We wanted the fastest memory we could fit into our budget. Team DDR4-3000 was considered a bargain for the price so we decided we would give that a try.
Note that any memory speed above 2667 MHz is not officially supported by AMD and is considered over clocking (OC). Historically we have been wary of over clocking anything but it’s pretty common with AMD.
Additionally, you should use memory that is on their approved hardware. When our memory performed less than expected we tried more expensive memory that was on the list. That memory did no better than ours so we stuck with our original choice.
Through a series of BIOS updates we are currently getting 2933 MHz which is great but it hasn’t been easy.
Up until the latest BIOS update, the max we ever saw was 2800 MHz. We still can’t use MSI A-XMP but Try It works fine.
Team – T-Force / Night Hawk 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory – THWD416G3000HC16CDC01
SSD M.2 Drive
These days you need a SSD drive for your operating system but there are many to choose from. The M.2 version is much faster so this is the route most take.
It’s a breeze installing software from a fast USB thumb drive to a M.2 drive. There were issues seeing the M.2 drive on boot but we sorted that out without too much difficulty.
More disturbing was issues with restart. There was almost zero chance that the PC would boot on a restart. We found that entering BIOS (delete) seemed to allow the system to find the drive. Even exiting (F10) with no changes was enough to get the system to boot.
This was not critical to our operations so we lived with this for months.
Recently we got a firmware update from MyDigitalSSD and the PC reboots without issue.
Our SSD drive
MyDigitalSSD – BPX 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive
Graphic Card – GPU
We opted for a GPU that was solid without being too pricey. We haven’t had any real issues with it other than downloading huge drivers for NVIDIA GeForce Experience. I am not sure we even need those since we don’t do any gaming.
The GPU works fine even running dissimilar monitors. Currently we are running a 4K 32″ monitor (Display Port) & a 1K 28″ monitor(HDMI).
EVGA – GeForce GTX 1050 2 GB ACX 2.0 Video Card
Is it Worth the Effort?
We are now able to edit videos without too many issues. GoPro Studio has been left behind for Premiere CC and we are editing 4K videos.
We definitely like the speed of our video editing PC but it has not been without some headaches and it cost around $900 in parts & Operating System (Windows 10 Home). That didn’t include the recently acquired 4K monitor which is another story in itself.
We have uploaded hundreds of videos to YouTube so we had high hopes for 4K Video Editing. Mostly we used our GoPro Session 4 to shoot the videos and were pretty pleased with the results. The newer Session 5 was reasonably priced so we decided to take the plunge with 4K videos.
Software & Hardware
Initially we used GoPro video software and a standard Windows 10 PC for 1080p (1K) video editing but had to upgrade the PC when videos became longer.
Look for an upcoming post on upgrading PCs for video editing.
GoPro Studio became problematic freezing up on long 1K (1080p) videos so we reluctantly migrated to Premiere CC. Premiere CC is an awesome program but very complex with a steep learning curve.
We did have issues with panning 1K videos. There was significant lag between the pan and the edit window.
Our upgraded PC was geared towards 1K video editing (1080p) but we figured we would give it a try before upgrading to faster PC that could handle 4K.
Research revealed that editing 4K videos in Premiere was not that much different than the 1K videos we were currently creating so we were hopeful.
GoPro Session 5
The GoPro Session 5 works as expected and does a few things better than its predecessor including seeing video while shooting. Switching the GoPro Session to 4K mode at 30 fps was straight forward.
We now have 2 Session cameras so we can fire up our secondary camera when the battery runs down.
For those that are not familiar with GoPro Session cameras, they are sealed units so changing the battery is not an option. The Session 5 will shoot videos while attached to a battery pack so that’s another option.
Our First Surprise
We tried editing the videos in Premiere & it didn’t seem that different from 1K editing.
Our 1st attempt to open a raw file (mp4) from the Session 5 only in something other a video editor. We could hear audio in Windows standard software but no video. VLC would show the video but it looked awful. Our problem was that our monitor didn’t support 4K so we upgraded once again. Truthfully, it was well past time for a new monitor.
