Computer Shopper March 2020

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
Back issues only
12 期号


welcome page

As I sit and write this, it’s just a few days before Christmas, and just over a week away until the end of another decade. Whatever the 2020s bring us, one thing is for sure: technology will be at the heart of it. I’m not referring to the oft-repeated predictions for the future – I don’t think we’ll all be zipping around in flying cars (or even self-propelled Hyperloop transportation pods going at over 700mph – sorry, Elon Musk); nor am I thinking of all our homes being staffed by a team of robots, doing the cleaning and folding the washing. Back in reality, it will be ever easier to access services and go about our daily lives thanks to technology advances. While currently that might be setting up a smart light…

star letter

Way back in 2010, I decided to replace my previous home-built PC with a new complete system. Based on a good Shopper review, I bought an Acer Aspire M7810 Desktop PC. With its 3.2GHz Intel i5-650 processor, two 640GB SATA drives, 4GB of RAM, 64-bit Windows 7 and an Nvidia GTS 250 graphics card, it was a much higher spec than I needed, but I wanted a future-proof system. After a while I added an old (2003!) Dell 17in VGA monitor as a second display using a VGA-to-DVI adaptor and this worked well alongside the DVI-connected Acer original. I also took advantage of the cheap upgrade to Windows 10 when it was offered. The system was initially excellent, but in recent years the machine became much noisier. More annoyingly, the screens momentarily…

letters AmazingGrace Great article on Cobol from Kay Ewbank (Shopper 383). I read that Grace Marie Hopper helped develop the language in her belief that programming should not be limited to white coats. Another of her beliefs was that women are better programmers because they tend to finish the job. This, however, does not seem to be reflected in the industry today – or is it? Despite all the good that the likes of Grace (and Ada Lovelace) did, I don’t see a lot of women like Kay involved; I hope I’m wrong! James We heartily agree with those sentiments, James. As well as Kay, we’ve got a female editor, and here at Computer Shopper we keep a close eye on the trends around women in technology. Unfortunately, you’re correct in your view that there aren’t…

secrets of the underworld

Tech pioneer and all-round good egg IT’S BACKGAMMON NIGHT at the Hole in the Wall, and someone is missing. Old Monty is not propping up the bar, and I assume the worst. But when I ask around it seems that Monty is neither dead nor in jail, but sunning his arse in Miami Beach, which is more or less the same thing in my opinion. Anyway, it’s all thanks to Google’s Pixel 4 smartphone, and it involves a long story which I will now explain for you in concise and simple terms. Here goes. Old Monty used to work for IBM, until they fired him. Then he worked for BT, until they fired him. And finally he worked for the Bell-Fruit Gaming Corporation, who also fired him, but not before he slipped…

the bionic woman

Software guru and Shopper legend BACK IN THE 1970s, there was a popular TV series called The Six Million Dollar Man. It had a great opening sequence in which, following the test pilot hero’s plane crash, the government scientists decide that “we have the technology to rebuild this man”, which they proceeded to do using cybernetic parts that give him superhuman strength and speed. In each episode he’d perform amazing feats and save the day. It was great, and I wanted some bionic bits so I could be heroic, too. I’ve been waiting for medical science to catch up ever since, and it’s getting a bit urgent. For a start, right now I could do with some bionic leg muscles to make it a bit easier to stride up hills that have…

rants & raves

Roland Moore-Colyer RAVES WHEN APPLE LAUNCHED the iPad Pro a few years ago, it championed the idea that it was a tablet for getting stuff done without the need for a laptop, even its own MacBook. The folks at Cupertino cooked up an advert that had a teenager using an iPad Pro ask “What’s a computer?”, suggesting that the iPad Pro was so capable that you wouldn’t need a PC. But while the latest iPad Pro models are very impressive, they simply don’t have the functionality of a laptop or a desktop. And I’m saying this while writing on an iPad Mini. Apple seems to have realised this, releasing two major computers in 2019. The first, the MacBook Pro 16in (see page 26), is a 16in laptop with a lovely display, fantastic speakers…