Don’t Waste Money On The Wrong Tech

Have you ever felt like you’ve wasted money on technology that you thought would change your world?

The right tech can be truly transformative. You can grow your business more quickly, help employees be more productive and your systems run more smoothly.

That allows you to focus on strategy and to stop sweating the small stuff.

But the wrong choices can be more trouble than they’re worth. That leaves you to foot the bill for a solution that solves nothing or, worse, creates problems of its own.

Here’s our best advice for making the right tech choices in your business.
Don’t fixate on digital transformation for its own sake. Focus on what you want to achieve and choose the tech that helps you to get there.

Be open to the idea of process change if the tech can create efficiencies. But your tech should support you – not force you to work the way it wants you to.

Define your objectives and seek expert advice before making a big change. That software might look like the answer to everything, but is it well established?

Is it reliable? Is there good support, and are there regular updates? Could an alternative do the same thing for a smaller investment?

Focus on your data. Big corporations have a deep understanding of their data and work hard to define how success will be measured. Think about how you’re able to access your data, how you can protect it, and what it can tell you about your choices.

Enter the cloud. Cloud solutions can help you keep your data better protected and are often more scalable so that they can grow with you.

Ask for help. You can’t be an expert in everything, so if there’s something you don’t understand, or if you can’t decide what’s best for you, ask an expert.

If you’re thinking about change and want to make the right tech decisions for your business, we’re here to support you all the way. Just get in touch.

6 Things To Consider When Getting A New Computer

Have you ever bought a new computer and then had buyer’s remorse a few months later? Maybe you didn’t pay attention to the storage capacity and ran out of space. Or you may have glossed over memory and experienced constant freeze-ups.

An investment in a new PC isn’t something you want to do lightly. Doing your research ahead of time and consulting with a trusted friend or IT shop can help. It will keep you from making major mistakes that could come back to haunt you later.

Here are several things to consider before you put down your hard-earned money on a new computer.

The Amount of Memory (RAM)

One of the big mistakes that people make when looking for a new computer is to ignore the RAM. Random access memory may be called RAM on the specification or “memory.” If your system has low memory, you run into all sorts of problems.

These issues can include:
• Browser freezing up when you have too many tabs open
• Issues watching videos
• Some software not working properly
• Sluggish behavior
• Inability to open multiple applications
• Constant freezes

Memory is the “thought process” of the PC. If there isn’t enough, it can’t take on another task until it completes the current processing tasks. This can cause frustration and ruin your productivity.

People often go for those low-priced computer deals when looking for a new device. But these can include only 4GB of RAM. That’s not a lot if you do much more than staying in a single application or just a few browser tabs.

The higher the RAM, the more responsive the system performance. So, look for PCs with at least 8GB of RAM. Or higher if you do any graphics/video or other processing-intensive activities.

User Reviews for Longevity

Buying a new computer is an investment. So, it’s natural to want that investment to last as long as possible. You don’t want to spend $700 on a new computer, only to begin experiencing problems when it’s just two years old.

Take your time to research user reviews on the specific models you’re considering. You’ll begin to see patterns emerging. Steer clear of models that have consistent complaints about breakdowns sooner than expected.

You may have to pay a little more for a system that has a better track record of performance. But it will save you in the long run when you have more years of usable life before that device needs replacement.

Whether the PC is for Personal or Business Use

If you have a small business or are a freelancer, you may try to save money by buying a consumer PC. But this could end up costing you more in the long run.

Consumer PCs aren’t designed for continuous “9-to-5” use. They also often lack certain types of firmware security present in business-use models. The price gap has also shortened between good consumer computers and business versions. If you’re not looking at the cheap systems, you’ll find that it’s not that much more to get a business-grade device.

The Processor Used

It can be confusing to read through the processor specifications on a computer. How do you know if Intel Core i7 or i3 is best for your needs? What’s the performance difference between AMD and Intel processors?

If you don’t want to do the research yourself, you could call up your local IT shop.

