William George (Puget Labs)

ANSYS Mechanical - Balancing Performance and Licensing Costs

Written on August 4, 2017 by William George

We test a lot of software here at Puget Systems, and in most cases what we are looking for is what hardware lets a given program run the fastest - or in some cases, what is the most cost effective. If you can get 95% of the best possible performance for half the price that it would cost to get a full 100%, for example, that is often a compelling way to go. However, ANSYS Mechanical (and FLUENT) present a different challenge: how can you get the best performance within the limitations of the ANSYS licensing model?



Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

The First Five

Written on June 30, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

There's nothing quite like a fresh install of Windows. It takes time. It takes patience. And, at least once during the process, I want to strangle someone at Microsoft. Once I've updated all my device drivers and let Windows Update do its thing, I launch into a fresh, unadulterated Windows desktop. it's the equivalent to that new car smell. You know it's not going to last more than a week or two, but you might as well enjoy it while it lasts!


Posted in Software | 1 Comment

Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

In Search of the Best Slideshow Software

Written on June 25, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

I didn't realize what I'd got myself into when I volunteered to put a slideshow together for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. I asked my father to send me some of his earliest pictures so I could scan them. A few days later two large manilla envelopes full of old Polaroids arrived. When I asked if he could send a few recent pictures, he sent a USB stick that contained over 10,000 pictures.


Posted in Software | 4 Comments

William George (Puget Labs)

Windows 7: The End is Nigh

Written on March 16, 2017 by William George

Windows 7 updates are being limited by Microsoft on the latest processor platforms, and in combination with the other issues we've seen lately when installing Windows 7 we are now only listing it as an option on well-supported configurations... until we run out of licenses, then it's over.



Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Bring On The New Year

Written on January 20, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

The start to a new year is a good time to review your PC. Last weekend I pulled out my desktop PC and performed the following:



Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

My 5 Favorite Products of 2016

Written on December 9, 2016 by Brett Nordquist

With 2016 coming to end, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some of my favorite products of the last year. I prefer products that seamlessly blend into my life. That means they shouldn't require a lot of updates or ask me to change my behavior very much in order to enjoy them. With that in mind, here are five of my favorite products of 2016:



Wilson Chau (Customer Service Lead)

Update Woes!

Written on December 7, 2016 by Wilson Chau

I had a client who recently contacted me over the weekend in a bit of a panic because he had just upgraded to the latest Adobe Premiere CC 2017 and that caused him some grief.



William George (Puget Labs)

Time for William to learn Linux

Written on September 14, 2016 by William George

I'm going to diversify my operating system portfolio, integrating the leading open source project into my existing range of Microsoft options. (Did I nail that financial analogy or what?)



William George (Puget Labs)

Windows 7: The Big Goodbye

Written on June 30, 2016 by William George

Back in July of 2009, Windows 7 took over from the much-maligned Windows Vista. It has been widely received as one of Microsoft's best operating systems, nearly as well liked as Windows XP. All good things must come to an end, though, or so it is said - and Windows 7's end is nigh.


Posted in Software | 2 Comments

William George (Puget Labs)

Windows Downgrade Rights Frequently Asked Questions

Written on June 8, 2016 by William George

Microsoft has a program which few people are aware of that allows users of select Windows editions to run older operating systems. They call this "downgrade rights", and even among those who are aware of this option there is often confusion about what all it covers and how to take advantage of it. This brief FAQ is intended to address some of the more common issues that can come up, and link to further details for those who need them.


Posted in Software | 0 Comments

William George (Puget Labs)

NVIDIA ShadowPlay - GPU Accelerated Recording and Streaming

Written on March 29, 2016 by William George

A brief overview of software from NVIDIA to record or live-stream games (or other content), using a GeForce graphics card to handle the video encoding in real time with minimal impact on performance.



Richard Falk (Customer Support)

Microsofts Windows 10 Push

Written on February 5, 2016 by

As many of you have noticed, Microsoft has been pushing really hard to get people to upgrade to it's latest operating system. This is a blog post I wrote to present my take on why they are trying so hard.



William George (Puget Labs)

Windows Backup Options

Written on November 23, 2015 by William George

Backing up your computer is very important. This post covers the various types of backups you can do on a Windows-based PC, with a few specific examples of related software and services.



William George (Puget Labs)

Please, please, please - backup your data!

Written on November 13, 2015 by William George

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!



William George (Puget Labs)

Windows Media Center running on Windows 10

Written on October 2, 2015 by William George

Microsoft may not offer Media Center on any versions of Windows 10, but that doesn't mean there is no way to get it working...


Posted in Software | 3 Comments

William George (Puget Labs)

My Privacy Preferences in Windows 10

Written on September 4, 2015 by William George

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.



Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Windows 10 Sales

Written on August 28, 2015 by Brett Nordquist

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.



Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

In Search of the Best Browser

Written on August 10, 2015 by Brett Nordquist

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.


Posted in Software | 5 Comments

Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

My 4-Month Test Drive of Windows 10

Written on July 23, 2015 by Brett Nordquist

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.



William George (Puget Labs)

Windows 10 - What to Consider Before Upgrading

Written on July 21, 2015 by William George

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.



William George (Puget Labs)

7 Things to Do with Your New Computer

Written on June 25, 2015 by William George

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.



William George (Puget Labs)

Windows 7? Ultimate no longer...

Written on April 23, 2015 by William George

Windows 7 Ultimate is no longer available, and we have some details on the beginning of the end for this great operating system.



Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

5 Time-Saving Apps

Written on October 19, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

I love apps that save time, even just a few seconds on each use. Most of my day is spent writing so any tool that allows me to keep my focus on that activity earns a spot on my computer. Over the years, I've test dozens of utilities that promised to save time, and I've found that very few have lived up to that promise. Many are either too complex, require too much administration or just don't work the way they should. But a few apps have withstood the test of time. These are the apps I use multiple times a day. A few of these I use a dozen or more times a day. The attribute each has in common is they save time.


Posted in Software | 4 Comments

Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

The Perfect Operating System

Written on July 15, 2014 by Brett Nordquist

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



Chris Stephens (Vice President - Operations)

My first few weeks with Linux

Written on March 27, 2014 by Chris Stephens

I posted a few weeks ago regarding my move to Linux. I received some great feedback from our readers, and encouragement to continue posting about my experiences. If there is something specific about the Linux experience you would like me to discuss, feel free to email me at cstephens@pugetsystems.com. Hopefully, you will find these posts helpful. Two weeks have passed since I walked away from Windows and a couple of things have really struck me in that time.