If you’re connected with me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably have noticed my recent posts about how great business has been, and how we’ve been more and more busy these past months. It has been a great feeling to once again focus my efforts on expanding our capacity to meet demand. But why have our sales picked up so heavily in the last quarter? Is this due to a gain in market share, or is this something bigger? I don’t claim to have the answers, but I would like to go over the data and our theories.
When we began development of our Echo PC, we quickly saw how NIVIDA ION would bring a new life to home theater PCs. The small form factor, low power draw, and near-silent operation are the perfect makings for a computer in the living room. As more content is put online, the PC is fast becoming a cheap alternative for home entertainment. But the strength of NVIDIA ION lies in the GPU, and applications that take advantage of GPU acceleration are anything but mature. In our testing, we found that ION was extremely well suited for DVD/BLU-RAY playback, and for Netflix. But Hulu — the final piece in the trio of current online entertainment — was not ready. Fullscreen playback was not acceptable on ION. We knew that NVIDIA and Adobe were working together on the problem. We waited.
We’ve been hard at work over the past few months: designing, coding, testing, fixing. Although we’ve received lots of positive feedback on various functionality of the old site (configuration utility, order status updates, etc), we’ve also been less than pleased with the dated design and limited, navigational ability of the old design. What we’re unveiling today is the first step a vast improvement on top of what was already a great base.
It seems like everyone has been excited about the recent release of Intel’s second-generation solid state drives (SSDs) this week. I am the proud owner of one of the first-gen models, and the idea that more affordable models will help more people to adopt this technology is just cause for celebration.
It came as quite a shock to me, then, when we were told to hold delivery of the drives to end-users this morning – just before our first shipment came in to the Puget warehouse.
You’ve probably seen that old scene a thousand times – some guy is putting the finishing touches on his house of cards or stack of dominoes, and then someone sneezes and ruins the whole thing. We have pretty much that same feeling we get when a brand new computer gets roughed up during shipment. Even though we analyze hardware with specific concern for safe shipping, test each component for proper installation, and use specially designed packing materials, sometimes we still see a damaged computer.
Earlier this week Microsoft made public the release candidate for their next OS – Windows 7. It is available as a free download from them, which will be good until March of 2010 (with limited usability for a few months after that)… so like many other tech enthusiasts I downloaded it and gave it a spin.
I’ve always had a rocky relationship with dual GPU video cards. Our first bad experience was with the NVIDIA 7950GX2, which we found over time to suffer from higher shipping damage rates. The NVIDIA 9800GX2 was even worse. Now the NVIDIA GTX 295 is the major NVIDIA dual GPU card on the market. Are we set up for a repeat experience?
This weekend, Puget Systems updated many of our preconfigured systems to default to Windows Vista 64-bit. This is in direct response to a dramatic increase in popularity of 64-bit over the last few months. As part of my research in making this call, I took a look at our operating system sales over the last few years. I found the data interesting, so I thought I’d share that data, as well as my thoughts!
The website ResellerRatings.com has been around for a very long time, and is the de facto standard for checking out just about any online retailer in the industry. It provides a place for unbiased reviews of companies by people who have purchased in the past. However, in the last few years it has become increasingly easy to get a 9/10 score or better. Can the scores still be trusted, or has ResellerRatings.com become nothing more than a marketing platform? If so, how is that possible if the reviews cannot be affected by the companies being reviewed?