Puget Systems Blog Posts in Category "technology"
If you're feeling overconfident in your public speaking skills, step into a class full of 7th graders. They are a tough crowd. That's what I did last week when my daughter's "Career & Technology" teacher asked me speak to her class about my work in technology. I prepared a 15-minute presentation that covered my years at Microsoft, a couple of startups, and positions at Puget Systems.
A few years ago, the owner of Puget Systems told me about a product that had helped him focus on his work. I'd been feeling less productive and more distracted when trying to work, so I decided to install the application he recommended which is called Rescue Time. I installed the free version, and let it do its thing in the background.
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:
At least once a year, I take a call from a friend or family member who is despondent because they've lost pictures or video or other critical data stored on their computer. Sometimes they accidentally delete a file or a directly. Or worse, a hard drive dies, taking all their data to the grave. I listen and try to have empathy. I really do, yet I can usually predict the answer to the question I'll ask next: "Did you have a backup of your files?" It's probably a good thing they are explaining their situation to me over the phone when they tell me, no, they did not have a backup.
Since I work for Puget Systems and have access to some cool stuff, I had been "demo-ing" the new HTC Vive and Oculus Rift at work. Remember the Nintendo Wii and how it revolutionized gaming at the time? I was one of those that got up early in the morning and stayed in line for hours to get my hand on one. It ended up being one of the best purchases I made because I kept playing with that console for quite some time. I had the same feelings toward the HTC Vive with its controllers and room scale play. However, plopping down $800 for the Vive is a lot more than $250 (at the time) for the Wii. I had to make sure. So, I borrowed the HTC Vive for an extended weekend to see. I wanted to find out whether it was just "newphoria" as well as how my wife and kids would like it. The results were quite interesting.
While cleaning my garage this summer, I came across what remained of my music collection: about of 300 CDs consisting of jazz and classic rock. It's been three years since they'd seen the light of day, so I decided to donate them to a local thrift store. What was worth thousands of dollars me to a few years ago, was worth less than a tax write off today.
My 12-year old daughter recently returned from a weeklong trip to Boston. Her friend invited her to join their family as they visited various sights around this historic city. They visited an aquarium, several museums and threw tea in Boston Harbor. Her favorite stop was a tour around Old Salem that concluded with a visit to the Salem Witch Museum. Before she returned home, she purchased a number of trinkets for her siblings that included a mini Declaration of Independence she set aside for her old sister.
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 have you purchased a new computer with an EVGA GTX graphics card within that last 90 days and want to upgrade to a new Pascal GPU, EVGA has a program to allow you to trade in your existing card and upgrade to a better or newer model.
Although our hope is that you will never have to call in to Support for assistance (we hope our machines operate at optimal performance out of the box and for many years without any hiccups) we realize that from time-to-time, you will need to reach out to us. Whether it is assistance with setting up or troubleshooting an issue with a newly purchased system or working to resolve issues with a system that has seen its share of years, we are more than happy to hear from you.
NVIDIA's announcement of the GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 video cards has a lot of folks excited, and I've responded to several questions over the last few days regarding these cards. In an effort to help a wider audience who probably have similar questions, I've put together a summary of what we know at this point about these upcoming graphics cards.
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.
I recently upgraded my home internet connection, and I now officially have the fastest internet of anyone here at Puget Systems - even faster, technically, that our connection at the office. What did I get, you ask? CenturyLink 1 Gigabit Fiber Internet. Here is my account of how installation went, and my experiences with it so far.
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.
A little over a year ago, I wrote an article titled, "What I Wish I Had Known" that included specific feedback customers shared with me shortly after taking delivery of a new Puget Systems computer. Since that time I've talked to hundreds, if not thousands of customers, who have passed along more feedback that might be valuable to those who are configuring or considering a new computer. With that in mind, here are a few more items our customers would change, if they could go back in time:
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!
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.
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 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.