This is the Multimedia archive.

What we've covered, who we spoke to and the competition prizes.

Click on the date to hear the programme.

Any questions contact me at

Date Topics
Feb '08

We open the February show with Mark reviewing something that is not for every computer user. But, if you run a business or have a lot of valuable films, music or images then the Drobo is perfect for you.

As media continues to devour your storage capacity, you need a solution that allows you to easily manage, protect, and scale storage for your PC or Mac. Drobo is the first fully-automated storage robot to take the pain out of keeping your important digital content safe.Just connect Drobo to your Mac or PC. No RAID levels. No management or configuration. Drobo does everything for you. Get rid of multiple external drives. Avoid the complexity of RAID. Attach a Drobo storage robot to your system and let it manage your storage so you don't have to. You can add new drives on the fly and the system of LED lights show exactly how the unit is performing. Not cheap at £300 plus VAT without any drives. But for peace of mind - beyond price.

In reponse to a listener in Cyprus who has just been connected to broadband, Mark & Dave go though the applications and websites you should be using a browsing. Skype is an obvious choice and then as the internet is so vast and covers such a diverse range of tastes, our main recommendation is just to spend time browsing and then add bookmarks to everything that takes your fancy.

In last month’s Multimedia competition, WO1 Zeb Jenkins in BFPO 40 won the great ZyXEL package by telling us tha the A in ADSL stood for Assymetric

Finally, for those still to take the plunge into owning a computer, Richard Astbury shares his experiences of 18 months with his first PC

Jan '08

We start 2008 with a roundup of the 2 big shows. CES in Las Vegas and Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

Mark then reviews the Centrance Micport Pro. (left) This is a professional USB mic preamp with plug-and-play installation. It enables instant computer recording with Windows (XP and Vista) and Mac OSX and features 24-bit/96kHz performance, 48V phantom power, and loud headphone output. The onboard headphone jack delivers zero-latency monitoring via direct circuit. Mic gain and headphone volume are adjusted with two conveniently located rotary controls. Around £100 and a must for anyone who records audio onto their computer.

Mark then speaks to James Edwards from ZyXEL about their great new Homeplug AV Router. (right) This is not only a wireless ADSL router but also when used with the Homeplug AV you can connect your computer to the network from anywhere in the house using the mains wiring with speeds of up to 200 mbps. The ADSL Router is around £125.00 and £65.00 for the Homeplug AV.

Finally, in last month’s Multimedia competition, Laurence Roche in BFPO 16 and Cpl Kerr in Brunssum both won the Pure Evoke1S DAB digital radio in its brand-new, revamped form! (right)

Dec '07

This special hour-long edition, presented by Mark Phillips, recaps some of the high- and low-lights of 2007 and looks forward to the brave new world of 2008!

 Guests in the studio include: Bryan Betts Technology JournalistBarry Collins – News and Features Editor PC Pro Kerry Stanaway from Which – the Consumers Association  Paul Gibbons from leading Apple retailer The Square Group

Our tech-savvy team chat about, among other things: iPhones, Nokias and mobile internet.

 Howard Pearce radio presenter reviews Sony Ericsson’s P1i smartphone (left) and the 5 megapixel camera phone the K850i (right)

 Was 2007 Apple’s year?; Broadband speeds, Windows Vista, and weird and wonderful iPod competitors and gadgets, including Creative’s new Zen

And from the O’Neill Fat Controller iPod gloves  and Gear4’s Blueye Bluetooth add-on (left),  and the Roberts ROBI DAB and FM radio iPod tuner (right)

Nov '07

November starts with a cautionary tale on on-line shopping from La Redoute and then Mark meets Paul Motion, Technical Hardware Specialist from Crucial Technology who explains why computer RAM is important and how easy it is to upgrade. He also explains how the RAM and Hard drive in your PC are the same as a desk and filing cabinet.

Dave then describes how to set up your laptop for travelling. Setting up a new account with no admin rights and that account is the one that auto boots on startup. So if a thief does get your machine, he doesn't intitially see your user folders and information.
Then ecncrypt your important files - is a very good On The Fly Encryption application.

In the competition Stuart Neilsen in Portsmouth, and Rick O'Keefe in BFPO 2 won 3 Dr Who DVDs by telling us that Ace's other name was Dorothy. This month win 2GB of RAM from Crucial by telling us "What does DDR stand for" ? Answers to

245 million people are registered with Skype and Mark meets Gareth O'Lochlan is GM for Skype Mobile & Hardware devices and Gareth tells about the great new high quality video service.

If you have any questions or PC problems - then get in touch with us at
Oct '07

Vista has been available for nearly a year and many commentators have ben writing about how problematical it still is, with one even recommending that Microsoft withdraw it and go back to XP. Mark talks about his experiences and frustrations and continues to recommend that unless you really have to upgrade then wait for service pack 1.

Dave then talks to Tony Orsten from Joost about their great entertainment application - see screen shot left.

It was by request only until last month and now is available to anyone on both Mac and PC. You become your own TV channel director, create your own channels and watch what you want, when you want.

You can sit back and watch on your own if you'd like, or you can get involved.

More than 15,000 shows, full length films and TV shows and they add more every day. So there's always something to watch.

All you need is a broadband connection and Joost is free.

In the competition Chris Stace, BFPO 53; Moira Richards, BFPO 16 and Stephen Lapham, BFPO 52 won Paint Shop Pro X2 by telling us that 12 would be XII in Roman numerals.

Mark then produces the NOXON 2 radio for iPod (right) This integrated Universal Dock turns your iPod into a stereo system and charges it.

You can also select and play any one of over 10,000 Internet radio stations from around the world—without needing to boot your computer. A wide range of podcasts are also available at the touch of a button.

Because of the networking features of the NOXON 2 radio for iPod, you can enjoy music from your PC hard drive anywhere in the house. Regardless of whether you are using a wired or wireless LAN or HomePlug network, your digital music will be on tap in your bedroom, living room, kitchen or bath, while your computer stays where it belongs—in your home office.

The NOXON 2 radio for iPod can be controlled using a remote or the buttons on the device. All common music formats, WLAN standards and encryption types are supported and software is included for Windows, Mac and Linux. Around £250

Chris Perry from the Pharmacy in RNH Gibraltar asked our opinions on getting a USB cassette deck to transfer his old tapes to CD or mp3. Dave and Mark thought that he would be better plugging a cassette hifi unit direct into the line input of his PC; or if there is no line input or it's not good quality, then one of the iMic type of USB audio interfaces that has mike or line in and out.

Dave also thought that unless the cassette was a home recording or a special mix tape then it would be better to get the music from somewhere else. Cassette audio was never hifi and after 20 or so years the tape quality would have detriorated to make it even worse. For nostalgia, Yes; for audio enjoyment, probably not.

Finally, Mark produces what has to be one of the most expensive keyboard and mouse combinations. The Microsoft Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 (left) at £150

It has a rechargeable mouse and a beautiful backlit keyboard. 2.4 GHz Bluetooth® Technology so you can connect wirelessly right out of the box with up to 30 feet and virtually no interference.

4 integrated USB ports in the charging station give you the flexibility to download images from your digital camera or plug in your thumb drive or other USB device—right from your desktop

The Battery Status Indicator senses when battery life is running out and the wireless mouse and keyboard let you work without worrying about tangled wires. It is really a joy to use with many extra programmable keys - but not cheap !

Sep '07

Mark opens the September programme meeting Chris Bover, the Product Manager at Corel who tells him whats new in their latest version of PaintshopPro - the Photo X2.

Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 is the ideal choice for any aspiring photographer's digital darkroom. It's filled with everything from easy automatic photo fixes to precision editing tools.

The Express Lab is a new, super-fast photo fixing mode. You'll save hours of time, because now you can edit dozens of photos in the time it used to take to edit just a few! Just think how easy it will be to breeze through folders full of photos — cropping, rotating, removing red eye, and straightening, — without having to wait for each individual photo to open.

£79 for the full or £49 for the upgrade

Dave travels to Bagshot to the HQ of Steljes for the launch of the DOU, the Deployable Operations Unit

Alex Wood, the UK Defence Manager for Steljes explains how the DOU utilises SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard technology, with full interactivity for all PC-based applications with the use of a finger. Capable of viewing multiple inputs from one single display, the DOU is operational in under one minute and is completely self-contained, whilst being capable of withstanding the harshest of environments.

This unit has been designed to fit easily into all types of aircaft and once plugged into the power supply requires no setting up apart from pressing one button to open the lid and raise the screen.

Dave saw the finished prototype and you should be seeing this in thatre pretty soon. Interested ? - then contact Alex at Steljes

In the competition James Body won the Return Of The Saint DVDs by correctly saying that Sean Connery was the odd one out as Roger Moore, Vincent Price & Ian Ogilvy had all played the Saint.

September was a month for mp3 players. Dave was at the launch of the new iPods at the BBC TV centre and Mark has got his hands on the new players from Creative.

The diminutive Zen Stone Plus (left) has six glossy shades and a shiny sleek finish. And with its 2GB capacity, this lightweight player allows you to indulge in up to 1000 songs as you head for your daily workout or run. Simply switch to radio anytime you fancy a change. Just £50 in the UK

Slightly bigger and with a proper screen is the Zen Vision Plus - (right)

Starting at £65 it has a glossy black finish and a neat rounded shape that fits comfortably in the hand. Available in three memory sizes, it can store from hundreds to thousands of songs and photos and includes an FM radio with 32 presets. A bright colour screen, it supports multiple audio formats including MP3, WMA and Audible Audio. The Zen V Plus can record straight to WMA without a PC, and it has a built-in microphone for voice notes. It can also play video clips. Its rechargeable battery lasts up to 15 hours.

Aug '07

August starts with Mark reviewing a most amazing laptop.

The Alienware m9750 a dual core processor, dual graphics cards, dual hard drive and a stunning HD display laptop that weighs in a just under 4kg and costs just under £2,000

Great for gamers and video/audio field work. The m9750 has all the hardcore hardware you need to enter the world of enthusiast DV editing.

Its dual core processors, fast dual 7,200RPM hard drives and array of input/output connections enable you to capture, encode and edit in real-time. If you don't have time to finish your masterpiece, just take your new DV editing notebook with you; try doing that with your typical workstation.

Then Dave talks to Henry Norton, the Global Spokesperson for Intego about Contentbarrier.

ContentBarrier X4 sets up a protective wall around your computer. Its predefined categories let you choose what you don't want your children to see, and you can also create your own custom categories.

Intego ContentBarrier X4 blocks adult web sites, sites with subjects not fit for children, and even blocks chats when predatory language is used. It blocks all offensive content coming from the Internet.

ContentBarrier X4 works with multiple users, and interfaces seamlessly with the Mac OS X user accounts on your computer. If you have several children, you can set different criteria corresponding to their age or maturity. You can choose whether they have access to newsgroups, e-mail, or whether they can download files. You can set the program to let them only use the Internet at certain times, and on certain days. You can choose to block or allow specific web sites, allow users only to use selected applications, and block access to specific types of content, such as streaming media or peer-to-peer file transfers. Buy on-line from £47.95

In the competition Doug Clarke from BFPO 39, Ronnie Dove in BFPO 140, Chris Perry in BFPO 52, John Bastock in BFPO 30, Mark Quince in Shape and Bob Inman in Egham all win comedy DVDs by correctly saying that Bud Flanagan sang the theme to Dads Army and it was written in 1968. This month win a 7 DVD set of Return Of The Saint by telling us the odd one out - Roger Moore, Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy, Sean Connery and why ? Answers to

Mark then talks to Kerry Stanway, Senior Researcher from Which? about how many broadband users in the UK are getting nothing like the speed they are promised - Many people who were promised 8 mbps were getting on average just 2.7 mbps. How far you are from your phone exchange can degrade your speed, even the wiring in your home can slow you down.

Jul '07

July opens with Mark reviewing the Collectorz - the database application that keeps track of all your DVD library. Very easy to use and you can drastically reduce the time it takes to add items to your database. Use the barcode scanner (right) to enter the barcodes of your CDs, DVDs, books or video games.
The programs use the barcodes to search online for information about your titles, and it adds them to your database. You don't have to type anything yourself, so you're finished very quickly. provides a series of database programs for cataloging your personal collection of music, movies, books, comics, video games, audio files (MP3, WMA, OGG and more) and digital photos and you can get a free trial from their Collectorz website as well as some special offers.

Then Dave talks to Lars Felber from the software company ElGato. They make great TV recording devices for the Mac and now have brought out the Turbo.264 which works through your usb port to rapidly decrease the time it takes to convert your video to the Apple TV or iPod format.

Videos can take a long time to encode – longer than the actual playing time. What’s more, video encoding can demand a sizeable chunk of system resources. How long and how much depends on:
the processor speed of your Mac, the length and complexity of the source video, the size of the video file, the amount of video compression required for the desired end result.

Turbo.264 accelerates video encoding up to four times faster on Macs with Intel Core processors. On an older Mac like a PowerPC G4 or PowerPC G5, the acceleration is exponentially faster. Retailing at £69 this a a must if you record TV or Video on to your Mac

In the competition Doug Clarke in BFPO 39 won a super Bluetrek ST1 headset, by correctly telling us that Popeye was Bluto's nemesis.

Mark goes to meet Kirsty MacIntyre who's the Environmental Takeback Compliance Manager for Hewlett Packard to talk about the WEEE directive.

Product recycling is nothing new to HP and HP has participated in the development of the WEEE Directive at all stages of the legislative process both at EU and member state level. HP is now contributing to the implementation process in each member state where the company has a presence. HP will comply with the provisions of the WEEE Directive and national implementing legislation.

HP has recycled computer and printer hardware since 1987. HP's Planet Partners recycling service provides an easy way to recycle any brand of computer equipment and is available in 36 countries.

Jun '07

In April we asked for any users of Vista to send us their experiences. Thanks to all who responded. Steve Bruckshaw in Cyprus wrote " Overall it appears to be more stable than XP and obviously therefore ME, 98, & 95. I would recommend any one to upgrade provided their hardware is not too old. Also if they are looking for a new PC or laptop with Vista I would strongly recommend they check out the minimum/recommended specs from Microsoft for running Vista. Microsoft’s latest offering is a resource hog and it is very frustrating if you have purchased a new system only to find it won’t run some of Vista’s new features."
If you use a laptop you may find that your battey life is almost halved unless you turn off some of Vista's glossy features. 

Friday May 25th is Silver Surfers Day in the UK. Mark meets Brian Eisenberg from Digital Unite who are organising the day. More information from

If you have a digital camera, Dave gives his recommendations on what are the best image sizes to use. Eplains the difference between raw and jpeg and looks ahead to the new cameras coming which can use Microsft's HD Photo. If you want to listen to a superb discussion on digital photography then click on the link to This Week In Media -TWIM. The show is hosted by Alex Lindsay, John Foster, Kenji Kato and Craig Syverson and Bill Crow is the guest from Microsoft.

