Browsing the internet on a console can be a drag, particularly if you're lumped with using a control pad and the onscreen keyboard to fill in online forms or hammer out emails.
Fortunately, the PS3 actually supports standard keyboards and mice, which work brilliantly with the PS3's in-built browser and even some games, such as Unreal Tournament 3. Sony's system will even allow you to pair up Bluetooth keyboards and mice.
If you have wired devices simply plug them into the PS3's USB ports (or a USB hub connected to the PS3 if you're short on free ports). If you're using Bluetooth peripherals head to the Settings column, then select Accessory Settings and then Manage Bluetooth Devices and follow the onscreen instructions to pair the keyboard and mouse to your console.
Save files from the web
Copying videos, music and photos isn't the only way to save media permanently to your console - you can also save files directly from the web. See a link to an MP3 you fancy? Simply click on the link with the X button and the PS3 will automatically offer to save it directly into your Music folder, ready to be played at any time.
It's the same story with videos - so long as the PS3 recognises the format, such as AVI or MP4 it will give you the option to save it directly to the video folder. For images, hover the pointer over a picture, press the Triangle button and select File, then Save Image and you'll have the option to save out to the photo folder.
That's so Gaia
One of the PS3's most impressive in-built features is missed by many people. The Gaia visualisation is an option when playing music, and is a high definition 3D representation of the Earth, based on NASA's stunning Blue Marble photography.
Simply hit the Square button while playing an MP3 or CD to flick through the various visualisations on offer. Be advised that Gaia is best suited to dreamy ambient tunes rather than pumping dance or heavy rock.
Turn DVDs into HD
Another fact that many PS3 owners miss is that their sleek black console is actually one of the finest DVD players on the market. In this era of high definition content, DVDs can look awful when they're splashed across a large LCD or plasma screen, but the PS3 has the processing grunt to polish them up to near HD quality.
While watching a DVD through an HD display, press the Triangle button and choose the AV Settings button, you will then see options for frame, block and mosquito noise reduction, and also an option to perform a full upscale on DVD content.
Video saved to storage can also be run with frame and block noise reduction by tweaking the same menu options.
Set up a media server
If you have a computer loaded up with music, photos and video, but don't fancy holding duplicates on a PS3 hard drive that will take up valuable space for game installs, there's a solution. Set up media streaming across your network.
What you need on your computer is software that has DNLA server capabilities such as Windows Media Player 11 or Tversity (www.tversity.com). On your computer, set the software up to share the music, video and photo folders, then on the PS3, select the Search for Media Servers option under any of the Photo, Music or Video columns on the XMB.
You should see a new option on your XMB any time your computer is switched on, which acts as the gateway to streaming your media.
Use other webcams
You may assume that the only webcam compatible with the PS3's video chatting capabilities is Sony's Playstation Eye. In fact, most standard PC/Mac webcams are supported, and many camera enabled games, such as Rainbow Six Vegas 2, offer similar levels of compatibility.
You can even use the Xbox Live Vision camera from Microsoft's rival Xbox 360 console if you're feeling particularly rebellious, and if your chosen camera has a microphone, that'll appear as a voice input device for chatting as well.
Playstation store on PC
Sometimes it's simply not convenient to download items on the PS3 particularly when downloads might be interrupted by an online gaming session or video chat.
These days, though, the Playstation store is available on your PC or Mac and you're likely to find the interface and thumbnails load more quickly on your PC as well.
You sign in using your existing PSN account and can copy downloaded items using removable storage such as a USB drive or an SD card to transfer to your console.
Turn your PS3 into a PC
It's actually quite easy to turn your PS3 into a fully fledged PC, which is great for adding media and productivity flexibility to the piano black box beneath your TV. If you dig into the Settings, then System Settings menu you'll find an option to Install Other OS.
You'll need to back up the data that's currently stored on your PS3 hard drive to a USB device, but then by following some simple instructions you can download a copy of the operating system, burn it to a CD or DVD and then install it to your console's hard drive.
Access instant messaging
If you're a slave to Windows Live Messenger when you're online, but fancy browsing from the comfort of your sofa and television, Microsoft has a low profile version of Messenger available that is perfect for keeping in one of the PS3 browser's six available tabs as you trawl the web.
Simply head to http://mobile.live.com and select the Messenger option, then sign in as normal. Unfortunately, as yet there is no way to access Yahoo or AOL instant messaging networks via the PS3's browser.
Transfer classic PS1 games to PSP
You may have noticed that classic Playstation games such as Command and Conquer and Wipeout have begun appearing on the PS Store and that they can be saved to the PS3's hard drive. What you might not be aware of is that, if you have a large enough Memory Stick Pro Duo in your handheld, your purchase also gives you the right to transfer the game to a PSP registered with your PS3.
This means you can genuinely play the game either at home or away without needing internet access for Remote Play. Simply find the PS1 game in the game column of the XMB and press Triangle. You'll see the option to Copy, simply click it, connect your PSP via USB, then follow the on screen instructions.