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Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

The Storm That Is Fortnite

Written on March 16, 2018 by Brett Nordquist

It's been a few years since a game caught the interest of my family. I worked in sales at Puget Systems when I began hearing customers mention a game called Minecraft. The simple, blocky nature of the game carried over to the hardware requirements. Minecraft didn't require a high-end gaming rig. My three oldest couldn't get enough of building homes, trying to stay alive and setting anything they could find on fire with lava.


Posted in Technology | 1 Comment

Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1102
Matt Bach (Puget Labs Lead)

The thin line between stress testing and hardware abuse

Written on January 30, 2018 by Matt Bach

As a part of our testing, we want to cause hardware to fail if it is close to doing so. However, stress testing for an excessive amount of time could potentially shorten the lifespan of the system. Is there a line where hardware testing becomes hardware abuse?



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1096
Beth Smasal (Production Technician)

Data Encryption

Written on January 18, 2018 by Beth Smasal

A break-down of data encryption, what it's used for, and why your data could be at risk (oh no!)



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1089
William George (Puget Labs)

Pix4D Cloud vs Local Processing

Written on January 5, 2018 by William George

Pix4D is a photogrammetry application which can take sets of photographs and turn them into point clouds and 3D meshes, to make digital versions of real-world objects or locations. It supports both local processing on a workstation as well as uploading images to be processed in the cloud - but which is faster, and what advantages does each have?



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1083
Matt Bach (Puget Labs Lead)

A quick look at Titan V rendering performance

Written on December 12, 2017 by Matt Bach

The latest in the Titan line is here, bringing along with it a very hefty price tag. We just got our first cards in and while we will be doing more in-depth testing in the near future, we wanted to take a look at some preliminary GPU-based rendering results.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1080
William George (Puget Labs)

NVIDIA Titan V Surprise

Written on December 8, 2017 by William George

NVIDIA's CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, dropped a bit of a bombshell at the NIPS conference yesterday: the launch - and immediate availability - of the next graphics card in NVIDIA's Titan series. It is called the Titan V, with V referring to the new Volta architecture it is based on. So what can we expect from the latest entry in the Titan lineup?



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1070
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Managing Kids and Technology

Written on November 12, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

I attended high school during the mid-80s. Around this period, Apple had just released the Macintosh and IBM was beginning to blitz the world with their PC Jr. Both models were still too expensive for my parents to purchase, so my only access to a computer was at my school's computer lab, where I took a class in BASIC.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1061
Wilson Chau (Customer Service Lead)

Keeping Up To Date

Written on October 11, 2017 by Wilson Chau

One comment I hear often when talking to a client is, "I used to keep up to date with technology, but it's been a while now, and I'm out of touch with the latest trends." I can certainly understand why.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1048
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

20 Years Ago I Bought a Wallet

Written on September 29, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

I never spent more than twenty bucks on a wallet. Most were made of nylon or faux leather that wore out after a year.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1013
Wilson Chau (Customer Service Lead)

Family Photo Storage Options

Written on August 28, 2017 by Wilson Chau

I'm not a professional photographer and neither is my wife. Heck, we're not even amateur photographers either. I'd say we're more social photographers. Beyond the occasional spur of the moment, all our pictures are from special occasions like our kid's birth, vacations, birthday parties, etc. I'd imagine many of you are similar. We've amassed thousand of photos throughout the years, and our current method of backing those up is burning them to a DVD. There has to be a better way.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1011
Jeremy Thomas (Customer Service)

Purchasing an Uninterruptible Power Supply

Written on August 28, 2017 by Jeremy Thomas

I was recently working on a video project at home when the power suddenly went out. While this is a not common occurrence where I live, it was great to have an Uninterruptible Power Supply save the day and give me time to do a proper save then system shutdown.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1006
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Nobody Uses That Anymore

Written on August 18, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

Whenever I'm feeling confident that I'm successfully contributing to raising five children, my 13-year old daughter does something to jolt me back to reality. That the was the case this week as I sat in the car and gently honked the horn as a reminder she was going to be late for dance practice.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/1000
William George (Puget Labs)

Stop Directly Comparing CPU Specs

Written on August 8, 2017 by William George

Every time a new generation of CPUs is announced, I see a number of people writing about how they think it will be faster (or slower) than current technology because of the advertised specifications. CPU specs alone don't tell the whole story, though, and comparing core count and clock speed across different brands or generations of processors is extremely misleading. Stop doing it!



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/986
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

The Best Service for Sharing Large Files

Written on July 14, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

Over the past few years, customers have asked us to recommend a service for sharing large files. In the past I've recommended Dropbox to those sending files under 2GB. But what if you need to send a really large file, say a 50GB file? And what if you need to send that 50GB file to five people in different locations?



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/967
William George (Puget Labs)

Intel & AMD: The 2017 CPU Wars

Written on June 16, 2017 by William George

AMD is releasing a whole spectrum of new CPUs this year, from the consumer oriented Ryzen to the server-class Epyc. In response, Intel has accelerated their normal processor release cadence and is putting out new products across the board as well. We are here to explain a bit about what is going on, what to look forward to, and whether it is worth waiting for.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/957
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

An Unhealthy Obsession

Written on May 26, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

UPS delivered a box to my door two weeks ago. Inside was something I told myself I didn't need because I already had a phone and tablet. My spouse and close friend talked about theirs at a level that borders on a unhealthy obsession.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/944
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Buried by Storage Options

Written on April 28, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

It's 10 PM on a school night, and I know where my kids are, but not my files. It all started when the post office delivered a manila envelope, sealed with enough packing tape to wrap a small country. That was the first clue that my father was the sender.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/928
Wilson Chau (Customer Service Lead)

Thunderbolt with PCs

Written on April 9, 2017 by Wilson Chau

We have recently an influx of Mac users wanting to migrate to PC but they generally have a few concerns. The first is having to learn Windows. The other is having Thunderbolt support. Let's see how we address those issues.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/902
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

I Got Schooled by a Group of 7th Graders

Written on February 17, 2017 by Brett Nordquist

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.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/890
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:



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/878
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Reducing Distractions

Written on December 20, 2016 by Brett Nordquist

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.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/871
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:



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/860
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Backup Your Critical Data in 5 Minutes

Written on October 28, 2016 by Brett Nordquist

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.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/857
Wilson Chau (Customer Service Lead)

A Weekend of VR Gaming

Written on October 5, 2016 by Wilson Chau

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.



Read this article at https://www.pugetsystems.com/guides/856
Brett Nordquist (Customer Happiness Engineer)

Let the Music Play

Written on September 30, 2016 by Brett Nordquist

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.


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