Kirby's Computers of Maquoketa Iowa

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Welcome to Kirby's Computers of Maquoketa Iowa

Here you will find information and software to teach you how to be more efficient, get more done, perform tasks you may not know how to do and keep your computer safe from infection and preventable hardware failures.  Be sure to check back ocassionally because I try to update the information here when I have time as well as write new software and upgrade current software that I offer for free.


Windows 7 support will end on January 13th, 2020.  What this means for Windows 7 users is that Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 and there will be no more updates for Windows 7.  It is important to note that Windows 7 and 8 are already not supported on the latest generation of Intel processors.  Actually, Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 are not compatible with Intel processors newer than 6th generation, which was replaced with the 7th generation processors in October of 2017.  Soon after support for Windows 7 officially ending other companies will start to drop support for Windows 7 as well.  This means that it will become increasingly difficult to get software and hardware that will work with the discontinued operating system.

Kirby's Computers offers only limited support for unsupported operating systems.  The longer an operating system has been unsupported the more difficult it will be for me to continue to work on it.  It becomes more difficult to get updates, install software and, especially, to repair or reinstall Windows.  Not only is it more difficult to find information on it or get working fixes for problems, as I work on fewer and fewer computers with the unsupported operating system I begin to forget how to do different things in it, making it take longer.  I was very good with Windows 3.1 25 years ago, but I wouldn't know where to start with it today.

Besides the operating system itself, several older technologies are also being retired and are becoming more difficult to work on and get parts for.  These include 9 and 25 pin serial ports, parallel ports, ATA hard drives (the ones with the wide cables), PCI slots (on the motherboard) and 25 pin VGA video connectors (the video cable with the blue end and 3 rows of pins totalling 25 pins).  New computers generally do not generally come with any of these things (though some systems still do come with PCI slots and VGA connectors), meaning you may need a new monitor when you get a new computer if your current monitor doesn't have a digital video connection such as DVI or HDMI.  Even more serious, ATA hard drive with important data will eventually become inaccessible without sending the hard drive to a recovery company because newer computers simply do not have the connection on the motherboard to connect to them.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

Absolutely.  The sooner, the better.  Currently, though Microsoft has officially ended the free upgrade to Windows 10, it still works with a Windows 7 or 8 key to upgrade or reinstall Windows.  This may stop at any time, but when Windows 7 support officially ends is a likely time Microsoft might stop allowing Windows 7 keys to be used to install Windows 10.  Currently you can do an Internet search for "Windows 10 Media Creation Tool", download the latest Windows Media Creation program and use that to upgrade your PC directly or to make USB installation media, which you can use to install Windows 10, upgrade an older operating system (Windows 7 or later) to Windows 10 or perform some technical repairs on Windows.  Unlike previous operating system upgrades I have not seen a big slow down on computers upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1 to Windows 10, so now is a good time to do the upgrade.

What if I have Windows 8 or 8.1?

Windows 8 support has already ended and it cannot be upgraded to Windows 10, but it can be upgraded to Windows 8.1 through the Microsoft Store and Windows 8.1 can be upgraded to Windows 10.  If you Have Windows 8 chances are your computer is getting pretty old and about due to be replaced anyway.  And it certainly hasn't been well maintained since Windows 8 support was dropped years ago and it should have been upgraded then.  If you have Windows 8.1 I would definitely recommend upgrading to Windows 10.  Windows 8 and 8.1 were not popular operating systems, so neither is very common.  Windows 8 was intended to be a single operating system which would install on both computers and tablets.  That didn't work out so well because those two things are very different.  They have very little in common and do not work the same way, so while Windows 8 was pretty decent on a tablet, it was pretty horrible on a PC.  The Windows 8.1 update made it marginally better.  Customers demanded the Start Button, removed in Windows 8, be restored.  In typical Microsoft fashion they did exactly what users demanded with Windows 8.1 and restored the Start "Button" users were asking for, but not the Start Menu which the users actually wanted.  The Start Button was missing in Windows 8 and had very little functionality in Windows 8.1.  Windows 10 fully restores the Start Button and all of its intended functionality, abandoning the tablet operating system components which made Windows 8 so difficult to use on a PC.

111 E. Platt Street
Maquoketa Iowa  52060
(563) 652-6447