Guide to Reddit, tablets and PC trends

ZARA BAXTER
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013

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OPINION: Reddit calls itself the "front page of the internet" and is immensely popular. In recent months, it has hosted some high-profile AMA (Ask Me Anything) posts by the likes of United States President Barack Obama and Bill Gates.

Reddit's genius is its content rating system.

When someone posts a message, link or image, others can either "upvote" - giving it a point, or "downvote" - deducting a point.

Good content should, in theory at least, score well, while bad or poor content will become essentially invisible. If you post something that people like, you also get points, which works as a kind of reputation system.

Reddit isn't one single community. Instead, it's made up of lots of communities, called subreddits. All subreddits are found by adding /r/[name] to the end of reddit.com. So AMAs are found at reddit.com/r/iama.

Technology addicts might gather at /r/technology, while foodies could head to /r/food.

To upvote or downvote, you need a Reddit account, which you can create by clicking on the "login or register" button in the top right corner at reddit.com. You need only a username, email address and password to sign up.

A Reddit account also lets you post comments on any post, though you can just use Reddit to view posts and avoid the comments altogether if you prefer. By default, your Reddit front page starts with a subset of all the possible communities.

You'll get /r/aww (which is pictures of cute critters), /r/politics and about a dozen others.

You can alter what you see on your front page by clicking Edit in the top right-hand corner, and then adding or removing communities. This can be a bit daunting, but an easier way to add communities is using the search box on the right-hand side. Just type in something that interests you, such as "Wellington", to locate subreddits of interest. You can then view the community, and click Subscribe on the right-hand side to add it to your front page.

There's more to Reddit, but that should get you started.

PC TRENDS

2013 is the year when the tablet takes over from the PC, and you can see just how rapidly the PC world is changing by looking at last week's reports and news statements.

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THE TABLET IS TAKING OVER

According to research from Canalys, Apple sold nearly 23 million iPads, as well as just over 4m Mac laptop and desktops, in the last three months of 2012. Compare that with HP, which sold 15m PCs in that period. Nearly a third of all PCs sold are tablets, and at PC World, most laptops we've seen in the past few months have been hybrids, either having tablet-like features such as touchscreens and swivelling or sliding keyboards, or having a keyboard that can be removed entirely.

CHINESE COMPANIES ON RISE

Chinese manufacturer Huawei is now the third-highest-selling smartphone manufacturer behind Samsung and Apple. Huawei has only a few handsets in New Zealand, such as the excellent and affordable Ascend G600. Also in the top five is ZTE, which produces phones that are usually rebadged by other manufacturers, such as Vodafone here in New Zealand.

In PCs and tablets, Lenovo is now worldwide No 5, taking over the top five spot from Sony. Lenovo sells most of its products in China, and in New Zealand releases just a few solidly built business models that have excellent keyboards. Having said that, Lenovo may be launching consumer models here in the not too distant future, and at PC World we've seen the likes of the Thinkpad X1 Carbon offer great performance for both consumers and business buyers.

Zara Baxter edits New Zealand PC World and has reviewed gadgets for 15 years.

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