Charles McLellan

Hello, I'm the Reviews Editor at ZDNet UK. My experience with computers started at London's Imperial College, where I studied Zoology and then Environmental Technology. This was sufficiently long ago (mid-1970s) that Fortran, IBM punched-card machines and mainframes were involved, followed by green-screen terminals and eventually the personal computers we know and (mostly) love. After doing post-grad research at Imperial for a while, I got involved in helping to produce a weekly news magazine based in Amsterdam. This was in the mid-1980s, and one of my duties was to set up data communications links with technologically-challenged national newspaper journalists in a number of European cities via a 300-baud modem and an acoustic coupler. Tech support people have my sympathy! I've been in computer publishing since the late 1980s, starting with Reed Business Publishing's Practical Computing, then joining Ziff Davis in 1991 to help launch PC Magazine UK as Production Editor. After a couple of years I switched to commissioning, editing and writing, becoming a Technical Editor and then First Looks Editor. When ZDNet came looking for a Reviews Editor in 2000, I was ready to make the move from print to online — just in time for the dot-com crash! It's been a long road from punched cards to the cloud, but it'll still be fun seeing where we go from here.

Latest Posts

Groundhog Day, Microsoft-style

Groundhog Day, Microsoft-style

It seems only yesterday that I was posting a blog entry about Microsoft launching Windows Vista and Office 2007 — and now they're doing it all over again!Actually it was 30 November last year, which was when Microsoft's licence customers were able to get hold of the new OS and office suite.

January 30, 2007 by in Reviews

UK to get Sony's mini-VAIO

UK to get Sony's mini-VAIO

The US and Japan have had Sony's UX series ultra-mobile PCs for a while, and now it's the UK's turn. Today the company announced that we are to get the VAIO VGN UX1XN, pictured below.

January 29, 2007 by in Reviews

Christmas ain't over yet...

Christmas ain't over yet...

We may be well into the dark days of January, beset by financial worries, Seasonal Affective Disorder and the rest, but a little spark of the Christmas spirit still burns in the shape of ZDNet's fabulous 12 Days of Christmas competition. Five of the prizes are still up for grabs as I write — from Adaptec, Google, D-Link, Netgear and Intel.

January 17, 2007 by in Reviews

Mandriva Linux gets flashy

Mandriva Linux gets flashy

I've been using Mandriva's new Linux-distribution-on-a-USB-stick, Mandriva Flash, and most impressive it is too. On a small 2GB USB key, you get a fully portable Linux desktop comprising the Linux Kernel 2.

January 4, 2007 by in Reviews

Camel sacrificed by airline workers

Camel sacrificed by airline workers

Generally speaking, camels are safe over here in Blighty, confined as they are to zoos, safari parks and the odd circus. Not the life your average member of the Camelidae might have chosen, perhaps, but better than falling into the hands of predatory Turkish Airlines workers at Istanbul's international airport.

December 13, 2006 by in Reviews

UMPC: better, but the jury's still out

UMPC: better, but the jury's still out

We've just reviewed our second Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC), the R2H from ASUS. In case you'd forgotten, the UMPC caused something of a stir back in February/March when Microsoft ran a teaser campaign for Origami (Redmond's codename for what turned out to be the UMPC) — a small slate-style Tablet PC running Windows XP.

December 6, 2006 by in Reviews

It's Microsoft Day

It's Microsoft Day

Today's the day when the tech media's guns point towards Redmond and fire a triple salvo at Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange Server 2007. ZDNet UK, of course, is weighing in -- as I write this, the Office 2007 Special Report is live, and the Vista and Exchange ones are imminent.

November 30, 2006 by in Reviews

N-triguing wireless results

N-triguing wireless results

Wireless networking kit based on the draft 802.11n specification has been available for a while, and we've now performed some throughput tests on a range of products built around different chipsets.

November 20, 2006 by in Reviews

Big Brother network appliance

Big Brother network appliance

'Only the paranoid survive' is the title of a book by ex-Intel boss Andrew Grove, but it would also make an apt marketing slogan for network appliance maker Chronicle Solutions.The company develops what it calls 'content capturing solutions' for enterprises and government agenices that need to keep close tabs on what's happening on their networks.

November 15, 2006 by in Reviews

In praise of The Grauniad

In praise of The Grauniad

As a one-time Production Editor in the olde worlde of print, I was pleased to see Kim Fletcher's article in today's Media Guardian, entitled 'In praise of the subeditor'. He deftly explains the ancient rivalry between free-ranging journalists and office-bound production staff (including the 'subs') who turn the former's often semi-literate and error-strewn efforts into polished, reader-friendly product.

November 13, 2006 by in Reviews

Now for Longhorn Server

Now for Longhorn Server

So Microsoft's Vista desktop OS has finally been released to manufacturing (RTM). Thank goodness for that, many will say: although we've assiduously covered the many pre-release versions, there are probably only so many Vista previews one can take.

November 9, 2006 by in Reviews

Lookalike #001

Lookalike #001

Perusing ZDNet's most excellent News section today, I couldn't help noticing the similarity between F-Secure's CEO Risto Siilasmaa and Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos.Are the Finnish internet security expert and the Glaswegian popular beat combo frontman by any chance related?

November 7, 2006 by in Reviews

The MacBook Pro's 'missing' GB of RAM

The MacBook Pro's 'missing' GB of RAM

If you study the specifications of the recently released Core 2 Duo-based Apple MacBook Pro, you may be puzzled by the quoted RAM limit of 3GB. The notebook has a pair of DIMM slots that can accommodate 2GB modules, while the Intel 945PM chipset -- which this MacBook Pro model uses -- can handle 4GB of RAM.

November 6, 2006 by in Reviews

Pssst...wanna job?

Pssst...wanna job?

The Reviews section of ZDNet UK is expanding. We've got a great new site, and we aim to fill it with even more great reviews content than you get already.

November 2, 2006 by in Reviews

Coming up in Reviews

Coming up in Reviews

Now that something resembling normal service can be resumed, what's in the pipeline for the Reviews channel on the shiny new ZDNet?Look out for a group test on Draft-N wireless networking gear.

November 1, 2006 by in Reviews

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