Tech Talk


How (and why) to measure computer performance

Tech Talk #71 – Feb. 17, 2018 How (and why) to measure computer performance How do we tell if a computer is fast or if it’s faster than that computer over there? What’s fast anyway?   We need an objective way to measure a computer’s speed overall, and it would be nice to break down the major parts of a computer and get ratings for them, too. That’s where benchmarking comes in.   Gamers have

Switch from Chrome to Firefox

Tech Talk #70 – Feb. 3, 2018 Switch from Chrome to Firefox I’ve been a fan of Google’s Chrome browser for years. When it first launched, it was fast and very configurable. The sync feature made it easy to have the same bookmarks on both my desktop and my laptop, and there were lots of extensions that made it better and safer than browsing without them.   Lately, though, Chrome has started helping itself to

Meltdown and Spectre, oh my!

Tech Talk #69 – Jan. 20, 2018 Meltdown and Spectre, oh my! It’s unusual when extremely technical problems make the news, but by now you’ve probably heard about Meltdown and Spectre. Multiple teams of independent researchers have discovered (and named!) these design flaws in computer processors. Meltdown and Spectre are in the news because these flaws result in vulnerabilities in every computer chip made in the last twenty years.   The Windows, Mac, and Linux