Tag Archives: review

From the archives: WordStar 2000 Plus review

Wordstar 2000 Plus was the third version of the widely hated word processor. The reaction to the original Wordstar 2000 was similar to the one that greeted New Coke. Well, actually no, it was different… New Coke and the original Coke were just slight variations on of vile, corrosive sugared water. Wordstar 2000 was actually a very capable piece of… Read more »

From the archives: Olivetti Quaderno review

Portable computers were still relatively exotic beasts when Olivetti launched the Quaderno – an XT machine in an A5 form factor. The netbook fad was still some time off. Putting a label on this machine wasn’t that easy. ‘Palmtop’ is, I think, how Olivetti chose to classify it, but it was a bit big for a palm. But just look at… Read more »

From the archives: Cambridge Computer Z88 review

It’s a mystery as to why I was commissioned to write a review of the Cambridge Computer Z88 around a year after it was released. The Z88 came out in 1987 and I wrote this piece for Practical Computing in 1988. The Z88 was typical of the products of Clive Sinclair. It provided a tantalising glimpse of what technology might achieve –… Read more »

From the archives: Amstrad PPC 640 review

This piece was written for Which PC? when the Amstrad PPC first came out in 1988. I can still recall to this day how the Amstrad creaked and groaned. This was probably the cheapest-feeling computer I’ve ever encountered. And as for powering it from 10 C-size batteries – holy crap. Given the lousy battery life – you’d have to carry around… Read more »

From the archives: WordStar 5 review

This piece was written for Personal Computer World – I presume in 1989 when WordStar 5 appeared. Note the bit about needing 512K of memory – you have been warned! I also discovered from some text I’d originally included at the beginning that my old Telecom Gold (aka BT Gold) address was 10074:MIK031. This was, of course, in the days when ordinary… Read more »

Mechanical keyboards: Magicforce 68-key review

This was not a serious purchase. I bought this keyboard purely for its looks. I mean, why wouldn’t you? The version I opted for came with retro-style keycaps that mimic a 1920s or 1930s typewriter. They look fantastic with a retro-styled project such as my HMV1960 Raspberry Pi case. Are they great for typing? Not so much. Because of the… Read more »

Mechanical keyboards: KB Paradise V60 review

There seems to be an obsession with many mechanical keyboard enthusiasts to make the keyboard as small as possible. I can go along with this only so far. As you can see here and here, I’m already a fan of the tenkeyless (TKL) form factor, which dispenses with the number pad but keeps everything else. The KB Paradise V60 takes… Read more »

Mechanical keyboards: KÛL ES-87 TKL review

There is a world that most people know nothing about. It is home to a motley assortment of obsessives. Welcome to the dark and sometimes noisy domain of mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. I had no idea this subculture existed until my painfully progressing arthritis spurred me to seek out alternatives to the standard Apple keyboard that came with my iMac. More than… Read more »