Byte Me Article 371 – End Of Financial Year Rush

23rd June 2018

A Taxing Time For Upgrades

The 30th of June is rapidly approaching and as we know it brings with it the age-old business chant of ‘Tax Time’.  For all Australian businesses it spells the last day of the year to possibly spend some money on a business-related expense and claim some or all of it as a tax deduction.

For this reason, we’ve had a busy week and I must report that the flavour of the week has certainly been laptop sales.  There has been the usual number of dead laptops coming in that need replacing at any time of the year, but there has also been a run on simply updating slow or old models to something newer.

So what sort of examples can I give?  We are seeing many new customers with 3 to 5-year-old laptops that started life as Windows 7 or Windows 8 – which have now been upgraded to Windows 10.  One of the problems here is that many of them have been upgraded to Win 10 using the Windows 10 Update Assistant.  This software helps you transition to Windows 10 while keeping your existing data and software installed.

I have mentioned this back in the day when these upgrades were taking place and this form of update is akin to changing the colour of your house simply by painting over the previous paint.  The resulting condition is nothing like sanding back to bare material, prepping, undercoating and top coating afresh.  Laptops and desktops that used this update assistant by and large run like ….

To further degrade the performance of upgraded laptops, most of them are using mechanical hard drives and the larger percentage of these are the 5400 RPM drives which are slower again than typical 7200 RPM laptop hard drives.  Neither of these mechanical hard drives can touch the speed and response of the modern solid-state drive (SSD) which is approximately 10 times quicker.

So, the options are to either spend $200 on a SSD and a similar amount on labour for a fresh install of Windows 10 on the old laptop – which will provide a difference like night and day.  Or alternatively to opt for a new laptop with Windows 10 and a SSD from the start.  The new laptop will have full warranty and should last 3 to 5 years.

Another consideration for businesses and especially before June 30 is to look at their existing backup solution.  Every day we see both home user and business customers that do not have regular and complete backups of their vital information.  This is often because they have been provided a backup solution which is convoluted, clunky, time consuming and difficult to check on.

For 18 years we have been providing our own backup software which can be used on any desktop or laptop with a standard external USB hard drive.  Simply put, this backup requires the user to plug the external drive in whenever they have significantly changed their data.  They then double click on a desktop icon and watch it run.

We ask customers to watch our backup run as it normally takes around 15 seconds to complete, so there is no making a coffee while waiting here!  This system will capture everything that is important to the user including their emails and never deletes anything from the backup drive.  Even a month later the user can retrieve and accidentally deleted file from the backup drive themselves.

When software like this is available it becomes a useful tool and anyone that has ever lost their computer data would cringe to find that would have been only $120 to keep everything safe. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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