In the competition Gordon Baxter &Tim Holdaway both win a DVD boxed set of the Beiderbecke Tapes and Robert Maines & Baldev Shinder both win the Tumbledown DVD by correctly answering that Port Stanley is the capital of the Falkland Islands.

Mark meets Amanda Neville is Director of the British Film Institute and she tells us about the fabulous BFI archive and their new Media Tech. Hewlett Packard are involved in the digitisation and Gary Orlin is the Director of Corporate Marketing with HP. To learn more go to /

May '07

Mark goes back to meet Mustafa Salman of who runs a Hard Drive Rescue and repair service to learn more about what can possibly be rescued if your drive fails and how to prevent it.

Dave & Mark then look at some of the new bluetooth headsets on the market including the excellent Bluetrek ST1. From around £40 and with an estimated 9 hours of music or 19 hours of talk this is a very comfortable headset for your phone without looking too much like Nathan Barley

In the competition Hugh Blackman won A Bit Of Fry & Laurie, David Jacklin - The New Statesman, Chris Butler - Dad's Army, Ted Hay - George & Mildred and Sue Lobo - Bless This House, by correctly telling us that Hugh Laurie is starring in House MD.

Dave talks to Chris Spearing, the UK Country Manager for Logitech about how webcams have developed over the years and how the new ones can track your movements around the room, add avatars to your image and automatically compensate for backlighting.

Apr '07

April starts with Mark meeting Mustafa Salman of who runs a Hard Drive Rescue and repair service. He explains how he goes about the repair and the things you should - and shouldn't do if your drive starts to play up.

Dave looks at bloatware - all the free applications that come loaded onto your PC - most of which you never want but they all add to slowing it down and reducing it's performance. You can remove then manually but it takes time and is not 100%. By far the best way is to get a pure Windows system disk and load from that.

In the competion Sarah Quince of BFPO 26 wins the the DVD set of The Champions by telling us that the organisation they worked for was NEMESIS.

Mark and Dave then play with the Slingbox that makes your television accessible from anywhere. It sends your living room television to wherever you choose to watch. You can call it your TV...anywhere. The Slingbox doesn’t replace your entertainment system…it embraces it.

The Slingbox sends your video over your home network to your router, which then gives you access from wherever you are: in the kitchen or anywhere in the world with a high-speed Internet connection. And, if you have a digital video recorder (DVR), you can watch your recorded programs and use the familiar features, such as pause, instant replay, and fast forward…even schedule recordings. If your DVR can do it, your Slingbox can view it. Dave watches TV from Mark's house and this box would be great for anyone in an overseas posting with broadband but no BFBS TV service. Retailing at £149.99 this is a great device.

In the letters and questions depatment David Jacklin of BFPO 15 went to CEBIT to look for video glasses instead of buying a large LCD TV but found it a most frustrating experience because of the size of the event. Daniel Kershaw also went to CEBIT and picked up the Linux operating system Ubuntu which is fast becoming the alternative choice to Windows. Video glasses and Ubuntu are both items we'll be ooking at later this year.

Finally Colin Dean of LearnDirect in Bielefeld asks on how do we perceive that IT has turned learning on it's head ? Again something we'll come back to next month

Mar '07

March opens with Dave looking at the new ISO regulations which mean that printer manufacturers have to declare how many pages their ink cartridges will print.
• Tests are conducted with at least three printers, each using at least three cartridges of each model, not including the first set of installed cartridges.
• A suite of five patterns (shown below) is printed continuously, in consecutive order. Cartridges are replaced when the printer indicates
cartridges are expended and will not print without replacing the cartridge.
• Testing is conducted at a controlled temperature in Default Mode on plain paper with print commands from a late model PC with a Microsoft Windows operating system.
• In recognition of various factors that can affect yields, declared yields are rounded down (not up) in amounts that are at least sufficient to fulfill the standard deviation formula built into the ISO standard to assure accuracy and reliability.
For the first time it is now possible to compare the running cost of printers. This is so important when there are some cheap printers available that cost only a few pounds more to buy than to replace the inks.Further reading and research can be found here at Epson - but it takes a lot of digging to find out what the yields are for each printer and it only includes current models. One item that is worth doing even if your old printer is still working OK - If you have one of the old printers with just 2 cartridges, black and colour and if you replace that colour cartridge more than twice a year then buy a new printer. It will be quicker, better quality and save you money.If you want to save even more money then buy the compatible printer inks that can be up to 1/3 the price of the branded models. If you can't get them easily where you are, then companies like SVP will ship overseas.

Mark reviews graphics tablets - using the Wacom Graphire4 A6 and finds that his young son Sam is better on it than he is. If you are getting a sore wrist with RSI then a graphic tablet will help relieve the strain and for working with photographs it beats the mouse hands down.

In the competition, John Comer, BFPO 39 wins the Logitech Internet Chat headset by telling us that VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol.

Dave and Mark then look at what specifications you should be looking for if you are buying a new laptop. Don't be tempted by the low priced, low specced £400 options. To get a decent machine you need to be spending arounf £800. The new Macs also run Windows software and could be worth considering.

Feb '07

The February show opens with Dave reviewing a revolutionary new mouse - the Logitech MX Revolution. This is a wireless laser mouse with 7 buttons, 2 scroll wheels one with tilt. The great strength is it's programmability which means you can assign commands and shortcuts to the buttons for each of your favourite applications. This can speed up your workflow dramatically and with the "Search" button in the centre of the mouse you can quickly find text in web pages or on your computer.
This search facility is new in Vista and has been in the Mac for about 5 years and to have a button rather than a drop down menu makes it much quicker. It's also very comfortable for extended use and only needs to be popped into the charger about every 10 days. More expensive than your normal mouse at around £50 but if you spend much time at your PC, then worth it.

Mark then meets Ben Padley, the Director of Global product Marketing for Sony Ericsson to talk about their eagerly awaited new phone the W880i. The W880i phone has an ultra-slim design with a stainless steel casing. It would be an impressive piece of design if it were just a music player - but, with 3G technology included, it's truly outstanding. New 'Walkman' software makes it simple to control and enjoy your favourite tunes, while 10MB of built-in memory plus a 1GB memory card give you storage for hundreds of songs. Incredibly light, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, 2 megapixel camera, web access, an RSS reader, email and photo blogging. The phone is due at the end on the month with a price of around £300 but free with some phone contracts.

In the competition, Sarah Quince in BFPO 655 and Chris Perry in BFPO 52 win a DVD set of The Sandbaggers by correctly answering that the head of MI5 is known as "K"

Dave then reviews another iPod recording device, this time from Belkin - The Tunetalk Stereo. This works much better than the one reviewed last month in that it has a longer connector to allow it to be used on an iPod in a case. It also comes with a little stand so it can be used in an upright position. Recording quality is great from the onboard stereo microphones and also it can be charged while recording which extends its record time beyond the 90 minute limit when operating on battery alone. £40 from many retailers but if you need a full recording system you might want to wait until later this year when Belkin bring out their TuneStudio.

In the news from PC-Pro magazine, Barry Collins, News & Features Editor - the end of DRM - perhaps !, problems with vouchers for Vista upgrades and Vista problems for some applications, especially gamers. Kodak's new range of inkjet printers and new entries into the anti-virus market from Symantec and Microsoft.

Jan '07

A new year and a new gadget that seems to have taken the world by storm even though it's not on sale until the summer. The Apple iPhone looks to have elegantly joined an audio and video player, email, web browser and phone into one device. There are other gadgets that do most of those things but they don't look as good nor are they as easy to operate. But how many people will pay about £300 for a phone ?

Dave then reviews the Griffin iTalk Pro . This plugs in the bottom of the newer iPod Video and Nano and with one click is a full CD quality stereo recording device. There are 2 built in microphones, so it's great for quickly recording memos, ideas or conversations. You can plug in a microphone to record in higher quality for interviews. Downsides are that level control is not easy, you can't hear what you are recording and battery life on the iPod is greatly reduced. Around £29 from many suppliers.

Then something for the Mac users listening - the Elgato EyeTV Diversity . This lipstick sized USB gadget is a dual tuner, diversity digital TV recorder. This amazing USB 2.0 stick provides superior television reception deep indoors, in conditions that are challenging for reception outdoors, and at high speeds. EyeTV Diversity contains two integrated receivers and two portable antennas. They work together to achieve optimal reception in Diversity mode, or independently as two distinct tuners in Dual Tuner mode.

In a strong signal area the EyeTV Diversity becomes two conventional DTT receivers in one. You can watch Picture-in-Picture, or watch one show while you record another. In Diversity mode, the two integrated tuners are set to the same frequency. EyeTV Diversity contains a Digital Signal Processor (DSP), which uses information from both tuners to generate the best signal possible. This gives superb reception deep indoors, in weak DTT coverage areas, and at high speeds. Around £100 this is superb value and great for travellers as well as at home.

In the competition, Yvonne Maguire of Episkopi wins 5 comedy DVDs, Ronnie Dove, BFPO 140 wins 4, Tim Holdaway, Dhekelia wins 3, Waheed Bhatti, Gibraltar wins 2 and Mark Pearce, BFPO 59 gets one DVD by all correctly answering that Stephen Lewis played Blakey in On The Buses.

Then Mark meets John Bouge from Computing Which who explains why it seems that more people than ever are now using computers and yet seem to be understanding less about the jargon used to describe the computing bits.

 In the news from PC-Pro magazine, Barry Collins, News & Features Editor - good news for people having trouble getting a MAC code; Bill Gates comments on DRM; Joost TV from the inventors of Skype; the gossip from CES and Macworld Expo.

Dec '06

December starts with a talk with Justin Keller from, a new web browser that has a human interface, a guide who helps you refine your searches. Ig you find that Google is not coming up with the answers you want - give chacha a try.

In the competition, Michael Carroll at RAF Brampton wins the Logitech Quickcam Notebook Pro, Robert Maines also in the UK wins the Logitech Quickcam Fusion, Glyn Davies in Dhekelia wins the Fireball XL5 DVDs and Neil Davies in Chetwyn Barracks, Nottingham wins the Supercar DVDs - all correctly saying that camera obscura means dark chamber.

Then Dave & Mark discussing how to choose the right iPod for your needs and his 4 year old Sam gives his in depth review of the iPod Shuffle. The trouble is that he likes it so much it's going to end in tears when it has to back to Apple HQ.

In the news from PC-Pro magazine, Barry Collins, News & Features Editor - usb gadgets, Vista is now very close, Office 2007 is 70% more expensive in the UK, BT broadband in the UK, trouble with MAC codes.

Nov '06

November and the show starts with Mark and Dave comparing the new browsers that have been realeased in the last month. Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2. Their consensus, along with that of most of the tech journalists, is that Firefox wins but if you must use Explorer then junk the awful IE6 and get the new one.

Then after a request from one of the BFBS Radio 1 DJs, Dave gives advice on when to buy a computer - the answer is, if you need one now, buy it - and accept the fact it will be out of date by January. He then compares his newest one, bought this month, to his first Mac computer bought in November 22 years ago - (left)

Want to access your computer from some other location ? - Mark reviews Log Me In which is a free application and is a great way to control your computer remotely - or to control the PC of a friend or family member who sometimes needs help and is too far away to visit.

In the competition, Baldev Shinder in West Bromwich won the Perrsuaders DVD boxed set by correctly saying that John Barry wrote the theme for the programme.

Dave talks to Garreth Hayes, European Product Manager from Logitech about their new top of the range keyboard - the diNovo Edge that takes the mundane keyboard into a work of art. It incorporates the revolutionary TouchDisc that makes trackpads obsolete. A slim recharging base doubles as a keyboard stand.

In the news from PC-Pro magazine, Barry Collins - Firefox vs Explorer 7, looking ahead to Vista and the online game Second Life.

Oct '06 October's show starts with Dave's thoughts on using internet cafes in France and the way you should protect yourself if you have to use an internet cafe and have to use some of your passwords.
One option is to have your browser on a memory stick. Firefox make a portable browser that fits onto a USB solid state memory chip, but if the host PC has a keystoke logger loaded it still compromises your security.
As always - make sure your Windows software is fully up to date, you have the latest virus scanners downloaded and get copies of Windows Defender, SpyBot R&D and Adaware to keep your PC safe.

Mark then meets Howard Pearce from Smooth FM and Howard describes how he chose his new mobile phone that had to receive email as well as all the usual mobile phone features. The Sony Ericsson M600i (left) has a touch screen and a near qwerty keyboard, scroll wheel and has great funtionality. Howard is buying one and Mark wants one !

In the competition Lucille Hayward in BFPO 39, Richie Judson, Air Warfare Centre, Cranwell and Mark Broughton in BFPO 645 all correctly said that DECT stands for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications. A great Phillips DECT/Skype phone on it's way to you all.

 In the news from PC-Pro magazine, an old friend returns, Barry Collins is back as News & Features Editor. Laptop batteries, rows between AMD & Intel, why the number of processors in your PC is more important than chip speed, Blueray vs HD-DVD, broadband speed advertising and Digital Rights Management.

Sept '06 The iPod is everywhere and there is an even bigger growing market in accessories. Thic month we look at the iHome which is a great bedside radio sized sound system. This all-in-one device combines the functions of an iPod dock, alarm clock and AM/FM radio into one package. .
The alarm itself has a multitude of settings. First, you get to choose from your iPod, radio or basic buzzer as the alarm source. You can program the time and whether the IH5 will use ascending tones. Then at night when you're drifting off to sleep, you can set the IH5s sleep function.
Really good sound that belies its small size and different adaptors can cope with every different type of iPod - great value at £99 from

Something smaller is the DLO HomeDock Deluxe. an audio & video Dock for the iPod at £128.99 The HomeDock Deluxe takes the entertainment out of your pocket and puts it on the big screen! It is the world's first iPod dock that lets you view and select your iPod's music on your TV screen. It'll change the way you experience your iPod and your music. Included is an 18 button remote control, so you can play, pause and skip through your tunes even when you're across the room.
The DLO HD Deluxe connects to your TV via Composite or S-Video, giving you a clear view of the iPod menu as well as letting you look through your pictures and videos at full-scale.

In last month's competition Mark Pearce in BFPO 59 won the Macromedia Studio 8 by correctly answering that Adobe had bought them out.

Then Dave meets Romain Du Guardier who is the Logitech Product Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Pointing Devices - in other words - chief Mouse Man for Logitech !
He explains how Logitech approached the design of this revolutionary new mouse, the first with a clutch which accelerates as you spin the wheel. Also the groove for the thumb allows the addition of another button and scroll which is already set up to maximise your Vista and Mac experience. This is the mouse of the future that sets the bar for further mouse development - not cheap at around £75, but if you spend a lot of time at your computer this will speed your workflow, reduce the risk of RSI and leave your right hand and arm feeling much less stressed.

