Tech & Gaming
Computer Shopper

Computer Shopper August 2017

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
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

THIS MONTH we’re focusing on the streaming service Kodi, with a complete guide on setting up the software, how to get it working with different devices and – most importantly – how to use it legally (see page 96). If the Kodi movement has so far passed you by, the tool has managed to get itself a bad reputation as it’s mostly associated with illegal downloads of popular content. Carry out a web search for ‘Kodi’, and the auto-complete suggestions include ‘Sky Sports’, ‘Premier League’ and ‘Game of Thrones’. Game of Thrones has the dubious honour of holding the title of most illegally downloaded show for the past five years, no doubt partly in thanks to viewers being able to access it through dodgy Kodi add-ons. Initially, HBO, which makes the phenomenally…

1 min.
question of the month

Madeline Bennett “The mobile phone. Mainly for my terrible time-keeping, so I can always pre-warn people I’m running late – again” David Ludlow “The Nintendo Gameboy: the first time games truly became portable” Nathan Spendelow “The selfie stick. Just kidding: USB-C connectivity, of course” James Archer “The Shopper test PC, which also deserves the tech equivalent of a Purple Heart” Dave Neal “The microchip. In fact, all chips. See also crisps” Roland Moore-Colyer “GPS: without it I would be left huddled in some dark corner of London or New York” Simon Handby “Noise-cancelling headphones: turn on, tune out, drop off”…

7 min.

letters@computershopper.co.uk Ransomware’s the catch? We had some work done on our household electricity supply. In spite of the UPS, my desktop computer developed a bootup fault: error code Oxc000014c. After trying lots of different methods to fix the problem, I resorted to System Restore. Much to my surprise, it worked: I now have my desktop working as before. My question is: would this process get around ransomware, as you would be restoring the system to the state it was in before the installation of the malicious software? If this idea is worth a fortune, cash please – not bitcoins. Chris Adam System Restore works by taking a backup of certain system files and settings, rather than a wholesale backup of your computer. So if you were to get a ransomware infection, System Restore would only…

4 min.
name of the dame

THE PHONE THROBS in my pocket, its high-pitched ringtone wakes the dog. I answer warily, “Hello?” A jolly American voice is on the other end. Of the phone, not the dog. “Hi there, this is Mel Magazine in Los Angeles. Can I speak with Mel Croucher please?” I am still wary. “Did you say Mel Magazine?” “Ha, ha! Yes. We’re called Mel. Is Mel there? We’d like to do an interview. We’re interviewing all the famous Mels in the world.” I am flattered, before I realise the list of famous Mels is a very short one, and I must be in the lower depths. I put a smile in my voice, “Well hello to you too. This is Mel speaking.” There is a pause. “Huh? Mel Croucher, computers and stuff?” There is another pause as I…

4 min.
stop ransomware

I CAN’T POSSIBLY write this column about any other subject than ransomware, following the recent attack on the NHS. That particular episode is covered in depth in News (see page 14), so I want to talk about how this kind of attack can be prevented or, at the least, the damage mitigated. Malware has long been designed to make its creators money, but ransomware is in many ways the peak evolution of this use. By encrypting user documents, ransomware extracts money directly from the infected. It’s easy to see why so many people pay up. For starters, an infection can’t simply be removed, as with other types of malware. Doing so may prevent further files being compromised, but it doesn’t bring back any of the encrypted files. The only solution in this…

3 min.
rants & raves

David Neal RANTS HERE’S A THING. It is up to us to decide whether or not we want to write a rant or a rave for the magazine, and this month I had settled myself down nicely to write a nice little rave about a lovely thing. I had a pot of tea, put some smooth jazz on and opened a fresh packet of biscuits. I was in full-on praise mode. That was until I began the task and sodding Cortana reared its head, intruded on what I was doing, and changed my mind and subject for me. This, then, is now a rant about Microsoft’s very own voice-activated personal assistant and why I don’t seem to be able to stop it from always – and I mean always – popping up just…