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Keeping up with technology

I have experienced a lot of change in the last 24 years as an I.T. professional.  For the most part, technology refreshes itself every 6 to 12 months.  Everyone is familiar with Apple and how their products are introduced one month and then 6 months later another version of the same product is introduced to the market.  I love Apple products because they just work.  I certainly can’t afford to keep up with all of the new models of this and that in the Apple world.

At work I support workstations running Microsoft products.  We run Windows 7 Enterprise edition x86 (32 bit) operating systems.  Our office productivity suite is Microsoft Office 2010.  Microsoft products have been out there for a long time and I do not see it going away any time soon. Apple OSX , Microsoft Windows , Unix, Linux operating systems are the most popular operating systems on workstations in the corporate world. In the corporate world there are folks like me who are in the background keeping technology humming smoothly so you can do your job.  When something goes wrong I am an e-mail or phone call away.  I am the “I.T. guy” or “I.T. Gal” you depend on when trouble happens with technology.

Who is the “I.T. person” when you run into problems at home?  Personal computing has become more and more a part of our every day lives.  Once upon a time a  personal computer ran upwards of 5K and the software for it was very expensive.  That was back in 1980 when the personal computer became available for individuals at home.  Fast forward to today and you can go to Walmart and buy a laptop for under 400.00 and a personal computer with monitor, keyboard and mouse for less than 500.00 if you want a basic set up.  Software is no where near as expensive as it used to be.

Most computer manufacturers recognize the fact that home computer users do not have an I.T. support staff and that they need to make home computers as self healing as possible.  Microsoft Windows computers/laptops come with the automatic updates set up to do your Microsoft security updates and OS patches for you  while you sleep as long as you leave the computer turned on and connected to the Internet.  Most Antivirus & Spyware software will automatically search for updates and apply them for you without any effort on your part.  The same goes with driver updates and firmware updates as well.  In the system tray you will get notifications from the hardware manufacturer that driver or firmware updates are available.  You will have to pay attention to those and apply them manually.  Those updates typically require a reboot.

Why is all of this important to you?  It is important if you want your personal computing device to run efficiently.  When you get into your car you want to turn the key and you expect the vehicle to start and take you from point A to B without too many issues.  No one likes to get stranded on the side of the road with no gas or a flat tire.  That is why we take care of our vehicles and perform basic maintenance tasks like checking the oil, transmission fluid and air pressure in our tires.  If we do not know how to do those things we learn how or take it to an automotive professional who will do it for us.  The same thing applies to personal technology devices.

No matter how “idiot proof” hardware and software manufacturers make our personal computing environment we still need to have some basic knowledge of how things work and what basic maintenance tasks we should pay attention to and verify they are happening correctly.  In the next couple of articles I will explain some of these maintenance tasks, why they are important and what you need to know for an end user stand point.

 

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Comments

  1. Preach it! Preach it!!

  2. 🙂 I yam, I yam. LOL