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Killzone: Shadow Fall

Helghast-ly holiday: Killzone Shadow Fall

Review Guerrilla Games’ Killzone: Shadow Fall is almost impossibly good looking, especially considering it’s a launch title. Cityscapes sparkle, foliage is lush and figures cast long shadows. Lens flare is plentiful – so much so that at times I actually found myself squinting. Killzone: Shadow Fall Hel‘ghastly opponents Think back …
Mike Plant, 9 Dec 2013
Tablet PC and Hantarex CRT monitor

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

Cache in the Attic Before wandering to pastures new, Bill Ray revealed he is definitely of the mind that, if it still works, why chuck it? His old kit isn't sitting in a box in the attic, he uses it all regularly. Hantarex, HP and Motion Computing Hantarex hails from Italy but established a UK operation in 1981 and is still going strong. The CTM …
Bill Ray, 7 Dec 2013

Inside Steve Ballmer’s fondleslab rear-guard action

Windows 8 is going down like a bucket of cold sick - but you're going to have to get used to it. It's not going away. If Microsoft has a future, this is it. Worse still, if you're a pro, you're going to have to support the thing. Microsoft had to make this desperate, poorly integrated attempt to foist a Version 1.0 touchscreen …
Liam Proven, 6 Dec 2013
Dragon 32 computer

El Reg Contraption Confessional No.1: The Dragon 32 micro

Cache in the Attic It's probably fair to say that we all have some old tech squirrelled away that we just can't bear to part with. It's not just sentimentality either, but practicality: it still works, why chuck it out? Here at Vulture Central we've our own collection of junk tech memorabilia that would make us a tad dewy-eyed if it should depart …
Tony Smith, 30 Nov 2013
Raspberry Pi

Build your OWN Apple iBeacon with a Raspberry Pi

Feature US department store Macy’s recently said it is implementing iPhone-based tracking tech the better to encourage browsing punters to buy. Of course, Macy has chosen to pitch this as an Apple technology - figuring, presumably, iPhone owners are more receptive to inducements delivered through technology and have more cash to splash …
Tony Smith, 29 Nov 2013
John Miller-Kirkpatrick

Britain’s forgotten first home computer pioneer: John Miller-Kirkpatrick

Archaeologic Too few people today remember John Miller-Kirkpatrick, the enthusiastic founder, owner, manager and technical director of Bywood Electronics. He died in December 1978 at the monstrously young age of 32, less than two years before the début of the Sinclair ZX80 and the start of the UK home computing boom – for which he had helped …
Tony Smith, 29 Nov 2013

How STEVE JOBS saved Apple's bacon with an outstretched ARM

Feature The chip designers at ARM Holdings have turned the computing world upside down, shaken Intel to its core, pulled AMD into its orbit, and broadened its range beyond mobile into every nook and cranny of the digital world, from toys to servers. But where did this UK wonder company come from? How does it earn its living? And how did …
Rik Myslewski, 27 Nov 2013
Motorola Moto G

Moto G: Google's KitKat bruiser could knock out, bury Landfill Android

Analysis Two weeks ago Motorola launched a cheap-as-chips Android phone that by common consent, isn't actually nasty. Quite rightly, the new Motorola Moto G has shot to the top of the picks of smartphones in the sub-£150 price point. In fact, you can pick one up without contract from Amazon for £135. Android has been this cheap before. …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Nov 2013
Apple MacBook Pro 17in 2009 fusion upgrade in 2013

You DON'T need a new MacBook! Reg man fiddles with Fusion, pimps out vintage Pro

Feature I need a new MacBook Pro… or do I? It’s probably a question that many a Mac user ponders and, given the choices these days, is much more difficult to answer. Having just reviewed the MacBook Pro 13in with Retina Display, I’m not sure I’m ready to commit myself to soldered RAM and the hope that upgrades will appear for its custom …
Bob Dormon, 26 Nov 2013
Tomb Raider

Hooters, shooters and looters: Eidos’s Tomb Raider

Antique Code Show It has been argued that Tomb Raider’s star, Lara Croft, was the first feminist female of video games: a bastion of 1990s "girl power" and the "ladette" culture that was (supposedly) happening at the time, and thus a great role-model for young empowered women everywhere. Then again, take one glance at Lara posing on the cover for …
Giles Hill, 25 Nov 2013
Peter Capaldi channels William Hartnell

