Stories by Michael Burns

Autodesk Maya 2009

Maya celebrates its tenth anniversary with the 2009 release, an event marked by enhancements across the board. Although some of these have popped up in other Autodesk tools before now.

Caligari trueSpace 7.6

Recently released for free following the takeover of developer Caligari by Microsoft, trueSpace is a fully featured 3D application. Although it has an unorthodox look and feel, it offers hundreds of tools, animation facilities and physics simulations...

Corel Designer Technical Suite X4

With the addition of the X4 tag, Corel has moved Designer further away from the 2-D technical drawing market towards the 3-D CAD space. Not that Designer can now create 3-D models, but the addition into this suite of Right Hemisphere’s Deep Explorati...

DX Studio 3.0

DX Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) aimed at users building real-time 3D interactive applications, simulations or games, as well as multimedia presentations, kiosks and Web sites. Its 3D engine is based on Microsoft’s DirectX 9.0...

Softimage|XSI 7

The standout new feature of 3D modelling, animation and rendering application XSI 7 is a visual programming environment, ICE (Interactive Creative Environment). This opens up the application to more than shader writers and effects teams with scriptin...

Strata 3D[in]

Strata’s 3D[in] plug-ins, Design 3D[in], Foto 3D[in] and Live 3D[in], slot neatly into Photoshop Extended CS3’s 3-D features. We’ll concentrate here on Design 3D[in], which offers a well-featured 3-D authoring environment with transformation and mode...

Cinema 4D R11

The latest version of Maxon’s mid-range 3-D suite adds tools that will appeal to its users across design, VFX and animation markets. The software is based around a core application, which can be expanded by a series of add-on modules including Advanc...

3D Toolbox

Microspot 3D Toolbox is a bit of a curiosity: it's a truly modular 3-D application.

Adobe Director 11

Director has been notable by its absence in the successive Master Collections, so it's refreshing to see this old stalwart of the multimedia-authoring brigade decked out in Adobe's new livery.

Poser Pro

Now owned by Smith Micro, Poser Pro is built on the Poser 7 character-animation solution and comes with that version's Generation 2 family of fully rigged figures, SydneyG2 and SimonG2.

Microsoft Expression Web 2

Expression Web 2 continues the design-led approach of Blend, offering a well-sized Design view for working with images and text

Microsoft Expression Blend 2

Microsoft's Blend is the heart of Expression Studio, the company's suite of tools that allow designers to create rich Internet applications and user interfaces with Microsoft.NET technologies

Microsoft Expression Encoder 2

Expression Encoder is a new addition to the Expression suite, a scalable encoding solution for producing and distributing VC-1 encoded video wrapped in a Silverlight container.

FxFactory Pro 2

FxFactory Pro 2 is a collection of filters, generators and transitions for Apple's Final Cut Pro, Motion and Final Cut Express, offering 122 effects, including 52 new plug-ins.

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

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Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

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Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

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Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

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Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

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Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

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Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

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Budget

Back To Business Guide

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Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

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