Finally a warning from Mark, freshly returned from 2 weeks holiday in Greece. If you use an internet cafe to check your email, browse the net etc - be warned - the machine may not be as spyware, keylogger, etc free as your well maintained home PC.
Enter personsal details with care - and only if you need to. Mark had to spend 30 minutes cleaning his internet cafe machine of malware before he could even check his email!
Aug '06 We start August with a look at some of the very good help applications which clear your PC from unwanted temp files, startup items, old drivers etc have a geat application called The Ultimate Troubleshooter - the majority of problems which a PC encounters, whether in business or at home, are not caused by hardware, they are not caused by viruses, they are not caused by spam; they are caused by background tasks belonging largely to legitimate and well-known software you use every day !
From PC lock-ups to illegal operations and other frustrations, many problems purely and simply come down to what is running in the background on your PC and currently demanding attention by the computer. The trick to having a PC that runs smoothly is to know which background tasks are essential, which are not, and which only need to run sometimes. For just $29 it's great value and you can try it free. does what it says - looks for the most up to date drivers for your system which will give you better PC Performance, Improved Stability and fast and easy updating - and it's free.  is a great defragmenting tool that works much better and more efficiently than the one bundled with your Microsoft software - DIRMS stand for Do It Right Micro Soft ! If you don't really know what fragmentation is the go here to learn.
CCleaner is a really clever piece of freeware that removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it's fast (normally taking less that a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware!

For the last month Mark has been playing with the new Phillips Skype phone. A normal DECT phone that works through your regular phone line but when you press the Skype button it routes calls through your broadband connection with Skype - which is of course free. For around £60 it's an excellent set-up and w're giving 3 away next month.

Finally - Mark presents one of the smallest of the mini PCs from prize winning manufacturers Easy to assemble and ideal if you are pushed for space - a real powerpack in a small form. The high specced model Mark made up cost in the region of £600
July '06 Our 100th show starts with Mark talking to Alistair Shrimpton from Skype UK who explains how Skype started and how it has developed over the 3 years. Skype has added more and more features over the years - 26 in 2006 alone. Conference calls and Skypecasts are just some of the features.

Then Mark calls Dave by Skype and tries out the new Creative Live Cam Voice Live! Cam Voice is the first webcam with built-in dual microphones and true megapixel video sensor. Inside its curved, compact design in stylish grey and brushed metal it features revolutionary Adaptive Array Microphone technology, which identifies unwanted background noise and removes it for maximum clarity in conversation.

Dave than plays a little of Senator Ted Stevens' speech to the US Senate during the Net Neutrality Bill. - It's all tubes - or not!

Then the competition results from June - What job did the 5 young things in the This Life house all do ? - The answer was Lawyers and Zahida Alam from Gibraltar won the This Life DVD set, Ronnie Dove in BFPO 140 won the Stephen Poliakoff BBC dramas and Sandy Leavy won the 3 comedy DVDs.

Finally - all the latest news from Paul Trotter of PC-Pro magazine.
June '06 In the June show Mark talks to Michael Wagner , Senior Director of Worldwide Marketing - Linksys about the newest type of wireless network routers - Wireless n. Wireless n offers another 12 times increase in speed, 4 times range and much more robustness.

Dave then talks about securing your wireless networks by altering the network name, administration password and setting the security - although the router will work straight out of the box - it is not secured. More tips include getting surge protection for your PC and peripherals, Keep your firewall switched on keeping your anti- virus and spyware up to date.

In the competition the Pure Evoke 2XT DAB radio went to John Wilkinson in Rheindahlen

The Digital Home - Craig Reed is from Buffalo Techonology and he talks about DLNA which is the new certified approval that means all devices that are DLNA marked will work seamlessly with each other. Buffalo Techonology's Link Station (right)is a very good example of the use that collating all your entertainment media in one location and sharing it across the house can be put to.
May '06 We open the May show with why you should and how you go about reinstalling Windows on your PC. It's not rocket science but does need a planned approach and setting aside some time to achieve a trouble free installation. Guidance from

Then Mark reviews some of the new VOIP phones new in the market - the Linksys CIT200 (left) looks like an ordinary phone but plugs into the USB of your computer to give you free calls to other Skype users across the world. Around £60 from many retailers including Amazon.
Vonage have a wide range of packages for VOIP networks that works alongside your normal phone line.
In the competition Chris Butler in Hohne wins a Lightscribe HP DVD840i DVD with runners up prizes of great BBC DVDs going to Chris Perry in Gibraltar and Pat Hicks in Cyprus.
Finally, Gareth Ogden the Editor of Custom PC magazine is along with all the news.
Apr '06 Happy Birthday to us - Multimedia is 8 this month and we open the show with a look back at what we were talking about in that first programme. Windows 98 was being reviewed, we were looking ahead to the damp squib that was the Millennium Bug and we were running 300mhz computers with a 3.5gb hard drive!

Mark then talks to Craig Roy from Catwalk Creations who has put Boot Camp on his new Wintel Mac about how easy it is to have a computer that can boot up in Windows XP or Mac OS X.

Mark then looks at the Lightscribe DVD/CD burner that has the novel feature of being able to burn the label onto the CD. Kevin Jefcoate from Lightscribe who explains how it works.

In the competition Jan Heath, 4 Regt RA and Gordon Baxter at RAF Akrotiri both win CorelDraw Graphic Suite by coorectly answering that there are 1,000 fonts in the pack.

Finally, Paul Trotter the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro magazine is along with all the news.

Mar '06 March's show opens with a brief chat on CEBIT; the hype of Origami that lasted about 48 hours, RFID that will be everywhere soon and how with 30 miles of alleyways could CEBIT becoming too large ?

Dave then responds to a request to find out which of the major computer retailers will ship to BFPO. The answer is, none of them. John Lewis have an export department so it's worth asking them, but Dixons, PC World, Dabs, Comet etc don't ship to BFPO addresses. Many computer suppliers do - see Sophie Rhodes emailed from Cypus saying that Dell do deliver to BFPO and also give VAT/Duty Free prices.

USB memory sticks have been around for a while, and in the last year they have reached up to 2GB or more in size. They make great backup devices as they will get all your important data; not your music, pictures and videos, but everything else, quickly onto a little device the size of a lipstick. But supposing you lost it? Crucial have brought out the Gizmo! with the Portable Vault security software that's designed to encrypt data on your Gizmo! overdrive so that it is inaccessible without the password you set. It has 256-bit Blowfish-level encryption and you can hide folder directory from view with the folder toggle button. Prices start at £28.19 for the 512mb version - more info at Crucial Gizmo!

Mark reviews the Buffalo Linkstation Network Storage Centre that offers an easy and economic solution to add 300 GigaBytes of network attached storage while providing high-speed LAN connections. Quick and simple installation allows you to instantly store and share your music, videos, images and other files from your home network. You can also use a built-in USB print server. This is great solution for storing and sharing files on your home or small office network for around £175.00.

Then Mark returns to interview Gerard Metrailler , the International Product Manager for Corel this time tell us what's new in the latest CorelDraw Graphics Suite X3 - With this comprehensive graphics suite, you can tackle a wide variety of projects - from logo creation and Web graphics, to multi-page marketing brochures, or eye-catching signs. From new bitmap-to-vector tracing in Corel PowerTRACE, new photo-editing features in PHOTO-PAINT, this suite combines design capabilities and ease-of-use.

In the competition Mark Quince BFPO 655, Waheed Bhatti BFPO 52 and Chris Frear all win Corel's Paintshop Pro X

Finally, Phil Roberts in Cyprus asked why he can't open png images in MS Internet Explorer. png is Portable Network Graphics and is recognised my all the main web browsers and image applications apart from Explorer for Windows. My recommendation - change to Firefox. It's quicker, more secure, looks nicer and reads png images.

Feb '06

We kick of the February show with Mark interviewing Gerard Metrailler , the International Product Manager for Corel and tells us what is new in the latest Corel Office X3 - Although up against the 400lb gorilla that is Microsoft Office - Wordpefect has many features that eclipse what Microsoft can offer and many say it is much more intuitive to use. With prices starting at just £59 it's also very good value.

Dave then continues with part 2 of how to spot spyware on your PC and things you should & shouldn't do to keep it at bay.
Keep Internet Explorer's Internet zone set to Medium - to alter it in Internet Explorer, pull down the Tools menu and select Internet Options, choose the Security tab, Select the Internet zone and check the Security level setting and click the Default Level button.
It's worth using Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool - go to the Malicious Software Removal Tool page, in the Scan And Clean Your PC panel, click the Check My PC For Infection button, when prompted to install the Malicious Software Removal Tool, click the Install button. When the scan is a complete, review the report displayed on the page.
Keep the Pop-Up Blocker switched on and if you want to receive them from certain sites choose Tools | Pop-up Blocker | Pop-up Blocker Settings, type the address of the Web site in the appropriate text box and click the Add button, make sure that the Filter level setting is set to Medium.
And finally - Close pop-ups properly
If you do happen to encounter a pop-up window, don't click any button inside the window no matter what it says. A lot of spyware will try to trick you into allowing it into your system by prompting you to click an innocent-looking OK or Cancel button in a window designed to look like a dialog box. Never do that! Always use the red Close button in the upper-right corner of the window.
The inspiration for this piece came from Greg Shultz a freelance technical writer who regularly writes articles for ZDNet and TechProGuild. You can visit his Web site at

Then the competiotion and Ronnie Dove of BFPO 140 and Helen Marshall of BFPO 53 were the lucky winners of the Seiko Label Printers by correctly saying that the dimensions of A4 paper are 210mm x 297mm.

Next Mark produces from his pocket the very sexy and very new mp3 player from Creative - the Zen Vision M (left) It has many advantages over its main rival the iPod Video and it's a tough call as to which one is best for you. Mark plumps just for the iPod - but it's a close run thing.

Finally, Paul Trotter the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro magazine is along with all the news.

Jan '06 January starts with Dave looking at spyware and how insidious it can be worming its way into your PC. You may think you are clear but if your machine is slowing down, new items in your browser toolbar, strange icons are appearing in your system tray then there's a good chance you are infected. Anti Virus software is gradually adding spyware and malware removal to its arsenal but a very good spycatcher and killer is Ad-Aware which is free for personal use. Don't forget to download updates on a regular basis.
Then Dave & Mark look in depth at the Seiko Label Printer . Well made and very small it won't crowd out your workspace. If you have a need to print one-off labels on a regular basis and don't want the pfaff of taking the paper out of the printer, putting in the labels, printing one and then replacing the paper then this is the answer. Models range from around £50 to just over £100.
Then to the competition and you can win one of these great printers, suitable for PC or Mac by answering "What size is A4 paper in millimetres?" Answers to The two winners announced next month.
Mark then brings out his iPod Video which is great in every respect except the converting of DVDs to play on the machine is far from simple. Many companies are now bringing out software which make it easy so don't be put off because of this one niggle.
However next month Mark will be reviewing the Creative Zen Vision M which looks like it might trounce the iPod in ease of use and other features.
Then Paul Totter the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro magazine is along with all the news - this month Intel, Intel, Intel!
Dec '05 The whole show came from the offices of Dennis Publishing and we meet Nik Rawlinson, Editor of Mac User; Gareth Ogden, Editor of Custom PC and regular Paul Trotter, News & Features Editor of PC-Pro. They discuss the year gone and the year to come in computing.
Nov '05 We start November with part 2 of Mark's interview with Mike Downey the Product Manager from Macromedia about their Studio 8 software package. Incorporating Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, Fireworks and Contribute. In this part, Mike tells us what's great about Flash Professional.
Inspired by an article by Mark Kaelin of TechRepublic, here are the 10 things you should do to a new PC before connecting it to the Internet :-
1. Before you disconnect your old computer, burn a CD that contains the up to date versions of your anti-virus software, security applications, updated drivers and drivers for peripherals like cameras, scanners and printers
2. Remove all the free and trial applications you don't want
3. Install the software from the CD you made in step 1.
4. Make sure the Windows XP firewall is turned on - or better still install a more robust 3rd party firewall.
5. Install printers and other peripherals using the supplied CDs or from the CD you made earlier.
6. Set up your administrator account - which you only use when you are installing new software
7. Create a user account for you, without admin facilities so that trojans and malware can't load themselves on to the PC without you knowing.
8. Turn off unnecessary Windows services - only if you know what you are doing!
9. Create a system restore point - launch the System Restore utility by clicking Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore and then follow the steps in the wizard. This step will establish a fall back point if something happens to go haywire later.
10. Install and configure a router and then the first place you should be heading when you first connect your PC to the web is the Windows Update page.

In the competition we give away 2 sets of DVDs - Soldier Soldier, Regan, Public Eye and the Sandbaggers to Chris Perry in Gibraltar and Tim McNeill in Wegburg who correctly identified the TV theme as Thames television.

Mark then goes through some great gift ideas for Christmas and finally, Paul Trotter, the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro has all the latest news.
Oct '05

We start October with a play with a iPod Nano and a discussion on the iPod Video and whether it will be a success.
Then Mark talks to Mike Downey the Product Manager from Macromedia about their Studio 8 software package. Incorporating Dreamweaver, Flash Professional, Fireworks and Contribute. In this first part Mike tells us what's new in Dreamweaver 8.
Backing up your valuable data is very important, and an off-site backup adds extra protection. We discuss the Xdrive web back up system - $9.95 or around £6 a month for 5GB of storage.
In the competition we give away 2 sets of Children's DVDs from Network DVD to Frances Hancock in BFPO 140 and Sarah Quince in BFPO 655 who both correctly answered that Touchwood was the name of Catweazle's toad.
Dave then has a look at the various wireless ADSL routers on the market and his experience on installing them. Dave has installed Safecom, Belkin, US Robotics, BT 2Wire and Netgear in the last few months and for looks, ease of install and bundled firewall software Dave declares the Netgear (right) the best of the bunch.
We then answer a few of your questions. Jaymes Payten-Marsh is thinking about buying a AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Dual Core but has been informed by the IT guy in the office that he would be wasting his money. We disagree, as even though most software is not optimised to take advantage of 64bit computers in a year or two it will be and you are buying a "future proof" PC.
Dickon Walker is having trouble de-fragging his 6gb C drive - we advise that he buys a bigger one. You can buy a 60gb for around £40 and 200gb for less than £100. Think of all that space!

Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has all the latest news.

Sep '05

September opens with Mark's report from the launch of the iPod Nano. This slim sexy device (the iPod not Mark!) replaces the iPod Mini and is so tactile, that it's difficult to put down. Featuring a color display, up to 14 hours of battery life and space for up to 1,000 skip-free songs, audiobooks and podcasts it comes in 2 colours - white and extremely sexy black; 2 sizes - 2GB and 4GB and 2 prices £139.00 & £179.00

Then Dave goes through the selling part of eBay and how best to maximise your profits from things that you no longer want. You too could be making £1,000's a year from trading on the internet.