We will be happy to steer you in the right direction. We’ll explain in layman’s terms the differences. As well as which processor makes the most sense for your intended use.

For Laptops: The Case Type

If you’re looking for a laptop computer, it’s important that it is durable. Laptops have some unique characteristics that differ from desktops. For example, the screen is often folded down one or more times per day. Additionally, the keyboard is part of the case and is not easily replaced by the user.

If you get a laptop with a cheap plastic case, it’s bound to break during normal use. Keys could also easily pop off the keyboard, requiring a trip to a computer repair shop.

You want to consider the materials used for the case. Paying an extra $20-$30 upcharge for a better casing is definitely worth it. It can help you avoid unneeded headaches.

Storage Capacity

Storage capacity can be a pain point that you experience after the fact. If you buy a computer without paying attention to hard drive space, you could regret it. You may not be able to transfer over all your “stuff” from the old system.

But storage capacity can also be an area where you can save some money. If you store most of your files in the cloud, then you may not need a lot of hard drive space. The less space you need, the lower the price.

CPU Basics: Multiple CPUs, Cores, And Hyper-Threading

What’s a central processing unit (CPU)?
The central processing unit (or CPU) in your computer is the brains of the operation. It’s a small computer chip that sits atop the main circuit board (motherboard) of a computer. It performs the computational work, such as running programs or applications.

It’s the core of your PC, smartphone, or tablet, and it’s what makes the whole device run as it should. At its core, a CPU takes instructions from a program or application and performs a calculation.

The executed instruction, or calculation, can involve basic arithmetic, comparing certain numbers together, or moving them around in memory.

Since everything in a computer is represented by numbers, those kinds of simple tasks equate to what a CPU does. It’s what facilitates everything from starting up Windows to watching a video.

CPU clock speed, or clock rate, is measured in Hertz – generally in gigahertz, or GHz. A CPU’s clock speed rate is a measure of how many clock cycles a CPU can perform per second. The clock speed used to be enough when comparing performance.

Things aren’t so simple anymore.

A CPU core is a CPU’s processor. A core can work on one task while another core works on a different task, so the more cores a CPU has, the more efficient it is.

A CPU that offers multiple cores or hyper-threading may perform significantly better than a single-core CPU of the same speed that doesn’t feature hyper-threading.

PCs with multiple CPUs can have an even bigger advantage.

All of these features are designed to allow PCs to more easily run multiple processes at the same time – increasing your performance when multitasking or under the demands of powerful apps like video encoders and computer aided design (CAD) applications.

What is hyper-threading?
Hyper-Threading (simultaneous multithreading) is a process where a CPU splits each of its physical cores into virtual ones, which are known as threads.

Hyper-threading allows each core to do two things simultaneously. It increases CPU performance by improving the processor’s efficiency, thereby allowing you to run multiple demanding apps at the same time.

Multiple cores
Originally, CPUs had a single core. That meant that the physical CPU had a single central processing unit on it. To increase performance, manufacturers added additional “cores,” or central processing units.
A dual-core CPU has two central processing units, so it appears to the operating system as two CPUs.

A CPU with two cores could run two different processes at the same time. This speeds up your system because your computer can do multiple things at once.

Multiple CPUs
Most computers only have a single CPU. That single CPU may have multiple cores or hyper-threading technology – but it’s still only one physical CPU unit inserted into a single CPU socket on the motherboard.

Before hyper-threading and multi-core CPUs came around, people attempted to add additional processing power to computers by adding additional CPUs. This requires a motherboard with multiple CPU sockets.

The motherboard also needs additional hardware to connect those CPU sockets to the RAM and other resources. Systems with multiple CPUs also consume more power.

Systems with multiple CPUs aren’t very common among home PCs today. Even a high-powered CAD desktop with multiple graphics cards will generally only have a single CPU.

You’ll find multiple CPU systems among supercomputers, servers, and similar high-end systems that need as much number-crunching power as they can get.