James Branch

I started my I.T. life back in 1987 with a Commodore 64, swiftly moving to the Amiga 500 and 1200, but got my first (What I could call 'real') PC in 1991.... a Packard Bell 486 DX running Windows 3.1 and from then on, I was hooked! I've been working in the I.T. sector in the U.K. for over 10 years now. My career started as a junior technician for Sage Software (Working in house as part of the I.T. tech teams, not developing their software as such) repairing PC's and doing the boring jobs that nobody really wanted or could be bothered to do! It was my first taste of work in the I.T. sector since leaving college (Where I studied I.T. and Business believe it or not!) so as far as I was concerned, I had the best job in the world! After a couple of years I left Sage as a Desktop Support Engineer and worked for a number of I.T. companies, with most of my concentration and dedication being aimed at PC, Server and Network support/design. I'm currently working as part of a two man I.T. support team, so tend to get my hands dirty with not only network design and support, PC & Server repair/maintenance, but I also maintain VoIP telephone systems, have mastered Sharepoint (MOSS/WSS Design, Document Library and Workflows), setup Virtual Servers using VMWare & MS Virtual Server, systems administration, Unix maintenance, and I like to dabble in SQL now and again.... just for my sins! :) I tend not to go very far without my iPod shuffle and can't live without my Blackberry 8820 - it's like an extension to my right (or even left!) hand! As you can probably gather, I'm also addicted to gadgets.... I have quite an impressive collection of toys now, which seem to take up too much space at home! I've gone through more digital cameras that I care to think of, had far too many Palms, games consoles, smart phones and an impressive of collection of PC's and laptops! Not a bad thing though, I think anyway!! My wife might think otherwise! :) When I'm not playing with gadgets or on the internet, I'm spending time with my gorgeous wife and three kids (All boys!) who'll no doubt grow up to be gadget freaks too, I hope! :) You can always find me checking e-mail, Twittering or mooching around Facebook, or indeed finding the next gadget(s) to review! James

Swiggies Water Bottle Review

Last month, I came across a Twitter user who was sharing details about a new type of water bottle, designed to be used during any type of activity, whether it be walking, running, horse riding, fishing or even if you’re hospitalised! They’re called Swiggies and are bottles that you wear on your wrists.  I was quite intrigued to …

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Solar Powered Charging Case Review

As more and more new electronic gadgets are developed, the need to keep them charged and ready to use is becoming an even greater challenge.  When we’re at home, it’s quite straight forward, as many of us choose to power our gadgets via the computer, or direct from the electricity supply.   

A water bottle for the 21st Century!

As a long distance runner, I always take a drink out with me when running, especially as I know that I should be well hydrated before, during and afterwards.  I’ve tried many different types of drinks bottles, from straight forward sports bottles, to the more specially designed running varieties.  However, regardless of which bottle I use, after a …

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SmallTalk Mini Bluetooth Headset Review

Since Bluetooth was developed way back in 1994, its specifications have changed dramatically, and so have the devices that utilize it. However, in my opinion, the vast majority of people who use mobile phones still prefer not to use Bluetooth headsets, even though their ease is quite straight forward.  People that I’ve spoken too in the past have always …

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New Panasonic Lumix cameras priced up and coming next month

Back in March, Panasonic announced two new cameras – the Lumix G2 and G10. The latest additions will both feature a 12.1 megapixel sensor, a three-inch LCD touchscreen and will both be capable of recording HD video in 1280 x 720p at 30 fps.  They will also come packing an interchangeable 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 lens, plus a  host of other glorious, …

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Latest walkman from Sony is great for fitness fans

Sony has recently revealed a brand new style of Walkman music player.  Worn like a neckband, it’s been specially designed for the fitness fans amongst us, so that when you’re working out, there are no cables for you to get wrapped up in!   The player, which looks like a Bluetooth headset, is worn around the neck …

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Choose your favourite iPad position with the BookArc

Twelve South, the designers that brought you the BookArc MacBook stand (as posted by Andy Jacobs back in 2009) now introduce the BookArc for iPad. It’s designed exclusively for the iPad and allows hands-free use, with four different viewing positions.  The BookArc is a beautiful slice of heavy gauge steel that provides a perfect perch for your …

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Handcrafted splendour for your iPad

The masters at Versaudio have created a wonderful wooden case, if you ever fancy using your beloved iPad as a part-time picture frame. It’s a stunning masterpiece, hand-crafted from solid woods and bamboo, reinforced with steel in order to provide extra strength.   There are also openings for the connections and it’s top loading slip-case design is …

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Find a Wi-Fi network with ease

With more people accessing the internet on the move these days, there are many (normally free) wi-fi hotspots popping up all the time.  So, without too much trouble you can now check your e-mail in a cafe, logon to your corporate VPN from a hotel lobby, or even check out the latest news on The Gadgeteer when you’re waiting to board your …

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Shoot videos with the world’s smallest digital camera

Veho are the creators of some of the smallest digital cameras you can get.  And, to show just how small they can make them, they’ve recently introduced the latest of the Muvi digital video camera range, the Atom. Based on it’s bigger brother, the Muvi Micro, the Atom is much smaller, measuring just 4cm x 2cm x 2cm.  …

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Just Mobile Aluminium Cooling Bar Review

The guys at Just Mobile have managed to design some rather awesome looking and interesting accessories recently.  From multi-functional, gravity controlled pens to aluminum mouse pads and from iPhone stands, to full size MacBook holders, their designs are striking, intriguing and classy. My appreciation for their design technique and craftsmanship was made even stronger when GearZap kindly sent the Aluminum Cooling Bar to …

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Swim with the fishes with a Bladefish Seajet

If you’re lucky enough to be jetting off to a hot country this year for your holiday and you enjoy snorkelling or scuba diving, then you’ll need one of these. UK company Bladefish have come up with the SeaJet, a powerful, compact, lightweight and very manoeuvrable sea scooter.  They’re easy to operate and weigh just 4.7kg.  There are …

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New budget Garmin Forerunner unveiled

The brand new Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS watch, designed primarily for joggers has recently been unveiled.  It’s sleak, small and packed to the hilt with features.  Garmin have also said it will be priced reasonably too. The 110 Forerunner will be Garmin’s latest entry-level watch however, don’t be fooled as just because it’ll be its cheapest model, it’ll still pack a punch when it comes to fetaures.   Firstly, …

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Latest release from Victorinox is now un-hackable!

Victorinox have released a few USB / Swiss Army Knives in the past, but there latest version, the Secure Pro is (according to the company anyway) ‘un-hackable’ and looks like a real gadget geeks dream!   The company actually offered a prize of £100,000 to the first professional hacker who could crack the drive.  Nobody could manage …

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