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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

Let laptop battle commence

February 12, 2008 by in Reviews

Let laptop battle commence

Our collection of small, inexpensive, education-orientated notebooks is at last complete, following the arrival today of a brace of Intel Classmate systems. The Classmate will go up against the OLPC XO and ASUS's Eee in our low-power computing project.

OLPCs land at ZDNet Towers

January 28, 2008 by in Reviews

OLPCs land at ZDNet Towers

We are now the proud, if temporary, possessors of no fewer than four OLPC XO laptops. The XO is Nicholas Negroponte's brainchild: a machine that, he and his team hopes, will change the way education is delivered in developing countries.

What was in Santa's sack?

January 10, 2008 by in Reviews

What was in Santa's sack?

Everyone I know (except me) seems to have got an Asus Eee for Christmas — although many seem to have bought it as a present to themselves. Me, I spent all the family's money on a brace of iPods for the kids.

Amazon's Kindle lights no UK fires

November 21, 2007 by in Reviews

Amazon's Kindle lights no UK fires

Everybody seems to be talking about Amazon's new Kindle e-book reader just now, and if you're wondering why there's no coverage on ZDNet UK Reviews, it's because the device is not yet available for sale this side of the pond.Now you could buy one from the US and ship it over here.

HP's Brobdingnagian printer

November 21, 2007 by in Reviews

HP's Brobdingnagian printer

My colleague and fellow Dialogue Box presenter Rupert Goodwins draws my attention to a product we really must take a look at — if we can get it into the building.Observe the HP Scitex TJ8300 printer pictured below.

Guitar, tune thyself

November 14, 2007 by in Reviews

Guitar, tune thyself

Last year, Gibson released a digital version of its venerable Les Paul electric guitar (first produced in the 1950s) with an Ethernet connector as well as the standard quarter-inch jack plug. The digital electronics on the HD.

ThinkPad X60 rejuvenated!

October 30, 2007 by in Reviews

ThinkPad X60 rejuvenated!

My poor old 512MB ThinkPad X60, which had a happy early life running Windows XP but then suffered a crippling attack of Windows Vista, has now been restored — almost — to productive use thanks to a timely install of Ubuntu 7.10 (a.

HTC Touches base

October 2, 2007 by in Reviews

HTC Touches base

Back in June I went to the launch of HTC's Touch, a Windows Mobile 6 smartphone that some touted as an "iPhone killer", thanks to its (somewhat) iPhone-like TouchFLO interface.

Adobe's Chinese torture

September 14, 2007 by in Reviews

Adobe's Chinese torture

Adobe sent me a copy of Creative Suite 3 Production Premium to play with recently, which was nice. So this morning I thought I'd install it (or some of it anyway), which turned out to be a real time-waster.

Lenovo's World of Leather

September 6, 2007 by in Reviews

Lenovo's World of Leather

Following the celebrations surrounding the ThinkPad's 15th birthday, news arrives of Lenovo's latest wheeze: the ThinkPad Reserve Edition. This is not a notebook likely to be rolled out to the motorway-pounding corporate sales team, one suspects, given that it costs £3,119 (inc.

The joy of push email

September 4, 2007 by in Reviews

The joy of push email

We've been writing about push email for long enough, and now we ZDNet hacks have got shiny new Windows Mobile smartphones (in my case, the HTC S620, all hooked up to our corporate Exchange server.Legacy tech hack (left) gets to grips with push email on HTC S620 (right).

A tale of two Vista systems

August 22, 2007 by in Reviews

A tale of two Vista systems

I've upgraded two systems to Windows Vista over the past few months, with vastly different results. The first was a nice ultraportable ThinkPad X60, with 512MB of RAM and integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics.

The Vista future isn't Orange

August 8, 2007 by in Reviews

The Vista future isn't Orange

I'm off on holiday tomorrow (hurrah!), and like a sad geek (sorry, technology journalist), I thought I'd take an ultraportable notebook and a 3G datacard along with me — just to keep in touch with news and current affairs, you understand.

The ThinkPad at 15

July 19, 2007 by in Reviews

The ThinkPad at 15

Lenovo proudly informs us that the ThinkPad is now 15 years old, and is partying tonight in Soho to celebrate the fact. Unfortunately I can't be there, but the anniversary reminder does bring back a few memories...

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