Tech & Gaming
Computer Shopper

Computer Shopper May 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
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

THE BIRTH OF social media means we’re all much better informed nowadays, about everything from events on the other side of the globe to the local church fête. This is a mixed blessing, as it also means we hear a lot more about the bad things going on in the world at large, and our own backyards. I’m a member of my town’s Facebook community page, and several times a week I’m warned about burglars or car thieves attempting a break-in just around the corner from my house. The official stats show that burglary and car crime have indeed both risen in recent years – but I’m more affected by the reports from my neighbours of specific incidents going on right now, than generic figures based on last year’s data. With that in…

2 min.
star letter

Back to Basic Further to the interesting BBC Micro article (Retro, Shopper 361), BBC Basic was sophisticated for the time, with procedures, functions, indirection operators, long variable names and Repeat…Until loops. It gave extensive access to the operating system and an in-line assembler, which ran code directly from Basic CALLs. More importantly, it lives on, in a much-enhanced form running on PCs as BBC Basic for Windows. It now uses all the Windows graphics modes, with 24-bit colour, links to the Windows API, libraries, hardware interfacing, a comprehensive help window and sets of examples. It can even compile code to an EXE file. Line numbers are optional; for example, only for legacy GoTo/GoSubs, which can be recoded out anyway. It also offers IEE64 precision floating-point variables. Like the original Basic, it starts up…

6 min.

Lightroom with a view I agree with much Ben Pitt has said about Adobe Lightroom being the best Raw workflow software around (Multimedia Expert, Shopper 362). However, there are many, like me, who use Lightroom/ Photoshop Elements but only as and when needed. A yearly subscription is simply far too expensive and unnecessary for our needs. Remaining with our own copies of Lightroom seems reasonable, providing Adobe continues to support the standalone version. If changing software is the preferred option, you recommend DxO PhotoLab, but note that it does not support layers. I suggest you look at ON1 Photo Raw 2018, which supports layers, interacts with Lightroom and Photoshop and can be used as a standalone or a plug-in. Hope it’s not too late for it to appear in your review. David Hall Thanks for the…

4 min.
caught in the net

Tech pioneer and all-round good egg letters@computershopper.co.uk ONCE UPON A time there was a First Secretary of State called Damian Green, who was a habitual naughty boy when it came to matters of expenses and pornography. He got the sack, but not because he got caught with his electronic pants down. He got sacked because he thought he could lie about how certain files got on to his computer and get away with it. When Damian Green and I formed our boyhood habits, data-streaming and downloads had yet to be invented, but we could nip to the newsagents and raid the top shelf for a copy of Razzle or Horse & Hound, and nobody would be any the wiser. And if we needed to dispose of our auto-erotic stash, we could simply flush…

4 min.
mine where you’re going

CYBER CRIMINALS ARE motivated by money. They’ll try any trick that can get them the most cash in the easiest way. The latest scam is to use your PC to start mining cryptocurrencies, earning the criminals coins at the expense of your computer’s processing power. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin work through a process called mining. With a cryptocurrency network, nodes (known as miners) verify all transactions, combining a series of them into a new block. As the verification process is processor-intensive and complex, this takes a lot of computational power. To motivate people to devote computing resources, cryptocurrency networks reward miners that create new blocks of transactions with coins. Typically, the trade-off is that the miners have to spend a lot of money on their rigs and face large electricity bills for the…

4 min.
rants & raves

Madeline Bennett RANTS VAR. WHOEVER KNEW that this combination of three simple letters could cause misery to thousands, and stand testament to why technology and sport shouldn’t always mix? As of 28th February, I certainly do. For the uninitiated, VAR stands for video assistant referee. For many years, technology has been creeping into the sports arena, mostly with positive results. The introduction of Hawk-Eye has meant quick and accurate decisions over whether the ball was in or out in tennis matches, and has given cricket umpires help with LBW decisions; data analytics has been hailed as the reason baseball team the Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series. One place that has remained relatively untouched by technology has been the football pitch, which still relies on good old-fashioned human insight and skill to…