Nigel Whitfield

Freelance journalist & editor

Nigel Whitfield, September 2006
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This is the list of all the articles currently available to read in full on this site, alphabetically by title.

20 Top tips for buying a Mac

(The Mac) Although quite an old article now, I've included this piece on the site since many of the buying tips are still relevant today, for buyers of PCs as well as Macs. Read article

3D printers

(Personal Computer World) The universal machine could be closer than you think. In this article for Personal Computer World, I look at how you can print 3D objects, using fairly simply replication technology. Read article

An introduction to internet filtering

(Personal Computer World) Written for a cover mounted booklet in early 2004, this article explains the type of internet filtering options that are available to parents, and the issues they should consider when choosing a way of selecting what their children can see online. Read article

Anti-virus software investigated

(Computer Active) Rather than look at the virus-detection performance of different packages, this article takes a different approach, and investigates how some of the different programs on the market can affect the performance of your PC, and how much they'll cost you over a couple of years. Read article

Apple iWork 05

(Personal Computer World) This product review takes a look at Apple's iWork 05 package, which is made up of the Pages word processor and Keynote presentation tool Read article

Archiving and decompressing files

(AOL UK) An article for the beginner's area on AOL, this explains the basics of archiving files, and how to unpack an archive that you might have been sent, for example by email. Read article

Building an OpenBSD mail server, part 1

(Personal Computer World) This two part article, from early 2005, explains how you can build a mail server using OpenBSD, with spam and virus filtering; it's a good example of the more technical articles that I sometimes write, but you should note that much of the software mentioned has been updated since the article was written. Read article

Building an OpenBSD mail server, part 2

(Personal Computer World) In the second part of this article, published a month after the first, I explain how to set up and configure the spam and virus filtering software, as part of the Postfix mail system. Read article

Citrix GoToMeeting

(Personal Computer World) Collaboration software is a popular topic these days, and this review from the summer of 2005 looks at a package from Citrix, offered on a monthly subscription basis. Read article

Digital Privacy in the UK

(Computer Active) This article from late 2005 explains how the different bits of information you give to sites around the net can be linked up, and how the law in the UK and EU protects you from companies abusing the data that they hold about you. Read article

Domain names

(Computer Active) Written for Computer Active's Web Guide, this article explains what domain names are, and why you might want one of your own. Read article

Hands on Networking, March 2003

(Personal Computer World) This Hands On column explains the work necessary in migrating a small network from one ISP to another, and trying to do so with the minimum of hassle. Read article

Helping people to find your web site

(AOL UK) Written as one of my columns for beginners, this explains how you can help people to find your web site, via web rings and keywords. Read article

Home security with your PC

(Personal Computer World) Following on from a piece I wrote in 2003 - which you can read via the Links section - this article from early 2005 explains some of the ways in which PCs and other computer technology can be used to keep your home safe, and includes linked product reviews. Read article

How email works

(Web User) This simple article from 2001 explains the basics of how email works, introducing users to the concepts of mail exchangers, and MIME, in a straightforward way. Read article

How JPEGs work

(Web User) This article explains the difference between JPEG and other image formats in a simple-to-understand way, helping readers to understand why changing the compression has the effect that it does. Read article

Instant Messaging clients

(Mac User) From early 2004, this article gives and overview and comparison of the main instant messaging programs available for the Mac; though many have been updated since then, it's still a useful reference. Read article

Internet phone handsets

(Computer Active) From the spring of 2007, this piece explains the different types of 'internet phone' handset available, and what you might need to consider when you're buying. Read article

Jean Charles de Menezes

( This piece was written and posted on the Guardian comment web site, as a response to the leader on 18th July 2006, concerning the decision by the CPS not to prosecute any police officers over their execution of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station the year before. Read article

Satellite basics

(Personal Computer World) This is a brief explanation of the difference between satellite and terrestrial reception Read article

Save money by buying online

(The Independent) Written in 1999, this piece explains what sort of things are worth buying online, if saving money is the aim of the game, and warns of the pitfalls, such as unexpected VAT bills, that can make an overseas bargain turn out to cost much more than you thought. Read article

The future of broadband

(Personal Computer World) Published in early 2006, this feature looks at the current state of the broadband market in the UK, and what new developments can be expected over the coming months and years. Read article

The Official AOL UK Handbook, Chapter 1

(AOL UK) Chapter 1 of the book is an introduction, giving an overview of what AOL is, what it provides, and how you might use it.It also includes a detailed step-by-step explanation of how to install the AOL software on your PC. Read article

The Official AOL UK Handbook, Chapter 2

(AOL UK) This section of the book walks the reader through the basics - what the main buttons on the AOL screen do, how to move around the service, and how to start sending and receiving email. Read article

The Official AOL UK Handbook, Chapter 3

(AOL UK) In this part of the book, I introduce the readers to the various different parts of AOL and what you can use it for, explaining the basics of chat rooms, instant messages, online shopping, discussion forums, and looking up information. Read article

The Official AOL UK Handbook, Chapter 4

(AOL UK) AOL's content is divided into channels, each covering a broad topic area. This chapter looks at each of the channels in turn, highlighting some of their important features, and providing step-by-step guides to some of the most useful parts of the service. Read article

The Official AOL UK Handbook, Chapter 5

(AOL UK) You can just use the AOL software as it comes out of the box, but there are plenty of ways that you can customise it. This chapter explains all about the different options, including the parental controls that you can use to protect family members online, and some new features that will be launched with AOL 6. Read article

The Official AOL UK Handbook, Chapter 6

(AOL UK) AOL has its own content, but also allows access to the rest of the net, including newsgroups. In Chapter 6, the book looks at some of those services, and stresses the need to follow established rules of netiquette when accessing newsgroups. Read article

The Official AOL UK Handbook, Chapter 7

(AOL UK) This chapter covers the details of configuring your AOL account to use from different places, and looks at how you can use any web tool to create your home pages. Read article

The Official AOL UK Handbook, Chapter8

(AOL UK) AOL Anywhere is a range of services and products from AOL. In this Chapter, you can find out how to access your AOL email messages from any web browser, or using a PalmOS organiser. There's also a detailed description of how to download and install AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), so you can encourage friends and family who don't have AOL accounts to connect to it. Read article

The true cost of wireless data

(Personal Computer World) Published in July 2006, this article looks at the cost of wireless data, both WiFi and via mobile phone, and explains the options for when you're travelling and need to stay in touch. Please note that the prices in this article were correct at the time it was researched (May 2006) and may have changed since then. Do not use this piece as a definitive buying guide. Read article

Travels with my Visor

(What Mobile) Published in early 2002, this article looks at the Handspring Visor - then one of the most flexible PalmOS devices - and some of the tools and gadgets that can be used with it to help the traveller. Read article

Why don't PVRs have DVD burners?

( A question often asked on various digital TV web sites is "Why aren't there any twin tuner PVRs with DVD burners." I've answered the question so often that it's becoming tedious typing out the same information over and over; so here's a summary of the reasons why you're unlikely to find such a beast on the shelves just yet, based on a posting I originally made on Digital Spy. Read article

Xara Xtreme

(Personal Computer World) From autumn 2005, this review of Xara Xtreme is one of several that I've done of the different Xara graphics products over recent years. Read article


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