Windows 10 Finally! – Upgraded Computer

XPS 8900

Subject: Dell XPS 8900 Desktop | Intel Core i7 | 4GB Graphics | 32 GB Memory

It took me three years to finally get my new computer configured the way I wanted it. I purchased a Dell computer from Costco a few years back, with every intention of switching over from my old Windows 7 machine to this newer one. Well, that was the plan anyways.

So, what took me so long?

First off, I never felt the need to get onto the new machine, plus I was not looking forward to getting all the programs moved over to the new computer. I had other computers and laptops that I had been using for work and personal use, and this project kept being pushed onto the back burner. I would venture to say there are many out there that have been in the same boat.

Why did I do it?

Microsoft Windows 7 support ended in January 2020. That right there was the main reason I changed over when I did.

So, what did I do and how did I do it?

Before I switched over, I wanted to install a fast Solid State Drive (SSD) drive in the new computer. With the price of SSDs dropping in recent years, I purchased a 1 TB SSD drive in place of the mechanical disk drive to begin with. Well, that didn’t work out as planned because I already had 900 GB of files and programs on my old computer that I did not want to give up or archive. So then, I decided that I was going to go to a super duper upgrade for a very fast speed and install a Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 Internal SSD High Performance Solid State Drive (SB-ROCKET-2TB). The idea here was that the onboard plugin socket for a PCIe M.2 device would be the fastest access for a relatively low price.

The installation of the Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 Internal SSD High Performance Solid State Drive (SB-ROCKET-2TB) was wrought with technical issues. I could never get the BIOS to recognize the M.2 drive as the system drive. I was pulling my hair out on this one! I finally gave up with that idea, and sent the drive back.

The next idea was to install a 2 TB SSD drive as an additional drive to the 1 TB SSD drive I first installed. I picked the following: Samsung 860 QVO SSD 2TB – 2.5 Inch SATA 3 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76Q2T0B/AM). This drive installation and being able to make it the boot drive went relatively easily. I did a completely clean install of the Windows 10 software and all the updates. I was happy with that and the machine was fast!

Next steps:

Now, I had to figure on the best way of getting all my programs and files over to the new computer. I was resigned to the fact that I was going to have to update a number of the programs regardless. Such is life with computers. So, I did do some research out there to find out the best way to transfer the programs and files from the old computer to the new one. I ended up purchasing PCTransfer Professional Software from EaseUS.

The PCTransfer Professional program worked great over the network. I was able to get all my programs and files moved over. However, even with the successful transfer of most of the programs, there were a few that still did not function properly. I found out that some of the programs needed to be installed fresh no matter what. Once again, this is par for the course of computer upgrades.

How do I like Windows 10?

As far as my like or dislike of Windows 10, that really isn’t an issue with me. It’s all about getting familiar with where everything is located. I have been using Windows computers, Apple Macs and Chromebooks for ages. So, each operating system has its strength and weaknesses. There are some things I prefer to do on the Windows machine and some things I like to use the Mac for. However, for my everyday computer for Internet use, I rely on using a Google Pixelbook Chromebook. The portability aspect and the ease of use come in second nature on a Chromebook.

What are the next steps on the desktop computer equation?

Real estate on the computer monitor is what I am looking at next. I’m looking for high resolution and a BIG screen!

What should I get? That is the question. Suggestions are welcome.

MacBook Pro Battery Packs

A note about batteries for the MacBook Pros. It is possible that on older MacBooks and MacBook Pros that the battery pack is on its last legs. I use coconutBattery to occasionally monitor the status of my battery pack. coconutBattery is a free program that tells what the current charge, maximum charge, current capacity, design capacity, battery loadcycles, battery temperature, age of you Mac, and battery power usage.

When I am writing this, my current battery specs are as follows:

Current charge: 4303 mAh
Maximum charge: 4464 mMh
96%

Battery capacity: 4464 mAh
Design capacity: 5450 mAH
81%

Mac model: MacBookPro5,5
Age of your Mac: 36 Months
Battery loadcycles: 344
Battery temperature: 30.8 C
Battery power usage: 13.2 Watt

So, when do you call a battery bad? How many battery load cycles are left on my battery pack?

Update: August 30, 2013

I purchased my new battery from Amazon and have installed it. So far so good.

MacBook Battery Chart

Consult the table below to see the maximum cycle count for your computer’s battery before it is considered consumed:

MacBook (13-inch, Mid 2010)MacBook (13-inch, Late 2009) 1000
MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008) 500
MacBook (Mid 2009)MacBook (Early 2009)

MacBook (Late 2008)

MacBook (Early 2008)

MacBook (Late 2007)

MacBook (Mid 2007)

MacBook (Late 2006)

MacBook (13-inch)

300
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2011)

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011)

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010)

MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009)

MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)

MacBook pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011)

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011)

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2010)

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.53 GHz, Mid 2009)

MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2009)

MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2011)

MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011)

MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2010)

MacBook Pro (17-inch, Mid 2009)

MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2009)

1000
MacBook Pro (15-inch Late 2008) 500
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2008)MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.4/2.2GHz)

MacBook Pro (15-inch, Core 2 Duo)

MacBook Pro (15-inch Glossy)

MacBook Pro (15-inch)

MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2008)

MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2008)

MacBook Pro (17-inch, 2.4GHz)

MacBook Pro (17-inch Core 2 Duo)

MacBook Pro (17-inch)

300
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012)MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011)

MacBook Air (11-inch, Late 2010)

MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012)

MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011)

MacBook Air (13-inch, Late 2010)

1000
MacBook Air (Mid 2009) 500
MacBook Air (Late 2008)MacBook Air 300
All PowerBook G4 12″ 15″ and 17″ computers 300
All iBook G4 12″ and 14″ computers 300

Obviously if you want to have a fresh battery to extend your usage regardless of how many battery cycles are left then go for it.

