Author Archive | Mike Halsey MVP

When I first reviewed the original Series 9 from Samsung, it was before the term ultrabook had even been coined.  This was the only laptop to consider at the time as a PC alternative to the MacBook air.  Frankly I feel in love with it and carried it with me everywhere.  This did cause me […]


Saving money when you print is all the rage these days, especially with both household and business budgets being squeezed ever more tightly.  It's not surprising then to see a resurgence in mono laser printers hitting the market and the Samsung SCX-3405W is one such machine. It's standard printer fare on paper with a 20ppm […]


As part of writing my forthcoming "Windows 8 Power Users Guide" from Apress and "Troubleshoot and Optimize Windows 8 Inside Out" from Microsoft Press, there are inevitably chapters where I have to talk about security and, as a part of this, passwords. In Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out I included a table showing how long […]


Next Friday I'm getting a new fibre-optic broadband line installed at my home, and it's very exciting.  Because of where I live I've not been able to take advantage of existing cable services, primarily because my street is block-paved and the cable company took one look at it and said "We're not taking responsibility for […]


Last night I attended an event in Sheffield (UK) hosted by Human Rights campaign group Liberty.  The aim of the event was to raise awareness of Richard O'Dywer, a university student from the city who is currently appealing against extradition to the US on charges of copyright infringement. The case dates back to when Richard […]


I've reviewed a fair few laptops in the last year and seen countless PCs in my life but excitement always mounts when something new comes along, and that something was the arrival last week of the new Samsung Series 7 Gamer laptop.  This powerhouse of a machine comes with a 17.3 inch full HD, 3D […]


Back in my youth I sat at home with a ZX Spectrum dreaming of the day I might one day be able to carry a computer around with me.  A few short years later and there I am with a Psion Organiser II, then a Series 3 (several of them in fact) and a Psion […]


This might come as a surprise to you, or perhaps even alarm you, but on the city of London’s public transport system alone, around 200 laptops are handed into lost-property offices every day.  This figure, which doesn’t even include all the ones that are never recovered, extrapolates out to over 50,000 every year just for […]


In September 2010, citing concerns over piracy, Microsoft slashed the number of product keys available to subscribers of its TechNet service from 10 per product down to 5.  This caused some arguments but Microsoft still insisted that the annual subscription of $349 was great value for what you got.  Now though the company has announced […]


I write a lot about security, and about Microsoft's Bitlocker drive encryption technology.  Frankly I really like Bitlocker because it is easy to deploy and because its tied to a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip on a computer's motherboard, it's very secure.  It does have a flaw however and with Windows 8 now upon us […]


As I write this I'm sitting in a hotel room in Bradford, West Yorkshire (UK) getting ready to give a talk tonight to a large IT user group about Windows 8.  This isn't the first Windows 8 talk I've given, though it is the first since the Consumer Preview version of the OS was released.  […]


Whatever Microsoft may be saying about how great the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is, there can be little doubt that it's provoking some very strong reactions.  People are either loving or hating the new OS with very few people sitting somewhere in-between.  I thought then I'd share my own thoughts with you and ask the […]


The company behind the popular Battleheart game for Google's Android operating system are ceasing support for the platform citing the unsustainability of the platform in the long term.  In a blog post, Mika Mobile said...  We spent about 20% of our total man-hours last year dealing with Android in one way or another - porting, […]


Windows XP, released in 2001 is for many people "as comfortable as an old shoe", but why is this and why do people hold this insecure and buggy operating system in such high regard?  I was reminded of this today when installing a copy of Windows XP in the new Hyper-V client in Windows 8, […]


If you use a laptop for work, or it you carry important or sensitive data with you then it should be encrypted.  Put simply the repercussions of not using encryption are far too serious to imagine with substantial fines being probably the least significant to a loss of customer and market confidence being the worst.  […]


Argh!  Apple yesterday unveiled the new iPad, and it's lovely with lots of fantastic new hardware including a full 'retina display'.  This will give the new iPad a display resolution of a staggering 2048 x 1536 on just a 9.7 inch screen which is just immense given that most tablets don't even have a full […]