It’s Halloween night.

The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. I can hear it on the roof of my secret laboratory, I mean workshop. It is not a great night for Trick or Treating, but perfect for watching some classic monster movies from the 1930s and ’40s. Think Boris Karloff or Bela Lugosi. Perfect movies to have playing in the background on such a night as this. On Halloween, a pizza (preferably a garlic pizza) is traditionally a good option, or just a good cup of coffee to warm you up near a cozy fire. It’s a spooky night for sure. My workshop is dry and well lit, but I do keep one eye on the door just in case I hear it creaking open or the wind catches it. No walking dead zombies to worry about here I hope, unless you’re referring to the latest Windows 10 updates. I haven’t even bothered with the latest updates. I use Linux and Chromebook laptops. I’m not afraid of the dark, but I certainly don’t need to spend all my quality time messing around with incremental updates to turn on hidden features already installed from a previous update. Most people don’t need to spend so much time fixing things when they could be spending that time being productive. For most users, if all you need is a web browser, media player, office suite, and email, then a Chromebook is perfect. Because they are less expensive, have a faster on time, and have built-in basic security needs, Chromebooks are not a bad alternative to an iPad, and usually cost much less. If you like to tinker around with your operating system, do some programming, and consider yourself somewhat of an amateur Dr. Frankenstein in your laboratory, then maybe Linux is more your style. If you want the ease of use, then an iPad could be a solution. Windows 10 has a lot of cool features, and is a very good operating system for the majority of users, but why follow the majority? Sometimes doing things a little different isn’t so bad. Those who play lots of video games tend to migrate to Windows 10, as do many large corporate businesses for their workforce, but not all businesses do that. Chromebooks and Apple devices appear to simplify maintenance and application collaboration for some groups. Providing an intuitive and simplified user experience can lead to a faster and more productive output from end-users. When it comes to content creation such as audio or video, MacBooks are quite nice. You pay a little more for such a “nice” solution, but sometimes it’s well worth it. Now it’s pouring out. If my Chromebook gets soaked from the rain, it’s not as big a deal as if I get a MacBook Pro wet in this crazy weather. Imagine the cost difference between deploying Chromebooks vs business-class laptops with some type of in-house desktop support. Of course, you can all work online from anywhere even an old foggy cemetery if there is Internet access via a VPN. You should be able to simplify your network and server infrastructure by leveraging cloud-based services. If you’re a small shop, say only a mad scientist and an assistant, think simple and cost-efficiently, think less wasteful and more productive. My only hang-up with Chromebooks is the lack of support for some network troubleshooting tools like tcpdump, or Wireshark. In some cases that could be a deal-breaker if the operating system you choose doesn’t support the software tools you need to rely on to get any meaningful work done. No sense dealing with ghosts of old licensing past for any out of date software either. There’s some very good open-source alternatives that give some propriety software a run for their mummy…or I mean money. If you’re upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 you might need to buy new software and new licenses for that software. Maybe this is a good time to do a reassessment of the cost of upgrading hardware and software and look for some more efficient solutions. The world of work is changing rapidly and that can be scary enough to make your blood run warm. If you take the wrong turn you could be wondering deeper and deeper into the very scary woods.

Have a Happy Halloween!

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