We set up dual monitors using our old 1080p monitor as our secondary monitor. Interestingly it now will open 4K videos now that is tied to a primary video. It doesn’t look nearly as clear as our 4K monitor but it suffices for mundane tasks like email & web browsing.
Premiere CC 4K & Proxies
Editing 4K videos didn’t seem to be much worse than 1K but we figured we would make it as easy possible for our hardware with proxies. With proxies, we are effectively editing at 1K and publishing at 4K.
Proxies require an additional encoding step so it makes our work flow a bit slower but editing is much easier.
It still doesn’t fix our original problem with panning 1K video but that’s to be expected.
YouTube & Our Second Surprise
We were anxious to see our 4K videos on YouTube and checked as soon as processing was done. The available quality was a mere 360 p so we feared something was amiss in our Premiere setup so started reviewing the mp4s we were uploading. Everything seemed in order and a little research showed that 4K could take a bit longer to show up as YouTube has to generate videos for every resolution.
Eventually our videos did show up as 4K but you still need a 4K monitor to see them.
4K worth the extra trouble?
Our main goal with 4K was to have extra resolution, hoping zoom and panning would be clearer. The jury is still out on that since we haven’t processed enough videos to make a definitive decision.
We still have our Session 4 so we could shoot the same scenes with 1K & 4K for a one to one comparison. However the Session 5 only shoots 30 fps (frames per second) at 4K while the Session 4 shoots 60 fps at 1K so maybe it’s not a foregone conclusion that Session 5 video will be better. I could always slow down the Session 4 to 30 fps but our goal was to have better videos than the Session 4 provided.
Perhaps the fps only applies to changing the motion of the video. If
that’s the case, we won’t see many changes since we rarely adjust video speed.
Without a doubt the files are much larger so we have to make accommodations in cloud storage.
The proxy files are also large but we don’t store those permanently since they can be regenerated. We did the same with huge GoPro Studio AVIs.
Once hackers have your information there are a number of ways to access your accounts.
With enough information, a determined hacker can gain access to your accounts.
Phishing – acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication
Man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) – attacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communication between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other.
Session stealing(cookie hijacking) – exploitation of a valid computer session (session key) to gain unauthorized access to information or services in a computer system. … theft of a magic cookie used to authenticate a user to a remote server.
Keylogging (Keystroke logging/keyboard capturing) – recording (logging) the keys struck on a keyboard, typically covertly.
Social Engineering – psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information
Hacking your computer – malware planted on your computer allows hackers complete access to your data
If a hacker has access to your computer you need to have it cleaned.
Doesn’t SSL Secure My Email?
Using SSL for your email provides security between you and your email host.
Prior to SSL (Secure Socket Layer) emails were sent in plain text from your email client like Outlook to the host server.
Google’s chart below shows that most email to and from Gmail in the America’s uses SSL.
SSL is helpful but it doesn’t keep anyone with access to the server from reading your email or necessarily guarantee that it will be transported to the recipient via SSL.
Client-side SSL is a step in the right direction but encrypting you email is much more secure.
Using SSL and SSL Email Setup?
If you want to check whether you are using SSL you can use Comcast’s guide to interrogate various email clients.
If you need to setup an email account to use SSL you can contact your provider or Google setup “Provider Name” email.
“Provider Name” is the provider who sends you a bill each month.
Implementing Secure Email
We encrypted email for our clients back in the late 1980s but it was tedious to setup and use.
Consequently, secure email was not considered a priority and seldom used.
We need encryption to ensure that sensitive email is not compromised.
This requires some inconvenience on the clients but it’s the best way to secure our email.
HIPAA Compliant Email
With the advent of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) companies have become more security aware.
If you send sensitive email or work in the medical industry you may be required to secure your email or face penalties.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. Any organization dealing with protected health information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed.
HIPAA compliance requires partners to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
HIPAA Compliant Hosts
GoDaddy and other hosts offer HIPAA compliant email.
GoDaddy was the least expensive of the providers we found using Exchange email.
