Productivity

Technology

The Decision: Windows into Brad’s Future

January 21, 2020

Jumping Ship (Again)

I’ve been holding on to this update for a while because I know it might come as a bit of a shock for those that have heard me talk up the device over the years, but here it is: I’ve officially left my trusty Chromebook in 2019.

(Surprise!) 

There’s an origin story behind this saga…you see, about 10 years ago I had this great laptop….huge screen, ran Windows 7, used it all the time. One day out of nowhere it presents me with a message offering me a chance to upgrade to Windows 8…gee whiz, what a great deal! Thanks Microsoft, you’ve always been great!

Those out there who were similarly suckered in by the famously flawed update might have heard a similar story to mine: 2 hours and 17 reboots after installing Windows 8, neither of my external monitors worked.

Frying my other office equipment is a dealbreaker, and so Windows and I took a break from our deal…I jumped ship to Chrome OS and rode the wave for about a decade…I figured hey, I’m not an insurance agent, I’m a geek. I can make this work.

And, for a long time, it did!

Don’t get me wrong, the Chromebook still a pretty good package for those who just need a no-frills point of access to the Internet, but recent changes to the OS (won’t bore you with the details) have brought frustration into the experience of late, and so my ever-wandering eye for tech eventually landed on a sweet new Windows Surface laptop…what can I say, it happens.

The fact is my days with Windows extend far back beyond my time championing Chrome, and after my first few weeks with my speedy new Surface I have to say it’s good to be back…15 inch screen and a docking station that doubles as a power hub for other USB-charging devices and of course, that sleek futuristic metallic finish make it very easy to feel good about my decision.

The price was right as well, so you long-time readers will also remember that’s always a bonus.

…But Wait, There’s More!

One great thing about this new laptop is that it comes standard with Windows Defender, which should definitely do the trick as far as keeping the home device protected. It’s also free, which is very nice. I wouldn’t rely on it for a business machine, but I wouldn’t necessarily commit to a paid anti-virus program subscription for a home PC either…seems a bit much, even for me.
 

Yet Another Microsoft Update

Speaking of Microsoft (I promise I didn’t get a job with them over the last week or so), I’m a fan of their recent move to take over Upwork and integrate it with LinkedIn. The initiative is aimed at giving the company the unprecedented ability to promote and tap into the remote work movement that is only going to get stronger as the New Roaring 20s roll on.

It only makes sense to combine one of the Internet’s foremost freelance hiring resources with the leading professional social media network–one of those, “I could have thought of that if I had 390 billion dollars” ideas–and having personally hired people from Upwork I can testify that the site offers access to talented individuals from all over the world.

Upwork even provides real time tracking of freelancer activity such as random screencaps and keystroke counting during directly billable hours so you can even know that they’re really doing the work…I actually don’t check it all that much, but I do want to occasionally make sure the guy I hired to manage Archway’s social media didn’t bill me 5 hours for his midday “Zumbo’s Just Desserts” binge. 2 episodes max, kid.
 

The Last (Microsoft) Word 

Well then,  I’ve got a brand new toy to play with a lot of important professional work tasks to complete so that just about should do it for this week’s engaging edition of “Brad’s Blog,” totally not brought to you by Microsoft! Thanks as always for making time in your busy routine for this weekly one-sided conversation…if you’ve got anything to share in return, my Outlook inbox is always open!

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