Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

There’s been plenty of hype around Windows 10 and rightly so. First things first, if you received a notification advising you can upgrade to Windows 10 seriously consider the following:

  • Have you backed up all critical information on your device so in the event your upgrade fails you can access these files?
  • Are all applications that you use on your device compatible with Windows 10?
  • Do all your peripheral devices (WiFi card, graphics card, monitor etc) have Windows 10 drivers?
  • Do you have a rollback plan (performed an image backup of your machine to external media)?

Win10Upgrade

Here are a few thoughts from my experience on upgrading my laptop to Windows 10:

  • I performed an in place upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise from Windows 8.1 Enterprise. I downloaded the ISO, mounted it and ran the setup.exe . I left my laptop to grab some lunch, came back after 30 minutes and the upgrade appeared to complete successfully. Awesome.
  • I restart my laptop so I can install any unknown drivers for the laptop and I get the black screen of death similar to what other users were getting in the technical preview. I tried the usual fixes (BIOS, safe mode, system restore) to no avail.
  • Time for a rebuild.
  • Created bootable USB Windows 10 device and installed a fresh copy of Windows 10. I restarted my laptop and reviewed device manager for any unknown drivers.
  • To my surprise, Windows 10 had installed all up to date drivers necessary for my laptop without me having to hunt down anything (impressive) including my Biometric Synaptics Fingerprint scanner.
  • 75% of upgrades at our office failed resulting in staff needing to rebuild their machines from scratch.

Think twice before that upgrade. Stay tuned for what my thoughts are on Windows 10!

First Home Buyer Tips!

If you’re young and dumb and always wanted to run to the streets ’cause you though that was where it was at OR are a Gen Y’er, living in Sydney, and trying to buy your first home, then we’re in the same rowboat (paddling and getting nowhere). The Mrs and I have been pretty caught up in the buzz and excitement of property this last quarter of 2013. Wow oh wow has it been a rollercoaster. I just wanted to give a few tips to any other potential first home buyers out there so that they can avoid some of the traps and pitfalls we’ve experienced:

  • Don’t be fooled by the FHOG. Sure, $15,000 is quite a bit of money BUT when you’re buying brand new (say ~$550k) keep in mind that this “grant” makes up 2% of the value of your house.
  • Don’t skim on Building and Pest Inspection Reports. These might cost you a few hundred dollars but could save you thousands of dollars, migraines, heartache, stress, health problems, diabetes etc etc.
  • Save, Save, Save. The biggest hurdle for any first purchaser is the initial deposit. You’ll most likely be paying LMI (lenders mortgage insurance) if you don’t have at least a 20% deposit (typically over $100k). I know that some people in our generation have the opportunity to save this much before they turn 25 but for the majority of us, this just isn’t possible.
  • If you’re young and not looking to buy for a few years, open a First Home Savers Account. BUT don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Put in at least $6,000 a year to reap the benefits of a $1,000 gov’t contribution and save the rest in your everyday savings account. This way you can use the liquid cash if you need and get the maximum return from the government. At the end of your account period (4 years) you would’ve received a free $4,000 from your friends in ACT.
  • The LMI you pay grows exponentially from borrowing 80% going up to 100%. So don’t borrow more than you can chew. Do your best to borrow less than 90% because anything higher is going to cost you some serious money.
  • If you’ve found a place you like, talk to your potential neighbors. Don’t be anti. Seriously. You may find out insightful information like who the previous owners were, whether the house is haunted etc.
  • Don’t feel pressured to buy just because interest rates are at an all time low. It’s a sellers market right now and yes our generation is being priced out BUT just keep saving.

If I think of anything else I’ll add a new post. Good luck to anyone and everyone in the same boat. Let’s paddle together.

Disclaimer: I’m not a financial expert, mortgage broker, money guru etc. I’m just your friendly, neighborhood spiderma…. IT guy 🙂