A decent “Free” PC

My mother inlaw has been in an assisted living community for a couple of years. As part of the move in, my brother inlaw got her this service called “Grandcare” that provides a touchscreen PC with a very customized user interface.

The first PC that was sent to her room was a pretty large HP Envy 20 AIO touchscreen system. First manufactured in 2012, it has a HD resolution, 20″ touch screen display, and is licensed for Windows 8/8.1 (there is no sticker on it, the OEM code is in the BIOS ROM.) It has a 3.1 GHz Pentium G870 chip, which is a dual core, 4 thread processor with integrated Intel HD graphics. Just fine for this system. Continue reading →

Tech – Laptops with eSATA ports

A general whine here today, but a while back, probably 2009 or so, the rage was laptops with eSATA ports, for faster external storage. USB3 was a glimmer, and FW800 seemed to be relegated to the Mac world.

My new (at the time) Dell Latitude had this eSATA port, and I was running a lot of VMs on VMWare Workstation, and more bandwidth was desirable.

So I bought a high performance Seagate eSATA external drive (7200 rpm drive in an enclosure), and thought for sure I was golden. Continue reading →

Life with a Thinkpad and Win 10

With my new gig, I was issued a sparkly new Lenovo Thinkpad T450 (must have gotten the tail end of the run, as it was revved to T460 shortly after I started) with a reasonable sized SSD, 8G ram, a decent screen, and the expected accouterments.

About the same time, my employer began rolling out Windows 10 on the desktop, so I am part of that world now. Prior to this, I had been using Windows 7 since 2010, and had become comfortable, passing up the whole Win 8 and 8.1 in the interim.

First thoughts were that I hated it. No, it wasn’t forced the “metro” interface that came with the initial launch of Win 8, and which turned off all the enterprise IT people I knew, but it still had some of that flavor that, well sucked. Continue reading →