Jim’s Computer Life in the Cloud Online

Today I was reminded of my early life in the Apple PC world when someone asked me a question in regards to fixing an old Macintosh Plus computer.

The Macintosh Plus computer was the third model in the Macintosh line, introduced on January 16, 1986, two years after the original Macintosh and a little more than a year after the Macintosh 512K, with a price tag of US $2599.

Let me tell you a short story. Many years ago, I purchased an Apple Macintosh SE and then later purchased a PowerPC 6100 series computer. Both of these computers made life working with a PC fun. Of course, I am using the term “PC” in a generic form here. The 6100 brought color (actual color monitor) into my computer life, and it even trail blazed the path to the Internet when most people didn’t have a clue what the “Internet” was about, nor had they even hear the “Web” term, or being “online” with a computer.

I was an early alpha and beta tester for the Mosaic browser which was the precursor for Netscape Navigator, which ultimately morphed into Mozilla Firefox. Mosaic’s direct descendant on the coder line, via Marc Andreessen, was Netscape Navigator. Netscape Navigator’s code descendant is Mozilla Firefox. It was around this time I started doing some basic website customization and web design for fun.

I knew the early Apples inside and out. However, the business world was using mostly all DOS PCs with software from Microsoft and IBM. So, when Microsoft introduced Windows 95 and then Windows 98 and ME became available, and PC makers were starting to build computers for the masses, my wife and I purchased a Tiny Computer, which was not so tiny after all, but was a brand name manufacturer of computers.

Tiny Computers, was Britain’s third largest computer manufacturer at the time, based in Redhill Business Park in Salfords, Redhill in Surrey, England. The Tiny brand of computers were sold in the United States at retail outlets at extremely competitive pricing. Tiny used the advertising slogan ‘Think big about your PC – think Tiny.” During the late 1990s they were a highly successful firm having units throughout the major retail stores of the UK, but their profits eventually began to fall due to competition from other major computer brands and they were bought out of Administration by their rival TIME. However if you look around now, there seems to be a lot of new tiny computers, i.e. mini laptops such as Acer, ASUS , HP Mini, Dell Mini, other Netbooks, Apple MacBook Air, Apple iPad, and a host of other manufacturers’ netbooks and minis are now on the landscape.

As the electronics in these computer devices have shrunk, the power within the boxes have expanded exponentially. Battery technology has greatly improved along the way, making the devices quite portable in their usage for long periods of time. However, that does not really paint the whole picture of what is going on today. We tend to think of the computer as a device we store things in, and a device we use for emailing, writing, and even research through the Internet. We store documents, pictures, songs, programs, books, track our finances, and do social networking with our friends and relatives all over the world using the PC, and now even using our smart phones like the iPhone and Androids to quickly post a picture, send a message, or check our emails.

What many of us fail to realize is the impact that the cloud is making on our lives, and how the PC might simply be a thing of the past in our thinking. In fact, it is quite likely that the near future, the PC will simply be a device that is so cheap, and common place that it will be like having a watch on your wrist. Just about everyone has a watch, and very few get excited about having one. Yes, you might want a Rolex, but seeing the time on a Timex will do just fine.

First off, what is the cloud? Or, what is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).

Believe it or not, most of us use cloud computing every day. In fact, I am using cloud computing just writing this document. As I type this document on my MacBook Pro, the computer is simply being used as a terminal that is tied into my web host server, where my website is located, where I have WordPress blogging software and content management software installed, and where the physical files are stored.

Another form of cloud computing is Google’s Gmail application, where all the emails are stored online, and access is provided through all types of devices, i.e. PCs, Apple laptops, iPads, netbooks, iPhones, Android smart phones, and even our new smart TVs have Internet access capabilities.  Even the Amazon Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire, Full Color 7″ Multi-touch Display, has Internet Wi-Fi access available for it. The days of using one PC device for everything is long gone. In fact, that is one of the reasons the cloud is here to stay. People want instantaneous access to their information through all the different electronic devices available to them. They want to be able to check their email from the cell phone, or check their friends Facebook pages from their iPad, or conference on their laptop when on the road, or even download a new book to read when ever they want.

No doubt about it, this generation is living in the cloud whether they realize it or not. Now, even businesses are moving to the cloud too. The same things that have occurred in the consumer world is also happening in the business world. Companies are looking for ways of reducing their costs, and one area of expense that are being looked at with a critical eye is the IT department. IT departments have traditionally had their plates full. They have had to juggle all types of activities; server integration, software, backups, computer laptops and desktops, email configuration, email maintenance, email backups, and one of the most important items, security. All of this adds up to big money. The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, it is in the cloud.

Cloud ComputingGoogle Apps for business is one of the cost saving enterprise solutions available for small, medium, or any large business today. With the adaptation of Google Apps integration for a business, a company can realize enormous savings, reduced headaches, elimination of concern over hardware server problems, backups, power outages, and of having to deal with other interface items related to PC hardware, software, email integration, and more.

Need help with your business? Contact Jim at Professional Web Services today.