HIPAA COMPLIANT EMAIL
HIPAA requires health care providers to ensure that their business associates will safeguard Protected Health Information (PHI). If you are interested in emailing with your patients, or sending any patient data through email, you need to be sure that your email is protected in a HIPAA-compliant manner.
Best Home Small Business Printer – where do I find one? The problem these days is that there are too many choices.
While a color laser printer used to be out of reach for home and small businesses they can be had for a reasonable price these days.
The initial cost of the Best Home Small Business Printer is just the beginning.
Keeping them in ink or toner can be expensive.
Bells and Whistles for Best Home Small Business Printer
Adding to the confusion of finding the Best Home Small Business Printer is all the bells and whistles that are available.
ADF (Automatic Document Feeder)
print-shop-quality color prints
laser-sharp black and color text
multiple paper trays
monthly duty cycle (pages/month)
auto 2-sided print/copy/scan/fax.
Wireless printers allows printing from tablets (e.g., iPad) and
smartphones (e.g., iPhone). Not all printers make this easy.
Some printers may require mobile devices to print to the cloud (Internet).
While this can be useful we want our Best Home Small Business Printer to connect directly to.
Some may require you to print to their cloud or allow popular clouds like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.
Printing to the cloud may not be a concern if you have high-speed Internet but it might be a problem if you depend on a cellular data plan to upload the files.
There are also security concerns for uploading sensitive documents to the cloud.
Downs Consulting recommends a wireless printer that doesn’t require printing to the cloud. We prefer our Best Home Small Business Printer to print directly via WiFi.
Printing to the cloud is a nice feature but we don’t want all our print jobs to go through it.
Wireless setup sounds nice. In theory you setup your Best Home Small Business Printer anywhere you have
power and WiFi reception and you are “good to go”.
The printer forums are littered with complaints about printers connected or rather not connected via WiFi.
It’s common for WiFi to drop the connections. It’s similar to mobile phone connections.
Dropping a connection in the middle of a big print job could cause problems. Maybe you would have to start all over again after waiting minutes for it to enter the print queue.
The reality is that WiFi is not as dependable as an Ethernet connection.
Our advice is to use a wired connection if at all possible. This requires an Ethernet connections which some models may not have.
This is our preferred method of connecting our printer. We
can still use WiFi to connect to our mobile devices.
Downs Consulting recommends a networked printer that is not tied to a computer.
Many printers limit their functions if connected via USB.
Some printers may not have this capability.
Footprint and Noise
A noisy printer right next to you in a small office is no small intrusion on
Likewise, a huge printer is not going to very welcome either.
While there are plenty of small printers they tend to skimp on some features.
A small printer may be better for a Home user that doesn’t need all the “bells and whistles”.
When we settled on our Best Home Small Business Printer we still had to convince our office that we had room for it.
Printer Maintenance Costs – Ink & Toner
A major concern is operating costs. It’s common to see the ink/toner
replacement cost more than the printer.
Printers often come with starter
supplies that don’t last as long as the standard capacity.
Usually, you can find high-yield supplies that are a better buy in the long run.
It also saves on the aggravation of running to the store for supplies.
Some printers may refuse to work at all if one of their cartridges are low. This is particularly frustrating if you don’t need that cartridge for the job you have queued up.
New Color Inkjet printers can be up to 50% cheaper to operate than a color laser.
Review sites are a good place to start looking for available features, costs,
and buyer or editor opinions.
Preferably the site has lost of reviews so the overall score can’t be skewed one way or another by a few one-sided reviews.
If there are not many reviews you may not get an accurate assessment.
Likewise, the site should not have a vested interest in the sale of the product and reviewers should be able to post sincere remarks.
A lack of disparaging or complimentary remarks could be a sign of bias.
Consumer Reports is a great resource for buying appliances like this but you need a subscription to see their reviews online. They compile statistics on the main categories including maintenance cost, print quality, photo quality, and speed.
You can usually get a free trial for online or magazines. The magazines come with a buyers guide and is a good resource in itself.
The Consumer Reports interactive video below offers some good advice. You can click on the sections you are most interested in.
Other Review Sites
Some websites like PC Magazine have editor and user reviews.