Wednesday, 26 July 2017

PC vs Mac

Following on from last weeks' blog... PC or Mac

PC or Mac

Think back to Windows 98 (if you're old enough to remember), Apples' offering was Mac OS 9, the two operating systems seemed a million miles apart from each other, you chose a side and stuck to it. There were of course a few compatibilities such as Microsoft Office for Mac and the ability to open a few standard file types such as .txt .jpg .gif etc... Printers and other perhibitals had to be purchased with care ensuring they were Mac compatible. While this was the case for Apple Microsoft Windows was pleasing all the people all the time. The only place you'd usually find a Mac was in an art-y type studio.

Windows 98 PC

Mac running OS 9

Fast forward to 2017 what's changed? Both Windows and Macs now play well with others :) If you buy either a PC or a Mac you can be pretty confident your hardware such as printers and scanners will be equally compatible. Software must be written specifically for each operating system but due to the new found popularity of the Mac there are  usually available versions for both.

Windows 10 PC Apple iMac

So what's the difference and what should I buy? Typically when you buy a PC you're buying a computer from a third part manufacturer such as Dell or HP running the Windows Operating System by Microsoft, many businesses choose Windows PCs for their software compatibility. Macs are different in that both the hardware and software are made by Apple so the Operating system and hardware are designed to work together. The biggest difference... Cost... Apple Macs are a premium product and are priced accordingly.

5 Reasons PC's are Better...

1. Easy to upgrade.
2. Affordable.
3. Will run popular PC games. (if you're a gamer a PC is for you)
4. Runs Sage (business accounting software).
5. Massive choice of PC brands and styles.

5 Reasons Macs are better...

1. No pre-installed "Crapware".
2. Solid Unix based foundation OS.
3. Immaculate product design by Apple.
4. Free iWork - Pages, Numbers & Keynote.
5. You CAN run Windows on a Mac.

My final thoughts... if budget is an issue and you need to run specific business software then buy a PC. If budget permits and you want beauty, quality and performance buy a Mac.

This post was written using "Notes" on an iPad :)

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

How to buy a new computer ...and not regret it!

Let me start this post off with an old saying... Buy Once... Buy Well...

When it comes to buying a new computer there're a few things to consider regarding spec and performance but I always advise the best starting point is to decide on a budget you can afford but don't spend too little as to end up with a computer that needs replacing again in just a few years, it's important to future-proof your self from the advancing march of technology/commerce.

Wait! ...before you spend all that money, do you need to? If your computer ins't too old but has just slowed down a little it may be given a new lease of life from some extra Memory (RAM) or a faster Hard Drive such as an SSD (Solid State) upgrade, maybe even just a bit of software TLC.

Ok... taking it that you are going to buy that new computer here are a few pointers to get you off to a flying start...

  1. SSD - If budget persists go for an SSD (Solid State) Hard Drive, this will give you a 10x speed increase over regular Hard Drives. An SSD is the single most important speed increasing upgrade. If cash is an issue you could consider an SSHD (Hybrid Drive), this combines the near speed of an SSD with the space/value of a regular Hard Drive.
  2. MEMORY (RAM) - Go for as much as you can afford - Simples! ;) This will make the general running of your new computer much smoother and less prone to hanging and or speed related error messages.
  3. CPU (Processor) - Intel all the way for this geek! - I would suggest the i5 is a good all-rounder with the i3 being suitable for lower budgets. The i7 is just overkill unless you work for Pixar Movies. :)
  4. DEALS - Be careful! - ALWAYS look at the spec of the computer first, don't be taken in by the fact you're getting a free printer or carry case ...and while we're talking about printers investigate the cost of replacement ink or toners before you buy, as a rule the cheaper the printer, the more expensive the ink.
  5. SOFTWARE BUNDLES - Firstly Antivirus, for Apple Macs I advise Symantec's "Norton Antivirus" and for PC's I advise going for the built in "Windows Defender". On a PC you'll often find trial software installed and on an Apple Mac their Office equivalent, iWork (Pages, Numbers & Keynote) is free.

This question has been asked since the dawn of modern computing... 

...Sorry folks this one's for next weeks blog! If you need help buying a new computer or just upgrading an older computer call The Computer Wiz on 01553 660941 or email

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Time to ditch pen & paper?

