The most read articles on PC Pro in 2012

We count down the ten most popular articles on PC Pro over the past year

With a daily diet of news, reviews, blogs, features and columns from our Real World Computing experts, many thousands of articles are published on PC Pro website every year.

Here we chart the ten most-read articles to appear on this website throughout the course of 2012.

1. The legal ways to boost your mobile reception

Our mobile expert Paul Ockenden's guide to boosting your mobile reception was by far the most read article on our website this year - even though it was originally written back in 2010.

Boosted to the top of the rankings by sheer virtue of the number of people searching for signal boosting advice on Google, Paul's Real World advice deals with UMA equipment (such as the Vodafone Sure Signal device) and the legally suspect signal boosters. Indeed, we recently updated our advice on mobile repeaters after we discovered a rogue retailer falsely using PC Pro award logos on its website.

Click here to read the legal ways to boost your mobile reception

2. AMD: what went wrong?

Mike Jennings' detailed analysis of the demise of AMD was the most read feature on this website in 2012.

Mike charted how AMD had tumbled from its 2006 peak, when it not only had the most advanced PC processor technology, but also looked capable of loosening Intel's long-held grip on the industry.

Alas, it wasn't to be, as a series of disappointing processors, managerial mistakes and an aggressive fightback from Intel put paid to its chances.

Click here to read AMD: what went wrong?

3. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in review

Kindle Fire HD 7in

In a year of landmark tablet launches - including the Google Nexus 7 and iPad mini - it was Amazon's revamped Fire HD that most captured the attention of the PC Pro readership.

We gave it four stars, praising its £159 price tag, but lamenting its disappointing performance and habit of "pushing you towards the things Amazon wants you to do, rather than supporting what you want to do yourself".

Click here to read our review of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in

4. Microsoft unveils new company logo

Sometimes we despair of you lot. We spend hours, if not days, labouring over meticulously researched news stories, yet the biggest news item of the year is that Microsoft has found its paint set.

Yes, in August Microsoft unveiled its first new logo for 25 years, a set of coloured squares that, frankly, we could have knocked together in ten minutes using Paint. Still, a click's a click...

Microsoft unveils first new company logo in 25 years

5. 30 best features of Windows 8

It wasn't only Microsoft's new logo that PC Pro readers were interested in: the company's new operating system attracted plenty of attention too.

With Windows 8 still in the hands of beta testers, we published our rundown of the operating system's 30 best features in May. They included the revamped Task Manager, the option to run ISOs and VHDs natively, and the fact that you didn't need to spend money on new hardware to run the OS.

Click here to read the 30 best features of Windows 8

6. Raspberry Pi (Model B) review

Raspberry Pi

Arguably the computing product of the year, the Raspberry Pi generated enormous interest among PC Pro readers, both ahead of launch and when the review model finally arrived in April.

We were simply stunned that its creators had managed to create a computer capable of Full HD video playback - and all manner of more interesting programming tasks - for such a meagre price. "To create a capable PC for the price of a round of drinks is a magnificent achievement, especially given that many similar projects have failed to reach anywhere near that level of affordability," our review concluded.

Click here to read the Raspberry Pi (Model B) review

7. Ubuntu TV unveiled

PC Pro was the first site to break the news of Ubuntu's move into set-top box software.

Officially announced at CES in Las Vegas, we revealed the first screengrabs of the Ubuntu TV interface, which has yet to arrive in commercial products.

We're expecting more big news from Ubuntu ahead of this year's Las Vegas showcase.

Click here to read Ubuntu TV unveiled

8. Ubuntu rips up drop-down menus

Ubuntu HUD

Another PC Pro exclusive saw Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth explain the details of the operating system's new Head Up Display (HUD) to us.

The HUD, which was eventually introduced with Ubuntu 12.04, allows users to search for commands in popular software applications, rather than delving into drop-down menus.

"Some of our users are particularly attached to the command line,” Shuttleworth told us. "But even they noticed they had a greatly enhanced experience with GUI apps [in closed trials of HUD]."

Click here to read Ubuntu rips up drop-down menus

9. How iMessage works

Apple introduced its alternative to SMS messaging in late 2011, and our blog explaining how it works was sought out by many a Googler in 2012.

As we explained, perhaps the biggest benefit of iMessage is that it allows you to send text messages to other iOS users even when you have no mobile reception - provided you're within range of a Wi-Fi hotspot of course. We also explained what the different coloured text messages mean, and what that the ellipsis at the foot of messages signifies.

Click here to read how iMessage works

10. The school that swapped its laptops for iPads... and wants to switch back

Our final big hitter was a story of a secondary school that had replaced all of its teachers' laptops with iPads, and the subsequent trouble that it caused.

No easy way to edit teaching resources created in Word and PowerPoint, problems with transferring files from one system to another, and difficulties projecting images from the iPad beset the school.

"The staff room is full of regret," said the unnamed teacher who tipped us off.

Click here to read the school that swapped its laptops for iPads... and wants to switch back

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