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Computer Shopper

Computer Shopper February 2020

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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.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
Back issues only
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
welcome page

Our star letter this issue (page 6) struck a chord with me. No spoilers – but the premise is the importance of product dimensions when it comes to choosing new tech kit. I faced a similar problem recently when needing to buy a new printer, which had to fit on a certain shelf in our hall cupboard, so could only be so tall and so wide. The reason for hiding the printer away in a cupboard is that neither my husband nor I want to dedicate the space in our home offices to a printer. There’s also the style element: I doubt many companies are that interested in whether a printer fits perfectly into the colour scheme of their workspace, but I’m sure those of us with home offices would prefer…

3 min.
star letter

Inky blinders My wife’s printer (a Brother MFP inkjet) just died. It’s nearly four years old and out of warranty, so an ‘official’ repair wouldn’t be cost effective. I can find little useful help online; there is a reset suggestion, but that makes no difference. It doesn’t power on, but the mains cable checks out fine. Time to get the screwdriver out as it could be a simple fix like a burnt-out capacitor. It was difficult to work out how to take it to bits, but eventually I managed to get to the power supply (I guess I should add a ‘do not try this at home’ warning here). In the process I spotted the waste ink pad, theoretically a consumable, which would also require dismantling to replace. The soldered-in fuse was blown. I…

3 min.

The only way is ethics In Shopper 383, Roland Moore-Coyler rants about short replacement cycles on mobile phones and asks when modular phones with replaceable parts will come about. Fairphone has been making phones on that basis for six years now, and has just brought out its third model. The company has a policy of offering spare or upgraded parts and software updates for as long as possible. They are not the latest, shiniest, highest-spec phones, nor are they the cheapest, but most of the parts are user replaceable, and all of the components are guaranteed to be free of child, slave or forced labour, and minerals from conflict zones. The company has won many awards for its revolutionary approach and demonstration that it is possible to build an ethical and less environmentally…

4 min.

MEL CROUCHER Tech pioneer and all-round good egg letters@computershopper.co.uk IT SEEMED SUCH a great idea when I started using that certain lump of technology designed to bring people together and make them happier. I would arrive in an exotic location like Scunthorpe, to be greeted by a perfect stranger in all senses. They would welcome me into their own home with a genuine warmth and hospitality. They would treat me as a friend, enquire with genuine interest if I had had a good journey, hand me the front door key to come and go as I please, act as my local guide for the best bars, dog-walks and music venues, and next morning they would send me on my way with a cheery wave, before cleaning up any bodily wastes that I had…

4 min.
graphic description

KAY EWBANK Software guru and Shopper legend letters@computershopper.co.uk THERE’S BEEN A major change in the world of databases, with an announcement that SQL (Structured Query Language) is about to get graphical. OK, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but what is true is that the international ISO committee responsible for the SQL standard has voted to make GQL (Graph Query Language) a new, official database query language. It’s difficult to describe how unsettling this announcement is. It’s like your granddad telling you he’s moving to Bali to take up kite surfing. SQL will carry on, of course, but this new language will be up there as just as official. SQL has been the standard way to put together questions about data for 30 years. It was developed at IBM in the 1970s, adopted as…

4 min.
rants & raves

James Archer RANTS APOLOGIES TO OUR many readers outside London for this capital-centric column, but when the opportunity arises to moan about the Elizabeth Line, I am almost morally obligated to take it. The metro system formally known as Crossrail has been formally, though no less inevitably, delayed yet again. What was originally supposed to open in December 2018, at a cost of £14.8bn, now won’t do so until 2021 at the earliest, with the cost swelling to £18.25bn. The culprit? Nothing to do with the physical process of digging brand new tunnels through one of the busiest cities on Earth, nor constructing new stations along the way. All of that is technically behind schedule, but will be complete in much shorter order than two years. Instead, the delay is down to something…