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Technology Today - Summer 2016 - Summer Time Notes
By Robert Sanborn

Rod Stewart sings that it is “Late September” and what I am thinking of is Windows 7.  Of course, Maggie would have been a more interesting topic but back to Windows. It is still with us and when I just looked at the number of available copies from a distributor, you can still get both the 32 and 64 bit version of Windows 7 Professional (2100 copies) with a list price of $169 but none of the Windows 7 Home version. What is scary is that you can still get copies of Windows 8.1 Pro from them.

Windows 7 Pro

And as you have probably figured it out by now, the free upgrade to Windows 10 is no longer available but as of the end of July, the US Government Digital Analytics Program still shows that 56 percent of Windows PCs still run Windows 7. According to Ed Bott at ZDNet, on October 31, OEM sales of Windows 7 PCs ends as well. See his comments here.

Our summer trip up to New England still points out the scarcity of internet and cell phone connections the further away from civilization you get. The little town in NH that we visit had its own severe shock when the one cable company in town lost its cable feeding the area due to a nasty summer storm that brought down all sorts of trees across its lines. The library with its odd assortments of hours open lost the free wifi connection it was giving to people visiting for several days. Because of no cell phone service, the option of using my phone as a hot spot was not available either

Huawei Mate 8

The trip to China was a bit more adventuresome in that I took the pre-production model of the Huawei Mate 8 that I received at CES with me and discovered that there was a lot more to it that I really didn’t know about.  You make the rash assumption that when you take your cell phone into a store in the USA you will run into people that have seen the phone before and know what to do with it. In China, you not only run into people that have a severe language issue at times, and yes, I know, it could also be the one on this end with those severe language issues; but you see people that work out of tiny kiosks that may not know much at all about the phone you are carrying. In my case, the phone was so new that their familiarity with it was limited. But I got the SIM card for China Unicom, and the card for my data minutes and that worked out very well. Until it was time for the minutes to start running out. Because I was getting so many ads from China Unicom, I ended up skipping the notice that told me time was expiring.

And rather than just stopping all data and messaging, I discovered that they do it gradually, first to stop was messages overseas, then text messages in country, and finally the data stopped. I also discovered that because so many people use those data plans, they have very easy ways of transferring money in and out of the accounts so a friend in China used her plan to dump 100 Yuan (about $15) into mine so I could have the extra minutes/data/text. It helps to know the system when you travel but finding out is not that easy. Next trip should be a lot easier.

 

China Unicom

Watching my cousin fight with her Microsoft Surface Pro reminds me that if you have any problems with motion in your hands, then a touch panel device is probably not for you. She had a lot of trouble trying to double tap things on the screen with the slick pointing device that comes with it. Stick with a slow moving mouse.

Robert Sanborn

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