Category Archives: Articles

The Commodore Legacy – Part III

commodore-64

Considering the Herald Express is a local newspaper I’m often surprised by some of the letters I receive from across the UK.After my Commodore legacy article last week I received this letter from a PR company based in London.

I read your article in the Herald Express this morning, and I thought you’d like to know that the Commodore brand was recently resurrected in the PC industry.While the original owners of the brand led it to bankruptcy, the new owners of the brand aim to restore the Commodore brand to it’s former glory.You can see what they are up to at www.commodoregaming.com

If you’d like any further information or images, please visit our press site at www.zen128487.zen.co.uk/Commodore_Press_Site/

Jools Moore, Naked Ape PR

I will be honest in saying that I did know about the new Commodore Gaming PC but choose not to mention it last week; I was unsure what Read the rest

The Commodore Legacy – Part II

Commodore_Amiga600

Last week I started talking about the history of the now bankrupt computer manufacturer Commodore; a company that undeniably had a profound effect on the IT industry.

We left off last week after talking about the Commodore 64.This was a machine priced so aggressively that, along with bringing down the cost of computing to the home user, also marked the departure from the market place of several high profile computer companies.

Despite Commodore gaining a large market share during this period the board of directors didn’t agree with the slashing of prices and profit margins.This sparked a power struggle which ended with the departure of Commodores founder, Jack Tramiel who later started his own company along with a number of key Commodore loyalists. A year later Tramiel purchased the Consumer Division of Atari who one of Commodores most high profile rivals at the time.This situation was made worse as Tramiel Read the rest

The Commodore Legacy – Part I

commodore-pet

Although at times I may try to hide it, at times there is unfortunately no escaping the fact that I am what many would consider a ‘geek’.The last two weeks have seen me lying on the sofa for an hour at a time reading a fantastic 520 page book entitled ‘On The Edge – The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore’.

The majority of you will probably not know that twelve years ago, at the tender age of thirteen, I started producing a fanzine entitled ‘Zine 64 which focused on the Commodore 64 computer; a machine released in 1982, just one year after my birth.Although many would consider such a machine long in the tooth when I started writing the fanzine, it had a fantastically hardcore user base who all pulled together to try and prolong its’ already long existence.As I write today, there are still peoplesupporting this twenty five Read the rest

Repetitive Strain Injury

repetitive-strain-injury

Something which many IT people suffer from at one stage or another is Repetitive Strain Injury and although you wouldn’t have thought it could be very serious it can go on to cause a number of conditions from constant aches and discomfort through to permanent disabilities.

Whilst RSI which is a condition caused from repeatedly performing similar movements is not a new thing, it has become a great deal more common with the increasing use of computers.The symptoms of RSI can affect the neck, shoulders, back, arms, elbows and hands and vary from individual to individual.Pain is often encountered in any of these body areas and additionally the hands can be left with a feeling of weakness’ and fatigue along with numbness with loss of feeling and dexterity.

Luckily protecting yourself is relatively easy if you’re prepared to change your working patterns very slightly.As someone who has suffered pretty bad Read the rest

Printer page yields

cartridges_yield_page_printer

It was just a couple of weeks ago that I discussed looking at the on running costs of any printer you were looking to purchase as the initial purchase price should only be the smallest part of the equation when choosing what to buy.It seems somewhat coincidental therefore that today I heard news regarding a new standard allowing consumers to compare the potential ongoing running costs was being pushed through by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

I hear a collective sigh as it’s assumed this could turn in to a shameless plug for my cartridge business but honestly, I really won’t go there today!

Until now printermanufacturers have used a variety of ways to measure how many pages a cartridge will print but after the OFT criticised the four big players (Epson, Canon, HP, Lexmark) over an alleged lack of transparency, consumers should now find it easier to compare Read the rest

Cheaper Cartridges

cheaper-cartridges

Every now and again I see it fit to do a little self promotion although today this shameless promotion isn’t necessarily because I want it but rather I’m getting worried by the number of people that come to our trade counter asking for cartridges for particularly expensive printers.This is genuinely surprising because I have mentioned in Click a number of times about checking out the ongoing running cost of your printer before buying but this seems to be falling on deaf ears.

The ongoing running costs are an extremely important consideration and the analogy I like to use is that I wouldn’t go out and buy a ridiculously cheap car if I then had to fill up with petrol at cost of £10 a litre.It seems strange to me that when buying a new printer that consumers still look primarily at the initial purchase price of the machine rather than Read the rest

Recap on the year Part 2

google-buys-youtube

Last week we looked back at the applications that I featured in Click over the past year and I thought it would be worthwhile to follow that up with some of the biggest technology developments of 2006 as to get an idea as to how things have changed over the past twelve months.

I feel that the most fundamental change this year has been a fairly substantial mainstream shift to the use of modern day technology.A large amount of the population now use iPods, DVD Recorders, SatNav systems, camera phones and the such daily but additionally, as well as the Internet being the tool to purchase most this stuff it also dominates pub conversations across the country.Long gone are the days that such gadgets and such interests were the realms for geeks only, you could now almost say that technology was becoming ‘cool’.

The main growth area this year would Read the rest

Recap on the year

Bittorrent

I had every intention of writing an article this week somehow linking computers and Christmas however as the two really aren’t related in any way, shape or form I have once again given up on this idea and decided to do something completely different.Close to the end of the year I thought it might be handy to recap on some of the best links to free software that I have featured in Click in the past year.

Firefox 2.0www.getfirefox.com – Fantastic web browser that is small, fast and secure – still beats Internet Explorer hands down in my opinion.

Thunderbirdwww.getthunderbird.com - A powerful e-mail client from the same people that released Firefox.Offers advanced junk mail blocking, anti-phishing protection.

Skypewww.skype.co.uk – One of the most popular VOIP (Voice Over IP) programs, this application can be used to make free calls to other Skype users around Read the rest

WEEE – What is it good for?

weee-logo

The UK Department of Trade and industry (DTI) last month released its final plans for the implementation of the EU’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive which over the past couple of years has caused a great deal of controversy.The directive focuses on the disposing of old electrical and electronic equipment by making manufacturers responsible for taking back and recycling products that have come to an end of their natural lifecycle.

There are of course people arguing on both sides of the fence both for and against WEEE which I will discuss this week in Click since my technologically savvy readers will quite clearly be affected by it in some way or another.

On the positive side this directive should result in several benefits to the environment by providing manufacturers with an incentive to design their equipment in a more environmentally conscious manner. Additionally the directive will provide the Read the rest

First look – Office 2007

Not a day goes by when I don’t use Office 2003 for one reason or another and this morning I became curious as to when Microsoft would release an upgrade that would make my life easier.A quick search on the Internet revealed details of Office 2007 which is currently in second Beta edition and the finished version is due for release at the end of 2006.

The main difference in this new incarnation of Office as far as I can tell is the user interface which Microsoft has dubbed the ‘ribbon’ interface.It has been designed to replace the existing system of menus, toolbars and dialog boxes with a less cluttered system that allows you easy access to the more advanced features of the applications.I think the main drawback with the old system was that whilst it was fine for a while, as more advanced features were integrated into the program Read the rest

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