It is believed that since around the year 3000BC mankind has been using writing implements to note down thoughts ideas, and much much much later shopping lists. In the latter half of the 20th century came possibly one of the most remarkable creations of man, the computer. So why have we not yet heard the death rattle of pen and paper? It might be because there's a certainty that can only be felt from ink marking paper, or maybe it's the simple fact that there's no perceived complicated technology getting in the way. The latter explanation seems more plausible to me and this is where I think technology has finally become complex enough to become simple. I know this sounds like a paradox, but think about it complexity creates the illusion of simplicity and that's all you need to get people to adapt to a new technology and use it as if it's the way they've always done it. After all pen and paper didn't seem that simple when you couldn't read and write!

So... Why should we ditch pen and paper? Simple... it's easier, no really, it is! How many of us walk around with a pen and paper in our pockets? But... I bet your phone is nearby. When you take notes on smartphones, tablets or computers your notes are searchable and retrievable in multiple locations furthermore your notes can be enriched with pictures, hyperlinks or even clickable telephone or email links.

We trust our devices to keep our treasured photos and music collections safe so let's take the last step to a digital utopia.

Want to find out more about ditching pen and paper? Call The Computer Wiz on 01553 660941 or email

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Top 10 Mac Myths 

Ok... So you're considering buying your first Apple Mac... But you've heard a few things such as they're expensive, they don't run Microsoft Office, or you won't be able to run your programs.

Well... Let me dispel some of these myths for you...

  1. They don't run Microsoft Office - Wrong, they do, as well as running Microsoft Office* Macs also have Free Apple alternatives to Word, Excel and Powerpoint - Pages, Numbers and Keynote. Macs will even run Open Office.
  2. You won't be able to run your programs - Wrong, we've come a long way since the first Macs when, yes, there was a great divide between the two platforms. Today, as with Microsoft Office, most software providers build for both Windows as well as Mac.**
  3. You can't run windows programs on a Mac - Well... Kind of wrong... Macs have a handy little application built in call "Bootcamp". Bootcamp allows you to install a full version of Microsoft Windows 10 on your Mac using a bootable partition, so for the duration of that boot your Mac is effectively a fully functional Windows PC.***
  4. You can't easily upgrade a Mac - While it's true some Macs such as the latest iMac are a little tricky to upgrade compared to a PC tower, you can choose the exact spec of your Mac which is customisable during your order process on the Apple website.
  5. Macs are just the same as PCs under the hood - While PC components are indeed common in all computers Macs stand out because of the union of hardware and software design. By its nature Microsoft Windows must have bloated software to cover all the possible hardware configurations PC manufactures may build in.
  6. Macs don't get viruses or Malware - Ok... Brace your self... I've got some bad news on this one! Macs can get Viruses and Malware. BUT... You stick a better chance of avoiding an all out catastrophe than your Windows counterparts due to the Macs Unix based foundations.
  7. Macs are expensive -  Time for a maths lesson... The entry level cost of a 13 inch MacBook Air at the time of writing this post is £949.00 with easy transfer of your own files, FREE Microsoft Office equivalent Pages, Numbers and Keynote, built in Mail, Contacts and Calendars (fully compatible with Microsoft Exchange), Free iCloud account. Let's talk about the spec... 1.8GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor (not the cheap rubbish), 8GB RAM as standard, not to mention 128GB SSD storage! The Dell Insprion 15 7000 starts at £799 + Microsoft Office Home & Business £229.99 = £1028.99 and for all this money you get a heavy, plastic laptop full of unnecessary software installed by the manufacturer. Buy once... Buy well!
  8. Macs are hard to learn to use - Absolutely not, Macs are really easy to get used to, with a super intuitive operating system (macOS) the Mac has evolved into an ultra user friendly computer. 
  9. There's no Right Click on a Mac -  And now for the history lesson... Back in the early days when Steve Jobs was the captain of the Apple ship his drive for simplicity meant the mouse should be made with just one button, "Click", simple right? But as time went on the need for a right click became more prevalent, eventually "Right Click" was introduced but whilst maintaining the look of a "Single Click" mouse. With the invent of the "Mighty Mouse" Apple went Click Crazy with many more configurations such as side buttons. The latest Magic Mouse even has touch gestures like on an iPhone so for instance you can swipe between web pages, to look at the mouse you'd be forgiven for assuming it's still just a single click mouse.
  10. My Printer Won't work with a Mac - In most cases you won't even need to run a setup disk, the download and install of drivers is fully automatic.

MacBook Air vs Dell Inspiron 15 7000

Apple Magic Mouse

For help or advice on switching to Apple Mac call The Computer Wiz on 01553 660941 or email

*"Access" and "Publisher" are not available as Mac applications. **Mac versions of applications are required. ***You will need a full licensed copy of Microsoft Windows 10 64bit.