Puget Systems Blog Posts in Category "software"
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 email@example.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.
This weekend I did something I never thought I would do: I moved away from Windows. I ran Windows 7 on a Traverse laptop since I came to work here almost 18 months ago, and personally since I was a kid, starting with Win 3.1x. After all that time amd experience I can't take it anymore. I have jumped ship and I am not coming back. This weekend I wiped my Windows install and loaded Ubuntu 12.04 LTS onto my primary drive. Physically, installing the new OS was easy; only after installing the OS did I realize there was a psychological effect I had not really counted on.