Puget Systems Blog Posts
One of the most painful things to hear about from a customer is lost data. Whether it is hours or days of lost work for a business, irreplaceable family photos, or important financial records - data loss hurts. And it can be caused by many things: viruses / malware, file system corruption, physical drive failure, theft, fire, flood… the list goes on. Unfortunately some people don’t think about this till it is too late, so I am here with a public safety announcement: Please, please, please - backup your data!
A couple of recent purchases got me thinking about how choice factors into where and how I spend my money. As my Honda Odyssey neared 200,000 miles, I began researching potential replacements. Unlike sedans and trucks, there are only a handful of minivans sold in the US. In fact, there's maybe five that qualify as traditional minivans and they include the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Town and Country, Kia Sedona, and Nissan Quest.
Over the years I have worked here, our laptop line has changed a lot. We’ve had massive gaming-oriented models with 19-inch screens, tiny 12-inch models for the ultra-portable market, and everything in-between. We even had a touchscreen model for a while, since lots of people asked about that tech… and then it sold only a handful of units. We have just launched another update to our laptops, though, and I wanted to talk for a moment about our direction and goals.
One of the things I love about my job is being able to talk to clients and finding out something interesting about them and their computer needs. The conversation will often involve the merits of purchasing the computer from Puget System which I've discussed before in the past. However, a few recent conversations I've had involved why the client chose to purchase a system from us which I found quite fascinating because they weren't just comparing us to big box retailers, but other PC boutique shop.
As big as 2015 has been for us here at Puget Systems, we aren't looking back. We are looking at 2016 as an opportunity to build upon our success and get out there where our customers are to learn more about them, learn more about their workflow, and find out what more we can do to optimize our systems and experience to those exact needs. That is why we have a big tradeshow calendar lined up for this next year.
Computer games often have varying hardware needs - some are more graphically demanding, others need a more powerful CPU, and some need a mix of both. Such requirements often follow the type or genre which games fit into, and this blog post looks at those common genre-based needs to help gamers figure out what sort of computer hardware will best match their playstyle.
Sunday is my quiet day. Made more so today, by the fact that our kids (all four of them) went to my parent’s house yesterday for an overnight visit. I set aside Sundays to be a relaxed, stress free day that allows me to recharge. Lately, here at Puget, I have been recommending that practice to everyone on our team. “Why now, in particular?” you may ask. It’s been nuts.
There has been a lot of talk about privacy concerns in Windows 10 lately, and several good articles have been published covering what settings are available to restrict the amount of information being sent back to Microsoft. I don’t presume to be able to do a better job than any of those authors, but having now had a few customers ask me about this stuff I thought it might be nice to share what settings I personally change on my Windows 10 computers.
Nearly every day a customer asks me how Windows 10 is doing in terms of sales. It's usually wise to wait a few months to gauge how a new operating system is performing. As much as Microsoft wants everyone to move to Windows 10, it can take time for the hardware makers to test their products and release updated drivers for a new operating system. Microsoft released Windows 8 to the public just under three years ago. It shouldn't come as a surprise that we didn't see a lot of pent up demand from our customers. We had a few customers who were curious and decided to make the jump, but the vast majority of our customer hit the snooze button on 8 and stuck with 7.
In the past year, we have been slowly expanding upon the service we provide here at Puget Systems for our rapidly growing business and government customers. Introducing: Account Management. This new service is designed to give your company an inside man here at Puget Systems and a single point of contact for any need your company might have when working with us.
I have a love/hate relationship with browsers. And by browser I mean Google Chrome. There's not another program on my computer I use more than Chrome. I live in Chrome. But it also frustrates me more than any other program. A few years ago I would have launched a dozen separate programs in order to do my work. Today, every tool I need to do my job for Puget Systems, with the exception of a VOIP program, is rendered through Chrome. So when Chrome gives me problems it affects a lot more than just browsing Facebook or Reddit.
Around Puget Systems, I think it is pretty common knowledge that I can't turn down a good comparison between PCs and automobiles. I talk about car branding, car service, car problems...I make a lot of analogies. I think it is because I appreciate cars, but I am definitely not an expert in that field. Making car analogies helps me see the PC industry from the outside...from the customer perspective.
We thought it may be helpful to see some images of some of our most popular available cases all in one location, next to common items to provide a better sense of scale. I hope this helps give you a better idea of scale for these different systems and their cases.
We are now less than a week away from official arrival of Windows 10: the operating system that's so extraordinary, Microsoft to give it a higher number. I've been the unofficial guinea pig at Puget Systems running Windows 10 Insider Preview builds for over four months now. In the past, I've installed beta builds of Windows in a VM or setup a dual boot system giving me an eject button in case of disaster. But that's not what I did with Windows 10. Instead, I went five blades. No VM, no dual-boot, no parachute.
Windows 10 is available as a free upgrade for computers running Windows 7 and 8.1 through July of 2016. Many people are going to want to upgrade as soon as possible, but there may be some reasons to hold off from jumping on the bandwagon right away... or at least worth considering before you take the plunge.
We focus on feedback because we are in a relationship with every single on of our customers. Like any good relationship, it requires both talking and listening. Can you think of a healthy relationship where one person does all the talking? Too many times companies invest huge amounts of resources on messaging -- manipulating, adding nuance or changes -- when it could come more naturally when you introduce listening into the organization.
Clock speeds on modern Intel processors are not straight-forward, a fact that is attested to by the several articles we have published on that topic in recent years. This can lead to confusion over what CPU to pick when configuring a new computer, especially for higher-end workstations and servers with high core count processors. I am hoping this blog post will shed a little light on that subject, and help readers be better able to select the right CPU for their needs.
I am sometimes asked by customers what they should make sure to do with a new computer before they start using it heavily for work or play. I put together a list of what I consider the basics that just about everyone would benefit from doing, and will share it here.
"Our coffee is roasted each Tuesday." It was Wednesday and I was out of my favorite coffee from Blue Bottle. Add in shipping and I'd have to wait for another week and a half. I considered another brand, but that didn't last long. I decided it was worth the wait for what I consider to be the best. Most companies I do business with take the opposite approach of Blue Bottle: their business is built around speed. Need a Diet Coke? The McDonald's drive-thru is fast. If I need a pizza delivered ASAP I'll call Domino's. Lenscrafters promises eyeglasses in about an hour. And I can't recall the last time I took my car to the dealer to have the oil changed. Speed sells. It's that simple. Of course, there are some services where speed isn't a virtue. For example, I am not interested in the fastest or least expensive lasik surgeon.
Shortly after my wife and I moved into our first house, I decided to build out a home theater. I spent months researching receivers, speakers, and cables. A number of friends chimed in with suggestions. Once I felt confident with my configuration, I began acquiring each component, piece by piece. With the help of an audio-savvy friend, I finally got my theater up and running. I even remember the first DVD I watched was the Eagles: When Hell Freezes Over because it was available in DTS. As those first few chords of Hotel California echoed through my home, I felt excited and relief that it was over.
"Why are your systems so expensive?" I run into this question from time to time. It is understandable I suppose, since so many computer companies have worked to make their systems cheaper and cheaper to make them more appealing to a number of folks. As one company does this, then another company will attempt to do the same with a slightly lower price than the other in an effort to compete in that market.