Posts Tagged ‘#review’

Windows 8, Part I

Helpful Hints, News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis December 2nd, 2012

I’ve already had a lot of customers asking about the new version of Windows.  This will be a series of posts about the new operating system from Microsoft, and some details you should know both before and after buying.  First of all, this is really just a cosmetic build On TOP of Windows 7.  Unfortunately it is only an advantage FOR TOUCHSCREEN DEVICES.  If it doesn’t have a touchscreen, DON’T BUY IT with Windows 8.  For a normal desktop PC, it’s much more trouble than it’s worth.  Not only does it FORCE the large “Metro” screen on users, but they have disabled some of the handy desktop features that we’ve all grown accustomed to.  I’ll elaborate on that later.  Another thing to beware of before purchasing is that there is a second version for tablets called Windows 8 RT.  For the first time ever, this is based on architecture other than x86 (ARM-based).  The bottom line:  it won’t run any of your old PC apps!  You must get all new apps from the Microsoft store to run on this version.  I started to buy one of the new Surface tablets from Microsoft (see photo), but found out that the x86 version won’t be out until Spring.  Currently they only have the Windows 8 RT version for sale.

Tax Software

Helpful Hints, News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis April 10th, 2011

It’s that time of year, and once again I have to say I HATE TAXES.  But I want control, and I’m cheap, and I also want to be aware of tax saving items through the year, so I do my own.  Last year I used HR Block’s Tax Cut software.  I tried it because TurboTax (Intuit) raised their prices, and HR Blocks was less than half the cost.  It did a good job, but this year they pulled a sneaky and tried to nail everybody for another $40 after purchase for state forms.  So I switched back to TurboTax.  It was ok, but my biggest complaint is the way it handles FORMS.  When you click the form button, this year it DOES NOT give you the exact IRS version with line items.  This makes it difficult if you have to dig on details for a Schedule C or anyting else.  My other complaint is that they don’t WARN you (this year) about a couple of things:  1) If you don’t have a LOT ofitemized deductions, save yourself a lot of time and just skip to the standard deduct.  2)  DON’T FORGET YOUR MAX IRA CONTRIBUTION!  It used to warn you, but this year it didn’t.