Tech & Gaming
Computer Shopper

Computer Shopper February 2019

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.
welcome page

By the time you read this, it will be December (or possibly 2019, for any latecomers), and hopefully you’ll be filled with festive cheer, or at least a few mince pies and Quality Street. But as I sit writing this, I’m filled with anything but good tidings for my fellow man, as it happens to be my least favourite day of the year: Black Friday. A relatively new phenomenon in the UK, this day of pure, unbridled consumerism has appeared on our shores from across the pond. For our American cousins, Black Friday makes sense, falling as it does on the day after Thanksgiving. It’s their answer to Boxing Day, with its traditional post-Christmas sales. But here in the UK, Black Friday just seems an excuse for retailers to put pressure on us…

5 min.

@Old school I was surprised to read that children are expected to learn on Windows 7 machines, with most of them faulty (Rants & Raves, Shopper 370). That flies in the face of other reports that some schools are issuing students with expensive iPads or similar, a lot of which get broken or stolen. I didn’t have that problem at school; they seemed to find the cost of supplying us with paper notebooks a bit of a problem. I did find my old hymn book the other week. That gave the school good service for nine years, as the previous user started school in 1959. I wonder where Sandra J Nicholl is now. She certainly had better handwriting than me! Trevor Wainwright @Meet your Maker Regarding Paul Martin’s letter about databases (Letters, Shopper 371), many years…

2 min.
star letter

@IntrepidExplorer Computer Shopper publishing a Retro feature on Internet Explorer – now I do feel my three-score-plus years (Shopper 371). I remember Mosaic as my first web browser in the early days and moved to Netscape before being sucked into Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in the 1990s. Going back on my own Retro voyage, I started in operational roles in manufacturing and came to be involved with computers as a user providing input for the development of bespoke order processing, production and inventory systems on IBM mini computers in the 1970s and early 1980s. By this time, PCs with Lotus 1-2-3 were being used in finance and we began to use PCs as dumb terminals with the ability to access data on the IBM mini computers. The introduction of PCs was followed by our…

4 min.
worst responders

JOJO CALLS ME on the phone. I do not take the call. I really don’t want to talk to Jojo. I don’t want to talk to him for two good reasons: first, because he is the crazy-maker I met at a conference and was forced to share a table with; and second, because I am outside the crematorium waiting for a hearse to arrive. Ten minutes later, my phone vibrates to suggest I call Jojo back. Next it offers to help me out and dial his number for me. It then goes through a series of emotions ranging from sulky to offended to downright stroppy, as it keeps reminding me what to do and how it can help me do it. Jojo now sends me a Gmail communication, involving someone I do…

4 min.
fake news

I’VE SAID IT before, and I’ll say it again: hacks are all about making money. We’ve seen cyber criminals target users directly with the likes of cryptolockers, and we’ve seen them infest people’s computers, making them part of a botnet for rent. Now there’s a new trick on the horizon: fake Twitter messages and accounts designed to extort money from you, usually in the form of cryptocurrency. WRONG PROFILE The first thrust of this new type of attack came from fake profiles. For example, someone would copy Elon Musk’s profile, but subtly change the letters around: @elonmsuk, for example. With the same profile picture and description, these fake profiles look real enough at a cursory glance. Next, the criminal would reply to a thread by the real account, but use their message to promote…

4 min.
rants & raves

Madeline Bennett RANTS THE OLD ADAGE used to be, ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’. But thanks to smartphones, we’ve moved beyond the pen to become a race of touchscreen swipers. We now spend so much time tapping away at our phone and tablet screens, and so little time using our hands for practical skills like writing, we are losing the ability to perform certain tasks. The gravity of the situation has been recently highlighted by the professor of surgical education at Imperial College, London, the perfectly named Roger Kneebone. He has been warning that young people have so little experience of craft skills that they struggle with anything practical, leaving them unable to do core medical tasks such as sewing up patients. “We are talking about the ability to do things with…