Doctor Who: From Edwardian grump to Malcolm Tucker and back again

Doctor Who @ 50 Since Doctor Who returned in 2005, its producers have loved showing the Doctor’s previous selves, from the pen and ink portraits in Human Nature’s Journal of Impossible Things and the Cybermen’s infostamps in The Next Doctor, to the curious, multiple incarnation runaround in the Doctor’s personal time stream in The Name of the …
Ian Harrison, 22 Nov 2013

Doctor Who Episode One: Through a glass. Darkly

Doctor Who @ 50 Today, the world of 1963 seems extraordinarily remote - and narrow. The “Beatles” name was still a jarring pun, and Telstar live transatlantic TV was just a little over a year old. I remember seeing JFK via Telstar when it kicked off, and then again that November in Dallas in 1963. There were no supermarkets, no plastic bags, …
John Lettice, 21 Nov 2013
Doctor Who: Highs and lows

BAD ALTITUDE: The highs and lows of Doctor Who

Doctor Who @ 50 The Doctor’s many visits to Earth have seen him not only venture around the globe but also far above and below its surface. Early on he was high in the Pamir Mountains, the highest peak of which reaches 7,495m, although the pass in which the travellers first met Marco Polo was probably nearer 4,200m — high enough for the elderly …
Paul Smith, 21 Nov 2013

Lumia 1520: Our man screams into ENORMO new Nokia phondleslab

Review So we’re all Dom Joly now - shouting into gigantically oversized phones. Well, not everybody - but large devices have seen amazing sales increase in the 18 months, catapulting them out of the techie niche they’ve quietly inhabited for years. You can say phablet, we prefer “phondleslab”. Whatever they’re called, these pocket- …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Nov 2013
The TR1200DT-7 treadmill desk

SuperStride Me: Reg man attempts to walk off GIANT CURRY

Part 2 A Malaysian curry laksa is a giant bowl of prawn stock and coconut milk soup laced with spices, two types of noodles, tofu, meat and soybean sprouts. It is usually served with a big dollop of chilli. Laksa may be delicious (and really should have become the UK's number one pub lunch years ago), but is an insane thing to eat if …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Nov 2013
Delia Derbyshire edits on a Philips EL3503 while Desmond Briscoe checks the script

Delia and the Doctor: How to cook up a tune for a Time Lord

Doctor Who @ 50 As a theme tune, Ron Grainer’s music for Doctor Who needs no introduction. But to describe this unique piece of electronic music as solely Ron Grainer’s composition would be a disservice to the considerable musical contribution made by Delia Derbyshire, who in 1963 set about realising the original score at the BBC’s Radiophonic …
Bob Dormon, 19 Nov 2013
Doctor Who: Earth and beyond

GALACTIC YO-YO: Doctor Who’s trips to Earth... and beyond

Doctor Who @ 50 We’ve seen how much of a tendency the Doctor has for visiting Earth relative to other planets in the universe, so what are the trends over his own timeline in his movements between Earth and elsewhere? When has the series felt most tied to our planet? For this chart, each story was assigned a score of +1 if it predominantly took …
Paul Smith, 19 Nov 2013
The TR1200DT-7 treadmill desk

SuperStride Me: Reg hack spends week working at 'treadmill desk'

Part 1 I turned 45 this year, a psychological milestone that rammed home the fact I'm not in great physical shape. My diet's rubbish and my usual efforts to keep trim and fit – cycling – have been curtailed by a combination of lethargy and kids' sport commitments that keep me off the road when my bike club sets out on weekends. Which …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2013
The Master

What a plot of nonsense: Ten Master master plan FAILS

Doctor Who @ 50 “I am the Master, and you will obey me.” He was the Professor Moriarty to the Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes, another renegade Time Lord and always out to conquer the universe - or destroy it. The Master The vicar of diaboly Source: BBC There’s a fan theory that the Master was no megalomaniac at all, but an agent of the Time Lords …
Tony Smith, 18 Nov 2013

Who’s Who: a Reg quest to find the BEST DOCTOR

Doctor Who @ 50 As befits a show about a Time Lord, Doctor Who straddles the generations like a colossus. Even if you weren’t there in 1963, you picked up on the Doctor as some point during his travels. That means a shared experience, regardless of whether you grew up under the influence of Harold Wilson or Maggie Thatcher, whether you watched …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2013
Daleks in Australia

DE-MON-STRATE! How a DALEK SAVED AUSTRALIA from a Dr Who drought in 1977

Doctor Who @ 50 The trike inside the racing Dalek belonged to Kerrie Dougherty’s little brother Geoffrey, who had left it on the front porch of his Sydney home alongside his smaller, older set of wheels. Kerrie had intended to use the smaller, outgrown trike when she and some friends from the University of Sydney planned to build and enter a …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2013
Doctor Who: The Companions

