Google+ September 2009 ~ High Tech House Calls

Unexpected Chemistry of Cookies

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Disaster Recovery Plan - Prepare for the Next Flood

  • Gather all your software installation CD's into one place. If the pile is overwhelming because you have kept software for computers you no longer own or the software is outdated, now is the time to throw out the old and keep the current. If you want help culling through all the software, please call High Tech House Calls (404.229.0839). We are here to help.
  • Store your software CD's in a safe place. At the very least, store your software in a different room from your computers. A safer option would be a fireproof media safe or a bank safety deposit box. Plastic (what CD's are made of) will melt before paper will burn, so getting a fireproof media safe is a must.
  • To ensure your the safety of your personal data such as Quicken financial records, word documents, and photos, you should be backing your data up to an external hard drive, Cd's or an online backup solution such as Carbonite
If the worst happens and your computers are under water, relax a little, because all your things you need to restore your computers are safe and sound.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Snow Leopard - Worth the Cost of Admission?

Snow Leopard is the newest release of the Apple Mac Operating System. This update is only available to Intel Processor based Apple computers. Power PC processor based systems such as the iBook cannot use this upgrade. Power PC systems are basically frozen from upgrading beyond Leopard. With this limitation in mind, it might make sense to start saving for a new Apple computer with an Intel processor.

Installation was straight forward; I did not encounter any problems.

Is it worth the $30?


  1. This release offers no new functionality that most users will be able to use or see. The core basis of this release is an improvement in computer speed. The benchmarks I have seen show that the casual user of an Apple computer will not notice any increase in computer response times.
  2. You will need to update and install new print drivers for your printer. The good news is the major printer manufacturers have posted on their websites drivers that support Snow Leopard.
  3. Third party Apple Software such as TechTools Pro ( may require upgrades to their products to work with Snow Leopard. Therefore, the true cost may be much more than $30 if you factor in the additional upgrade costs for third party software you may be running.

Vista 64 Bit Version - Is this the version you should be running?

Many Microsoft operating systems come in 64-bit and 32-bit versions (Win XP, Vista, Windows 7). Many Dell and HP systems are coming pre-loaded with 64-bit versions of the operating system. If you bought a 64-bit version by mistake or found out that a 64-bit version will not work in your computer environment, you will have to buy a 32-bit version of the operating system and load your computer from scratch your computer.

What are the major differences between the two versions?

  • A 64-bit version of the operating system allows you to utilize more memory space. More memory means the computer and its associated applications should run faster.
  • The 64-bit version of the software is more expensive than the 32-bit version.
  • Your computer hardware must have the capability to run a 64-bit version. If your computer has this capability, you have the option of loading either the 64-bit or 32-bit version of the operating system.

What are the problems with upgrading a 32-bit operating system to a 64-bit operating system on a 64-bit hardware capable system?

1. Some of your existing hardware components may not have 64-bit drivers.

Sound cards, printers and network interface cards, to name a few, may stop running because the manufacturer has not created a 64-bit driver.

2. In Vista 64-bit, any driver that is not properly signed will not be able to enter the kernel and will fail to load.

Think how many times you have ignored that warning that a certain hardware driver is not properly signed when you installed it for the first time. With Vista 64-bit, if your driver has not be recertified by Microsoft, it will not work. Therefore, a 64-bit driver can exist for your device, but will not work if the manufacturer has not had Microsoft certify it.

3. Very little 64-bit software currently exists.

64-bit software only runs on a 64-bit hardware system with a 64-bit operating system. Currently, however, there is very little 64-bit software out there. Unfortunately, this situation is the classic Chicken versus Egg paradox.

One example I have run across is Palm's Desktop Software which will not run on a 64-bit platform. Therefore, you cannot sync your Palm Smartphone with your computer.


If you decide that a 64-bit version of the operating system will not support your computing environment, make sure the operating system that is pre-loaded on the new computer you are looking at is a 32-bit version.