I started writing a weekly column for the Guardian in 1983, while editor of Reed Business Press's Practical Computing. I joined the staff in 1985 to launch the Computer Guardian section, and became one of the Guardian’s first bloggers in 2001. I also answered readers’ queries via the Ask Jack column, and continue to do this on the Ask Jack blog.
Before all that, I edited photography magazines such as Photo Technique, Film Making, ZOOM, and You and Your Camera, and an early microcomputer magazine, Practical Computing. I have also written regular columns for Practical Photography, Computer Weekly, Personal Computer World and many other publications.
I have been using electronic mail and online services since the early 1980s, with accounts on Prestel, BT Telecom Gold, The Source, CompuServe, AOL and Cix. The Cix account is still going, after more than 20 years.
I have used, reviewed and frequently owned a wide range of microcomputers including the Apple IIe, Atari 800 and ST, Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore Amiga, Acorn Archimedes, Apple Macintosh, and an embarrassing number of DOS and Windows desktops and notebooks.
I have a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Birmingham and an MA from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.