In the competition we give away 3 of the excellent Digital Doorbells donated by C H Byron to Neil Davies, Adrian Knowles & Scott McQuade who all had excellent ideas on the sort of tunes they would have on their doorbell.

Mark then reviews the new Sony Ericsson Walkman phone. Great sound and good features make this a great combination of phone & music and definite leader of all of the music phones at present available.

Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has all the latest news.

Aug '05

The August show begins with the first of two features on eBay. Dave takes you through the registration and setting up for both eBay and paypal and then how to make your first bids so that you get the feel of how it works without having to spend any money. In the month that a survey announced that selling goods via online auction websites such as eBay can boost the average UK household's wealth by about £3,000. Over 50,000 people in the UK currently generate a sizeable proportion of their income from buying and selling online. More than £4bn of trading is likely to be carried out on eBay alone this year, said the Centre for Economic and Business Research.

Then Mark produces his newest toy - a digital doorbell. Made in the UK by long established doorbell maufacturers C H Byron, the Wired Hi Fi Quality Door Chime provides hi-fi quality sounds. 15 are pre-recorded onto the chime and 3 more can be downloaded from your PC. The doorbell (left) is beautifully made and costs just £45.00. C H Byron have very kindly offered 3 as prizes.

Is your hard disc filling up and you don't know why? It could be Microsoft Office's habit of creatuing temporary files of your work. Mark and Dave tell you where to find them and to to remove them.

Sony Ericsson have just launched their new Walkman phone. Will it break the mp3 stranglehold enjoyed my the ipod and re-establish the Walkman as the dominant music player ? Mark and Dave talk it through and Mark will report back next month when he speaks to a spokesman from Sony.

Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has all the latest news.

Jul '05

Multimedia opens with an interview with Vicky Taylor is Interactive News Editor for the BBC about how their news site coped with the huge demand of over 100 million people accessing their web site after the bomb blasts in London on 7th July. There are some excellent sites that have sprung up after the bombs and a couple that Dave and Mark talked about are and the Rachel's Diary from the BBC news website.

Then the competition and winning
"Spy Subtract" from Trend Micro by correctly answering that the mal in malware stands for malicious were Mark Quince - BFPO 655, Chris Butler - BFPO 30, Jon Fleming - BFPO 57 and Nick Cheetham - BFPO 40. No competition this month, back to normal in August.

Dave reviews the elgato eyehome This unit fits beside your TV and receives signals wirelessly from your computer. Movies, recorded TV programmes, music, pictures and you can even browse the internet. On the left you can the the TV front screen showing the clean easy to operate layout. This is a Mac only device and has a great interface that matches the Mac OS display. If you are a Windows user, there are other similar devices suitable for you but without the simplicity of use and versatility that the eyehome has. It costs £209 for the eyehome wireless edition and if you also get the EyeTV box from £99 you have the complete entertainment package. Dave is having to decide whether the Raven household can live without it after it is returned to El Gato.

Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has all the latest news.

Jun '05

We left Mark last month with the Coolwebsearch malware on his machines and no 100% way to clear it. This month he meets Peter Craig the UK Product Marketing Manager from Trend Micro who have just taken over There is a free download to eradicate it here

Dave then talks to Phil Walder CEO from Netgem UK on their super iPlayer+. Not just a Freeview digital TV box, but it can send and receive emails, browse the internet, send and receive SMS text messages. All this in a box that fits under the TV and is easy to install.
Around £90 and £105 with the wireless keyboard. It's the only way to type emails, access web sites or shop on-line without a PC and it's an ideal complement to an existing PC in the house if you just want to send a quick email or look at a website.

Then the competitions and winning 512mb of RAM for your PC courtesy of Crucial were
Chris Murphy, RAF Akrotiri, BFPO 57 - Paul Duff, HQ ARRC, BFPO 40
Neil Payne, SO2 J6 Ops, HQ BFC  BFPO 53 - FS Mick Carroll, J6, HQ BFC, BFPO 53
Gary Sweatman, J6 Plans, HQ BFC, Episkopi, BFPO 53.
David Jacklin     Clinical Measurements Department       Harewood Barracks BFPO 15
Mr Ross Westlake, Commcen Hohne, Main Building 81, BFPO 30
Andrew Kettlewell, BFPO 677, Ascension Island, James Faulkner, UWO, Sp Bn ARRC, BFPO 40
Mr Gary Hull, GASA, HQ 7th Armd Bde & Hohne Garrison BFPO 30
who told us that DDR stood for Double Data Rate.

Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has all the latest news. He reports that Apple are to put Intel chips inside their computers, the new BAGEL virus and the new Microsoft OS for mobile phones.

May '05

The May programme begins with praise for the new US Robotics Sureconnect ADSL Wireless Gateway - Dave has just tried one out and was very impressed with the ease of installation. If you worry about whether your tech skills are not up to fitting your own ADSL wireless network - this is for you.
Mark then tell us of the new variant of the Coolwebsearch malware that is causing havoc on some of his machines that is proving virtually impossible to eradicate. He hopes to speak to Microsoft for next month's show. There is a free download to eradicate it here
Stefanie Summerfield is the General Manager of Crucial Technology and she tells Dave how adding extra memory into your PC can radically improve its performance. You don't have to be an electrical engineer to do it yourself either, the Crucial website guides you on which memory to choose and then how to install it.
Then the competitions and Mandy Violet of BFPO 40 and Matthew Ring of BFPO 57 both win the DVDs of Bagpuss and The Clangers by correctly answering that in Bagpuss, Professor Yaffle was a bookend.
Mark then reviews two in car devices. A DAB radio from Revo which can also be removed from the car and used in the house. It does not replace your car radio but integrates into it - it is beautifully made but we felt a little pricy at just under £200. The other is a very clever car hands-free bluetooth phone kit that integrates with your car radio from the French manufacturer Parrot. This can be found on-line for around £100 but unless you have reasonable electrical skills you may have to pay someone to fit it to your car.
Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has all the latest news. He reports on the software piracy case at the Old Bailey and how the movie industry are starting to clamp down on DVD piracy.

Apr '05

The April show opens with part 2 of the interview with David Overton a Technical Specialist for Microsoft who explains how servers work and why if you have more than one PC at home why a server may be the answer.
Got lots of old VHS, mini VHS and Video8 home movies? Chris Pearson in Northern Ireland and Chris Wittenberg both asked which is the best way to get them preserved for posterity onto DVD. Dave gives you the best options and what hardware and software you will need.
Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has all the latest news.

Mar '05

The March show starts with a request from Pete Grover in BFPO 15 on what microphones and software are best to make audio messages to email to the family. Mark & Dave demonstrate 4 different types of microphone and talk about the software you need.
Then Mark talks to Richard Yendall the brains behind R-Points. Rpoints is a bargain-hunting community with an amazing reward scheme. In addition to great deals and special offers; Rpoints offers you cashback on your online shopping plus easy ways to earn free money!
Worried about banking online after reading about all the phishing scams and trojan horse virii? Dave has found an excellent website that cuts through the jargon and explains all. has everything you need to know to keep you safe on-line and lists some of the latest UK scams. Think you would know a scam? - take the phishing test at Mailfrontier.
Then to the competitions and Adrian Scott of the 1 MI Bn , BFPO 140 wins the great Terratac Video 8 software and PCI card package by correctly saying the Firewire 800 is a faster connection than USB2.
For this month everybody wins - RPoints are offering all BFBS Multimedia listeners a special £5 welcome bonus when they sign up using the following link: The £5 bonus can be cashed in once the member has earned their first £25 cashback. At that point, you are also entitled to a £5 referral bonus.
David Overton is a Technical Specialist for Microsoft who explains how servers work and why if you have more than one PC at home why a server may be the answer.
Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has just come back from CEBIT in Germany and he tells Mark of some of the things he saw.

Feb '05

The February show starts with DVD information and how to solve the regional coding problem and also a piece of software that extends your laptop battery life when playing DVDs. - DVD Idle The company offers a wide range of DVD solutions from just $20
Then to the competitions and Major Patrick Daniels in Herford won the romantic hamper from by answering that no one said "Play it again Sam" in the film Casablanca ?
Patrick's wife, Lorraine received the hamper on Valentines Day and we should add condolences to the other 100 or so entrants who didn't win.
Mark brought us up to date with the final stages of his Ulta-quiet Media Centre PC. Including the installation of the acoustic lining and we talked about TV tuner cards and the TV guide websites that are available. Thanks to Alan Birtles who emailed with news of the latest Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) that is integrated into Showshifter.
Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has just come back from Comdex in Las Vegas and he tells Mark of some of the things he saw.

Jan '05

The January programme starts with a visit to MacWorld in San Francisco to hear excerpts from the keynote speech of Apple boss, Steve Jobs as he launches the Mac Mini and the iPod Shuffle.
Mark then continues with the build of the Media Centre PC and talks to Paul Lee the UK Operations Manager of Quiet PC.
In the competition, In the competition Daniel Kershaw in Hohne and Mark Pawlak in Akrotiri both won
the latest version of Paintshop Pro - Version 9
We answer your computer related questions on transcribing LPs, USB devices and building a PC from scratch.
Paul Trotter is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro and he has just come back from Comdex in Las Vegas and he tells Mark of some of the things he saw.

Dec '04

The December show is a simulcast as Mark and Dave present the show nearly 8 miles apart. Mark is joined by his son Sam and wants to know if he is a child prodigy or whether all 2 year olds can use a mouse.
The first guest is Senior Product Marketing Manager of Corel, Bonny Hollenhorst who tells us of the new features in the latest version of Paintshop Pro - Version 9.
In the competition, Ian Elaine McNeill in Wegburg, wins the PCI firewire & USB2 card & VideoStudio 8 - Terratec Cameo DV800 by correctly answering that raven.xls is not an movie file.
I talk to Kate Burns the UK Managing Director of Adsales and Ops for Google. She tells us what iit's like to work for Google and the sort of things that have been bought on the Google shopping search facility Froogle. We also talk about some of the new Google features including Suggest
Finally, Mark continues with the build of the Quiet PC - this month installing the ASUS motherboard.

Nov '04

The November programme started with a look at Phishing and how the BBC have reported that any banking losses you may incur, by inadvertently giving away your online bank details and password to one of the many scam emails and websites, may not be covered by your bank. Dave talks you through the do's and don'ts of online banking and ends with the advice that the online banking system is inherently safe, just apply commonsense when you are using it.
Then Mark meeets Michael Wagner, Director of World-Wide Marketing from Linksys who looks at the new wireless video camera. The Linksys Wireless-G Internet Video Camera sends live video with sound through the Internet to a web browser anywhere in the world! This compact, self-contained unit lets you keep track of your home, your kids, your workplace -- whatever's important to you. Unlike standard "web cams" that require an attached PC, the Internet Video Camera contains its own web server, so it can connect directly to a network, either over Wireless-G (802.11g) networking, or over 10/100 Ethernet cable. The advanced MPEG-4 video compression produces a high-quality, high-framerate, up to 640x480 audio/video stream. You can also turn on Security Mode, which tells the camera to send a message with a short video attached to up to three email addresses whenever it detects motion in its field of view. You can then log onto the live video stream if the situation warrants. The included Viewer & Recorder utility lets you record the audio/video stream to your local hard drive, "live" or on a predetermined schedule.
In the competition, Ian Holt in Gibraltar, Rich Nichol in BFPO 35 and Chris Butler in Hohne, all win a copy of ACDSee Powerpack by correctly answering that raven.wav is not an image file.
Then Mark meets Paul Lee the UK Operations Manager of Quiet PC as he prepares to build his latest project - the Multimedia Home Theatre PC.
The list of components in the Multimedia Home Theatre PC is (So far)
Step 1:
Arisetec Accent HT-400 case
QTechnology Ultra-Quiet ATX PSU 400W with 120mm fan
Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) for HTPC Case
AcoustiFan™ - Ultra-Quiet, Low Vibration, Clear Computer Case Fan
Step 2:
ASUS motherboard tbc
2 x 512 meg DDR 400 memory
Zalman cooler
NEC 3500a DVD Rewriter
Sapphire 9600XT Ultimate fanless graphics card
Seagate Barracuda 160gb Hard Drive
Step 3:
PCI Freeview card
Software: Showshifter
OS: Windows Media Center 2005 (tbc)

Oct '04 As you may have read earlier, Multimedia is now a Podcast. Podcating is the new buzz on the web as people who host weblogs have started to create audio weblogs. Dave Winer in Seattle and Adam Curry in the Nederlkands are the ones who have brought this exciting use of RSS feeds. We open with Dave going through how it works and we listen to a clip from the excellent Daily Source Code from Adam Curry which includes John Gordon, the presenter of Future Tense on Minnesota Public Radio talking about podcasting and interviewing Dave Winer. You can get the free iPodder software and learn all about podcasting at
Still with Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Mark has good advice for anyone who still hasn't taken the plunge. Chris in Gibraltar had asked for help with the install and this is Mark's 6 point plan.
1. Partition your hard drive into 2 - EG if you have an 80gig drive I'd split it into a 20G C drive and a 60G D drive.
To do this I use Partition Magic 8, which lets me create partitions without having to wipe and reinstall anything. After I run PM8 I normally have a C drive, a DVD or CD drive D, and an E drive.
2. I then use Windows Disc Management Console to change the drive letters around, making the CD/DVD a G drive, and then moving the new partition to become D. I usually call this drive Data.
3. Then I change the location of My Documents by right clicking it, selecting properties, move, and telling it to be D:\My Documents. This moves everything in your my documents folder to the D drive you created in step 1.
4. Move your e-mails folder to the D Drive - how you do this depends on which e-mail program you use.
5. Now you've seperated most of your key data away from the C drive, meaning even if windows needs to be reinstalled, you can wipe c: and still have your data!.
6. While you're at it, try downloading Windows Media Player 10.
In the competition, John Biggs in BFPO 30 and Jonathan Leach in BFPO 645 won copies of the Starry Night astronomy software.. raven.jpg, raven.tiff and raven.wav?" Send your entry to
Then Mark talks about malware or scumware and how it affects your computer. Coolwebsearch is one such programme and almost impossible to remove.
Finally, Paul Trotter, the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro with the latest news.
Sep '04

The first item comes from Mark as he meets up with Michael Goodman the Vice President Global Sales of Imaginova who make the wonderful astronomy computer programme Starry Night. There are 3 different versions to satisfy everyone from beginner to expert. This programme is endorsed by none other than Sir Patrick Moore. Prices range from $50 to the full DVD $200 version.
Windows XP Service Pack 2 has been available for about 4 weeks now and there has been many web pages published on the the problems that some people are experiencing wirth the software. Dave goes through some of the major difficulties and solutions and where to look for more help. Good sites for more information are The Register, The Inquirer and FreshNews.
In the competition, David Jacklin in BFPO 15 and Ray Kennedy listening in Gibraltar won 4 DVDs of Jupiter Moon by correctly answering that Anna Chancellor's character in Jupiter Moon was called Mercedes.
Then Mark meets Glen Mitchell, the Series Consultant who has compiled almost every one of Laurel & Hardy's films from 1926 to 1940 into a 21 DVD set. Glen talks about the difficulties he found in trying to compile the set how he compiled all the different clips from the days of the silent movies to copies of Laurel & Hardy in German. the RRP for the set is near £200 but it is available on many online retailers including Amazon for about £150.00
Finally, Paul Trotter, the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro with news that The Sun's website is being closed down because it is too popular; Windows Media Player 10 & the new iMac G5.

