Windows 10: Minimum specs

It has been a long time since I cared about minimum specs. Most of my PCs (since the bad-old-days of Vista) are far above minimum and I try (very hard) to keep my clients above that as well.  I came across an article as I was doing my daily readings and the specs shocked me – a lot.  Here they are:

CPU – 1 GHz
RAM – 2GHz
HDD 16-20Gb

These specs have barely moved since Windows 7 was released.  For fun here are some facts that surprised me greatly

  1. Windows 7 was released Oct 22 2009 – it has been 7 years since Win 7 came out!
  2. the Specs are: CPU 1GHz, RAM 1GHz and HDD 16-20GB.  Barely moved since then
  3. Vista minimum requirements are the same as well. This means that since Nov 8 2006 specs have not changed all that much – that is almost a decade!!


Windows 10: different backgrounds for each monitor

Hey y’all,


Here is quick how to I came across and absolutely love!

If you want different backgrounds on each monitor try this:

  1.  Go to Windows settings -> Personalization
  2. Right click on any monitor and you will get a menu that allows you to pick a separate image for each screen

I didn’t know about this so it came as quite a happy little surprise to me 🙂


Rumors: Windows 10 Night light

It has been called several different things but the name I keep coming across is Blue Light Reduction.  This feature will have controls in the action center and will be a quick toggle during certain times of day.

Similar to Night Shift on iPhones or the f.lux app it will adjust screen brightness depending on the time of day. What a great way to save your retinas (and that was an Apple joke in case you were wondering 🙂 )

You are unique: filtering Excel to show unique entries

I love Excel. If you know me you know that I can spend hours making formulas and playing with calculations.  This is almost an addiction. Here is a little tip I shared with a friend recently – it easily saved numerous hours of manual data crunching.

To filter a list in Excel 2010 to show only the unique entries do the following:

  1. Select the data area
  2. Go to the Data tab, go to the Sort and Filter group and click advanced
  3. Ensure the Filter the list, in place radio button is set
  4. Select Unique Records only

The resulting list will show only one instance of a data point.  Meaning, if “Joe” was listed as the agent for 4 companies but you wanted to know how many agents there were: when you used this filter it would show “Joe” but only once.


Ta da!

Updating Windows 10 and making more alphabet soup

It never fails.  IT equates with acronyms. YMMV, but IMHO this srsly needs to stop, ASAP.  Get it … groan… Since Windows 10 released it has been updating via small, incremental updates and wading through the alphabet trying to find the model that is best for you has been …interesting to say the least

Here are the new acronyms

8-17-2016 2-36-50 PM

WIPB – this is the most recent version that external users can use. It is released right after it has passed Microsoft internal testing.  It is almost like a beta release and goes through serious user testing. If you are brave you can join the Windows Insiders here:

CB – this release is an early release to the genereal public. Not yet tested enough to be released into large enterprise but tested enough that it is very stable and typical end-users should have minimal issues.

CBB – this is for general consumption in an organization. Allows for deployments over a longer period of time

LTSB – gets no new features but only has security updates (and some other updates). Used on devices that are business critical and usually are built with an OS having many other features already removed.


Geek specs: Kaby lake release

Gen 7 CPUs are so friggin tiny!  Intel has announced that they will release Kaby Lake with a 7nm processor with improved power and performance.

Intel is branding them as 7nm+ since they bring a 12% performance increase (how long can we hold onto Moore’s law?) and offer better graphics and video playback.

Look for m2, i3,i5 and i7 to ship ASAP

Disk clean up from Settings

With the new modern interface there are a ton of tools which are now more easily accessed. One of the ones that people should be using more is the option to clean out temp files.  Now, in the bad-old-days, temp files usually only amounted to a few megs worth of data but now we are looking at gigs of data being sucked into the temp file vacuum. As windows services (and updates) come down the pipe quicker it is easy to amass large collections of useless and orphaned files.  To clean up files from Settings is really straight forward

  1. Go to Settings -> System -> Storage
  2. Select the drive you want to clean (usually the C: drive but it should be the drive on which Windows has been installed
  3. Select Temporary Files
  4. Here there are 3 options. Temp files are first on the list.  Select this one.  Second is Recycle bin and you select this to empty the recycle bin. The third one is very interesting and warrants use but also a caution. It is called Previous Versions of Windows. This is where old updates are saved. Removing them can be a good thing and save lots of space but will block a lot of “roll back” options should you encounter system instability down the road. Also, I had assumed this was just for old versions – versions that get stored when you upgrade from, say, Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. So be warned -old updates are stored here as well.