Mastodon, the hot new social network like Twitter, kind of

A new social network started up six months ago and began picking up speed last week as it echoes the early days of Twitter. It’s called Mastodon and was born out of frustration with changes being made on Twitter, according to an interview with founder Eugen Rochko in The Verge. Last year, after Twitter began moving away from a purely chronological feed, Rochko began building the back end for what would become Mastodon. Instead of building a unified service, Rochko envisioned something more like email, or RSS: a distributed system that lets you send public messages to anyone who follows you on the service. Anyone can create a server and host their own instance of Mastodon, and Mastodon works in […]

Continue reading


Small is the new big with the Raspberry Pi Zero

Do you remember the days when computer magazines came with cover disks? And then with CDs that progressed to DVDs? All with must-have utilities and often free programs that were part and parcel of the PC enthusiast experience from the 80s through to the early 00s. That fell by the wayside with the advent of the modern internet and growing broadband connectivity along with worries about malware and viruses and greater knowledge and sophistication in using computers. Among many other things. But imagine if you could get an actual computer on the front cover of a magazine. That’s just what you can right now with the launch this week of the Raspberry Pi Zero, a tiny but powerful computer that […]

Continue reading


Windows 10 is just around the corner

Windows 10

In just a few days, on July 29, Microsoft will begin the public rollout of Windows 10 in 190 countries. If you want to upgrade your desktop or laptop computer, it’s a free upgrade in specific circumstances. Lifehacker has a simple flowchart that makes it quite easy to see if you qualify. The only difference to this chart is that Windows 8 won’t get you the free upgrade but Windows 8.1 will. According to Microsoft: The only requirements are that a) your device is compatible, and b) you’re running genuine Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows 8.1 (Update). Windows 10 is designed to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs. That means your device is likely compatible […]

Continue reading


Windows 10 shows the scale of Microsoft’s ambition

On July 29 – in just over two weeks’ time – Microsoft will begin the formal roll-out of Windows 10, the new edition of the Windows operating system for PCs and tablets (and Windows phones). It’s been the subject of a comprehensive beta-testing programme by around five million people since the programme was launched at the end of September 2014. I’ve been part of this programme as a Windows Insider since last October, running the incremental builds of ‘Windows 10 Insider Preview’ as they become available on a couple of different computers, and providing feedback. It’s been a stimulating and most interesting experience so far; a few comments on that in a minute. So starting on July 29, if your […]

Continue reading


Plenty to like in Project Spartan

Will Microsoft’s Internet Explorer see the sunset later this year? It’s certainly not my browser of choice. Indeed, I don’t use it at all, preferring Google Chrome on the desktop and mobile and, lately, experimenting with Vivaldi, an impressive new browser that’s based on Google Chromium code. Since it first appeared in 1995, Internet Explorer has come with the Windows operating system. Unless you manually install an alternative, that’s what you end up with. In Europe until recently, Microsoft was forced by EU law to offer users across the EU a choice of browser on first running Windows. All this may become just a Windows-and-browser history footnote with Windows 10 – the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, successor to […]

Continue reading