Newsletter Archives

  • Gifts for your computer


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Technology is one of those purchases best done personally.

    It’s often hard to know how people like their technology, but for gift-giving it’s important to know whether they are firmly entrenched in the ecosystems of Microsoft, Apple, Android, or Kindle.

    That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat yourself. And your treat shouldn’t be limited to purchasing something new — this may be the time you want to upgrade the technology you already have. Even a Windows 10 PC might benefit from Santa’s visit.

    Your best gift to yourself is to take stock of your daily drivers. Know how much RAM and hard-drive space they have, determine how well your most important apps run, and decide how reliable and dependable the devices are. Do it once a year — the holidays are a great time for it!

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.50.0, 2023-12-11).

  • Locked out of your refurbished computer?


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Corporate “leftovers” may impact your new computer.

    All of us want to purchase a good deal. Often I will look for refurbished computers, many of them systems coming off corporate leases, because they are an excellent value. Many times, they are less than three years old and support Windows 11. Some even come with Windows 11.

    Most of these systems have been reset to factory defaults, so the configuration process is basically the same OOBE you would get with a new PC. You start the boot process, set it up with either a Microsoft account or a local account with the email trick, and off you go. You’re happy: you have a well-built computer that is cheaper than anything you’d purchase elsewhere.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.39.0, 2023-09-25).

  • Buying a refurbished computer can save you money


    What to look for in a new-but-old computer

    You have to look closely at the offerings, and they aren’t ideal for every use case, but refurbished machines can be the way to go.

    Susan BradleyBy Susan Bradley

    Unless we have a specific need for an overpowered gaming computer, most of us can get along just fine with a machine that is a few years old. But one thing we should always look for is ample hard-drive space.

    A recent article from Ars Technica showcases what I’ve said for years: never purchase a laptop that has a super-small hard drive; you will immediately and forever regret the decision and fight with that small hard drive for the rest of the time you have it. For example, when I want to upgrade my 32GB ASUS laptop, I have to attach an external USB hard drive. It will still not do a proper feature-release install without it.

    But you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for a decent computer. Machines that the vendors call “refurbished” can be perfectly fine for what you and I do on a regular basis. Furthermore, if you don’t mind a bulky machine, you can get what I consider to be a bargain with an old-fashioned desktop computer.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.26.0 (2020-07-06).