Puget Systems Blog Posts in Category "industry"
I made the trek to Salt Lake City to attend the Supercomputing conference. I've attended conferences both large and small going back 20 years, but nothing could prepare me for what I saw at Supercomputing. If you're not familiar with Supercomputing, it's an annual conference where scientists, researchers, and engineers gather to discuss high-performance computing, network storage and related technologies.
Today I am discussing product specifications, and if they can truly be trusted. In Part One, I will be covering Hard Drives and CPUs.
If you've been following us over the past few months you are probably well aware that we have been travelling quite a bit and have a lot of new projects going on. In fact, since the beginning of the year, we have traveled approximately 15,000 miles.. So what have we been up to?
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.
I've been a customer of DirecTV for just over 14 years. Yesterday, I called DirecTV and cancelled my account. To their credit, they didn't hassle me very much, and only read off a script a few times to remind me that DirecTV is better than anyone else. Let's perform a little back of the napkin math: $100/month for 14 years comes out to just under $17,000. I've also recommended DirecTV to a number of friends and family bringing that total much higher.
The first computer I purchased arrived at my home with two operating systems: DOS and Windows 3.1. Most full-fledged programs ran in DOS, including nearly every game in the early 1990s. Besides pool, the game I played most during my college years was called Links Golf which ran in DOS. Without Links I'm convinced my GPA would be at least a half grade higher. I offset my Links addiction by installing WordPerfect for DOS which allowed me to write reports from home instead of the school's computer lab
Several times a year my father would score Utah Jazz tickets, and being the oldest son, meant I was the one to accompany him to Salt Lake City to watch the games at the old Salt Palace arena. I sat next to my father for the hour-long drive from our home in northern Utah and knew we were getting close when I could see the arena that looked like a large wedding cake. For the next two hours I'd cheer on the Jazz against their rivals such as the Portland Trailblazers or the Seattle Sonics. The Jazz were my team and my loyalty knew no bounds. I wore Jazz jerseys, collected player cards, and could tell you how many assists John Stockton needed to overtake Magic Johnson as the all-time assists leader.
By now, most folks have seen Apple's updated Mac Pro - or as I like to call it, the trash can. I kid, I kid! In all seriousness, though, we are often asked how our workstations - like the Genesis line - compare to the hardware Apple has put in the new, miniature Mac Pro. Read on to find out...
On my way in to work today, I was passed by a small blue Honda Civic. It raced and weaved through traffic, sporting a bolt-on spoiler, and an exhaut pipe that made it sound more like a go-cart than a legitimate driving machine. I allowed myself my moment of sarcstic thoughts. "Really? Your Honda Civic gets around with such great velocity that you need a spoiler to keep your rear axle firmly planted??" Maybe I'm just getting old, but I looked at that vehicle and I didn't see the style and power the installer may have intended. I saw immaturity and insecurity. This driver self-identified with performance and power. He didn't have the right tool for the job, so he bolted on the parts.
Attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas reminds me of the years my grandfather took me to see the Ringling Bros. & Barnum Bailey Circus as a young boy. There was so much going on that it was difficult to concentrate on one display. It was also loud and crowded and occasionally didn't smell quite right. But every now and then I saw something magical that I couldn't wait to tell my friends about.
While taking an accounting course in college, I often wondered why the professor demanded we manually tally columns of numbers instead of using a calculator or computer. During her office hours, I finally decided to express my frustration. My professor calmly agreed that using a calculator or computer would be a much more efficient solution.
During my teens, when music was at an apex of importance in my life, I stumbled across two large boxes full of albums in the back of my closet. Of course I was curious and began shuffling through them. Most album covers were in good shape, while others had seen better days. Their design and colors drew me in to the point I had to inspect each one.
Back in December, Brett brought some interesting information about the sales of Windows 8 vs. Windows 7. Yesterday some not so good news dropped about the state of PC shipments in the last quarter. So I thought I would do a follow-up because the last quarter here at Puget has been great, contrary to the market at large.
What if I told you that you could get a car, brand new, for free? You would say it was probably junk...or a joke. But, this thing is real, people have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours building it and it's absolutely free. BUT there is a catch. Ahhh, now the hoax is uncovered.
The next generation of Windows operating systems is nearly upon us, and lots of folks are downloading the recent Windows 8 Release Preview. The months leading up to a new OS are always a bit tricky for Microsoft: they have to release info publicly to build excitment, satisfy investors, and garner media attention - but at the same time that can lead to customers putting computer purchases on hold until the new software is available. If a substantial portion of the consumer base does that it would lead to poor revenue not only for Microsoft but also the companies building and selling computers.
When Intel first debuted the Core i7 processor line, code-named Nehalem, in late 2008 it made perfect sense. This line of quad-cores brought several new technologies: Turbo Mode, integrated memory controllers, triple-channel RAM, and Hyperthreading (making a comeback from the Pentium 4 era). There were three processors at launch, a 920, 940 and 965 - each slightly faster than the one before it, with the '5' at the end of the last denoting that it was an Extreme Edition chip with some unlocked settings to help with overclocking. Over time the 940 was replaced with a 950, and then 960; the 965 also got an upgrade in the form of a 975. The naming scheme now isn't so simple -- let's take a look.
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.
We recently ran a special on all our systems, offering a free upgrade to a three year warranty. To be honest, in the current economy, I did not expect it to be terribly successful -- I thought that (at this time) price was the biggest factor, and that monetary discounts might yield better results. I was wrong! The free warranty upgrades were wildly popular, and we showed a 300% boost in sales during that time. Why do you think that is? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!
My job title at Puget is 'Director of Inventory', which is a fancy way of saying that I'm responsible for keeping track of any parts that aren't currently inside a computer. Among other duties, I have the delightful job of arranging Return Merchandise Authorizations (RMAs) with our suppliers - just as our customers come to us for warranty support, we can go to our suppliers or the manufacturer to get defective parts replaced. It's rewarding to see a stream of broken parts go out the door and come back in a couple weeks as shiny, functional equipment, but trying to get warranty support can also be one of the greatest hassles known to man.