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Shaun Dormon

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Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Product round-up Much to the dismay of many a sysadmin, Linux is no longer purely the domain of Captain Command-Line and his trusty side-kick Admiral APT. For those looking to make the most of their new-fangled graphics-capable hardware, here’s a selection of freeware to start with, in our case as installed on Ubuntu 14.04: BleachBit RH …
Shaun Dormon, 03 Dec 2014
MPlayerX media player

Ten Mac freeware apps for your new Apple baby

Product round-up One saving grace of buying a shiny new Mac over a PC is certainly the lack of factory-installed bloatware. However, while Mac OS X is far from featureless, many users will find themselves headed straight to the Mac App Store or elsewhere to supplement their experience. Since not everyone wants to wade through endless lists of …
Shaun Dormon, 28 Nov 2014
VideoLAN VLC Player

Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows

Product round-up No matter if you're reinstalling Windows for the 47th time this fortnight or attempting to rid a new machine of bloatware in favour of something that's actually useful, the question remains: what alternative apps exist that don’t involve coughing up for obscene licensing fees? RH Numbers Fortunately there's plenty of …
Shaun Dormon, 27 Nov 2014
Synology DS414 4-bay NAS box

Get NAS-ty: Reg puts claws to eight four-bay data dumpsters

Product round-up With the world and his dog increasingly looking to the cloud for storage needs, many are finding that maintaining stacks of spinning disks at home is no longer necessary. But those of us who sleep better in the presence of magnetic fields and wish to keep our bits (and bytes) closer to hand may still prefer to manage our own …
Shaun Dormon, 10 Oct 2014
Dr Adam Baker

So, rocket boffin Dr Adam Baker: Will we live long and prosper in SPACE?

Interview Recently, El Reg gave you a rundown of the key players in the new commercial space race: companies like Armadillo, Bigelow, Mars One and Virgin Galactic, which are chasing the space-tourist dollar, and the likes of Excalibur Almaz, Masten Space Systems, Reaction Engines and SpaceX, which have more serious applications in mind …
Shaun Dormon, 18 Sep 2013
SpaceX Grasshopper

From launch to orbit: The new commercial space pioneers

Feature We all know that many 20th century prophecies of life in the new millennium never came to pass. Among them were flying cars, meals-in-a-pill and annihilation by Skynet, to name but a few. However, taking the crown of unfulfilled expectations has to be private spaceflight for business or pleasure. With all the rapid space tech …
Shaun Dormon, 16 Sep 2013
Space Shuttle Columbia debris

Space Shuttle Columbia disaster remembered 10 years on

Feature On February 1st, 2003 at 08:00 CST residents of Texas witnessed the once mighty Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrate into a 12,000mph fireball. Almost 17 years to the day since the Challenger disaster, President G. W. Bush delivered the news to the world, “The Columbia is lost. There are no survivors.” Space Shuttle Columbia …
Shaun Dormon, 01 Feb 2013

How to launch people into space...

It's Not Rocket Science Last time, I explored how difficult it is for computer hardware to operate in the noisy - from an electromagnetic radiation perspective - environment of outer space. Today’s topic is people. Don’t worry, I won’t be boring you with life support systems. That’s the least of a spacer’s worries. Before you need to worry about …
Shaun Dormon, 28 Nov 2012
Synaptic Package Manager

Ten Linux apps you must install

Product Round-up Unless you are operating in the enterprise class, most Linux software is free, which is both a blessing and a hindrance. Sure, there are some truly fantastic apps out there, but all to often you have to wade through a mess of buggy unfinished projects with dependencies on other defunct code to get to what you want. To help with …
Shaun Dormon, 20 Nov 2012
Emoji Rocket

Chips in spaaaaace: old tech is in

It's Not Rocket Science I hate to say it, but most of what you think about space-age technology is a total fabrication. It’s the stuff of sci-fi. Perhaps the biggest misconception of all is that spacecraft are equipped with cutting-edge computing platforms that any self-respecting technophile would commit unspeakable acts to get their mitts on. …
Shaun Dormon, 19 Nov 2012
Buffalo LinkStation Pro Quad 4-bay NAS drive

Ten four-bay NAS boxes

Product Round-up The storage needs of home users are ever growing, such that the capacity of dual-layer DVDs appears miniscule, and backing up CD looks desperate. Many are now turning to network accessible storage systems that not only allow data storage in the home, but also provide HTTP, FTP and cloud services for when you’re on the go. The …
Shaun Dormon, 17 Nov 2012
Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 14in Ultrabook review

As a MacBook Pro owner, and yet a fan of the ThinkPad range since the early IBM days, it would be easy for me to assume Lenovo's new IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook fills the gap as the ultimate middle ground model. Indeed, it's a ThinkPad descendant that looks like Lenovo desperately wants an Apple lawsuit. Lenovo IdeaPad U410 …
Shaun Dormon, 25 Oct 2012
Haynes Build Your Own Computer

Haynes Build Your Own Computer book review

As a journalist, engineer and car nut enthusiast, I can easily find myself spending hours upon hours poring over technical documents and workshop manuals, among them tomes published by Haynes. This time, however, I’m looking at something less mechanical and more digital: the latest in Haynes’ Build Your Own Computer series, …
Shaun Dormon, 12 Sep 2012
SketchBook Express