Aug '04

August Multimedia opened with a warning put out by the UK National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) together with the banking organisation APACS about a new trojan horse that can seriously comprise your PC if it is not patched and up to date with anti-virus software. See theregister &
Mark has a thing about science fiction on TV and meets William Smethurst the producer of a little known cult series Jupiter Moon which has just been released on DVD.
Then the second part of the interview with Steve Linford, founder & director of Spamhaus. Steve talks about how the Microsoft Challenge & Response idea for removing spam will not work.
In the competition, Neil Davies with the Military Works Force RE in Nottingham wins the fabulous Netgear Wireless Digital Music player.
In the questions section of Multimedia, Phil Grey in Cyprus asks if we know of any company that will ship computer
parts to Europe. We will look into it, but if you have a favoured supplier please let us know.
Danny Evans in Germany tells us of a great use for the webcams that seem to be everywhere. Look at
Finally, Paul Trotter, the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro with news on the new release of Service Pack 2 (SP) for Windows XP.

July '04 July opens with part one of a two part interview with Steve Linford, founder & director of Spamhaus. Steve talks about how different Government regulations around the world are making Spam worse rather than getting rid of it and how only Australia has passed a law that makes any difference. It is going to get worse before it gets better.
Manda Rigby is the MD of Netgear UK & Ireland and she talks about how a recent survey has shown how poeople don't like wires and that the new wireless technolgy is making life much better and we will soon be able to have everything in our house connected using the new high speed connections. The MP101 streams the audio - video will soon follow. In a few years we will be totally wire free in the home.
In last month's competition Dickon Walker won a copy of the excellent FaceFilter software.
Mark then meets up with Mark Atkinson the Technical Marketing Manager of Intel. Mark talks about the new chipset that will change the way we look at photos, listen to music, record and watch TV.
The new 925X and 915G Express chipsets are available now.
Finally, Paul Trotter, the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro with news on VOIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol, free phonecalls in the future!
June '04

We start the June show with a trip to Billingsgate near London Bridge for the launch of the iTunes Music Store in the UK, France & Germany. €0.99 or 79p per track, €9.99 or £7.99 for the complete album. Apple CEO, Steve Jobs gave the keynote address and then Alicia Keys performed a selection of her music available from the store. You may not be interested yet in getting your music online, but Dave believes that this is the future. You don't need to have an iPod to take advantage of the store. If you want to listen to music on your computer, the iTunes application is a free download for Mac or PC and you can use it to play all of your CDs, create your own jukebox and playlists and burn your own music CDs. As Steve Jobs said, iTunes is being talked about as the best ever Windows application!
Staying with music on your PC and with the Netgear MP101 you can listen to all your music on your hifi without having to change CDs. Connect the cable to your stereo, install the software on one networked PC, and you’re ready to listen! The NETGEAR automatically finds all the MP3 and Windows Media® format digital music files stored on any networked PC in your home, and the NETGEAR media server software recognizes your existing organization by title, artist, album, genre, and playlist to suit any mood. Around £93 and we are giving one away in our competition next month. We then chat about open source software and how more applications are being made using this free exchange of ideas and improverments.
In last month's competition Ian Bong won the trip to Ascot courtesy of Roxio. Runners up received the Roxio Creator 7 CD burning software suite.
Charles Wilson in Germany sent us an email with a range of questions and difficulties. For those of you looking to change your ISP because you are moving, when they say that the don't support the Mac, what they mean is that their helpline doesn't feature the Mac computer. If you are confident enough in setting it up yourself then you won't need their helpline.
His major problem though was a PC that was giving him no end of problems. Dr Mark used his virtual stethoscope and diagnosed a Clean Install of the operating system. If your PC or Mac is becoming sluggish, freezing, crashing or generally misbehaving then a clean install of your software could work wonders.
Finally, Nick Ross the Senior Labs Writer of PC-Pro is just back from the Far East with all the latest news from the world of computing.

May '04

We start May with a look at soundcards. The one supplied with your PC is OK for casual use, but if you want to get the best sound out of your computer expecially if you use it to play DVDs you need a soundcard that can give you 5.1 surround sound. Creative have a wide selection of cards and the top of the range is the Audigy 2ZS Platinum Pro. If you pair this card with a set of Creative Inspire T7700 speakers it will be like being in a cinema!
Some listeners are now getting so much spam that it comprises of over 90% of their messages. This could be the time to grab your own domain so that it will follow you wherever you are posted. Many companies are now offering a domain registration and mail forwarding service for about £5 a year. Easyspace have a very simple to navigate website which you can use to check if your chosen name is available and all the domains that you can use.
Swissbit have just launched their new USB storage device inside a Swiss Army knife
Mark then reviews the new CD and DVD burning software from Roxio - the Creator 7. In this package there are applications that help you to edit your movies, audio and pictures. There are a staggering 15 applications that come on the software CD that cover everything you would ever want to do to make CDs or DVDs. There will be a free upgrade to burn dual layer DVDs coming later in the summer. All this for just £69.99 - amazing value when you consider that the bundled Videowave 7 Pro and Photosuite 7 have a RRP of £110 together.
In the competition Keith Hall of of HQ UKSC wins the wireless networking kit from Lynksys by correctly answering that putting chalk marks on the pavement that identify a wi-fi spot is called Warchalking.
Finally, Paul Trotter, the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.

Apr 2004

This month we are 6 and we start with a great application that wouldn't have been possible back in 1998. It is only the increase in computer speeds and storage that have enabled such great software like FaceFilter. Convert sad to happy or even the other way around. Now you can salvage what would have been a great pic if it wasn't for the frown.
Dave then guides you through the basics of trading on e-bay and how with a little digging around you could convert it into a profitable little sideline.
Mark opens his gadget bag and unveils 2 great computer accessories. The Dymo LabelWriter is the perfect mini-printer that prints labels, barcodes or almost anything onto pre-cut adhesive labels. If you spend much time with audio or video editing then the ShuttlePro 2 from Contour Design could be the gadget for you. With a responsive scrubwheel and 9 programmable buttons this input device will accelerate your timeline editing and markedly improve your efficiency.
In the competition Chris Scott from Larnaca, Debbie Wood in Akrotiri and Chris Perry in Gibraltar all win a copy of the remastered rock opera "Tommy" on SACD by correctly answering that Tommy was a "Pinball Wizard".
In our "Ask Multimedia" spot we endeavour to resolve the problem being experienced by Charles Wilson in Rheindahlen with his Mac. Norton Disk Doctor which used to be the saviour for so many Mac users, is not very happy working with OS X and can sometimes cause more harm than good. Try repairing the permissions in Disk Utility. Dickon Walker in Cyprus has lost one of his partions on his D:E drive. Mark recommends Tweak to get it back.
Finally, Nick Ross, the Senior Labs Writer of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.

Mar 2004 The March show started musically as Mark went to the launch of the Super Audio CD version of the Rock opera "Tommy" He interviewed Polydor Records' George McManus who was there at the debut 35 years ago and was back again at Ronnie Scotts for the new SACD launch party.
He then talks to Mastering Engineer, John Astley about how SACD & DVD Audio works and how it revolutionises your listening pleasure
Dave reviews DeepFreeze. A simple software programme that protects your PC from hackers or your children fiddling with the settings. All changes to the PC made whatsoever are temporary and the computer is completely restored by simply restarting. Even more useful for schools and computer labs, your computer security is guaranteed.
We then have a play with the USB plug-in that converts you from a computer user to Fat Boy Slim. Called the Hercules DJ Console it enables you to do everything the club scratch mix DJ's can do with just your PC. From around £100 for the box - all you need now are the tunes. There are many software equivalents which do a similar thing without the tactile effect of real controls. One is Tactile 12000 and is free and more expensive but among the best is Ots DJ. for around £60.
In the competition Phil Wardle from the Met Office at RAF Akrotiri wins the Back-Up-Buddy with his tale of thunder & lightning.
Then to wireless networking and Mark meets Michael Wagner, Director of World-Wide Marketing from Linksys. They are taking wireless connections to the next level with the equipment that enables you to stream audio and even video from your PC to your hi-fi or TV setup. The Wireless Media Adaptor lets you bring the digital music and pictures stored on your computer to your Home Entertainment Center, without running cables through the house. Using a wireless connection, the Media Adapter displays your digital photographs on the TV for the whole family to enjoy. And your digital music collection is finally freed from those little computer speakers and can play in full glory through your stereo system.
Feb 2004

We open with a visitor to the Multimedia studio as Dave Everett, the European Strategic Marketing Manager for AMD talks about their brand new Athlon 64-FX-51 processor.This is the very first 64-bit PC processor which gives amazing speeds and transforms productivity on your PC. If you are are PC games player this will revolutionise your life.
Then Dave talks to Gus Zielinski, the Marketing Director from Bonusprint who have added digital printing to their business. No more shoving the film spool in the bag supplied and putting it in the post. You can now email your digital snaps to Bonusprint and you selected prints are returned on high quality photopaper and much less prone to fading.
Competition time and from the biggest ever competition entry, the three winners of Microsoft Office Pro 2003 and also Microsoft One Note 2003 were Eric Morris in Bergen, Maureen Lea in Sennelager and Simon Wilson also in Sennelager.
Then we answer your questions. Jackii Crockett wanted to know how to share 2 PC's on the same broadband. You nned a router, you can have a wired one that is cheaper,, but a wireless one is by far the most practical. That plugs into the broadband telephone wall socket and each of the PCs has a wireless card fitted and you can both share the internet and even printers and scanners.
Lucy Jones wanted to know how she and her sister could have seperate iTunes music libraries. Quite simple, set up your Windows XP with each of you as an individual user and your iTunes music will stay your own.
New York Times Technology columnist, David Pogue returns with part 2 of his piece on "The Missing Manuals". Dreamweaver, Mac OSX, Windows 2000 & XP (left) and even for the iPod. You can get them from Amazon for around £14.00 .
Finally, Nick Ross, the Senior Labs Writer of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.

Jan 2004

We start with Mark meeting up with the New York Times Technology columnist, David Pogue who writes a series of computer help books called "The Missing Manuals". Dreamweaver, Mac OSX, Windows 2000 & XP and even for the iPod. You can get them from Amazon for around £14.00 and David will be back with more information on the series next month.
Then to printers. Many are now being sold under the "razors & blades" retail principle where the manufacturer virtually gives away the item, knowing that you are tied in to buying the consumable parts thereafter. Pioneered by Gillette in the early 20th century it now applies to printers. When buying a new printer, don't look at the price on the shelf - first look at the cost of replacement inks.
Competition time and the winners from last month were Paul Mills, BFPO 16 winning the DVD of Bowling For Columbine; and Alan Schofield in Cyprus and Josh, Chelsey and Courtney Munday, BFPO 113 winning the guitar and keyboard set.
Then we review a great little memory stick that automatically backs up all your Microsoft Office files. BackupBuddy will automatically back up all you files everytime you plug it into the USB port on your PC. If backing up files is an arcane mystery to you, this is just what you need. It starts at around £85 and goes up to over £400 for 4GB of storage of all your files. And we are giving one away next month!
Creative Jukebox Zen Xtra is the new arrival to the Creative product range. Like a fatter and heavier iPod, it is 50% bigger in storage and twice the battery power for around £350. The 60GB drive can store 16,000 songs or over 46 days of non-stop music! Mark has been using it for the last month and compares it to his beloved iPod.
Finally, Nick Ross, the Labs Writer of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.

Dec 2003 Dave & Mark start by going through the specification and price list for the "Little White Wonder" .The box is an AOpen XC Cube and comes from Mitek computers, At the base level it would cost just £531 with the very top level spec at £873.This would give you a beautifully made PC with a Pentium 2.8 hyperthreading processor; 1gb of RAM; 200gb hard drive; DVD writer and Windows XP. Just add your monitor, mouse and keyboard and you're done.
Then Mark talks Dr Chris Steel about the new idea from Epson who are looking for the typical British family to be followed for a 100 days with their every movement filmed and shown on the internet. If you want to apply go to and if you are chosen you will not only be the most recognisable typical family in the UK, you will also win £11,250 and a houseful of digital equipment.
Then websites. Alan Clough goes to meet Richard Logan the MD of Softpress. They have just picked up an award for the best web design application with Freeway.Not only is it very easy to use but also creates the cleanest html coded sites which load quickly in all browsers. Softpress has a gallery of some of the great websites designed with Freeway.The down side for many of you - it is only available for the Mac - now is the time to switch!
Competition time and last month the winners of Inboxer were Dickon Walker, Bruce James and Howard Walker who correctly said that SPAM was an acronym for Spiced Pork And haM.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.
Nov 2003 We opened the November show with Mark talking to Mark Bowerman, Card Security Expert from APACS about credit card fraud and why your biggest risk of being defrauded comes from throwing your credit slips in the bin
.Next we talk to Roger Matus, Chief Executive of Audiotrieve based in Boston USA about their new spam killer called Inboxer. This is an intelligent spam filter that learns as it goes and within days has filtered 99% of all your junk mail whilst retaining the messages you want.
In the competition we give away 3 great Neurosmith Music Blocks from the Early Learning Centre to Cath Hughes, In-flight Catering, RAF Akrotiri; Susan Van-de-Peer from Sixth Sense in Germany and Jenny Tod at HQ ARRC, BFPO 40.
Then we look at Mark's new project, a new computer in a case the size of a shoe-box. It's called the AOpen XC Cube and comes from Mitek Computers. Almost anyone could put this together and for around £500 you would end up with an extrremely well made and high spec machine.
Mark then meets up with David Benny, Product Marketing Manager for Microsoft in the UK about what is new in Office 2003 and whether we all need to upgrade to it.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro was on the line with all the latest new from the world of computing.
Oct 2003

Mark reports back on how he is getting on with his new Microsoft Intellimouse that not only scrolls up and down but side to side. Dave then talks by phone to Rafi Raviv, the VP of Marketing for Pegasus Technologies about their revolutionary PC Notes Taker - a pen that writes on paper as well as to your PC. Send drawings, notes, sign documents, prepare live presentations all electronically and next month it will convert your writing into text.
Mark shows his musical skills on the Neurosmith Music Blocks and talks about the other great toys you can get from the Early Learning Centre.
Last month the winner of the Clearvision DVD's of the great 70's series "Fox" was Norm Trigg , 24 Regt RLC, BFPO 39 who correctly said that Carlton is the ITV channel for London who took over after Thames TV lost its franchise.
The Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) battle against individuals downloading music from the internet has created much negative publicity for them but it's not new. Exactly 100 years ago in 1903, Car Maker Henry Ford took on the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers and eventually 7 years later won, thus creating cheap cars for all. Wharton Legal Professor G Richard Shell believes the same will happen to the RIAA rulings.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro was on the line with all the latest new from the world of computing.

