat or extreme cold.

Mould Removal:

If you know you have mould around the house and want to get rid of it there are several ways I can tell you how to get rid of it. Recently I’ve found out that there is a natural way which in my opinion works much better than the paid products… White Vinegar.

Things you’ll need:

  • Pair of rubber/latex gloves.
  • 2 x Clean cloth.
  • Container to hold liquid in.
  • Kitchen Roll.
  • White vinegar (from tescos or another shop)  OR go to your local DIY store and get some anti-mould killer.

Warning:

I would highly recommend White Vinegar because its 100% natural and is pet safe. The smell of the vinegar also helps remove the musty smell. 80% of the Anti-Mould killers are generally not safe for pets or the environment.

Black mould in baseboard

Black Mould in baseboard

Instructions to remove mould:

  1. Clean the area as best as possible with a clean damp cloth to remove any big spores of mould, don’t rub too hard because you may remove the paint work.
  2. Once cleaned pour some white vinegar (or anti-mould product) into the container and dip the cloth into it so it soaks it up then gently clean the offending area. (Nb you’ll see how the mould just easily comes off).
  3. Once completed double check the area to make sure you’ve removed it all and then dry the area with some kitchen roll.

Warning:

If working on cheap paint or wallpaper, test a small area hidden away first!

How to prevent mould coming back:

The first way to help prevent mould is to buy a dehumidifier these clever machines reduce the level of humidity in the air. They work by an electric fan sucking moist air into the machine. The warm air then passes over freezing cold pipes which circulate constantly (like a freezer). As the air cools it turns to liquid and drips into a drip tray / bucket which then you empty every 24 – 48 hours. You can buy them from most DIY stores and various shops such as Currys and Dixons (UK based stores).

The second way to help prevent mould is to get an air purifier. These work by sucking air into the device through an electronic fan which then filters out air borne critters such as mould and dust. These have great health benefits as well.

                                                                                                                                      

I hope this helps, if you have any questions please comment below.

Matt

Every computer running windows from 3.1 onwards has something called a “registry” its primary purpose was to store configuration settings for the operating system. After using your computer for several months installing and removing programs you will find that the registry will get clogged up. Using Eusing Free Registry Cleaner you can clean up the registry to help make your computer run a bit faster.

Many computer problems are caused by the Windows Registry. Registry problems can occur when references to an uninstalled program are not deleted, missing or corrupt drivers and so on.

Eusing Free Registry Cleaner will scan your Windows registry for faulty information and provide a list of the errors found. After fixing the invalid entries, your system should become faster and more stable. A neat feature that Eusing has is the automatic backup of the registry so if anything does go wrong, you can restore it instantly.

Eusing Registry cleaner

Eusing Registry Cleaner

To download the registry cleaner, click this link here

all in all, this cleaner is a reliable bit of software.
Overall Grade: 8/10

Ok, so you’ve just wallpapered your living room to make a feature wall and you now want to make a little picture frame for the opposite side of the room. This is an easy task and you only need a few bits to do it with.

What you will need:

  • length of wood (size doesn’t matter, but take into consideration that it has to go onto the wall so you don’t want a huge piece)
  • saw (if you have a mitre saw, this would be better for the angles)
  • mitre block if you don’t have a mitre saw
  • staple gun
  • wallpaper
  • wood glue
  • scissors
  • string

 

Step 1

Cut your lengths of wood into 4 of the same size, in my example I cut them to 36cm.

Step 2

Using a mitre block or mitre saw, cut 45 degree angles on the wood you’ve just cut like the picture below. (click to make bigger)

You need to make sure that when you cut your angles, they are cut the same way as shown on the picture, otherwise when you try to put them together, you won’t get a perfect square.

Step 3

Using the wood glue, put some glue  around the corners of the joins to help stick them together, then use the staple gun to staple the joins together (this will help people stick the glue together without having to hold it for 24hrs If you have the corner clamps, use those instead.)

Check the picture below to see the blue drawings of where the staples need to be put.  (I would also advise you to staple both sides).

Let the wood glue dry for 24hrs…

Step 4

Now that the wood glue has dried, get your wallpaper, put it over the top of the frame and decide on where you want it to go on the frame (this is if you have patterns on the wallpaper) Once you are happy with the location of the wallpaper on the frame, push the corners down to keep them as stretched as best as possible.

Once this has been done, flip the frame over (with the wallpaper on the floor) so that you can staple the wallpaper to the back. (see picture).

Step 5

Staple some string onto the back of the wallpaper frame. Flip the frame back over and now admire your work!


 

 

Here is a picture of the finished product 🙂


Making a picture frame from spare wood and left over wallpaper

To let you know this blog will be about the business version of Kaspersky, there are only a couple differences between Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 and the business version, the main one being that you can so bulk admin commands to all the workstations.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 6.0 contains all the usual protections found in its rivals with the exception of data backup provision. So you’ll find antivirus protection for files, email, web browsing, applications and processes.

