Skip to navigation

PCPro-Computing in the Real World Printed from

Register to receive our regular email newsletter at

The newsletter contains links to our latest PC news, product reviews, features and how-to guides, plus special offers and competitions.

// Home / Blogs


BytePac: the cardboard hard disk enclosure

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012


Say hello to the BytePac. It’s a hard disk caddy made entirely out of 100% recyclable material (yes, cardboard), but before you jump to any rash, mocking conclusions – as half the office did when it arrived – let me explain how it works. (more…)

So, why has PC Pro switched to EcoDisc?

Monday, July 5th, 2010

EcoDisc That sound? That’s the sound of my conscience being pricked, and the reader responsible is Joe Clarke. “Where is my nice sturdy disc?” he asked via email. “It’s a paper DVD! It bends and makes a noise like a Rolf Harris didgeridoo – but dare I risk inserting it into my beloved PC? What’s this new-fangled discology and why no fanfare on its use?”


Do you care about environmentally friendly companies?

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Globe Last week myself and several other journalists attended a briefing held by Kyocera, and, once we’d eaten the complimentary sandwiches and made cooing noises over a couple of new printers, we were pointed towards the numerous posters and PowerPoint slides containing the company’s inevitable green message.

Amid all of the targets, awards and earnest promises, though, I detected plenty of of cynicism. Not from the journalists, but from the employees giving the presentation. Apparently, Kyocera launched its “environmental messaging” back in 1992 but, apparently, back then “no-one gave a crap” – so the scheme was left to fade away.

We were then told that it was revived in 2001 as environmental issues became more important – or, as a Kyocera representative told us, “before green crap was fashionable”. It’s an odd attitude to take, especially since the firm’s executives would surely say that green policies are central to its success. (more…)

Tags: , , , ,

Posted in: Green


Two novel ways to power-up your iPhone

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Dexim P-flipiPhone owners are never far away from their charger, given that the handset chomps through its battery faster than Dan Brown dreaming up the plot of one of his novels. Two devices I stumbled across on the CES showfloor might help keep the iPhone kicking for a little longer.

The Dexim P-Flip is a superbly designed extra battery cum desktop dock for the iPhone. When you’re at your desk, you plonk your iPhone into the P-Flip cradle and connect it to your computer via USB cable. This both synchronises your iPhone with the PC, and charges the P-Flip’s battery.

Then when you’re ready to head out into the big wide world, you flip the battery pack flat against the surface of the phone and benefit from up to eight hours of extra talktime or 15 more hours of video playback (Dexim’s figures, not mine).

What’s more, the device doubles as a stand for the iPhone (both upright and landscape), allowing you to watch video without having to awkwardly cradle the handset in your palm – although the screen might be a little too perpendicular to the surface to make for comfortable long-term viewing.  It’s reasonably good value too, costing £40 from (more…)

How to stop the inkjet printer rot

Monday, January 4th, 2010

PrintersI live by the rubbish bins. Some people say you can tell that by my picture… but that’s not my point here. My point is that like everyone else at this time of year, I’ve been having a good throw-out and tidy-up.

I can say “like everyone else” because this year my local council has gone for the recycling thing, in a big way – separate bins for different materials, carefully labelled in exactly the place that you can’t read if you arrive with armfuls of junk. I can see people wandering up to the recycling pen, and hear the discussions about which bin should receive which piece of trash.

Lately the council have responded to pressure and delivered a little dumpster, fractionally less smelly than the others, labelled “small electricals”, since this category evidently produced the highest levels of recycling confusion: “well, it’s plastic on the case, but there’s some metal on the inside…”

Has video conferencing finally come of age?

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

LifeSize Passport (note you don't get the TV or the lady as part of the package) I spent yesterday morning with a company called LifeSize, whose CEO (Craig Malloy) was keen to suggest that 2010 would be the year when video conferencing became massive. (Strangely enough, LifeSize is a company that sells video conferencing products.)

He certainly gave the most impressive demonstration of video conferencing I’ve yet seen. We were in a small meeting room with room for around eight people, and sitting at one end was a 40in LCD TV.


Can companies be trusted over green promises?

Friday, September 4th, 2009

The Sony panel at the eco round table at IFA 2009I’ve just come out of an “Eco” briefing with Sony at IFA, and it should be no surprise at all that they’re banging their own eco drum pretty fiercely. But, in that, they’re absolutely no different from all the other manufacturers at this show.

Sharp, I’m told, declared themselves “world eco champions”, and Toshiba dedicated a number of slides in their press conference about the fact they were aiming to “improve our eco-efficiency by ten times” by 2050.

And there’s another thing all these companies have in common too. They not only want you to replace existing products, they want you to actually own more electronic products. Can these two competing demands ever live with each other?


Tags: , , ,

Posted in: Green


In praise of

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

My route from the office to a press conference.Anyone who’s read PC Pro over the last few years will know that we’re interested in green issues – occasionally indulging in a spirited argument with our friends over at Custom PC who are doing lots of good work by supporting the Folding@home scheme… but at the expense of energy consumption – and one of the ways we do this is by sponsoring the Sustain IT awards.

It’s through this that I happen to know about an excellent site called, which describes itself as an urban route planner. The key difference, as it ever-so-subtly hints with its name, is that all its routes are for people who want to walk rather than drive or take public transport. (more…)

H.M.G. Gets a Life

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

According to this BBC news article our beloved Civil Service has splashed out the thick end of £20,000 on a virtual home inside Second Life. This is the online virtual world you may have seen cropping up in various odd places like CSI:New York or sundry other moving-picture sources. It’s not really hit the general public, possibly because we currently have no Raymond Baxter figure to tell us all about it with appropriate gravitas and a twinkle in the eye – but nonetheless, the Department of Work and Pensions seem to have got the idea, very quickly… whatever that idea might actually be.

The BBC report quotes the DWP as suggesting that the Second Life setup could help with carbon emissions reduction, presumably by allowing people to “meet” virtually and share sundry 3D structures. This was something I spotted when I first looked at it in 2006, though I must say I now regret the email I wrote saying it was clearly a step-change in technology and a strategic platform, a bit like the Global Positioning System, and it was a serious issue that Europe didn’t have one of these to ourselves.


Green IT looking pale at CeBIT

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

One of the primary themes of CeBIT this year was supposed to be Green IT. Interest in the subject is “overwhelming” according to the CeBIT website.
And indeed there’s an entire hall dedicated to it this year, albeit one of the smaller ones. But still hall 8 – “Green IT World” – is sparsely occupied. The subdued ambience is a long way from the heaving mass of bodies in hall 21, where the likes of MSI and Gigabyte are showing off their shiny stuff amid loud music and pneumatic young ladies wearing shirts which appear, very regrettably, to have shrunk in the wash.







Your email:

Your password:

remember me


Hitwise Top 10 Website 2010