A1 PCs and DOAs

PC Magazine's third service and reliability survey is based on 35,000 years of use on 15,527 personal computers. So it ought to be reliable. For the second year, Hewlett-Packard comes out top for desktops, and Toshiba for portables. Desktop runners-up are Apple and Viglen, while Compaq comes second on portables. The survey shows "Dead on Arrivals" are rising - more than 14 per cent of systems had some problem when delivered.

Highland fling

Expatriate Scots can keep in touch with home via World Wide Web editions of the Daily Record and Sunday Mail. This is Mirror Group's first venture on the Net, and it is also the first British tabloid to go on line. The paper, a digest of the Record and Mail, is at http://www. record-mail.co.uk/rm/drsm/front1.html

Purchasing power

Britnet is a new "host site for British companies wishing to exploit the power of the Internet". Companies offering their products on line can use a secure transaction system, which means customers can safely put their credit card numbers through the Net. Participants include a travel insurer, a theatre booking agency and a recruitment agent. Address: hhttp://www.britnetco.uk. The British Council is also waving the flag on the Web, at http://www.open. gov.uk/bc/bcchom01.html

Good vibes

Cranial, a monthly magazine that aims to "document the culture and vibes of the UK (with contributions from Manchester, London and Coventry)" is at http://www.u-net.com/manchester/

cranial/cranial.htm. Brummies have their own newsgroup at "birmingham.misc".

Online art

Getting Online - an Internet Guide for Arts Organisations is published today by the three North of England Regional Arts Boards and the Arts Council of England. It is available free from Yorkshire & Humberside Arts, 01924 455555; North-West Arts Board 0161 228 3062; and Northern Arts, 0191 281 6334. North of England Regional Arts pages is at http:// www.poptel.org.uk/arts/.