Sep 2003 Mark visits another trendy London bar to meet John Moseley, the UK Marketing Manager for Creative to talk about the new range of products in time for Christmas. Including the Inspire 8 speaker full surround sound system .
Then Dave talks to Angus Morrison of Hoojum who have just released the world's most desirable PC - the Cubit P4. The P4 is a bigger, chromed version of their coloured Cubit 3 from last year. Prices start from under £600 to over £2,500 for the top of the range model.
Last month we offered a subscription to the new Custom PC magazine and a Custom PC goodie bag by answering, "Which of these will increase the speed of your PC, Go-faster stripes in the side, neon lights on the fan or speeding up the CPU"? You all got speeding up the CPU as the correct answer and the winners are Clive Browne HQBFC in Cyprus, FS Mick Carroll also in BFPO 53, Bruce James of Veser School in Hameln and Albert Olivera in Gibraltar.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro was on the line with all the latest new from the world of computing.
Aug 2003 Mark talks to an old friend of Multimedia, Derek Cohen who is now the Launch Editor of a brand new magazine "Custom PC" about what the new publication will be offering.
Last month we bought bought Apple iPod mp3 players, this month we look at some of the add-ons that you can buy for them. The problem is that the new iPods are slightly different from the old one and most of the holders are for the old design. Epac make a superb carry case for the old one at £19.99 and with a sharp pair of scissors it can be adapted for the new iPod to give one of the best and adaptable carry cases on the market.
Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro magazine has all the latest news, dominated by the MSBlast worm that grabbed all the news headlines in the middle of the month.
Mark then looks at a very good data backup system called "Second Copy 2000" and explains why we should all back up our files on a regular basis.
Finally, Dave chronicles the events of the previous 10 days with the MS Blast worm, how the denial of service attack the weekend before was foiled and how to fix your PC if it has been infected. Eveything you need to know is here.
July 2003

Mark & Dave unbeknown to each other had both bought Apple iPods this month. Dave programmes his through the Mac and Mark loads his via his PC. Although the Mac has a nicer and more intuitive interface with iTunes, Mark still would not be without his new portable music player.
Mark then looks in detail at the MusicMatch software and why, whether for iPod or any type of mp3 player, the new version 8 is the business.
In the competition, Dickon Walker from Cyprus wins the Terratec Aureon 5.1 soundcard. This month, no competition, but be listening in August.
Steve Linford is the founder & director of, Europes leading anti-spam organisation. He has made two presentations to the Houses of Parliament this month and talks to Dave about how the spam avalanche will get worse before it gets better.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.

June 03 We explain how to unlock your DVD drive and why using region free as the last option will not help. Then Mark demonstrates his second favourite gadget ever -his SliMP3 - music all over the house from his PC, this will revolutionise how you listen to music in the home. Bookmark this page and look back in 2013 - We will all have one!
Last month Charles Wilson e-mailed about colour correction for printing photographs and enough of you also had problems to make it worth an explanation of the correlation between the photo image, paper and print settings. There is a great picture to use to calibrate your printer - use Google to search for "Ole No Moire". For those who want to take it to the next stage icorrect is a great application which gives you even better than darkroom control over your printed images.
In the competition Iain Standen and Alex Illingworth both from Ay Nik in Cyprus win an Microsoft Intellimouse.
Have you got a cellar/loft full of vinyl that is still not released on CD? If you have a hi-fi with an attached record deck than you can that plug direct into your sound card. This will give you a clean recording but you might need to tidy it up to remove the noise of years of storage abuse. Terra tec have solved the problem and the bundled software can remove all the clicks and distortion.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.
May '03

We start in the Rockwell Bar at the London Hilton where Mark meets David Mitchell of Intel UK to try out the Intel Centrino Mobile Technology.
Marcus Hutton, the MD of Talking Websites, talks to Dave about how the idea was developed and what difference it makes to browsing the net.
Kearn Malin from Operation Oculus, BFPO 543 wins the Aureon 5.1 soundcard, games and headset.
Mark talks to Hugh McLoon, the Product Ergonomist for Microsoft in Seattle about how he designed the new range of mice and keyboards.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing including the wonderful new e-ink portable book.

April 2003

It's our 5th birthday and we start with a return to CEBIT and Mark meets Alex Needs from TerraTec Electronic and hear about their new range of soundcards. The Aureon 5.1 Fun includes 3 great games and a headset - and we are giving one away in our competition this month.
Dave looks at problems with the Windows registry that are a common cause of Windows crashes and error messages. By regularly cleaning and fixing your registry your system should not only be more stable but it will also help Windows and your software to run faster. A free trial download of Registry Mechanic can resolve all these problems and it only costs £13.00 for the full version.
Cebit again and Mark talks toVincent Van De Meer from AOpen about their motherboards with valve based audio. Giving a fuller richer sound for the audiophile and a talking point as your PC glows red.
Competition time and David Seed in Gibraltar, Adele Alexander in Episkopi, Richard Crawford in BFPO 36 and David Juston also in Germany all win an 3M Precise Mousing Mat.
Next, Mark looks at two applications for indexing your CD collection without having to entrer all the tracks by hand. Catraxx and Music Collector Pro both work in a similar way and mean that you can index your whole collection quickly and easily and never have to wonder where to find a special piece of music.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.

Mar 2003

Mark reports from CEBIT, the worlds biggest computer and technology fair, in Hanover Germany. He first meets Bryan Betts, freelance technology journalist about what is at CEBIT and why it is so important in the world of computing.
Then he meets up with Sharad Ghandi, Director of Corporate Brand Marketing of Intel Europe about their new Centrino which combines wireless networking with the processor.
Competition time and Jenny Pepper from RAF Akrotiri and Maureen McColl from the John Buchan School, Herford, Germany both win DVD sets of Red Dwarf by answering that the longest lasting milk on Red Dwarf was dogs milk because nobody would drink it!
Back to Hanover and Mark meets Steve Walker, Director of Product Marketing for Sony Ericcson and gets a close look at the top of the range P800 which is a mobile phone, PDA, camera, games console. The ultimate mobile communication.
Then to AMD and John Crank talks about the new range of processors for both desktop and mobile computing, including a look ahead to the forthcoming 64 bit processors.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.

Feb 2003

We start with a guest to the studio as we meet Andrew Ellard who is the Associate Producer for the remastering the excellent BBC Sci-Fi comedy "Red Dwarf" to DVD. If you enjoyed the series, get all the background information about the programme from Andrew.
Then to Bracknell where Dave meets up with Simon Smith the General Manager of MYOB. Mind Your Own Business is one of the leading small business applications and he explains why every business, no matter how small, should have some form of computerised accounting.
Competition time and Paul Thomas from the Royal Tank Regiment in BFPO 38 wins 3 DVD's - Minority Report, About A Boy & Bend It Like Beckham from DVDsOnTap and Tony Wardle from the Met Office and Phil Gray also in Cyprus win one DVD each.
Next Mark meets up Lee Harris from with who has developed the newest hard disk card entertainment system, the Dension DMP3. If you have an in-car CD changer you can replace it with this 20gb hard disk system - 400 CD's worth of audio in your car.
Finally, Stewart Mitchell, Associate Editor of PC-Pro with all the latest news from the world of computing.

Jan 2003 We start with noisy computers as Dave demonstrates his new top of the range Mac that made so much noise he had to rip it apart and fit quieter cooling fans. There is a website for all frustrated noisy Mac owners at and there you can also see a video of Dave with his new machine. We also discuss how to get a quieter computer.
Then we visit where you can buy CD's of lullaby versions of Punk and Heavy rock. Mark's 9 month old son, Sam, loves them. We also visit a very strange website that sells dummys, or as the Americans call them, pacifiers, with grotesque mouths on the outside. See the whole range at
Competition time and Micky Newell in Blandford wins DVD's of Sapphire and Steel.
Next broadband, and Mark shows his latest bit of kit which as well as an ADSL modem it is also a router and you can connect up to 4 computers to the internet without any other boxes or wires. Draytek are the manufacturers and Mark got his from the UK distributor at
Dec 2002

The whole programme comes from the offices of Dennis Publishing, home of PC-Pro Magazine. Guests are the Associate Editor of PC-Pro, Stewart Mitchell; Paul Saunders, Editor of Computer Buyer; Simon Aughton, Online Editor of MacUser; Bryan Betts, Technology Freelance Journalist.
Graham Bosher also joins the show. He is one of the directors of An online DVD rental service that also works with BFPO addresses and for a fixed monthly fee gives you unlimited DVD rental and no return deadline.
Competition time and Jo Williams and James Body both win DVD's of Joe 90.

Nov 2002 Once again we look at the evergrowing problem of Spam. Post Armor is a free application that helps to cut down the amount of spam in your inbox. Mark is trialling Cloudmark Authority which by reporting your spam back to the centre you update everyone's spam filters. If you are using anything else which is working well for you please let us know.
Rodney Bates is the founder of Firstcall - a photographic mail order company that has been sending to BFPO addresses for over 10 years. Rodney tells Dave about the aids to getting the best from your colour printer and the new papers that are now available for your photos
.Is the noise from your PC driving you crazy? Mark is fitting new parts to his Silver Dream Machine to make it sound less like Concorde. is a company that specialises in ways to lower the decibels.
Competition time and Micky Newell in Blandford Camp, John Biggs with the JSPSU in the Falklands, Chris Scott in Dhekeliaand Linda Watts also in Cyprus all win the 2003 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica by answering that it started in 1768.
Liz Freer from Precious Voices explains to Dave how the company started and how they are able to rescue many types of 'dead media' from shellac records to old reels of tape and transfer them to CD. If you have any old tapes or recordings that you want transcribed to CD for posterity then they are happy to help. They can't transcribe from wax cylinders yet, but would relish the challenge!
Oct 2002

Dave meets Mike Skinner from Pinpoint Consumer Electronics who demonstrates the Skip Doctor (left) a clever device that repairs your damaged CDs, CDRoms and DVDs. Mark returns to Canary Wharf for the second part of the interview with the head of the National High Tech Crime Unit; Detective Chief Superintendant Len Hines about how the police are using IT to trap criminals.
Then Dave and Mark discuss the virulent Bugbear virus and why it shouldn't really have been a problem as Microsoft had patched the hole some time ago. Mark then goes through the step by step guide of how to update your Windows software.
Competition time and Mike Liddicoat from Dhekelia Garrison wins the wonderful Archos Multimedia Jukebox by answering that the 20gb drive can hold 5,000 mp3 music tracks. Our biggest ever entry this month - condolences to all the hundreds who didn't win.
This month, win the new edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica on either DVD or CDRom - by answering "When was the Encyclopaedia Britannica first published?" Entries to
Mark then produces 2 wonderful solid state mp3 players that may not hold 5,000 tracks but are a fraction of the size and weight. They come from a company called I Have To Have It.
Finally, all the latest news from Stewart Mitchell , News & Features Editor of PC-Pro. New deals from ISP's offering a stripped down cheaper service and news that Evesham are selling a computer that does not run on Windows, but a Linux version called Lindows.

September 2002 Mark travels to Canary Wharf to meet the head of the National High Tech Crime Unit; Detective Chief Superintendant Len Hines about how the police are using IT to trap criminals.
Glen Mansell, Patrick Lunt and Dave Raven had joined together to set up a domain and website for computerphobe Richard Astbury. Dave meets Janet Ludley the Marketing Communications Manager and Tina Hulewicz the Marketing Alliance Manager of Easyspace who are hosting Richard's website. For just £4.95 a year you can have your own domain and email forwarding. It's something we will all have eventually, so act now to get your name as a domain.
Competition time and Archos have very kindly given one of their superb Multimedia Jukeboxes as a prize. A 20gb hard drive means you can store up to 250,000 photographs, 40 hours of video or how many songs? 1,000, 2,500 or 5,000? Entries to
Microsoft have just released a Service Patch for Windows XP - but it's 135mb in size. We talk to David Weeks, the Product Marketing Manager of Microsoft to find out what is in the Service Pack and why it is so large.
Mark reports on a new easily downloadable piece of software that removes the problem of region locking on DVD drives. Called DVDIdle it costs $40 but means you can watch any type of DVD without compromising the region coding on your DVD drive. If you regularly watch DVD's from other regions (i.e. Getting USA region 1 videos as well as the European region 2) then this is a must for around £28.
Finally, the Sunday Times reported last week that 20% of home computers have a virus even though they have Virus Software on the machine. Mark & Dave stress once again the 3 important things you must do on your PC. 1) Always have a backup of your files; 2) keep your anti-virus software up to date and 3) Keep your service patches up to date.
August 2002

It's the Audio edition as Dave and Mark look at the new wave of portable mp3 players that are in the marketplace. First is a silver cassette - the Rome (right)- no tape inside, just electronics, plug in the headphone and listen to up to 6 hours of music. Unplug the headphone and pop the cassette into your car or hifi sytem and you can share your music with others. To load the music, just plug the Rome into your PC. Around £130 including VAT from Ullswater Systems.
Archos have been in the mp3 business from the beginning but with their new 20gb Jukebox Multimedia they have created a 6,000 track music player that can also be a store for digital photographs, with another plug-in module it can take 300,000 photographs or 40 hours of VHS quality video. It can also record from the radio or hifi, act as a dictating machine and later in the year will be a TV video recorder. Dave talks to Colin Brown, the GM of Archos UK about this versatile portable hard drive. Data can be loaded from a USB connector or the much faster firewire or USB2. The drive costs £320 and modules start at £30. Colin has offered a discount to service personnel - contact him at
Bigger in both physical size and storage capacity is the Neo InCar Jukebox. With drives up to a massive 80gb - or 24,000 songs/ 2,000 CD's this drive plugs directly into your PC in a spare drive bay or by USB connector and into the boot of your car with the supplied docking station. On the PC you load the tracks, organise your playlists and in the car you operate it by the wired remote (pictured with the unit - right) or from the back seat with a wireless remote. Prices start at £400 for the 20gb drive up to £460 for the 80gb. This includes all the docking stations and software. More information from Ullswater Systems.
In the competition results; James Body and Tony Allegranza win "UFO" DVD sets courtesy of Carlton and Charles Wilson and Ronald Witherick win Left Handed Starter Sets from Anything Left Handed. No competition this month - but in September we will be giving away one of the Archos Jukebox Multimedia systems. The news from Stewart Mitchell , News & Features Editor of PC-Pro also has an audio slant as we hear about how the record companies are trying to stop the sharing of music via the internet by sueing Internet Service Providers and even Internet Cafes for allowing the practise.

