Google Chromebook is a relatively inexpensive, lightweight, low-maintenance, and high-reliability device. Or so it was advertised. Yet, Google plans to support then only for five years.

Official promotional information states that Chromebooks are built to last. “Only for five years” adds Google in end of life policy, that you have probably skipped without reading when you powered on your device for the first time. “Much less” we add.

Chromebook was originally released in 2011 and manufactured by both Acer and Samsung. Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and google itself have joined the production in 2013. While the second pack may hope for support for another two years, the first one has reached its expiration date.

However, regardless its end of life policy, Google still releases regular updates for those devices. They stated that they would keep supporting Chromebooks while they can. Even if the ones who have the first generation Chromebooks can enjoy extended lifespan. There is no knowing how much longer it is going to last.

Our verdict 

Yet, we are being somewhat sceptical about the whole support thing anyway. We had experience with 2013 HP Chromebook, the pretty blue thing, in our London Computer Repair Service. We witnessed that those devices literally crumble before your eyes and practically unserviceable. The device has everything built into one board. It uses eMMC flash hard drives, the type of memory that you find in SD cards, the type that is much slower than a traditional SSD and deteriorates quickly. Sounds like a recipe for a failure. And indeed, online community reports that these Chromebooks fail within a couple of years.

A number of people came into our London Computer Repair Service complaining about issues with their computers and laptops. The issues appeared after they installed the new Windows 10 Anniversary Update on their systems. The online community has been also actively reporting Windows 10 Anniversary update problems.

Web-cameras

The first problem that we encountered relates to webcams that use video compression. The online community reports that the update affects even extremely popular Logitech’s C920 and C930e cameras, leaving many people in despair. The cameras would not operate correctly in many programs including Microsoft’s own Skype. A temporary solution is available and www.windowscentral.com provides a thorough instruction. After you create a new value in the registry and restart your computer the fault should be eliminated. However, Microsoft promised to release an official fix for this issue, which most likely they will deliver to you via Windows Update.

Amazon Kindle

Another problem relates to popular Amazon Kindle readers. When the user tries to connect one of those devices to the system via conventional USB cable the infamous blue screen of death (BSOD) appears carrying the message “HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED.” The problem is consistent with two models, Kindle Voyage and Paperwhite. Yet apparently, this Windows 10 Anniversary update problem affect the entire Kindle family to some extent. However, if you leave the device plugged in and restart the computer it will be recognised. After that, you will be able to transfer data across and upload new books. But as soon as you unplug the device and then plug it back in, the BSOD returns. The only hope for the resolution lies on Microsoft team and the new updates.

If you encounter any more Windows 10 Anniversary update problems, please report them to Bits and PCs.

 

A couple of days ago, Microsoft reminded their customers that Windows 10 Insider Preview builds, old pre-release versions of Windows 10, have an expiration date. And it is the 15th of October, 2016.

Just like any Insider Preview versions of Windows, Windows 10 pre-release builds have a limited lifespan. People who have one and haven’t updated Windows on their computers will start getting notifications about the necessity of update. The notification will be popping up daily until the 1st of October. Then the ones who have the tendency to ignore notifications and close them without reading will find it difficult to do. After the 1st of October Windows will start restarting every 3 hours. And finally, on the 15th of October Windows will no longer boot.

Just update your Windows 10 Insider Preview build

To avoid conjugated problems (for a while) one needs to install appropriate updates. That is easily done via Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. The latest build has an extended expiration date – the 1st of May, 2017. 

To view the Version, Build number Expiration date enter:  Winver.exe  in the Search box.

To avoid the problem altogether come round to our London Windows Repair Service, Bits and PCs, to get a regular version of Windows.

We have mentioned several times about the upcoming Mac OS upgrade, macOS Sierra. Here we even looked at the details and new features of the new operating system. Yet for a while, we did not know when to expect it. Finally, Apple announced the date of release. The new mac operating system, macOS Sierra, will be available for download on the 20th of September.

Soon after Apple presented new iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and other new products, Apple announced the date or release of macOS Sierra on the official web-site. We remind you that the operating system comes with a number of exciting novelties and changes. Firstly, it’s the name macOS. There are multiple versions explaining why Apple decided to change the name for their OS. The domineering one claims that it was done simply to fit the line: iOS, watchOS and tvOS. Yet, the excitement is evoked by integration of Siri, universal clipboard, new iCloud features, Apple Pay and many more new features, which Apple introduced earlier this year at The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference.

iCloud Drive and disk space management

One of the features we haven’t mentioned in our blog yet was the new feature in iCloud. macOS Sierra will automatically take care of the space on your hard drive. It will send the files that you haven’t used in a while to iCloud Drive. The system will also locate duplicates and offer you deleting them.

Availability

The new system will be available for download free of charge. macOS Sierra will operate on any Mac that was released in 2009 and later. However, what applications will be still compatible with the new system is unknown at the moment. For help and advice refer to us, London Apple Repair Service, Bits and PCs.

When it comes to novelties quite often a natural reaction of many would be – get rid of it, I have just got used to the old way, I won’t even going to look at it. Perhaps, Microsoft had this in mind when they designed Edge. Microsoft Edge is, literally, impossible to delete, even if you really wanted to. This latest Microsoft’s Internet browser is not such a novelty. It has been around for over a year. Yet, many people, especially those who never liked Internet Explorer, still have a vague idea about what it is. We hope that this review inspires some courage to finally try it out.

Performance and Design

Benchmarks demonstrate that Edge has nothing to impress. Yet it does not lag behind the top Internet browsers like Chrome, Opera, and Firefox. Its design allows accessing bookmarks, history, settings, and anything you might think of fairly easily, thanks to dedicated buttons. Yet it has been stripped down to the bare minimum. Edge’s minimalistic and blocky design will find a lot of who’d love it, as well as those who’d absolutely hate it. Minimalistic yet not compact – Edge’s address bar and tab bar alone occupy more space than tab bar, address bar, and bookmarks bar in Chrome combined.

Once you got into settings you might be surprised how little you can customise. Yet it covers the essentials. Microsoft Edge has embedded share option. Yet it only shares it with some Microsoft Store apps. Surprisingly, even Skype is not on that list. The same minimalistic approach touches even right-click menu. The options you are offered are scanty. How am I supposed to work with that? – “Ask Cortana”; this option is available most of the times. Apparently, Microsoft does not like spoiling its users with choice

Security

There must be something good about Edge? – you may ask. Be patient; there is. Microsoft Edge is far more superior than its predecessor, Internet Explorer, in terms of security. Edge is not just an improved version of IE, but the entirely new browser. Its new clean code that has no ActiveX, browser helper objects, or VBScript support minimises security risks. Additionally, Edge runs in a sandbox, just as nearly every Windows Store app does. This means browser processes are isolated from the rest of the system, so site code can’t mess with the rest of your PC’s operation and other programs.

If you’d like to find out more about Edge and or any other aspect of Windows 10, feel free to get in touch with us today. We offer IT support in London and we’ll eagerly help you.