ComTech: IT Support Stirling

Who will actually buy the new MacBook?

I have always had a love / hate relationship with Apple.  I can appreciate the design and the fact for the most part Apple devices “just work” but the cost of any Apple device is just so steep.  The cost of new devices is why I have kept hold of my 2009 MacBook for so long.  It works fine and I can’t justify the cost at the moment, plus there hasn’t been a replacement model in some time.

Until now. I was browsing the internet yesterday and found out that Apple is bringing out a new MacBook.  Could this finally be the device that makes me part with some hard earned? Nope I don’t think so.

The design is beautiful and the MacBook is soooooo light but if you look at the pictures you would think it is a MacBook Air which is a beautiful device in itself. The MacBook Air is also cheaper, more powerful and has more ports.  The only thing that is better about the new MacBook is the amount of RAM available and yes while 8GB is definitely better than the 4GB found on the MacBook Air running OS X on 4GB RAM is hardly a chore for the majority of us.  The major downside for me is that the processor is a dual core which is the same as the one in my 6 year old MacBook!!!

I can’t help thinking that Apple brought out this device because they could not because they should. Most of my customers who use Mac’s have either an iMac or MacBook Pro which again are fantastic devices with more than enough processing power to get things done.  When you are parting with £1049 (UK prices for base model) you would expect fantastic specs and for me the new MacBook just doesn’t cut it.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Cisco, Windows, OS X and Linux based IT Support to small businesses throughout Scotland.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter




I can now run my business from an Android tablet but the question is do I want too?

I was happily working away on my MacBook last week invoicing some clients for recent work when it hit me – I have got to the point where I could now do all this on an Android tablet rather than a MacBook. Surprising thought when you think about it, but as surprising and intriguing as it was the next thought was why would I want too?

Let me explain. At the moment most of my daily tasks involve using Libreoffice and Chrome a lot, along with Thunderbird for my emails and Dropbox for storing files.  I also use Teamviewer to access my virtual machines which are stored on  a linux server. On the whole this setup suits me well.  I do like to use a “desktop” browser as I find I usually work faster than with a mobile one.

I currently use my 7 inch tablet for taking notes during client visits, internet, checking wireless signals etc and it performs these jobs well.  It wouldn’t take much thought to put my email accounts on it, add my social media accounts and start doing some “real” productivity work on it.  I could very easily use apps on the tablet which would cover all of my current needs and probably cover them very well.  For example there are apps like Docs to Go which provide most of the office functionality I need (good app by the way).

But there are also some slight niggles which, while not being a show stopper, would seriously limit my enjoyment.  The first is dual monitors.  I use a second monitor with my MacBook and I must admit it makes my life so much easier.  Dual monitor setups for Android are to the best of my knowledge “limited” to say the least.  If anyone would like to write and app that allows me to expand my android tablet to a second monitor I would buy it!!

The next is printing. I use HP ePrint on my phone which integrates very well with the inbuilt email client allowing me to print off my emails.  It doesn’t integrate at all with Docs to Go and other productivity suites meaning I would have to save documents to Dropbox first and then print from there. No big hassle but when you get used to just printing from anywhere on your system it takes a while to get used to a different way of working.

So yes while I can do all my business work from a tablet I won’t be switching fully across because my current setup does everything I need.  What I am more likely to try is to do certain bits from the tablet to see how we go and if successful maybe take on a bit more over time.

Do you work from an android tablet? Let me know!!

About the Author


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


Why I have finally turned my back on the PC

Well it has finally happened.  I have turned my back on the PC and surprisingly it doesn’t feel strange at all.

I have been getting more and more mobile over the last year and I had noticed that I was doing some work on the PC, some on the Mac and some on my tablets (Android and to a lesser extent my Blackberry Playbook).  I store all my files on Dropbox so I can access them from anywhere and the only thing that was really keeping me using the PC was the dual monitor setup.

I thought it was time that I centralised my work and the equipment that I do it on. This coupled with realising that I could purchase a mini DVI to DVI connector and setup up extended monitors on my MacBook was the final nail in the coffin for the PC.  I can do everything on my MacBook that I could on the PC with the added benefit I can take it “on the road”.

Not everyone will go down this route. If you sit behind a desk all day then a PC is the best system for the job – fact. If however you are becoming more mobile like me then there are better options.  You can use a laptop or tablet and which you choose will depend on what work you do and what applications you use.

And the PC? It has now become a Linux server with my virtual machines on it (Windows and Linux based systems). These can be accessed from anywhere using Teamviewer.

About the Author


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



Are Macs still relevant?

I have always disliked the way that Apple do things.  There is no denying that their products are beautifully designed and do exactly what they say on the tin but the one thing that has always stopped me from parting with my hard earned is “Apples way or the highway”.  Until recently that is.

I was put in contact with a new client a couple of weeks back and guess what they use? Yeh that is right a Mac or more precisely an iMac and what a beautifully designed machine it is. One slight problem, I don’t use Macs so time for me to splurge and get one. So off to ebay I went.  After quite a while trawling through the options I finally bought a 2009 model Macbook for £275 running Mountain Lion. And so the crash course started.

Boy are Macs easy to learn.  Whereas a Windows (and Linux) system will allow you to configure it to within an inch of its life Macs have much less configuration options available to the average user and the whole experience is much better for it.  There is no way an average user can configure something incorrectly the way you can with Windows.  Apple has decided what the average user needs and dare I say it, it works.

So why aren’t more users using Macs if they are easier to use? Cost.  My MacBook would have cost approximately £900 new which for an average user is well above their budget given that a Windows system can be had for a third of that.  Of course the specifications of both systems will not be the same but an average user wont care as they “just want a laptop”. If Apple dropped the price to about £450 ish they would sell a boatload of MacBooks but that is not likely to happen as they aim for the top end of the market and not the middle or bottom.

But Apple do have a problem though and that is OS X falling market share.  As of December 2013 OS X accounted for 7.43% of all desktops.  The problem they have is that iOS seams to be eating into OS X market share as more Apple customers decide to go for the iPad rather than the MacBook.

So where does this leave the MacBook then and even the iMac?

Professionals will still stump up the cash for an iMac for their offices rather than a Windows system which can become “infested” with viruses so no real change there for Apple. The MacBook though is a very different story.  If, and it is a VERY BIG if, people start doing real work on an iPad in the same way they can on a MacBook (Office for iPad anyone) then MacBook sales will start taking a real hit and this sadly could signal the end of the MacBook.

So do you agree or disagree? Are Macs still relevant?

About the Author


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


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