July 2002

One in ten of us are left handed. Mark meets Lauren Milsom, one of the Directors of Anything Left Handed and finds out how their company has grown since they started trading on the net. They even make a left handed cork screw - which left-handed Dave found that he couldn't use because of 50 years of screwing the other way!
The US magazine 'Newsweek' leaked on July 1st the news that many journalists had been hearing about for the last 6 months. Palladium is the proposed new operating system from Microsoft that will keep your computer safe from virii and hackers together with looking after all your valuable data. A good thing then? - Dave meets Steve Linford of Ultradesign Technology who, like many others in the IT industry, is emphatic that it's not. Read more here:- Spectacle - ZDNet tech - The Register and from Microsoft
Competition time and Sean Lewis in Paderborn wins a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements with Dickon Walker and Mike Piddlesden, both in Cyprus, winning Adobe's Photo Deluxe.
Lynne Oakerbee emails a problem with sending her pictures by email - Dave and Mark go through the the relationship between dots per inch (dpi) and printing and web use.
Finally, to PC-Pro and Stewart Mitchell has all the latest news.

June 2002

The show opened with a discussion of how the internet has been used to keep up to date with the World Cup and how the much net has grown in the last 4 years. Then Dave travels to central London to a virtual hotel - the Habbo Hotel. Mainly for teenagers and with thousands of people on line most of the day this is a very popular hangout. Dave meets the founder and MD - Dee Edwards.
Mark then unveils the latest digital camera from Creative - the PC-Cam 600. Not just a web cam, but it can be used as a nifty digital camera with sound and video. The only downside we could find is that it's lovely curvy ergonomical shape is no good for left handers.
Competition time and Gary Williams wins a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking. This month; win a copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements with runners up prizes of Adobe PhotoDeluxe. Question - "What is red eye" - entries to
Next; Microsoft are now starting to charge for their Hotmail account. What are the alternatives and do you have to pay? You can still get a free account by reading the small print at the base of the sign-up page. Twigger are now charging £18 a year but is a better alternative than Hotmail. One very good alternative is Mail2web and is still free.
Finally, to PC-Pro and Stewart Mitchell has all the latest news. Computer companies and KPNQwest going to the wall. The EU have decided that Cookies are to be kept and spam is to be banned - how they plan to do that is another point altogether!
Finally, inkjet manufacturers are being investigated regarding their ink prices and waiving of guarantees if you use non branded inks.

May 2002 Talking to your computer. Mark reviews the new version of Dragon Naturally Speaking that not only converts your speech to words but can also control your computer by speaking the commands
Then Dave travels to Adobe UK to talk to Mark Cokes, the European Market Development Manager, about the new features in Photoshop 7 and why, if you are justing starting out in Digital Imaging, Adobe's Photoshop Elements is a much easier application to get to grips with. If though, you are a "power user" then the new Photoshop 7 is full of new features and for Mac users is OSX compatible. Next month you can win a copy of Photoshop Elements with runners up prizes of Adobe PhotoDeluxe.
Competition time - Chris Butler from Gutersloh and Keith Dodds from 1 ADSR, BFBS 15 both win a set of Belkin Wireless Networks by corrrectly answering that ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line.
Mark then produces the Creative Soundblaster Extigy. If you want quality sound in and out of your PC, especially of use to laptop owners - this small box does everything. Digital optical, midi, mike and line inputs and digital dolby 5:1 audio out. As both Dave & Mark are in the audio business, they both drooled over this little box. You can run your own radio station from a laptop computer and this device.
Symantec make many different applications to keep your computer safe and trouble free. Virus protection, Firewalls, remote operation and WinFax pro fax software. For Mac users, Norton Utilities is the package that keeps the Mac in top running condition. Charles Wilson in Germany has a Mac problem and Dave does his best to resolve it on the show. The brand new Norton version 7 is Mac OSX compatible and als has had many other features added to the package.
Finally, Dave heads to under the GPO tower in London to get all the up to date news from Stuart Mitchell, News & Features Editor of PC-Pro magazine. 3G phone problems, the price cut for the new X-Box gaming machine from Microsoft, lack of World Cup football on the internet and how the Vatican have recognised that the internet is a good thing!
April 2002 Babies dominate the start of this month's programme as we look at how a digital camera is a huge bonus for informing family and friends of a new arrival . The 2 megapixel cameras are very well priced now and can take pictures that can be printed up to A4 or 10x8 size.
To the Executive Studio, Hounslow, West London to meet Commercial Director, Tim Little who explains how you can become proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel by studying from home with Learndirect - and courtesy of the British Government - Free of Charge. More information from or +44 20 8607 4650
Competition time. We give away complete kits of the Belkin Wireless Network to Colin Boyce in Bünde, Germany: Chris Perry at the RNH Pharmacy, Gibraltar and Sue Bolt in Cyprus.
We then go through the procedures of setting up a network an how useful it is to have one if you have more than 1 computer.
Pixels are next. In response to many emails Dave goes through the relationship between pixels (or dots) and print size. 100dpi (dots per inch) is OK for newspaper type quality, 200 dpi is passable photo quality and 300 dpi is about the highest you need for the average photo and printer.
Finally Stuart Mitchell is the News & Features Editor of PC-Pro magazine and he talks to Mark about recycling old computer monitors; the new A4 tablets, laptops without keyboards; and mobile phones that lipread.
March 2002 The show opened with a glance back to the very first Multimedia 4 years earlier. We looked at the huge changes in computing that have occurred in the past four years.
Mark's wife, Wendy was the next guest as she described how she has used the internet to help her during her pregnancy. The sites she mentions are
Alan Collie, the Network Marketing Manager for Belkin Europe was the next guest and told Mark how Wireless Networking worked. Left is the heart of the system - the Access Point. More information from Belkin
Competition time. Phillip Grey won the Adaptec Firewire PCI card from last month.
Finally Rory Higgins came in to talk about the 1901 Online Cansus that has been available on the internet since January. Except that for most people it hasn't. He finds out why, with help from Peter Christian a computer expert in geneaology.
February 2002

The Silver Dream Machine is nearly finished. All that's left is loading the software. Below are the views from the back, the side with the panel removed and the front. Note the audio patch bay, CD writer, DVD player, Floppy Disc, USB ports and still some spare bays for more components.
Then Dave adds a second monitor to his set up. Using an extra graphics card you can double your desktop with a spare monitor or a second hand 14" that you can pick up cheaply at computer sales. Most people put them to the left or right of the main screen. As you can see below, I haven't got the space so mine is positioned above supported by a bracket. The top screen is showing the Mac in Virtual PC mode and the main screen is the Adobe Premiere video editing screen. In the picture from left to right is the TV monitor with audio mixer below, the studio microphone and pop screen, the 17" CRT top monitor and 17" LCD main screen with Keyboard and Scanner and Mac G4 computer below.
The graphics card I used is from VillageTronic, called the MPDD, it's very easy to install and revolutionises your workspace for around £70
Then Mark meets Matthew George, Manager of New Products & Marketing for Sky who explains how the TIVO, a Hard Disk Video Recorder - works. If programming a video is beyond you, look at how your TV screen looks when you have a TIVO.
Competition time and I MacAulay of 12 Regt RA and Piers Moore of HMS Rooke both with Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy DVD's. This month win an Adaptec Firewire PCI card by answering "What do Sony call their version of Firewire?" Answers to
Questions and Answers with responses to locked DVD's, Internet banking through Firewalls and a super site at
Simon Edwards, on-line Editor of PC-Pro magazine has all the news from the world of computing.

January 2002

Mark spoke to BBC Producer Marie Scanlan about their remastering of the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy to DVD.
Then Dave and Mark answer some the huge pile of email questions that have been accumulating. Dean Ward wanted to know how to alter the DVD player to make it multi-region. The site to get the new firmware for your DVD drive that will work for about 80% of drives is at - and there you can also download the free DVD Genie which is the software that over-rides your regional coding. Patrick Baird wanted to know about video editing software, is it difficult to learn and which is best? Dave produces corporate and travel videos for a living and recommended that whichever software you choose, a half or 1 day training course is of huge value to get you started. He also thinks that Adobe Premiere is the best of the Non Linear Editors in the marketplace.
Creative Labs was the next destination and Mark talks to their UK Product Specialist, James Ball about their new sound card the Audigy.
Then the Silver Dream Machine - Mark fits the Audio and Graphics card - next month it should be time to fire it up for the first time.
Finally, scanning and Dave explains the complexity of getting quality scans and prints from your PC. Overide the automatic scan and take control.

December 2001

Most of the show came from the offices of Dennis publishing as we talked to the experts to discuss the computing highlights of 2001.
The show opened with Mark Whitby the Director of Intel in UK & Europe talking about the new 2ghz machines on the horizon and what we will do with all that processing power.
Then Keith Martin - Technical Editor of MacUser, Paul Sanders - Ediror of Computer Buyer, Simon Edwards - On Line Editor PC-Pro Magazine, Mark & Dave talked about the past year , the winners & losers and the the things we want for Christmas.

November 2001
October 2001

The show opened with Mark going through stage 2 of building the Silver Dream Machine as he added the motherboard, CPU, cooling fan and RAM. If you are thinking of doing a similar thing and would like advice then contact Mark at
From big and silver to small and compact as Dave talks to Simon Panesar, the MD of Jadetec who have built an incredibly small PC - the size of a CD jewel case and 1 inch thick . It does everything a full size PC does, all the sockets you need are on the back and you can even use it as a DVD player into the TV via the SVHS and audio outputs. More information from Jadetec.
Competition time as David Seed from Gibraltar and Sean McKenzie from Rheindahlen win copies of Microsoft Office XP for knowing that XP stood for Expert.
Mark then talks to James Myring, the product manager of Belkin about USB2 - all the good things that USB has brought to computing with added speed. Simon Edwards, On-Line Editor of PC-Pro magazine gives all the news from the frontline of computing.
Finally, Mark & Dave listen to a unique pair of inflatable loudspeakers. Using NXT speaker technology these loudspeakers can be made in almost any shape and are great for powering portable CD players and PC audio systems. They are from a new company formed by graduates of Loughborough University and you can get more information from Ellula

Sept 2001 First on the show, the new Multimedia project - The Silver Dream Machine. Over the next 6 months Mark is going to build the Rolls Royce of computers. We start this month with the case - from Lian Li in Taiwan. See them at the Bosse Computers website at

It was reported this month that the little Sony memory stick is so small and so light that it is 10 times more valuable than gold retailing at £62 per gram against gold's £6 a gram. John Heaseman of Dane-Elec talks about the types of memory cards available and the plug in card readers that are now available. See the cards and the readers at Dane-Elec

Competition results for last month. Nick Jefferies of TPMH, RAF Akrotiri wins a set of Dr Who DVD's set by knowing that TARDIS is an acronym for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. This month, 2 copies of Microsoft Office XP Professional for answering "What does the XP stand for in Office XP?"

Mark then brings out his newest mobile music machine - except this one is not that portable at 10 kilos.The playdock takes the Creative Labs Jukebox and converts it into a mega boombox with enough battery power for around 10 hours away from the mains. Great sound, but very heavy. It's not yet available in the UK but it's coming soon. The Playdock PD 200 a mobile disco in a box!

August 2001

Jonathan Ferman the business Group Manager of Adobe UK talks about Atmosphere, the 3D internet software downloadable free from the Adobe website and there's a chance to win £2,500 in their design competition.

Mark Philips meets Ross McGinley from BBC Worldwide who has been responsible for mastering the Dr Who TV programmes to DVD.

Competition results for last month. Ian Johnson of JHQ and Karen Henry of Akrotiri both win a copy of OmniPage Pro 11 -

Dave and Mark then play with the new Rio Volt CD & mp3 portable player and Dave thinks that this one is the format winner.

Finally Dave speaks to Simon Edwards, On-Line Editor of PC-Pro magazine just back from Las Vegas where he was attending DEFCON, the hackers convention. He scares us all with his news about hackers and computer security.

July 2001

Mark got married last month - see the wedding pictures at his new website

Then to Microsoft and Oliver Role, responsible for Microsoft Office XP in the UK talks to Mark about what is new in this new release of Office. Davey Winder, another guest at the launch is a lot more sceptical and goes through the negative aspects of the new package.

Another launch party, this time for Scansoft's OmniPage Pro 11. Mark talks to the Marketing Director, Mark Erwick about the improvements in this release.

Competition results for last month. Philip Grey of Cyprus wins a copy of the music authoring package - Cubase and Mike Piddlesden, and Chris Plant both from Cyprus and tony Thomas of the Falkland Islands all win a copy of Roxio EasCD Creator.

Dave and Mark then play with the new mp3 jukebox from Creative Labs and declare it the future of portable audio - until next month!

Finally Dave speaks to Simon Edwards, On-Line Editor of PC-Pro magazine just before he sets off to Las Vegas to attend the hackers convention.

June 2001 Mark meets Rob Griffith the European Marketing Manager for Roxio, the software arm of Adaptec. Rob explains the new features in Easy CD Creator.

Marc Tyley goes to Steinberg HQ in Hamburg to meet Oliver Wenger, Cubase's Product Coordinator to see what is new in the industry standard music editing software - Cubase 5.

Then this month's competition and Paul McCool in Episkopi winning an Adaptec PCI Firewire card and John Faith, Maureen Pickard and David Paton getting the runner's up prizes of a Brief Encounter DVD.

Mark and Dave then go through what a firewire connection can do for your computer and it's not just for making movies.

Finally Mark goes to Weybridge to talk to Neil Kington the Marketing Director for Actinic Catalog - the British software company that enables you to open your own e-commerce web site.

May 2001

Mark is back at CEBIT from Hanover and this month talks to Thomas Tao, the Product Marketing Manager of ACS on their range of MP3 players. He then meets Alan Amsel of Yahoo who eplains why a web portal now manufactures computer devices.

MYOB - Mind Your Own Business; Dave meets Emma Hawley the Marketing Manager and Simon Smith the General Manager about what's new in version 10.

Mark looks at the Win TV USB device and then in the competition Cris David, Paul Illingworth and Albert Olivera win Belkin USB docking hubs. This month, win an Adaptec Firewire PCI card and DVD's of Stingray or Brief Encounter by answering - Who wrote and produced Brief Encounter? Entries to

Printing inks and papers are discussed by Rodney Bates, Managing Director of Firstcall Photographic.

Simon Edwards, On-Line Editor of PC-Pro magazine looks at the month's news.

