Computer Shopper August 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

Since the start of the lockdown, many enterprising organisations have been finding ways to carry on offering their services, in a bid to recoup a portion of lost revenues and hopefully come out the other side of this pandemic. Our local dance school is one such outfit, and since week two, it has transferred its entire timetable on to Zoom. Every Monday evening, I log into my virtual tap class, and follow the lesson in my lounge rather than the church hall. Except for a few Mondays, when the lessons were scuppered by Virgin Media outages. These left our tap-dance teacher with such a poor internet connection we could only see her dance routine in either extreme slo-mo, or sped up to x50. If you’re one of the many thousands struggling with poor…

letters Sound advice The current issue of Computer Shopper(389) arrived through my letterbox the other day, and I found the section on improving TV sound very interesting. I have soundbar/subwoofer equipment connected to two of our TVs, and very good they are, too. However, my best TV sound system is connecting our large lounge TV to my hi-fi system. It is also the cheapest. You mentioned this option briefly, but I thought it might be useful to expand on external amplification. In the old days, TV sets usually had a pair of phono sound outputs, which made connecting to an analogue amplifier straightforward – and which I used for many years. Nowadays, the only connection I have seen for sound out on TVs is the Toslink digital optical connection, which requires a bit more…

games of chance

Tech pioneer and all-round good egg THIS PLACE IS neither a home nor a prison. It is some sort of institution. It drips a pallid 1980s atmosphere, and it makes me both afraid and excited. I am completely lost in a badly lit labyrinth of corridors. It feels as though I am being toyed with, and I want to leave. Of course I know the rules by now, and the most important rule of all is that I must keep my social distance of two arms-lengths and avoid physical contact with any other lost souls who wander these passages. They are creepy. They look more like ghosts than real people. Their eyes are disturbing. Sometimes they stare ahead vacantly, sometimes their staring gazes flick to the left and then to the…

quantum of solace

Software guru and Shopper legend I’M WRITING THIS column from the depths of lockdown, and my social media is full of people doing creative things like baking sourdough bread, learning to play the Northumbrian bagpipes, and trying to improve their fluency in a variety of foreign languages in the optimistic hope of being allowed to travel at some point post-Covid. Because there’s a time lag between writing and publication, it may be that by the time this appears we’re all out on the beach or crowded into concerts, but probably not. If you want something different to out-lockdown your friends with, how about taking a course in quantum computing? That’ll beat Italian any day. SCHOOL OF THOUGHT The course is designed for school-age students, and is called Quantum Computing as a High School Module.…

rants & raves

James Archer RANTS AS MUCH OF the nation uses its staying-at-home time to create, I recently used mine to destroy: specifically, to destroy myself, or at least to purge the older and abandoned elements of my online presence from the internet. This was more of a spring-clean than a nervous cover-up. There was no deletion of shouldn’t-have-said-that tweets, no doctoring of old blog posts, and no removal of incriminating photos, even the ones from secondary school where I had straightened hair. My issue was one hopefully shared by many others who grew up alongside the rise of user-generated online content: a small handful of blogs and unnecessary personal sites, not particularly damning but clearly set up by a young person who hadn’t yet figured out their place in the world, and are well…

covid-1984: contact-tracing raises privacy concerns

SAY WHAT? CONTACT-TRACING APPS are vital tools in the fight against coronavirus, as countries, including the UK, begin to ease lockdown restrictions. However, privacy advocates have warned that these apps, which will keep a record of people a phone’s owner has been in contact with in order to track the spread of the disease, could be used for state surveillance. At the time of writing, the UK – unlike most other countries in Europe – has decided to adopt a centralised model for its contact-tracing app, as opposed to the more privacy-friendly decentralised model built by tech giants Apple and Google. Although the app would function in a similar way to the method proposed by Apple and Google – by using Bluetooth signals to identify when you are close to people and subsequently…