Ten freeware gems for new Macs

Product Round -up It seems that Mac OS is forever moving further towards a closed computing model, especially with the introduction of Gatekeeper in Mountain Lion. Don’t despair just yet though, Mac users can still take advantage of an abundance of free and open-source applications available in the traditional way. We've put found ten top notch …
Shaun Dormon, 04 Aug 2012
HP Z1 all-in-one workstation

HP Z1 quad-core Xeon 27in PC

Review Extreme PC Week PC users who secretly covet their cubicle neighbour’s 27in iMac but don’t want to leave the Windows world can begin to feel rather smug these days. HP's Z1 is its take on the all-in-one concept, but has the heart of a workstation. It's a handsome beast too, with a 27in display which also houses a Xeon server- …
Shaun Dormon, 08 Jun 2012
Ten free apps for new PCs

Ten... freeware gems for new PCs

Product round-up Reg Hardware PC Week If you’ve just purchased a spanking new Windows PC, what to slap on there often leaves pause for thought. The trial bloatware that inevitably came with your machine might keep you busy for a while until the payment nag screens start. Yet those costs and curses aside, there are plenty of free apps out …
Shaun Dormon, 11 May 2012
Ten Nas boxes

Ten... two-bay Nas boxes

Product Round-up Network attached storage is the panacea for many of today’s data excesses, especially you’ve developed a music and movie habit, need a backup server or fancy your own personal cloud. Two-bay nas drives are an affordable option for file sharing, supporting mixed platform environments in addition to web HTTP and FTP services. …
Shaun Dormon, 28 Apr 2012
Ten FireWire External Hard Drives

Ten... FireWire 800 hard drives

Product round-up FireWire interfacing has been around since the mid-1990s and, as far as Apple is concerned, looks set to be ousted by its new Thunderbolt technology in due course. However, it still features on most new Macs, is available for PCs and remains popular in desktop audio and video environments. It's also a convenient option for …
Shaun Dormon, 14 Mar 2012
Netgear ReadyNas Duo v2 RND2100 network storage

Netgear ReadyNas Duo v2 network storage

Review Netgear’s ReadyNas Duo v2 appears to be identical to its predecessor from the outside, yet it actually represents a rather radical shift in hardware design for the company. This dual bay ReadyNas model does away with the Infrant Technologies IT3107 SPARC processor featured on earlier models and replaces it with a 1.6GHz ARM CPU …
Shaun Dormon, 18 Jan 2012
Lindy WPS-1 Wireless VGA Extender & Projector Server Pro

Lindy wireless extender and projection server

Review CES 2012 Week With the demise of the traditional overhead projector, conference rooms and the like are typically found equipped with a multitude of easily accessible and switchable AV inputs for hassle-free presentations. Yet not all facilities offer cabling contentment and for the poorly-wired projectionist, the Lindy …
Shaun Dormon, 12 Jan 2012
Acer Aspire 5749 15in notebook

Acer Aspire 5749 budget 15in laptop

Review Acer’s Aspire line has become synonymous with affordable computing power, providing an air of quality even towards the lowest end of the pricing scale. With an asking price of £399, the 15.6in Aspire 5749 isn’t going to break the bank and it certainly won’t be shattering records, but can so little money buy reasonable …
Shaun Dormon, 08 Dec 2011
Kingston Technology HyperX SSD

Kingston Technology HyperX 240GB SSD

Review Following OCZ’s great success with its SandForce SF2281-based Vertex 3 solid-state drive, it seems everyone is jumping on the SandForce bandwagon now. I recently tested Patriot Memory’s Wildfire SSD from, and today I have the latest addition to Kingston Technology’s HyperX product line. It too uses an SF2281 controller, which …
Shaun Dormon, 21 Sep 2011
Ten... USB 3.0 Desktop HDDs

Ten... Desktop USB 3.0 HDDs

Product Round-up Despite somewhat lacklustre adoption of the interface in the last 18 months, USB 3.0 is starting to gain a foothold in the consumer market as availability increases and prices fall down to more reasonable levels. The current offerings of USB 3.0 portable hard drives in our recent round-up turned out to be a pleasant surprise …
Shaun Dormon, 11 Aug 2011
Hauppauge Colossus

Hauppauge Colossus HD PCIe card

Review When I first looked at the box containing the Hauppauge Colossus I wasn’t quite sure as to what its exact purpose was. I saw the words “HD Video Recorder,” “PCI-Express,” and “HDMI” thinking I could use it to record almost anything and then I noticed the asterisks. Hauppauge Colossus Hauppauge's Colossus: break out the old …
Shaun Dormon, 10 Aug 2011
Patriot Memory Wildfire SSD

Patriot Wildfire 120GB Sata 3 SSD

Review Patriot Memory’s latest Wildfire Sata 3 SSDs come with the promise of read and write speeds in excess of 500MB/s along with read and write IOPS in the 60K region. All of this blazing speed is available in 120GB (£240), 240GB (£420) and 480GB capacities – a 60GB version is in production, but not currently available in the UK. …
Shaun Dormon, 03 Aug 2011