A Division of Comp-U-Talk

“Weather forecast for tonight: dark.  ~George Carlin

In sad news:  Windows 7 is retiring.  The official end of sales date for Windows 7 Pro is October 31, 2016.  Just a short two months away.  Come November, the only supply of Windows 7 will be surplus copies.  So… If your line-of-business software does not work with Windows 10, and if the computer it runs on is aging faster than you, it might be wise to replace the system with a new one.

To be clear:  It’s the ability to purchase new computers running Windows 7 that is going away.  The availability of critical updates for Windows 7 will continue for another 3 1/2 years.  The currently scheduled stop date for Windows 7 critical updates is January 14, 2016. (Critical updates are patches to protect your system against hackers.)

So what should you look for if you are planning to purchase a new computer?  I’ve always advised to set a budget.  If you know what you can afford, then figuring out the features is a whole bunch easier.  Second, look at the software you use.  Do you need Microsoft Word? Quickbooks? Outlook? Access? Photoshop? Something else?  Make a list, including the version and how it was purchased.  Was it purchased on CD? Download? Included as part of computer sale?  Will your current version run on Windows 7 or Windows 10 and if it runs on the desired operating system, will the license allow it to be moved to a new computer?  Once you have these answers then we can tailor a system to your specific uses.

Next step: choose a system that will run the necessary software, fits the budget and doesn’t tax your tolerance for lag time response. 

Buzz Words to know:

CPU:  Central Processing Unit, the engine of the computer.  Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING will pass thru the CPU.  CPU’s come in single core, dual core, quad core and more.  A core is similar to a highway.  Do you want to drive on a 1 lane dirt road?  That’s a single core.  How about a 2 lane city street? That’s a dual core.  A four lane highway?  Quadcore.  The more cores, the more data you can process at a time.  The speeds of the CPU:  2.1 GHZ, 3 GHZ, 3.6 GHZ, is similar to miles-per-hour.

RAM: Random Access Memory.  This IS NOT permanent storage space.  This is your work bench for assembling/manipulating data.  The space is only available when the computer is on, and is emptied every time the computer turns off.  Fours Gigs or more is recommended.

Hard Drive:  This IS your permanent storage.  If email and web surfing is your activity of choice, then you don’t need much space.  A 500 Gig drive will do you.  If you collect pictures, jokes, lots of programs or data, then bigger is better.  The next size up is 1000 Gigs, aka a 1 Terabyte (TB).

SSD:  Stands for Solid State Drive which is an incredibly fast hard drive.  If you like a fast, immediate response, this is the ticket.  You will pay a little bit of a premium to own one of these, but if you are on the computer continuously, it is worth the extra money.

Graphics/Video Card:  Used to display info on  the monitor.  For basic run of the mill applications like web surfing, email, accounting applications, the built in video is fine.  For high end photo editing, online gaming, even streaming video, then a dedicated card is the ticket.

Our friendly staff would love to help you choose the right computer.  Common options are listed on the back, but we can tailor the build to fit your exact needs.  Bring in this newsletter and receive a free fully licensed 1 year antivirus subscription with computer purchase.

   ~ Janet

And, It’s official.  We are now a registered agent with Charter Spectrum. If you are moving, changing internet providers, or adding/removing services with Charter, we can assist.  Why work your way thru a phone tree when you can talk to a real person instead?


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