You also get a bi-directional firewall, anti-DOS protection, anti-spam as well as anti-phishing and banner ad blocking. So a pretty hefty rig.

Under the protection option we have a few options to look at, here are a few of the features we see under the headings.

■ Protection for email. Kaspersky Anti-Virus will scan e-mail traffic for viruses according to the protocol via which it is sent (POP3, IMAP and NNTP for incoming mail and SMTP for outgoing mail) on any mail client, while plug-ins and treatment for viruses in MS Outlook.
■ Scanning of Internet traffic. All HTTP Internet traffic is scanned for viruses in real-time, ensuring that infected objects are not saved to the computer’s hard disk.
■ Protection for file systems. Individual files, catalogues and disks can be designated for antivirus scanning. Users can limit antivirus scanning to critical areas of the operating system and startup objects to ensure that attention is focused on the most vulnerable areas of the system.
■ Control over changes in the file system. With Kaspersky Anti-Virus it is possible to compile lists of applications, the component structure of which will be controlled, thus helping to prevent malicious programs from undermining the integrity of the application.
■ Monitors processes in the memory. The product monitors the activity of programs and processes that have been launched in the computer’s memory and, at the same time, warns users of any dangerous, suspicious or hidden processes (that is, rootkits), and of unauthorized changes in routine processes.
■ Monitors changes in the operating system registry. The application controls the status of the system registry and notifies users of any suspicious objects or attempts to create hidden keys in the registry.
■ Blocks dangerous macros. Proactive protection affords control over the operation of macros based on Visual Basic for Applications in Microsoft Office documents and blocks dangerous macro-commands from being executed.
■ System restore. The system can be restored after malicious activity. Kaspersky Anti-Virus can roll back any changes made to the system by malicious programs.

So now that we know a little bit about the AV, how easy is it to use? what can we expect from it?

Ease of use? – The install itself was painless, it was literally a couple “next” clicks and then finish. To navigate around the software was very simple.  Its very simple to do a full scan or a quick scan (Full scan scans “System memory, startup objects, system backup storage, mailboxes (assuming you have a client based one setup), All hard drives, All removable drives, All network drives (not checked by default if you have no mapped drives) and the quick scan just scans system memory, startup objects and boot sectors.)

You can setup a scheduled scan time so that really, you don’t have to do anything with it. It automatically updates itself and really doesn’t bother you too much.

The only thing I didn’t like about it was the exclusions. I found that it blocked a lot of the games that I played which was a pain! I had to pause the protection and manually.

Another good thing that’s worth mentioning is that the memory usage is on average 17k at all times, even during scans.

Summary:

A very good virus scanner, possibly my favourite one so far, the price is very nice at £30 for a year, free support from the nice people at Kaspersky labs.

If you’re not a gamer and want a nice user and graphically friendly virus scanner, this is the one to choose.

Rating:

Ease of use: 8/10

Price: 9/10

Memory usage: 8/10 (doesn’t use much)

Overall Rating: 8/10

Ok so the other day I stupidly deleted all the pictures off my Nokia N95 via lifeblog. In what mind would Nokia be so stupid enough not to tell us that if you deleted anything from lifeblog it would delete it from the phone entirely!?!?!!? URGH! Anyway after loosing about 700 odd pictures and cursing like a chav I decided to try to recover them.

Upon searching our great friend Google I found a pretty good solution called DRW.

I downloaded the demo and found that it was really helpful and was able to get most of my files back. This in turn made me quite a bit happier.

With its easy to use interface you can easily select the area you want to try and get restored.

Don’t get me wrong, I can’t guarantee that this will restore every photo (only because it didn’t do it to mine) but I managed to get back about 75% of them. The software costs around £40 (depending on the rates for GBP and USD)

Aion has been in design since 2006. Now that its been released what is it really like?

aion logo

Aion is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Roll-Playing Game) released by the game creators NCSoft.  The game combines PvE & PvP (Player vs Environment and Player vs Player).

Plot:

(Taken from the offical website)

In the beginning, Aion benevolently watched over his world Atreia. He created the humans, and the Balaur to safeguard and watch over them. Eventually, the Balaur became obsessed with power and subjugation. They attacked and destroyed anything that would not yield to them, and they began to set their sights on humans. Five of the Balaur rose to a height of strength above the rest, and became known as the five Dragon Lords. When Aion refused to grant them the power they desired, the power to rival his own, they revolted and declared war on the god that created them. Aion’s hand was forced, and he created the twelve Empyrean Lords, beings of divinity and power to protect the Tower of Eternity, the center of the world and the source of Aion’s power and all Aether in the world. The Empyrean lords formed a barrier that made the land around the tower a safe haven, and people began to populate it and recreate their civilization.

