Tech & Gaming
Computer Shopper

Computer Shopper April 2018

Computer Shopper is the essential monthly magazine that allows you to stay abreast of the latest news and releases in the world of technology. With more reviews, hands-on guides and features than any other tech monthly, you’ll be better informed by reading Computer Shopper.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
Read More
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

THE YEAR BEGAN on a sad note at Shopper HQ, as our news editor Dave Neal passed away on 3rd January, aged 43, after a long and incredibly brave battle with cancer. Dave was diagnosed with medullary thyroid carcinoma at the age of just 31. Despite receiving this worst of news at such a young age, he carried on living life to the full, working full-time from home, taking trips abroad, getting married, and keeping us all entertained with his wonderful wit. Dave began working on Computer Shopper back in 2012, writing his monthly Byte Back column; he then took on the role of news editor in March 2016, and was also a daily news reporter on The Inquirer website. Despite regular hospital visits, and various (often gruelling) treatments and operations, he…

2 min.
star letter

DS I love you In your review of the Synology DiskStation DS418 (Shopper 361), you mention that you’ve harped on about the brilliance of DiskStation Manager and the strength of Package Manager, which lets you add new features such as a Google Docs rival and automated backup. I agree. I’ve been a Synology user since 2011 when my first DiskStation – a venerable DS411j – provided the music library for my Sonos system. A few upgrades later my DS916+ has taken over those tasks and I am running Photo Station, Drive, Office, WordPress, Mail Plus and toying with Moments. The DS411j now serves as a backup target. Judging by the membership of a great Facebook group I belong to, Synology users fall into two groups: IT professionals who install and support Synology’s products…

6 min.

letters@computershopper.co.uk Mini super When I saw talk of mini computers on the front cover (Shopper 360), I was taken back to the likes of Digital Equipment Corporation’s machines, like the PDP range and others of this vintage. The name now seems to be being reused to describe machines like the Raspberry Pi. My background was in large-scale supercomputer mainframes with mini computers from makers such as DEC acting as secondary machines for doing anything from graphics to wide-area communications. This somewhat predated the wide-scale arrival of PCs, which eventually displaced those in-the-middle mini computers. Any long-in-the-tooth people could probably fill you in with regard to the original scope of this term. For learning coding and becoming aware of it, might I suggest another route: Donald Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming volumes, along with…

4 min.
a bit of bother for the taxman

MEL CROUCHER Tech pioneer and all-round good egg letters@computershopper.co.uk I HAVE SOME confessions to make. I confess that I like to complete my annual tax return early. And I also confess that I like to pay exactly £5 extra tax a year in preparation for my next encounter with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Inspector. I still cherish the memory of the Inspector’s crumpled face the last time my tax return was investigated. It was the moment he realised he’d been snookered, and was forced to admit I was not the international tax evader he suspected but just some joker who was due a tax rebate. The reason I like paying tax is because it affirms I am still alive, still solvent and still contributing to the wellbeing of the nation. Without taxes from…

4 min.
contact killer

CONTACTLESS CARDS HAVE transformed the way that we pay for goods or use some transport systems, such as the London Underground. By just tapping a card on a compatible reader, payments of up to £30 are taken automatically without needing a PIN. That kind of convenience can make it far quicker to pay for things, but there’s also a security risk associated with this kind of payment. You should check your credit card statements carefully each month for any unauthorised payments SCANNER SCAMMERS There has been a lot of information about the threat of contactless scammers, using handheld scanners to read your card details automatically and charge small amounts of money. In practice, there’s little evidence that this kind of crime is large scale. There are a few barriers to this type of…

4 min.
rants & raves

James Archer RAVES THE ‘COMMUNITY’ ASPECT of online gaming has a reputation – often deserved – for hostility, sometimes to the extent that using ‘community’ to describe a game’s player base is less accurate than ‘gaggle of screaming children and adults who should know better.’ One obvious solution is to play with friends, something I’ve rediscovered this month after a period of running solo. Protected from toxic elements by a barrier of pre-existing camaraderie, I’ve been enjoying my time online with a vigour I hadn’t felt for ages. Part of this is our current game of choice, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which rewards teamwork more than most. Yet the best aspect isn’t the ability to minimise exposure to strangers – it’s the pleasure of heading out on an adventure with some mates. Like any good adventure,…