April 2001 Mark reports back from CEBIT in Hanover and talks to Martin Booth of AMD about their new 1.3GHz processor and other innovations. He then meets Michael Leyer of Siemens who talks about wireless technology and Bluetooth.

Competition time with Phil Grey and Mike Piddlesden winning copies of McAfee Virus Scan. This month, win super USB hub and docking stations from Belkin by telling us "What does USB stand for?" - entries to

Dave travels to Microsoft HQ in Reading to talk to Johnathan Hulse, the UK Product Marketing Manager, about Office 2001. This is the new Mac versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint together with their brand new e-mail and diary organiser - Entourage.

Finally, Mark opens his USB goodie box and we look at the Belkin Bus Station ; the Dash hard drive and the Plantronics DSP300 headphones and microphone.

March 2001 Dave with travel tips - how to use your IT setup to minimise your travel crises - Using your scanner, get jpg images of your passport; driving license, air tickets and travel insurance. Print these out and carry them somewhere different to your documents.

Get an email account you can access from any computer – but one that allows attachments – so hotmail won’t do. is good. Mail yourself the jpg’s and also credit card details and hotline numbers so that if you lose everything and you can find an internet café you can open and print the details. Print out all your jpg’s and other important stuff and give it to a friend back home. No matter how remote you are you will always find somebody with a fax machine.

Use your remote mail account to put details of all your friends and families e-mail and postal addresses as well as phone numbers. If you are travelling for a long time use the account to upload details of people you meet and friends you make – so even if you lose your notebook you won’t lose touch. If you have your own website, publish your jpg’s so that you can access them even if your remote account doesn’t work.

If you have a digital camera, photo your suitcase, flight bag or rucksack including close-ups of any identifying features. Carry that with you and also post it to your remote mail or website.

Mark talks to of Jack Clark of Network Associates about viruses? - virii? and the importance of Anti-Virus software.

HERO was launched in early March. The Higher Education & Research Opportunities web portal is for everyone looking for or involved with higher education in the UK. Dave talked to its Execitive Director, Christopher Harris.

We then give an AMD Athlon 1gHz chip and cooling fan away away to lthe winner of last month - Dave Walker in Rheindahlen. This month - 5 sets of McAfee Anti-Virus software as prizes, all you have to do is say what does AVERT stand for in the McAfee AVERT Labs - entries to

Chips with everything as Mark goes to Intel UK to talk to David Mitchell the Marketing Manager about their Pentium IV and what speeds are possible on the horizon.

Finally, news from PC-Pro magazine as Dave talks to Simon Edwards, the Online Editor.

Feb 2001

Richard Baker, Marketing Manager of AMD on their new chips, the high speed 1.2GHz Athlon and the value for money Duron.

Cressida Granger, owner of Mathmos, the lava lamp company and David Towers and Rob Lowe, her web design team talk about the thinking behind the company website.

We then give an AMD Athlon 1gHz chip and cooling fan away away, all you have to do is say how many MHz in a GHz - entries to

Winners of last month's competition were Ian Bolden getting the Radeon PCI Graphics card and Julian Saunders and Mark Bewick getting the runners up prizes of Attack Pack games and Delta Force cagoules and mouse mats.

Mark reviews the new Video Blaster Webcam Go Plus from Creative Labs - the webcam that can work as a portable digital camera.

Dave then goes through why your PC gets flaky and how to resolve crashes, freezes and bombs.

Finally, news from PC-Pro magazine as Mark meets Simon Edwards, the Online Editor.

Jan 2001

Robert Jeffery, Deputy Editor of 'thenet' magazine looks at the what's happening on the world wide web.

Simon Greer, the UK Regional Manager of ATI tells Mark what graphics cards do in your computer and looks at the PC graphics of the future.

We then give a top of the range ATI graphics and video card away. The Radeon gives the best gaming and DVD playback on your PC and all you have to do is say what a pixel is - entries to

Adobe's new photo and video software releases - Photoshop 6 and Premiere 6 are reviewed by Dave and he gives them 5 stars each.

Finally, news from PC-Pro magazine as Mark meets Simon Edwards, the Online Editor.

Dec 2000

Ron and Pauline Northey asked how Multimedia is put together - we explain.

Dave converts his Mac to a PC running Windows '98 using Virtual PC and then talks to David Lawson, International Marketing Manager for Connectix in California about how it works and what it can do.

Rory Higgins takes a tour through the Geneology software package "Generations"

Mark demonstrates his new toy from America - the Cue Cat and then a chance to win one in this month's competition - just say what use you would put yours to. Entries to

Last month's winners of Encyclopaedia Brittannica are Ron & Pauline Northey, Lynette MacMillan, Brian Ashley andMaggie Gordon.

Dave reports from the National Film Theatre and Flashforward 2000 and gets to talk to Kevin Lynch, President of Products with Macromedia and Hank Skorny, Adobe's Senior Director of Internet Strategy and Alliances.

Nov 2000 DAB radio - Digital Audio Broadcasting on your PC. Ken McAlpine, MD of Psion Infomedia shows Dave their eyecatching Wavefinder digital radio and its PC interface - /

Mark Phillips visits Encyclopaedia Britannica and talks to Jane Reynolds, Communications Manager about the new DVD version of the famous 32 volumes,

Dave meets the Editor of the UK's favourite media website - MediaUK; James Cridland to find out how it started. /

Competition news and the winners of the Microsoft IntelliMouse are Mark Allan in Germany and Tom Donohoe in Cyprus. This month, win a set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica on 2CD's or 1 DVD. Entries to

OCR - Optical Character Recognition and Mark reviews the new version of Omnipage Pro 10. He gives it 9 out of 10.

This month's guest Editor is again Matthew Bingham of Britain's best selling magazine about the internet "The Net" - . He talks about Firewalls, the new release of domain suffixes- .pro and .museum are just two of the new seven domains, hackers into Microsoft and the new ISP charges in the UK.

Oct 2000 'Cookies' - should we be concerned about how much our PC is prepared to let other people pry inside? Steve Linford of UltraDesign lets us know what's going on. A good site to see how much they can find out is at

Peter Kindness, Head of DVD Production at PT Video explains the complexity behind the digital remastering of the superb World At War. Find out more at

Competition news with last month's winners of the Thunderbirds DVD's being John Kille in Rheindahlen, Steve Greef in Akrotiri, Rosemary Cheeseman in Episkopi and Ian Littler in Munster. This month, win a wonderful Microsoft IntelliMouse by telling us "Who was the voice of Dangermouse?" - entries to

Recordable CD's - range from 30p to over £1 - Is it worth paying for the branded products. Rob Barth of Worldspan Communications Ltd gives us the low-down.

This month's guest Editor is Matthew Bingham of Britain's best selling magazine about the internet "The Net" - . His favourite search engine Google and his favourite site - the movie database at

Sept 2000 Gerry Anderson joins Mark & Dave to talk about his digitally remastered "Thunderbirds" which have just been released on DVD. Also look at Ian Thompson, Technical Editor of PC Magazine reviews Windows ME - Millennium Edition./ David Millar, Public Relations Manager for Apple UK doesn't make it back in time from the Mac Expo in Paris but we look at the Beta release of Mac OSX anyway./ Competion news with last month's winners of the Twilight Zone DVD's being C Turner in Episkopi, Cyprus and Charles Wilson from Reheindahlen, Germany. This month, win a copy of Thunderbirds on DVD by telling us what was the colour of Lady Penelope's Rolls Royce - News with Barry Collins of PC-Pro magazine ./ A site worth checking is the hard working ants in their own version of Big Brother at
August 2000 Mark reviews Internet Explorer 5.5 and recommends the upgrade which you can download free from Dave investigates 'Go Back', a truly wonderful piece of software from Adaptec that 'does what it says on the tin' - Goes back to before the crash, freeze, e-mail virus or erased file and puts your hard drive back to the way it was. Find out more at Adaptec/ This month's competition prize is a 6 volume set of the Twilight Zone programmes on DVD. There is a very good Twilight Zone website at In response to a listener Dave & Mark discuss the best way to approach designing websites. Do you need to be able to write in html? Also visit Websites That Suck./ News with Barry Collins of PC-Pro magazine with a farewell from Sarah Kidner.
July 2000 A website that translates text into funny dialects at / Katherine Wallace, a Carmelite Nun on computers in a closed order/ Unusual websites including the final meals of prisoners on Death Row in Texas at / Don Fenwick on the logic of buying second hand,/ Competition winners and this month, 3 copies of Symantec's WinFax Pro to be won/ News with Sarah Kidner, News and Features Editor of PC-Pro magazine
June 2000 Mark and Dave on the new strain of viruses (and false alarms) sweeping the world/ Curry on the internet..... Nick Burdock, Managing Director of on how to get world class curry delivered to your door/ Health diagnosis and drugs on the net - Dr Lewis gives advice to Dave with recommended sites at Health on the Net, British Medical Journal, Net Doctor, the NHS, Dr Koop and Health Media/ Competition time with Jonathan Leach from the MRS in Dhekelia and Jackii Crockett from Bielefeld School winning a super Agfa digital camera each. This month's competition for a super Cambridge Soundworks 3 speaker computer and hi-fi system and dozen of portions of curry./ News with Sarah Kidner, News and Features Editor of PC-Pro magazine
May 2000 "Jack Clark, European Product Manager for Antivirus of Network Associates on the 'I Love You Virus' and its repercussions/ At Silverstone with Chris Gould, Head of Marketing AGFA with their new £99 digital camera/ Competition winners for Fax Now 2000 software and this months competition to win an Agfa Digital Camera/ News with Sarah Kidner of PC Pro magazine"
April 2000 David Hempelman Adams near the North Pole/ Rory Higgins on tracing your family tree/ Competition winners for the Lexmark printer and a chance to win Fax Pro software/ Rview of Fax Pro 2000 software/ Sarah Kidner PC-Pro magazine
March 2000 Martyn Prince of Career Transition Partnership / David Wheats from Microsoft on Windows 2000 / Angie Taylor on Final Cut pro / Competition for 2 Lexmark Z31 printers / News with Sarah Kidner
February 2000 "1 GHz barrier broken! / Roger Benson of Intel / Rana Mainee of AMD / Competition for a copy of Voice Express Professional / Brian Sellers - MD of @UK PLC / News -Sarah Kidner, News Editor of PC Pro "
January 2000 Millennium bug update / SSVC IT head - Nichola Dale / Speech recognition & translation - Gaston Bastiens / Competition - 3M mouse mats / News - Sarah Kidner
December 1999 Y2K edition - lost data and .com companies / Action 2000 - Amanda Cox / Paintshop Pro - Richard Waller / Competition - Paintshop Pro / Hollywood reports .com in the US - Jennifer Blome
November 1999 Adaptec Easy CD creator - Peta Nordwald / Competition - Easy CD Creator / Psion Revo - Steve Pang / Bluetooth - Bryan Betts / News -Sarah Kidner
October 1999 Peter Deegan - Woody's Office Watch / Adaptec CD Writer - Peta Nordwald / Competition - Using Office 2000 / News -Sarah Kidner
September 1999 UK ISP update - Daniel Emory / Compuserve - Sylvia Walsh / ISP's around the world / News -Sarah Kidner / Competition - Mouse mat / E-commerce - Steve Linford
August 1999 Listeners questions / Music Ace 2 music software / Great British Beer Festival website- Mark Bridges / ISP Questionaire / News -Sarah Kidner
July 1999 Isis recording studio / Action 2000 - Elizabeth Allen / Creative Labs DVD - James Ball / Competition - DVD drive / News -Sarah Kidner / Pace Camera - Net Meeting
June 1999 "Office 2000 launch / Adobe In-Design, Ricky Liversidge / Games Design, Peter Molyneaux / Competition - Office 2000 / Apple Imac, David Millar / News -Sarah Kidner"
May 1999 Lord David Puttnam movies and computer games - / Apple QuickTime 4 - David Millar / AMD processors - Richard Baker - / Competition - AMD K6ii processors and motherboards / Silly e-mail addresses - Funmail interview with Graham Goodkind / News - Sarah Kidner.
April 1999 Lurgi special! - Spam - Steve Linford / Anti-virus - McAfee - David Emm / Competition - VirusScan / Speech input programs / News - Sarah Kidner.
March 1999 MP in the Desert - Vincent Vitelli at the Al Ain Hilton / Computer Video forum at Wembley inc Avid - Peter Thompson / Competition - Corel Word Perfect suite 8 / News - Sarah Kidner / Fitting a new Hard Disk with Worldspan Communications / Office 2000 preview - David Bennie / Happy99.exe warning.
February 1999 - Part 2 / Office 97 bug fixes - David Bennie / Computer Video with Bob Crabtree / Competition - Corel Draw 8 / News - Barry Collins / Faxing from your PC
January 1999 - Simon Murdoch / At Home With Your PC - Kim Cooper / Competition - At Home With Your PC set / Installing the TV/Radio card / News - Sarah Kidner /
December 1998 "Hour-long Xmas special. Recorded at the offices of Dennis Publications with Derek Cohen, Wendy Grossman, Bryan Betts / Christmas Card design - Alan Clough // Millennium compliance - Steve Linford / Competition - Haupage TV Cards"
November 1998 The internet in Belize during hurricane Mitch / OCR Omnipage v Textbridge / Comp - win OCR software / What is a Search Engine? / News - Sarah Kidner / Adobe Calendar annual awards / Computer Xmas presents.
October 1998 Intel Europe - Rob Eckelman / ISPs - Freeserve start-up and others / Encyclopaedia Britannica on CD Rom - James Strachan / Competition - Britannica + Monimals / Office 98 for Mac - user review / Teletubbies CD Rom - Jason White.
September 1998 Cix Barbie/ I-MAC - David Millar / Franklin Rex review / Adobe dropping the Mac? -Mark Cokes / Competition - Office 98 for Mac / News - Derek Cohen.
August 1998 "Great British Beer - Mark Bragg, Euro symbol - Howard Frost, Talking software - Phillipa Edmonds, MYOB review, News - Tim Phillips"
July 1998 Windows 98 launch / Quicken v MYOB / Talking to your computer - Talkback - Barry Brooks / Competition - Windows 98 / News - Derek Cohen /
June 1998 Scanners - Nico De Hoode from Primax / Keep your PC shipshape - Morgan Reese / The World Cup on the web / Competition - Primax scanner / How MM is made / News - Derek Cohen / Favourite web sites.
May 1998 "Emoticons & e-mail etiquette / New buyers - Sam Hanson, Ann Sherry, Steve Mylles / Outlook 98 - Maggie Williams / Utility Belt - Norton utilities / News - Derek Cohen / h2h - Photo retouching editors"
April 1998 Windows 98 preview - Guy Clapperton / Millennium Bug - Action 2000 - Andy Nurse / Millennium Proof your PC / News - Derek Cohen / Utility Belt - WinZip / Net browsers - which one?