ComTech: IT Support Stirling
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Why doesn’t tech get fixed anymore?

I wrote a post last week asking if “old” tech was still any good? to which I received quite a few responses, especially from LinkedIN (thanks for the comments guys!!).  One of the comments suggested that we have entered a world where tech is now so hard to fix that once something breaks it basically gets replaced.  I couldn’t agree more!!

Take tablets as an example.  I own a basic 7 inch Android tablet which I bought off Amazon about 12 months ago.  I can’t get at the battery to replace it if something goes wrong and god forbid the screen goes as it would be uneconomical to fix as on most tablets the screen makes up approximately 70% of the tablet price.  Don’t even get me started on trying to fix hardware issues on an iPad!!

It is the same with smartphones. I own a HTC Desire 500 (great phone by the way) and one of the main reasons I decided on getting it was that I could physically get at the battery.  My phone gets hammered on a daily basis so I expect the battery will go before most peoples phones and it is very nice to know that I can change it rather than having to get a new phone.

It is not only “newish” gadgets that have this issue but also laptops. OK apart from Mac’s most laptops aren’t that bad but the issue is rather peoples perceptions of economics.  I have lost count of the number of times when a laptop had a hardware issue (failing hard drive for instance) when the owner has decided to get a new laptop rather than fix the one they have because the costs (to them) are similar.  To me getting a laptop fixed for £150 is cheaper than buying a new one for £400 but I seam to be in the minority.

What do you think are we stuck in the middle of a non fix culture?

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

 

 

The mobile revolution is here to stay


I have been thinking a lot lately about the systems I use on a daily basis to carry out my work and if there is a better or more efficient way to do it.

My current setup is as follows.  In the office I have a Debian Linux system running Oracle Virtualbox which allows access to my virtual machines which I use for testing different software.  In the field I carry a 7 inch Android tablet along with my trusty Asus Eeepc 701 which is used for configuring routers. All my files are stored on Dropbox which allows instant access from anywhere, while for internet access I have either my HTC Desire smartphone or T-Mobile myfi along with my broadband in the office.  I would say that most bases are covered.

One small problem though.  I find that I am trying to use my Debian system less (basically to use less electric) and am more and more drawn to using something like a Chromebook. A Chromebook along with Dropbox would allow me to be fully mobile and relying less on the main system in the office (tablets are good but do have their limitations).

This is a pattern I am seeing more and more with my clients too. Most have either a laptop or PC and would like to become more mobile.  Most are looking towards tablets, Surface Pro hybrids and in some cases Chromebooks along with some kind of online storage for their files.  Even the laptop which is a mobile device of sorts (can be a bit heavy and cumbersome) is slowly starting to make way as people want  smaller and more mobile gadgets.

I am not saying that you should ditch the laptop and go out and buy a tablet as there are still things which are better accomplished using a laptop (word processing for example) but tablets have their uses, and these uses are becoming more widespread.  Take my 7″ Android tablet as an example.  I use it for monitoring my clients systems (mobilepcmonitor software), checking emails, social media for work, calendar, editing documents from my Dropbox account and so on.  The only reason I am looking at a Chromebook is the screen size and keyboard if I am honest.

Some people can truely use tablets, online storage and smartphones and work from anywhere while others would prefer their trusty laptop to accomplish the same thing. Neither way is right or wrong but one thing is for certain – the mobile revolution is here to stay.

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in Stirling and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

Is Microsoft’s Surface Pro enough for you to turn your back on ‘traditional’ laptops?

Well the dust has settled and it is eventually here – Microsoft’s new Surface Pro tablet.  From the specs it looks a serious piece of kit with its i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM and to be honest I would be very tempted in getting one.  The question is though would you be tempted to give up on the ‘traditional’ laptop and switch all your daily tasks to a device which aims to be the best of both worlds – tablet and laptop?  Lets take a look.


So what are the advantages of the Surface Pro?

1. Runs the full desktop version of Windows 8 meaning you can run all your usual programs.

2. It comes with Microsoft Office as standard.  This will be a major plus for the business orientated customer.

3. It is very quick thanks to its i5 processor and SSD drive.

4. It can be a tablet when you want it too and a laptop when you don’t.

5. Access to the full Windows Store.  Apps make sense a lot more when using a tablet rather than a desktop or laptop.

6. Touchscreen interface.  Most Windows 8 laptops and Ultrabooks don’t have this yet.  Windows 8 makes more sense with touchscreen rather than a mouse.

And the ‘traditional’ laptop?

1. Most laptops are a lot cheaper than the Surface Pro.

2. You can run Windows 7 on a laptop which a lot of people are more comfortable with.  Windows 8 is a big learning curve.

3. The Surface Pro has a good screen but it can be too small for some.

4. Storage space on the Surface Pro might be an issue.  Even though it comes in 64GB and 128GB versions after you install all the inbuilt apps you only get 29GB free on the 64GB model with 89GB on the 128GB model.  Not exactly loads is it?  On a laptop you get hundreds of GB depending on the model you purchase.

5. The battery life on the Surface is awful.  Apparently in some tests it ran out after 3 1/2 hrs.  Most laptops will exceed this.

6. Actually doing ‘proper work’ on a laptop is much easier.  Typing, printing and so forth is much easier on a laptop than on a tablet.  Yes you can add a keyboard to the surface but it costs extra.

The Surface Pro is a good piece of kit but trying to be a hybrid means Microsoft has had to make compromises in some areas (eg battery life is better on a laptop while the iPad is a better tablet) but this is not the main obstacle it faces.  The price is very steep and it also runs Windows 8 which for a lot of business people is still untested.  A lot of businesses are still in the process of upgrading to Windows 7 and won’t probably upgrade to Windows 8 for a long time (if ever) and this is the main market that Microsoft is aiming for.  As much as I would probably buy a Surface Pro (if I could afford one) I think it is going to struggle.

So what do you think? Are you tempted or will you be sticking with your ‘old’ laptop?

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.

 

 

 

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