Install Several Programs At Once With Ninite

As an IT consultant I do a fair amount of PC installations and rebuilds. In the SMB market, there aren’t a lot of companies that have imaging or rapid desktop deployment capability so many times when a PC needs to be set up, much of the work is still manual in the sense that applications are installed one at a time. The more programs that need to be installed, the longer it takes.

There are a standard set of programs that are installed on most computers. Things like Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, Chrome, Firefox, iTunes, and Quicktime are installed fairly frequently on PC builds. Installing each one can take several minutes that can add up to many hours over time. Not to mention, some of these have those check boxes that if you’re not careful, will install other programs that you don’t want or change defaults like setting a specific search engine as the new default.

Enter Ninite.com

Ninite

Ninite | Install or Update All Your Programs an Once

Ninite is a cool web based tool that allows you to select from a list of programs and install them in one install process. I’m sure it’ll save you time when building computers by skipping a bunch of steps like navigating to the install site or share on the network, clicking through the install wizard windows, and it picks the basic checkbox selections and doesn’t install 3rd party programs which we can forget to do sometimes. In addition to the list above, there are other programs like VLC player, messaging applications like Skype, AIM, Trillian. Online storage programs like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive. Even popular antimalware programs like Malwarebytes, Avira, AVG, and Avast. Of course you don’t want to install all of them. One should do.

Log onto Ninite.com and see what it can do for you. It will also update applications if you already have them installed. It’s really quite convenient. On your next build, try ninite.com out and see if it you find it saving you some time on your computer builds.

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Experience with Lenovo Tech support for my Lenovo Twist – Part Two

This a follow up from my first blog about Lenovo tech support for the Lenovo Twist trackpad problem. After about a month and a half Lenovo finally sent the correct parts and a technician to get my Lenovo Twist buttoned up. This after several appointments being set only to find that the tech didn’t have all the required parts.

Finally, though, the tech showed up all the needed parts. He proceeded to replace everything he had. Motherboard, palm rest, screen. Everything except the bottom, hard drive, and battery it seemed like. He reassembled it and booted it up. Yes!

Windows detected some hardware changes and automatically took care of the drivers, etc. That’s fine. No re-registration needed. Cool…

I gave it a quick once-over and all seemed good to go. Almost as good as new. Just like getting a brand new laptop.

A few minutes after the tech leaves, another problem pops up! I couldn’t believe it.

The touchscreen is acting all weird. It’s like someone is dragging their fingers across the screen back and forth from left to right and right to left, very fast. Man! Now I have to get on the phone and try to get this resolved. I removed and re-installed the touch screen in device manager. Tried updating the drivers and rolling it back. Still the problem materialized.

Back to the Lenovo tech support call queue. After calling the support technician that my case was escalated to, he pretty much said that I have choice between getting more parts replaced and getting a new replacement unit. Basically a replacement is new laptop. I opted to get a replacement unit but if I go that route, the replacement would have to be approved which would be, according to him, no problem at all since so many parts have been replaced already. It only takes two major component replacements to qualify for a request for replacement. By this time almost everything was replaced so qualifying wasn’t going to be a problem.

So another 3 business days later I get a call from the department that is handling the replacement and guess what? The Twist is no longer being made so the next available model that’s comparable is the ThinkPad S1 Yoga. After reviewing the specs it’s pretty much identical except the cache on the hard drive is 16GB instead of 24, or something like that. I don’t think that’s a deal breaker.

In my post about Accidental Warranties I explained how beneficial these programs are highly recommended. And for me it is definitely the case. Albeit it took a few weeks, in the end I didn’t have much down time and the problem is getting resolved.

I stand by my opinion that getting the extended and accidental coverage is a good thing. And I still recommend Lenovo ThinkPads and their warranty coverage.

Thanks for reading and hopefully there won’t be a part 3!