A Short Course on Computer Memory

Every so often, a client asks us about the "innards" of the computers we sell and service.  It used to happen much more in the early days of the computer revolution.  These days, most clients want to just know if there's "enough"!  If your "inner geek" needs some fodder, this article from HP provides a good basis for understanding more about the computer memory that most take for granted.

There are dizzying amounts of memory types in modern computer devices, from DDR SDRAM to L3 caches. And for many of us, understanding all the nuances of computer memory is a bit like understanding how the catalytic converter in your car works: It might be nice to know, but you probably don't have the time to become an expert, even if you use one every day.

But just as it's useful to still know the basics about your car, understanding the basics about computer memory can go a long way towards ensuring you get the performance you want—at the price you need. This quick primer will take you through the basic types of computer memory, and what to look for when making your next PC purchase or upgrade.

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IC EdTech Day - March 19th

The Computing Center will be participating in the 25th Annual Education Technology Day at Ithaca College on Thursday, March 19th. We will be working with our friends from Hewlett Packard showing their latest tablets, notebooks and computer systems. 

Ed Tech Day is a regional technology event that attracts over 1,600 people annually from the upstate New York region. National manufacturers will be in attendance  including Adobe Systems, Apple, Dell, Epson, Hewlett Packard, and Microsoft.

While one of the primary audiences for the event is the higher education community, the event is open to everyone.  There is plenty of information that is of interest to K-12 education, the business and not-for-profit communities. At the event you'll be able to talk directly with representatives from major computer and technology manufactuerers and suppliers, explore educational applications, learn how technology is being used today in and outside of higher education and see what can be expected in the coming years. 

The 2015 show will take place on Thursday, March 19, 2015, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in the Emerson Suites and adjoining areas of the Campus Center at Ithaca College. The show features a Vendor Technology Showcase, a College Showcase, and a series of seminars. 

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Hidden Costs in Using Old Hardware

Desktop PCs aren't dead.  They play significant roles in most of our businesses and organizations.  Although written from a Hewlett Packard point of view, this article's message is relevant regardless of the brand of equipment in use.

In today’s era of notebooks, tablets, and smartphones, mobility is a high priority—making small businesses more dynamic and responsive in an on-the-go world.

That reality, however, should not detract from the important role desktop PCs still play in today’s business environment, delivering more power, more robust upgrade options, and more functionality compared to their portable counterparts.

While large enterprises typically refresh their desktop PCs once every three years, small businesses tend to hold on to their PCs for five to seven years [1]. Older hardware, however, often slows operations and sparks hidden costs. In fact, PCs more than four-and-a-half years old are estimated to cost 50 percent more to support and take 50 percent longer to perform many tasks [2].

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Supertaskers vs multitaskers

More than 4 out of 10 young professionals are Supertaskers, toggling seamlessly between apps and devices for personal and work tasks. With data from a 2014 survey of professionals and businesses who use technology in and outside the office, here are the 10 signs you’re definitely a supertasker:

 

  1. One is the loneliest number: Reading this on your smartphone while OITNB plays on your tablet and you update an excel file on your laptop? If you’ve got any combination of these items near you, you’re in the majority of professionals who use two to three work and personal devices on a daily basis.

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Tablet vs Notebook

 (Editor’s note:  First it was notebook computers replacing desktops PCs.  Now it’s tablet computers replacing notebooks.  Every device has advantages and disadvantages.  It’s always up to the user which device(s) are best.)

 If the rumors are to be believed, 2013 will be the year that worldwide sales of tablet PCs overtake notebooks. The second half of 2012 saw increasing demands for tablets as new screen sizes and price points were introduced. In fact, tablets have already outsold notebooks in China and North America.

So, where does this leave notebooks? When notebooks first entered the market, their mobility was heralded as being a technological breakthrough. These days, mobility is more of an expectation than advancement. Once tablets hit the market with their smaller-than-notebook size and almost-as-powerful-as-a-notebook processors, it was just a matter of time before the line between notebooks and tablets began to blur.

Even though a worldwide reduction in demand has caused shipments of notebooks to slow down, don't count them out just yet. The latter half of 2013 will see new processors for notebooks that will allow for more tablet-like PC features and longer battery life.

But if you're a business with a mobile workforce, you're probably not concerned about best-selling trends; you're concerned about which technology is best for your business.

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