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The last one

Tech Talk

I moved to Tehachapi in 2006 after retiring from the fast-paced, travel-heavy corporate IT world. It turned out I wasn't ready to retire, so in 2007, I started Tech-Hachapi and began helping people in the greater Tehachapi area with their technical challenges.

My first client was from my ad on Craigslist, of all places. In the last 16-plus years, I've had the distinct pleasure of working with families young and old, horse rescues, ranchers, wineries, machine shop owners, aircraft engine shops, avionics companies, dog rescues, tanning beds, construction companies, dispatchers, wind park consultants, logistics companies, restaurants, fire sprinkler system designers, architects, commercial electricians, wind turbine training companies, bookkeepers, investment managers, knife sharpening companies, railroad maintenance companies, hotels, metal casting companies, fancy resort properties, tax preparers, truckers, wind park techs on contracts, charter schools, plumbers, RVers passing through town, wind park owners, newspapers, book and screenplay authors, local actors, famous actors, artists from all mediums and musicians.

We've gone from dial-up internet access to AT&T DSL to AT&T U-Verse, from Road Runner to Brighthouse, to Spectrum cable internet and finally to fiber internet from Race and AT&T. Oh, and satellite internet access, including Starlink.

Computers mainly were Windows XP (the most incredible operating system ever), then we changed to Windows 7 (the next most incredible operating system ever). Then Windows 8 came around, and no one liked it. Then we switched to Windows 10, and it wasn't nearly as bad as Windows 8, and it was free! They said Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows, but here we are on Windows 11, and Windows 12 is on the horizon.

Initially, a Windows XP computer in Tehachapi with 256 MB RAM was standard. Upgrading to 640MB made a big difference. Windows 7 ran pretty well on 4GB of RAM but ran well with 8GB. Modern computers come with anywhere from 16GB to 64GB of RAM.

Intel processors in everyday use have moved from Pentium, Core2, Core i3, Core i5, and Corei7 to even Core i9. AMD processors have improved, and the latest version of their Ryzen processors can hold up to and sometimes outperform Intel's equivalents.

The Windows operating system has gone from computers crashing from third-party driver problems to a pretty trouble-free operating system. Although when modern versions of Windows do crash, it can be pretty spectacular.

Apple started using regular Intel processors in their Macs (which shocked many people), and now they've started making their processors in-house, M1, M3, etc.

We've gone from Blackberry phones to Moto Razers and other flip phones to smartphones like Samsung and iPhones from Apple.

When I started, a 640MB hard drive was a big deal. Now we have hard drives of up to 32TB; most drives are solid state and don't have any moving parts.

During all of this, Tech Talk No. 1 appeared in The Loop's June 9, 2015 issue. Over 140,000 words later, here we are; this is my last Tech Talk column for The Loop.

In that first Tech Talk, I wrote with advice about fake tech support scams. Since then, I have written nearly 40 more columns about various scams, from brushing scams to fake invoice scams and back to phony tech support scams.

I wrote about passwords, too. From why we need passwords to how to create an easy-to-remember password, and how and why to use a password manager. Over fifty columns with passwords as a topic.

Wi-Fi wasn't a thing back in 2007, but I've written about what Wi-Fi is, what the standards mean, and how to set up and optimize your own Wi-Fi over 30 times.

And I tried to end each column with a joke, and some were even funny.

But after nearly 2,000 clients and almost 5,000 appointments, it's time to retire, for real this time. Thanks for giving me the privilege of helping you with your technical challenges for nearly 17 years.

Adventure awaits.