NEWSLETTER #6 – Feb 2008                    

 

 Table of Contents

  1. We are now partnering with major manufacturers to provide sales and warranty support !
  2. Piñon PC now has an online store !
  3. XP SERVICE PACK 3 is coming out soon
  4. Vista
  5. Taking new PCs backwards from Vista to XP
  6. Belarc Advisor software 
  7. Google Star Office & Open Office: free and compatible with MS Office Suite

 

 

1-      We are now partnering with major manufacturers to provide sales and warranty support !

a.      Here is Brady’s official announcement:

Enterprise Computing Systems, partnering with Piñon PC Support, is now a Registered Partner with Dell Computers and a Preferred Partner with Toshiba computers.  We are currently in negotiations with both firms to provide local service for their computer and business products.

 

What does this mean? 

For Toshiba – This could mean pre sales advice, sales transactions, and post sales warranty support will be provided by us.  Depot mail in warranty support too.  We have received their “Welcome Packet”  for the program but haven’t been able to go online to formally establish our role with Toshiba.

For Dell – Already we are a Registered Partner for sales and  ?other stuff?.  Now we are working on getting into the “Managed Care” (remote monitoring) services program with Dell.  That program leads us into being warranty repair for Dell.  We hope to cover LA, SF and, eventually, the lab.  J

For HP – We hope to establish whatever kind of relationship with them that we can.  Specifically, we hope to obtain printer repair training and then to be able to offer printer repair services across all brands.

b.      As a result of all this hob-nobbing with the big guys, we will be incorporating and merging Piñon PC with (Brady’s company) Enterprise Computer Systems.  Piñon PC will be rolled under ECS as a … whatever they call it…. sub-company?  You may or may not outwardly see the results of this.

 

2-      Piñon PC now has an online store !

Here it is: http://www.ShopPinonPC.com -  the capitals are not necessary to type, I just put them in for clarity. 

I am reselling anything Amazon sells except for computers and cell phones.   You, the buyer, get the same Amazon prices, sales, promotions, gift card use, Prime shipping account access, etc… that you do by going to www.amazon.com .  I get 4-10% of your purchase price.  WHEEE !!! 

I can add any of the Amazon categories, so if you don’t see something you want, drop me an email.  The new category will be online within a few hours.

This and the above partnering with manufacturers, are the methods we have come up with to increase and stabilize our income as we try to reduce the feast/famine nature of being a small business.

 

3-      XP SERVICE PACK 3 is coming out soon

a.      Information on it can be found at http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/8/7/687484ed-8174-496d-8db9-f02b40c12982/Overview%20of%20Windows%20XP%20Service%20Pack%203.pdf

b.      As of Dec. 18, 2007 SP3 was released in RC status (for you brave souls!)–

Download and deploy Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC
This pre-release software is provided for testing purposes only. Microsoft does not recommend installing this software on primary or mission critical systems. Microsoft recommends that you have a backup of your data prior to installing any pre-release software. (from Microsoft)

I haven’t tested this yet.

 

4-      Vista

a.      Service Pack 1 is still in beta/testing.  Go read about it at http://www.crn.com/software/206103959  &  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/bb738089.aspx .  It is projected to be available in mid-March.  You can email me for an installation disk if you can not download it yourselves.

b.      Here is an interesting list of solutions found by many contributors, some are downloads, some are just advice.  Heaven knows, Vista needs it ! J  http://www.vistasp1.net/

c.       Anecdotally :

                                                               i.      Vista is still causing lots of stability problems !  Check with your PC manufacturer for updated drivers for the components in your computer.  Tedious – but usually fruitful.

                                                             ii.      HP is updating printer drivers, goto http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/support.html and check your printer for recent driver releases.  Other brands – go to their web sites too.

 

5-      Taking new PCs backwards from Vista to XP

We are in a small window of opportunity this winter/spring where PCs which are being sold with Vista still have XP compatible parts inside.  PC makers are offering fewer models now with XP installed.  SO – it could be quite possible to buy a new PC now, backup and then erase the Vista installation, install your own XP, find all the drivers, and be happy!

Story – I was (sort of) outgrowing my Dell XPS 410 and longing for the XPS 420 with a  quad core cpu.   Before buying it I hung out in the Dell Community Forums and read all I could find by people who were taking a Vista installed XPS 420 and reverting it to XP.  Their problems did not seem to rule out the process’s success, so I decided to do it.  It took me a long weekend to install XP and all the drivers.  I got too frustrated trying to get the new audio card’s XP driver, so I broke down and bought a $20 one and installed it for much less effort.  Result?  I have a quad core screaming PC, with XP installed, running very happily !!!  I did backup the factory prepared Vista installation from the hard drive.  That way – I can go up to Vista someday…hopefully far… into the future.

 

6-      Belarc Advisor software 

You can find it at http://belarc.com/free_download.html .  This looks very interesting as a tool to inform you (or us) about your computers innards and installed programs, and the program’s version #s.  I am very intrigued that it seems to report back the Microsoft license #s for installed products as well as the version #s for all other programs.  There are so many times that we can not match up which license is on which pc and this tools looks to be the answer for that dilemma.

 

7-      Google Offices Suite & Open Office

a.      Available at http://pack.google.com are many free tools from Google.  The one of interest here is Star Office.  Upon a little bit of investigation, we have found  it to be a free alternative to Microsoft’s Office suite.   There are some details at http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/08/google-pack-adds-staroffice.html  .  It’s components seems be: word processor, spread sheet, database, presentation slides and a graphic editor.  I have not installed these nor have I tested them, but the reviews are good.  They boast compatibility with Microsoft Office files up to and including Office 2003, but not Office 2007.  The download is huge so be prepared.

b.      The other interesting free Office Suite is from Open Office, http://www.openoffice.org/ .  They too claim Microsoft Office compatibility. 

 

 

That’s all for now folks !!!!

 

PIÑON PC SUPPORT

PO Box 128

Los Alamos, NM 87544

505-470-2431

help@pinonpc.com