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

A gift from Korea

A gift from Korea

It's not big and it's not clever, but we couldn't help snickering over the web site from Korean manufacturer Mintpass, whose Mintpad mobile internet device plus associated accessories and services the company promises will "provide every customer with amazements and relentless fun". And so it proves.

July 28, 2009 by in Reviews

McCartney on Broadway!

McCartney on Broadway!

Our parent company CBS has put out some web video of Paul McCartney's post-Letterman Show gig outside the Broadway theatre where the Beatles first performed back in 1964. Of course, Macca is no stranger to rooftop gigs, having played The Beatles' last live performance on top of Abbey Road Studios in January 1969.

July 17, 2009 by in Reviews

Zoho socialises Projects 2.0

Zoho socialises Projects 2.0

After a teaser campaign that mentioned integrated Zoho web-based services and a 'popular Microsoft product', Zoho has unveiled Zoho Projects 2.0, which brings together Microsoft Project and a collection of Zoho's online collaboration services.

July 1, 2009 by in Reviews

Samsung unpacks OLED but no Android

Samsung unpacks OLED but no Android

To Battersea last night for Samsung's much-teased 'Unpacked' launch. I was hoping for the company's still-upcoming Android-based i7500, but the main event was the unveiling (with much fancy holographic projection, but thankfully no Wings soundtrack) of the Jet.

June 16, 2009 by in Reviews

Interesting times for OpenOffice

Interesting times for OpenOffice

In troubled economic times the attractions of free software become increasingly obvious, and even for die-hard users of Microsoft Office, the prospect of upgrading to Office 2010 in Q1 next year may prove too much to contemplate. After all, Office 2007 essentially rearranged the deckchairs with the ribbon interface didn't it?

April 24, 2009 by in Reviews

Low Power Computing: African results

Low Power Computing: African results

Our friends at Computer Aid, the charity that supplies refurbished PCs to developing countries, have published their follow-up to the low-power computer testing that ZDNet UK carried out last year.A year ago, ZDNet produced a five-strong shortlist (ASUS Eee, OLPC XO, Intel Classmate, Inveneo Computing Station and NComputing X300) based on performance and power consumption measurements.

April 22, 2009 by in Reviews

Drobo Pro: a 'data robot' for SMEs

Drobo Pro: a 'data robot' for SMEs

Drobo's original USB 'data robot' combined an attractive chassis with the company's BeyondRAID technology to deliver a well-received and user-friendly storage device, mainly aimed at creative professionals requiring large amounts of direct-attached storage. Subsequently the company has added a second-generation device with FireWire support and a networking module (DroboShare) to broaden its appeal.

April 7, 2009 by in Reviews

Dell gets tough with Latitude E6400 XFR

Dell gets tough with Latitude E6400 XFR

Dell has made rugged Latitude notebooks for a while, but the latest Latitude E6400 XFR model looks to be the toughest yet. Aimed at "the military, first responders, oil & gas environments, manufacturing floors, field technicians and homeland security" (phew), this 14.

March 10, 2009 by in Reviews

Lucky Jim

Lucky Jim

We were diverted yesterday by Gizmodo's report (via TechFlash) on ex-Vista-honcho Jim Allchin's solo album, Enigma.Of course it's all too easy to scoff at the former Microsoftie's AOR noodlings.

February 10, 2009 by in Reviews

Wrestling with Sumo Paint

Wrestling with Sumo Paint

Most of us are familiar with Google's web-based applications, but useful as they are, Google Spreadsheet and its perpetual-beta brethren don't yet deliver the look and feel of a desktop application. One 'cloud' app that most definitely does, and has recently turned version 1.

January 27, 2009 by in Reviews

Sony's 'not-netbook'

Sony's 'not-netbook'

The announcement of Sony's tasty-looking 638g, 8in. VAIO P (below), which launches over here in February, has sparked a debate in the ZDNet UK office about what is, and what isn't, a 'netbook' (we take these things seriously round here).

January 8, 2009 by in Reviews

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