Some humans ‘ascended’ to become Daeva and, like the Empyrean Lords, had wings and the ability to fight the Balaur. With time, enough Daevas rose to form an army. The Empyrean Lords would lead the Daeva into battle and fight ceaselessly. Eventually Israphel, one of the Empyrean Lords and also one of the two designated Tower Guardians, suggested peace. Ariel agreed, suggesting that if Israphel could overcome his hatred for the Balaur, they all could. Five of the Empyrean Lords, led by Azphel, vehemently disagreed. They considered peace foolish and a sacrilege to the honored dead. However, the second guardian of the tower, Siel, was swayed to peace and her decision sealed the argument. The five Dragon Lords were invited inside the barrier for peace talks. Before the peace-talks could begin, someone attacked and slew one of the Dragon Lords. This was when the Balaur charged the tower and destroyed it; the resulting cataclysm broke Atreia in half. The two Guardians of the Tower, Israphel and Siel, frantically moved to opposite ends of the tower, alongside the other Empyrean Lords and Daevas. They sacrificed their life energy to ensure the ends of the world would not separate into space. Of the original twelve, ten Empyrean Lords survived. Five who had opposed peace and claimed that the weakness of the rest of the lords had allowed the Balaur to attack them reigned over the dark part of the world, becoming known as the Shedim Lords. The other five reigned over the light-covered bottom part of Atreia and claim that it was the Shedim Lords’ actions that caused the breaking of the tower. They are known as the Seraphim Lords.

Those that lived in the light part of the world, the Elyos, saw little change. These followers of the Seraphim Lords created the city of Sanctum. The inhabitants of the upper part, the Asmodians, saw many changes. Having to fight against beasts, their hands became claw-like, their feet became talons. The darkness made their complexion deepen, and their eyes grew red adapting to the absence of light. They live in the city of Pandaemonium under the rule of the Shedim Lords.

Players begin the game as human inhabitants of their chosen world (Elysea or Asmodae) who have suffered significant memory loss. Through attempting to retrieve their lost past and completing other tasks along the way, they ‘ascend’ as winged, immortal Daevas. After this has happened, the characters travel their respective capital cities to begin their lives as holy servants of their respective people. The worlds are almost completely separate until a player enters the abyss. The story and tone of the game differ greatly between the worlds, as do the landscapes and characters one encounters; however the basic linear progression is the same.

Gameplay:

assassinLike with all MMORPG’s you get a lot of character customisation. Once logged into Aion you can customise your entire character such as height, weight, body parts etc. Different skin colours, facial looks, hair colours and styles, nose, ears, eyes the list just goes on.

Once ingame you are able to take up various professions so that you can create equipment. There are 6 crafting professions, Alchemy, Cooking, Tailoring, Handicrafting, Weaponsmithing and Armoursmithing) and 2 extracting professions (which you automatically learn).

Many of the skills acquired as characters progress may only be performed in a certain order, or chain. Generally the skills located farther along in the chain are more powerful then those at the beginning, or those that have no prerequisite.

The PVP system is a very big part in Aion, competeing in the Abyss area will give you Abyss points. This lets the game rank players as battles are won against other players. The higher the rank of the player the different the characters wings will look (and get various name titles). After a certain amount of points you can also get purchased items such as armours and weapons.

Classes:

There are 4 main classes and within that 8 sub classes. Players start off picking one of the main classes (Warrior, Mage, Scout, Priest) and after hitting level 9 you must pick from 2 sub classes. Here is a list of the classes/subclasses.

Warrior – Templar or Gladiator

Mages – Sorcerer or Spirit Master

Scouts – Assassin or Ranger

Priests – Cleric or Chanter

assassin fighting mobs

Quests:

There are three main types of quests, going in the most boring order first here they are: Work orders, Ordinary quests and Campaign quests.

Work orders are used to increase a skill in a profession

Ordinary quests require the player to complete some form of task to receive a reward

Campaign quests (my favourite) are focused on Aion’s story and are crucial for the player to progress through the game you will find that some of the quests are repeatable but not abandable.

Leveling:

Personally I’m a complete grind whore, I love to spend the time and level up the character through hours of hard leveling. Aion does have that feeling sometimes but there are so many quests, you will find it is much easier to level up that way. (tip: Get as many quests as you can, complete them and then sign them off, don’t get a quest, complete, sign off, get, complete, sign off etc. This will take forever to level!)

Conclusion:

This is a well balanced game with many many features and cool things to do. If it wasn’t £8.99 to play per month, I would be more likely to carry on playing it.

Game play: 8/10

Funness: 7/10

Graphics 9.5/10

Storyline: 8/10

Price: 3/10

Overall Rating: 7/10.