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How we produce the PC Pro podcast

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Podcast-editing

A few people have asked me, over the years, about the processes and equipment we use to record and produce our podcast. If you’re curious, here’s how it happens.

Every Wednesday, we go into the recording studio at around noon. Prior to this, we’ll have agreed on the news stories we plan to discuss, and who’s going to introduce which topic; but within this basic framework the conversation is allowed to flow quite freely.

The discussion is recorded “as live” using four Shure SM58 microphones connected to an M-Audio Fast Track Ultra interface. I record and edit in PreSonus Studio One: arguably it’s overkill for this job, but it’s the DAW I use at home, so using it here as well makes life easy for me.

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Posted in: Random

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Microsoft buys Dell: PC Pro’s April Fool comes true

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Dell Latitude Z back

The Times is reporting this morning that Microsoft is poised to buy a $3 billion stake in Dell, as the PC maker attempts to go private. For us here at PC Pro towers, the news prompted a sudden wave of deja vu.

In 2009, our own Jon Honeyball penned an April Fools’ joke column, depicting the wildly fantastical scenario that Microsoft had bought Dell (the full column is reprinted below). While it would take more than $3 billion to buy Dell outright, today’s news isn’t a million miles away from our four-year-old jape.

“Dell hasn’t been doing that well recently,” Jon wrote, “and the global economic downturn is certainly contributing to its woes. Few companies are prepared to splash out on new hardware when money is tight, especially without a clear indication that it really will run the latest version of Windows in a satisfactory way.” Sound familiar?

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Posted in: Newsdesk

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Were we unfair on Microsoft Security Essentials?

Friday, January 18th, 2013

white blank book brochure

If you’ve read the latest issue of PC Pro, you’ll have seen one of the conclusions of our latest round-up of security suites: Microsoft Security Essentials isn’t doing a great job of protecting against current malware threats, especially not brand new “zero-day” ones.

Microsoft isn’t happy about this conclusion, and it’s published a blog post challenging the research carried out by AV-Test.org to which we refer in our Labs.

The post doesn’t seek to claim that the test results are actually incorrect. It accepts that Security Essentials (and its business-oriented Forefront Endpoint Protection package, which uses the same engine) failed to protect against 28 out of 100 genuine zero-day attacks, as well as 9% of a huge collection of recent malware, representing almost 20,000 missed samples.

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Four ways to get PC Pro every month

Friday, November 9th, 2012

PC Pro 221

At the risk of sounding like a Stephen Fry voice-over, it’s never been easier to get your hands on PC Pro every month. We now have four different ways to pick up the magazine in either print or digital form, and to help you decide which suits you best, I’m going to run through the options here.

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The Linux Labs – how it was done

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

PC Pro Linux LabsEarlier this year we launched an appeal. We wanted you to help us with our Linux Labs. We didn’t want you to answer a few multiple choice questions; we didn’t want plain numbers. We wanted you to help us write the reviews themselves.

So, via the medium of The big PC Pro Linux Labs wiki, hosted by our friends over at Memset, we set about building a collaborative Labs of the likes never seen before in the pages of the magazine.

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How many photos/documents do you print?

Friday, November 4th, 2011

printer intro

We need your help for a forthcoming PC Pro Labs report.

To help us calculate the true running costs of the 16 inkjet printers we’ll have on test in issue 208, we need you to tell us how often you print photos and documents. Please note: we’re asking specifically for your printer output on home inkjet printers, not lasers nor office machines.

The survey will genuinely take ten seconds to answer, using the embedded form below. Your help is much appreciated.

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Posted in: Hardware

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Big disks: what are they good for?

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Hard disk platter

No one enjoys receiving angry emails. But in this case it’s probably my own fault.

For the latest issue of PC Pro (with subscribers  now, on sale Thursday) I carried out a Labs group test of 15 USB 3 hard drives in a range of capacities going right up to 3TB. And in my column I questioned whether the typical customer has any legitimate need for this much space. (more…)

Get free advice from PC Pro’s Business Clinic

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Business handshake

Does your business need some expert help with its IT? PC Pro’s newly launched Business Clinic is on hand to offer free IT advice to Britain’s small businesses.

Our team of Real World Computing experts — with decades of computing experience between them — could pay a visit to your company, providing first-hand advice on anything from your server set-up, to your internet security, to managing your remote workers. What’s more, your business could feature in the new-look PC Pro.

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The new PC Pro Reviews and Labs pages

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

When the new issue of PC Pro hits the shelves this Thursday, readers will notice quite a bit has changed – not least the Reviews and Labs sections. They’re among the most popular parts of the magazine, so we’ve been sure to retain what makes them so readable and comprehensive. But we hope a few simple changes will improve them immeasurably.

Here’s an actual page from the new Reviews section:

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Posted in: Random

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How we shot the cover of the new-look PC Pro

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

OFC_203_PCP_Cover.indd

If you’re a PC Pro subscriber, you may already have received the latest issue of your magazine – the first issue to sport our new design and logo.

On the front, you’ll notice a pyramid of laptops, which illustrates this month’s comprehensive Labs of 20 Intel Core laptops.  That image isn’t a piece of cobbled together Photoshop trickery. Our brilliant photographer, Danny Bird, not only came up with the concept of arranging the laptops in a pyramid, but carefully constructed the tower himself.

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Posted in: Random

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