Are you experienced? The Doctor Who assistants that SUFFERED the most

Doctor Who @ 50 There is a range of events the Doctor’s companions can expect to encounter, from meeting his most arch of enemies to being flung bodily through time and space, and undergoing various forms of attack. One might presume the more adventures they have, the more of these experiences they’ll gain, so the radius of the slices indicates …
Paul Smith, 14 Nov 2013

How to relieve Microsoft's Surface RT piles problem

Somewhere in Redmond (at least metaphorically speaking) are several very large piles of unsold Surface RT tablet components. Why did the long-awaited and much-hyped ARM tablet running "Windows for ARM" Windows RT flop so badly, when ARM tablets running iOS for ARM from Apple are doing so well? It's not just the Modern Windows …
Liam Proven, 14 Nov 2013
Doctor Who: The Enemies

PUNISHMENT gluttons: The Dr Who monsters that come back for more

Doctor Who @ 50 Given the Doctor’s propensity for making enemies, he has faced relatively few more than twice. This is perhaps not surprising for someone who can travel anywhere in the whole history of the entire universe – the chances of bumping into someone again should be low. But the demands of making an adventure TV series mean return …
Paul Smith, 13 Nov 2013
Research Machines 380Z

The micro YOU used in school: The story of the Research Machines 380Z

Archaeologic If you’re a British techie of a certain age, there’s only one microcomputer that defines your first memories of computing at school. No, not Acorn’s BBC Micro – the Research Machines 380Z. While Acorn was still knocking up the Proton, the machine being designed as the successor to the Atom, and while the BBC was pondering how it …
Tony Smith, 13 Nov 2013
Doctor Who

Ten top stories from New Who

Doctor Who @ 50 We’ve already listed the stories that mark the very best that the many production teams behind the classic years of Doctor Who during the 1960s, 70s and 80s brought to our TV screens. It seems only fair, then, to do the same for the rebooted series’ run. Doctor Who returned in April 2005 with the story Rose, and there have been …
Tony Smith, 12 Nov 2013
BMW i3

ULTIMATE ELECTRIC driving machine? Yes, it’s the BMW i3 e-car

First Drive People can sometimes behave like sheep. They will go somewhere, do something or buy a certain product simply because other people are doing so or because they recognise the brand. Call it consumer herd mentality. It’s one reason why the Toyota Prius sells so well in the States. BMW i3 Brands Hatch bound: the BMW i3 Here in …
Alun Taylor, 12 Nov 2013
The Talons of Weng-Chiang

Doctor Who nicked my plot and all I got was a mention in this lousy feature

Doctor Who @ 50 There’s no question: blocked Doctor Who writers and Script Editors - or Story Editors as they were in the very early days - frequently turned to movies and books for inspiration. They regularly resorted to, ahem, "borrowing" plots and ideas from famous flicks and notorious novels for the basis for their Doctor Who stories. …
Tony Smith, 11 Nov 2013
Doctor Who McCoy titles

Classic telly FX tech: How the Tardis flew before the CGI era

Doctor Who @ 50 These days it’s all done with computers, of course. CGI – short for Computer-Generated Images, or Imagery – was a well established visual effects technique long before Doctor Who was rebooted in 2005, so it was never in doubt that on-set mechanical effects would be duly combined with CGI visuals during post-production. Both the …
Tony Smith, 8 Nov 2013
Dalek Attack

The CURSE of WHO: WHY has there never been a decent videogame with the Doctor?

Doctor Who @ 50 Doctor Who has not done well as part of the videogame industry. There have been a fair number of professionally-made games based on the series, but few with the BBC’s official blessing and of them an even smaller number that were actually worth playing for any length of time. "Good" in this context doesn’t necessarily mean that …
Tony Smith, 7 Nov 2013
Doctor Who Locations

Planet hopper: The Earthly destinations of Doctor Who

Doctor Who @ 50 The Doctor has often stated that the Earth is quite his favourite planet, and it’s by far his most frequent destination. Yet judging by his televised adventures, he has seen surprisingly little of it. He has barely visited a tenth of all the countries of the world, and the vast majority of his escapades have taken place in …
Paul Smith, 6 Nov 2013
Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars

Ten top stories from Classic Doctor Who

Doctor Who @ 50 ‘Classic’ is a word that was already worn out back in the mid-1980s when fanzine editors and contributors couldn’t help themselves attach it to any Doctor Who story they were particularly keen on, whatever its merits. Thirty-odd years on, the word is no less overused, but the release of stories on VHS and, later, DVD has helped …
Tony Smith, 5 Nov 2013
Call of Duty: Ghosts

OH what a LOVELY, well-rendered WAR: Yes, it’s 'Call of Duty: Ghosts'

Roundup2 The latest Call of Duty game, Ghosts, is out today, and already websites’ game reviewers are tripping over themselves to reach for the clicks they hope the new Infinity Ward title will win them. The fact is, fans will have bought it already, in colossal numbers, leaving the reviews to be read when the gaming’s done and the …
Hans Grenade, 5 Nov 2013
Battlefield 4

Forget 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' - how does its rival from EA stack up?

Review To borrow from football parlance, Battlefield 4 is your proverbial game of two halves. There’s the dry single-player campaign that, for all its bluster, offers few new ideas. Then there’s the juicy multiplayer version that will pull you in and devour your life. Battlefield 4 Squad manoeuvres My usual approach to writing games …
Mike Plant, 5 Nov 2013
Days of the Doctors

Staying power: The small screen spans of the eleven Doctor Whos

Doctor Who @ 50 Here we see the total running times of each Doctor’s regular episodes in which they were the lead – so not counting return appearances with a later Doctor; Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee in The Five Doctors, for instance. With seven years in the role under his belt, Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor is clearly the longest serving, …
Paul Smith, 4 Nov 2013
Screenshot from Doctor Who serial "The Green Death"

Digital deviants: The many MAD COMPUTERS of Doctor Who

Doctor Who @ 50 The Doctor has always made use of a range of remarkable technologies in his travels, including the Tardis, his Sonic Screwdriver and a whole host of homebrewed devices and contraptions. But there’s one area of technology that he seems to have trouble with, and that’s computers. Specifically, apart from his own “mobile computer …
Alone in the Dark

Ding-dong, Cthulu calling: Infogrames’ 1992 Alone in the Dark

Antique Code Show There was a time when you were considered a bit of a sissy if a computer game scared you. Yet along with the numerous innovations Alone in the Dark brought to the gaming world, it was one of the first titles to genuinely put the shits up anyone brave enough to play it. Creaky floorboards, distant howls, Hitchcock camera angles, …
Giles Hill, 31 Oct 2013
Batman: Arkham Origins

HOLY how-did-we-get-here?: Batman Arkham Origins

Review It might be that I’m just a Batman fan, it might be that I’ve yet to be jaded by the Arkham series – certainly not to the extent that I am with the Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed franchises – but I just can’t help but like Origins. Set on one particularly hectic Christmas Eve during the early days of Bruce Wayne’s caped …
Mike Plant, 30 Oct 2013
Enterprise 64

Phantom Flan flinger: The story of the Elan Enterprise 128

Archaeologic Despite its name, Intelligent Software also had a nice little sideline designing hardware. Founded in 1981 by international chess champion David Levy and chess writer Kevin O’Connell, the company was best known for its chess programs, in particular Cyrus and SciSys Chess Champion. But it also developed chess computers for toy …
Tony Smith, 24 Oct 2013
Surface 2 teaser

It's NOT an iPad - but that's FINE: I learned to LOVE Microsoft's Surface 2

Review Microsoft’s first take on Surface RT was a disaster, culminating in a $900m stock write-down in July. Curious then that the company has now produced the Surface 2 with a similar design, and also running Windows RT, the locked-down ARM build on which you cannot install desktop applications – only new-style apps from the Windows …
Tim Anderson, 23 Oct 2013
Early RCA colour video recorder advertisement

Video thrilled the radio star: Tracking the history of magnetic tape

Feature El Reg's magnetic tape odyssey has covered tape's early beginnings in sound recording in part one and its revolution in computing in part two. In this final part, we look at how film and TV became some of magnetic tape's best customers. The music and computer industries weren’t the only early adopters of magnetic tape. The …
Bob Dormon, 10 Oct 2013
Raspberry Pi

UK plant bakes its millionth Raspberry Pi

Comment A Sony-owned factory in South Wales has now punched out more than a million Raspberry Pi board computers. This is laudable, but it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that Britain is going to ride to economic recovery on the back of a new generation of young programmers. The Raspberry Pi is a fortysomething’s wet dream of early 1980s …
Tony Smith, 8 Oct 2013