PC Pro December 2021

PC Pro is the UK’s number one IT monthly magazine and offers readers a healthy variety of tech news updates, tests, reviews, best buys and even bonus software in every issue. The editorial team are experts in their field and they’re dedicated to creating the most authoritative reviews and keeping you up to speed on the latest technology developments.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
let’s celebrate sir clive sinclair’s life for the triumph it was

Although I love this country of ours, there are times when you wonder how it ever ruled the waves. We’re like the grown man who can’t take a compliment, flapping it away with a self-deprecating comment. When Brits do amazing things, we briefly acknowledge their achievements before rushing to talk about their flaws. I see this in the column inches dedicated to Sir Clive Sinclair after he died, even the photos used to illustrate the stories: both the BBC and The Guardian showed him sitting in a C5. I never met Sir Clive, but I’ve interviewed people who worked with him - and those who competed against him. Every single person has been full of admiration for his genius and his impact: all told, his computers sold over six million units,…

1 min

Nathan Spendelow Having put both of Samsung’s new foldable phones through the wringer, Nathan explains why he’s such a big fan of the Z Flip3. See p70 Nik Rawlinson With a string of self-published novels to his name, Nik reveals the tools he uses to turn ideas into books that people want to buy on p40 Darien Graham-Smith Darien has a knack of turning technical topics into something you want to read about; he turns his attention to NTFS on p36 Jon Honeyball Together with Barry Collins, Jon shares his thoughts on Windows 11 from p46 – and reveals that ripping up his network isn’t quite going to plan on p110…

3 min
nice work? facebook brings vr to meetings

The tech industry held its breath as US TV network CBS tweeted that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would be making a “special announcement about the future of Facebook”. Was he retiring at the grand old age of 37? Or announcing major changes to deal with the many problems Facebook gets the blame for? As it turns out, no. Instead, Zuckerberg revealed to the world a new VR tool from the company called Horizon Workrooms. Available in beta on the Oculus Quest 2, Workrooms is an attempt to bring business meetings into the VR age. With virtual meeting tables, whiteboards and screens, the idea is that you and your colleagues’ cartoon avatars can brainstorm, collaborate and immerse yourself in the joy of the physical office, wherever you happen to be in the world.…

2 min
muscling linux onto apple silicon

Apple’s M1 silicon may have smashed performance benchmarks, but until now a significant computing constituency has missed out on the gains: Linux users. Enter developer Hector Martin, who since last November has been working hard to reverse-engineer Apple’s custom silicon. Over the past few months, we’ve started to see the fruits of his labour, with a colleague tweeting screenshots of a custom distribution, dubbed Asahi, running a Gnome desktop. So how did the team manage to break open Apple’s hardware? The first step was to find a way to talk to the M1 Mac mini. “It turns out these machines do have a serial port, it’s hidden in the [USB] Type C-ports,” explained Martin. “You need to send some magic voodoo commands through a special vendor-defined message… and suddenly the Type-C port turns…

1 min
verifly’s stop-gap solution

Though an international set of standards have not yet been agreed, companies and apps are already filling the gap. Verifly is one such example. The idea is that it’s a digital wallet for all of your Covid credentials, storing vaccine records and test results in one place to streamline the check-in process. It’s currently being used by British Airways, Virgin, American and several other airlines. “It was a nightmare for the airlines to comply with all of the travel form requirements,” said Bourke. He explains how the airlines face a myriad of different rules for different countries, with passengers needing to declare different information at different points. His company’s app aims to bring everything together. For some places, such as the UK and the EU, Verifly hooks directly into health systems using…

6 min
why covid passports are grounded

After almost two lost summers, international travel is slowly getting back to something approaching normal, but travelling abroad is still not easy. There are complex demands for tests, long queues at the airport and mountains of paperwork. Surely, there must be an app for that? This is why, since the early days of the pandemic, governments, the travel industry and airlines have all talked about digital Covid health passes. So why aren’t we there yet? And how long until proving our vaccination status at the airport is as easy as scanning a passport? “The airport is too late” “By the time we get to the airport, that’s far too late,” said Dr Edgar Whitley, who specialises in digital identity at the London School of Economics. “Airports don’t want to have to pay people…