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

The Curious Case of Soddy's Box

The Curious Case of Soddy's Box

Health and safety is important, of course — it's tricky enough to remain fit and healthy without the added risk of driving without a seat belt, or inhaling your colleagues' cigarette smoke at work all day. However, it can be said to have "gone mad", or at least a little screwy, when a significant piece of the country's scientific heritage comes under threat of destruction.

June 14, 2012 by in Reviews

Ordissimo Laptop 15"

Ordissimo Laptop 15"

There has been a fair amount of recent 'buzz' around a pair of Ordissimo notebooks from a French company called Substantiel SAS. In fact, Linux-based Ordissimo computers — whose key selling point is ease of use — have been available in Europe since 2005, but the current generation of 15in.

May 30, 2012 by in Reviews

Lenovo talks ThinkPads and servers

Lenovo talks ThinkPads and servers

Lenovo is now the number-two PC vendor worldwide and has just posted record results for the 2011/12 financial year ending 31 March. Little wonder, then, that Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager of the company's ThinkPad Business Unit, was in bullish mood when I met him this morning in London (not even a two-hour cab ride from Heathrow managed to dent his enthusiasm).

May 24, 2012 by in Reviews

VideoMeet: cloud-based video communication

VideoMeet: cloud-based video communication

"Video is the next voice", according to Deutsche Telecom, which has recently introduced a cloud-based 'video communication' service called VideoMeet — hence the interest in promoting how easy to use and cost-effective videoconferencing (or rather, communication) is becoming. VideoMeet is a repackaged version of a service introduced last year by California-based startup Blue Jeans Network (BJN), with a few added extras.

May 17, 2012 by in Reviews

Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam

Logitech BCC950 ConferenceCam

Logitech is best known for its high-quality consumer-grade peripherals, but recently formed a business group, Logitech for Business, to market the more business-oriented products in its portfolio to SMEs and larger enterprises. There will also be new products under the 'for business' banner, among the first of which, announced today, is the BCC950 ConferenceCam.

March 26, 2012 by in Reviews

GeChic On-Lap 1301

GeChic On-Lap 1301

"Two screens good, one screen bad", as Eric Blair might have written: but how do you get two screens on a notebook? Normally you'd have to attach a desktop monitor, which obviously limits your flexibility, or shell out serious money on a specialist system like the recently released dual-17in.

December 6, 2011 by in Reviews

Xirrus extends Wi-Fi array portfolio

Xirrus extends Wi-Fi array portfolio

These days, Wi-Fi connectivity — preferably free — is expected as a matter of course in a wide variety of environments. However, the traditional approach to widespread Wi-Fi coverage, employing multiple access points (APs) and WLAN controllers, requires an equally large number of cable runs and Ethernet ports — all of which adds to the cost and complexity of an installation.

November 18, 2011 by in Reviews

Psion/Blackroc GNSS device delivers centimetre accuracy

Psion/Blackroc GNSS device delivers centimetre accuracy

Earlier this week I met with Tony Jephcott, CEO of data capture specialist Blackroc Technology, and Jonathan Brayshaw from Psion, on whose modular Workabout Pro 3 handheld Blackroc's new Procyon device is based. The Procyon's claim to fame is that it's the first handheld GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) device that, when suitably configured, can deliver 'pinpoint' (1-2cm) accuracy.

November 4, 2011 by in Reviews

Talking tablets, and more, with Lenovo

Talking tablets, and more, with Lenovo

There is much talk of a 'post-PC' world in which smartphones, tablets and other digital devices take centre stage. Be that as it may, the PC-centred world is currently suiting Lenovo just fine: the company has recently overtaken Dell to take the number-two spot in worldwide PC sales behind HP.

October 19, 2011 by in Reviews

Polycom to drive Lync integration with 'Rally'

Polycom to drive Lync integration with 'Rally'

In addition to the headline-grabbing announcements concerning Polycom's purchase of HP's Halo business and the formation of the OVCC (Open Visual Communications Consortium), the videoconferencing company yesterday outlined the next stage in its partnership with Microsoft.In a webcast, CEO Andrew Miller announced a product codenamed Rally, a 'purpose-built' room-based telepresence solution with an embedded Microsoft Lync client.

June 2, 2011 by in Reviews

Seagate GoFlex Satellite

Seagate GoFlex Satellite

Seagate has announced a portable Wi-Fi-equipped hard drive, the GoFlex Satellite, which is designed to act as a wireless media hub for storage-limited tablets and smartphones. Officially unveiled today, the GoFlex Satellite won't be available at UK and European retail outlets until mid-August.

May 16, 2011 by in Reviews

An eye-catching demo

An eye-catching demo

Swedish eye-tracking and eye control specialist Tobii Technology visited ZDNet UK today to show off a prototype system built into a Lenovo notebook.The ability for a computer to track a user's eye movements, and for the user to control aspects of computer operation using eye gestures, has obvious value in situations where the hands are otherwise occupied (a surgeon in a hospital, for example) or are disabled in some way.

April 13, 2011 by in Reviews

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