Geeks Guide2 Christmas 2010 - Part III
Vegas, Apps, Vader and Cheese
Welcome to the third part of our trilogy of Christmas goodies. This week we’ll expose the best smartphone Apps on the market and visit the origins of Monkey Island, before arriving at the Mojave Wasteland. Oh and there’s some cheese thrown in too.
If you’re like me, the chances are that your downloaded apps are mostly bestsellers. There are hundreds of hidden gems waiting to be found, but rarely do I have the time to browse through the thousands of titles available. When I do, my time is usually spent using the apps I have rather than browsing for another.
Best Android Apps and Best iPhone Apps are an excellent complement to any Android or iPhone gift this Christmas. Both books take the pain out of browsing either the Android Market or App Store, offering over 200 top-dog apps from a range of categories. These include Best Games, Best Business Apps, Best Reference Apps and the Best of the Best.
Each entry is listed with a description and details highlighting the app’s valuable tips and special features. These are accompanied by full-colour screenshots and an ever handy QR Code index. Prices are also included, but I find these of little use as app prices vary on a daily basis.
From just £9.30, either book is a cracking stocking filler for any smartphone addict.
Digital distribution and the advent of apps have seen the revival of some classic gaming adventures. Whether it’s treasure-hunting with our favourite hapless pirate Guybrush, whipping up a storm with Jones, or busting crooks with Sam & Max, Lucasarts has been playing with our imagination for the best part of 30 years.
Rogue Leaders invites us on another adventure, this time down memory lane. Introduced by George Lucas, Rogue Leaders is the epic tale of Lucasarts and its band of passionate visionaries. Documenting the happenings from 1982 to the present day, there are new and previously unpublished interviews all beautifully presented and illustrated with more than 300 pieces of concept art, and additional pieces from more than ten previously unpublished games.
From Lucasfilm Games to Telltale Games, from Maniac Mansion to Grim Fandango and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Not forgetting the infamous Stump Joke! Rogue Leaders offers up over 250 pages of unrivalled nostalgic pleasure that is highly recommended for gamers old and new.
While Lucasarts was indeed the star pupil of yesteryear, Bethesda’s Fallout series has become a modern classic. After the resounding success of Fallout 3, the latest instalment, Fallout New Vegas, was released in October for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
If your trusty PIP-Boy isn’t enough, then Fallout New Vegas – Official Game Guide can support you through your wasteland adventure. Split into six categories, it offers you detailed training tips, factions & bestiary statistics, the full lowdown on wasteland guns and gear, a full walkthrough of the main quests and side quests, and a full-on tour of the Mojave Wasteland.
Each of the 440 plus pages are excellently organised and illustrated with handy screenshots and illustrations to help you on your way. It also comes complete with a super handy and intricately detailed poster map showing all the primary locations and dozens more secondary areas.
At Christmas the amateur photographers come out to play. DSLRs abound and classy black and whites become the norm once again. Last week we covered how to achieve some great shots from some of the more popular cameras this winter. Today we look at how to perfect your snaps beyond the basics.
Perfect Exposure is Michael Freeman’s lucid and accessible guide to exposure, the deceptively simple concept at the very heart of photography. Using unique workflow illustrations, histograms and clear, visual examples, Michael helps you explore the subtleties of the subject and helps you shoot with confidence.
Visually packed from page to page, there is a solution for every exposure situation, each refined and pulling from Michael’s years of expertise. There is also a handy Web-linked" feature that allows you to quickly and easily display images from the book on your computer for further examination.
And now for something completely different...
The World Cheese Book is the ultimate cheese lover’s encyclopaedia. Written by local cheese specialists from around the world, there are over 750 cheeses documented, each with revealing and mouth-watering close-ups for you to digest.
World famous cheeses are joined with those from less well-known regions. You’ll get to read about the farmers and producers, how the cheeses are made, and what they taste like. Finally, for each cheese, you’re given recommendations on how best to eat it.
It’s not perhaps everyone’s cup of tea. But for those whose life just wouldn’t be complete without a little tender love and cheese, the World Cheese Book offers a hardback Christmas bargain at £10.18.
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