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11.30.2006
Chip's Christmas Wish List
Posted by Chip Lowell - VP Sales and Marketing

I don’t care how old I get – coming up with a wish list of toys will always be one of my favorite things to do! I love my birthday. I can’t wait until I turn 95 and get my in-home Holodeck finally! I really love Christmas time. This year, I mailed Santa (yes, snailmail, Santa is old school) my Top 5 list. I have finally removed the rocket launcher and other explosive items since my wife will never let me use them. Dang. So, here’s what I’d better get, because I have been very good this year:

  1. Robot lawn mower – I really need a robot leaf raker/bagger, I guess I still have to do the real work around the house -- Friendly Robotics RL1000 RoboMower Mower and Docking Station
  2. Advanced Weather Station for Weatherbug (and no, it’s NOT spyware). Thomas Jefferson had to write all his weather info by hand – not me!
  3. Velocity Micro Gamers’ Edge PCX – oh, man, do I need to a new home PC with dual core and a nice G80 graphics card.
  4. X-Files seasons 5-9 – to fill out my collection. I love to watch an episode late Friday nights, like when the show first came out.
  5. A big bottle of Knob Creek bourbon. Mmmm… bourbon (and vermouth, and bitters, and a cherry).

That’s my top five, Santa, bring on my loot. He sees me when I’m sleeping? He knows when I’m awake? Yikes. He KNOWS if I’ve been bad or good? Uh-oh. As Calvin (& Hobbes) said once “Geez, he's a tough ol' geezer!” Maybe I’ll only get coal – but Hey! fossil fuels and the like are worth money, right?

[11.30.2006 @ 11:25 AM]  [0 comments]  [Digg it]


11.28.2006
What I Want For Christmas
Posted by Chris Morley

I’m a home theater enthusiast. I love high resolutions, surround sound, and every shelf on my A/V rack filled with gadgets.

I want the ultimate media center. I want something with enough muscle to power multiple streams of high definition video – both in playback and recording - along with streaming to multiple TVs around the house. I also want to be able to easily burn copies of my favorite TV shows that I've recorded and encode videos for use on my PSP.

I want my entire media library of music, home videos, and photos to be accessible at a touch of a button, and I want it all protected on a high performance RAID 5 array that won’t erase my precious memories if a hard drive fails.

I want high definition media playback, Blu-ray or HD-DVD, and I don’t want it to hog my resources and skip frames while HDTV channels are being recorded in the background along with media streaming to various devices around the house. So I want a powerful 3D card with hardware VC1 and H.264 decoding support and a dual or quad core CPU.

And I want XHD gaming. I want to be able to play all my favorite games at 1080P with high dynamic range lighting and anti-aliasing. And I want it at a silky smooth 60+ frames per second.

And, most importantly, I want to give my cable box the boot. It’s clunky, inelegant, and it doesn’t match my high end equipment. So I want CableCARD support for my media center that allows me to decode my digital cable natively without the need for that clunky box.

Finally, I want all this hardware to be easy to use, so my family can get as much enjoyment out of it as I will. So I want Microsoft Vista Home Premium with its easy to use and intuitive interface. And when I get it out of the box, I want all the cables and documentation to be there so I’ll be able to use it right away.

I want the new (coming soon!) Velocity Micro media centers that are going to blow your mind.
[11.28.2006 @ 8:55 AM]  [4 comments]  [Digg it]


11.22.2006
Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted by Randy Copeland - Founder

It’s almost Thanksgiving and in between daydreams about turkey and my Redskins, I’m kicking back and thinking of everything I’m thankful for. Where to start?

You - I’m extremely thankful for the amazing people who put their faith in us everyday – our customers. You’ve invested your trust in Velocity and I wake up every morning with the goal to continue to deserve your trust. And to amaze you.

Our partners - I’m also very grateful for our partners, who have asked us to participate as launch partners in every major release this year. Intel, NVIDIA, AMD, and ATI have been wonderful partners to work with in bringing to market the best PCs with the latest cutting edge technology.

Our people - Velocity Micro could not be where it is today without our hard working, dedicated crew. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by people who get it – who get the Velocity Micro mission and work tirelessly to deliver the Velocity Micro experience to every customer.

What a year! Velocity Micro has grown by leaps and bounds in the past year – proof that our mission resonates with PC users. We aim to deliver a first class experience that doesn’t come at the expense of cut back customer service or high premiums.

Thank you for a great year! Stick around to see what we’ve got coming next.

Have a great Thanksgiving!
[11.22.2006 @ 4:32 PM]  [2 comments]  [Digg it]


11.16.2006
it's good to be a gamer...
Posted by Kate Ashley - Executive Director, Marketing & Retail Channel

It’s been a great week to be a PC enthusiast. Last Wednesday, NVIDIA launched their new GeForce 8800 series of graphics processors. This past Tuesday, Intel announced the immediate availability of their first quad core processor.

I went out to San Jose last week for NVIDIA’s launch. It was a great event. They kicked it off with a massive 36 hour LAN party and a case modding contest , among all kinds of other craziness. The highlights of the event for me: the immediate immersion into a hard core gaming environment, the up close and personal opportunity to see the gamers’ passion and enthusiasm, the onstage demos of the 8800’s power (more on that in a second), and the chance to spend a few minutes talking to Jen-Hsun Huang (alas I missed the chance to get a picture with the new model for the 8800) . And although I already knew it, this event and Jen-Hsun convinced me all over again that NVIDIA is truly dedicated to the gamer and the ultimate gaming experience.

The new GeForce 8800 will really deliver significant performance gains for gamers and other PC enthusiasts. Orders for these have been pouring in at Velocity Micro and with good reason. The GeForce 8800 is based on an entirely new architecture than previous generations with a core that dynamically allocates processing resources depending on the application’s demands. It’s also the first GPU with DirectX 10, which introduces new geometry shading for heightened realism. The net result of all these new developments is that PC users with the GeForce 8800 will see increased graphics performance and never before seen levels of realism and beauty.

And on that note of performance gains, the Intel quad core processor (Intel® Core™ 2 Duo QX6700) offers significant performance gains for power users. Although there are not a plethora of applications available today that will be able to take advantage of the four processing cores, that time is soon approaching. For today, the QX6700 will be a smart choice for users looking for a long-lived system that excels at cpu intensive tasks like digital media editing.
[11.16.2006 @ 5:13 PM]  [1 comments]  [Digg it]


11.07.2006
Going For Gold
Posted by Chris Morley

Yesterday Velocity Micro earned a Gold Editor’s Choice award and “Highly Recommended” rating from
[H]ard|OCP’s [H] Consumer division.

Getting a “Highly Recommended” award from [H] Consumer is a feat most companies cannot accomplish. I know, because I quite literally wrote the [H] Consumer manual. I was their Managing Editor before taking my post at Velocity Micro.

[H] Consumer evaluates every aspect of the ownership experience, from purchasing a system to its packaging and build quality, real world performance, and most importantly, support and stability. In our last round with [H]ard|OCP, not only did we pass with flying colors, we provided them with one of the “better support experiences [they] ever had.”

[H] Consumer evaluations are unique in the industry: they order their “review” systems anonymously in order to get a more realistic customer experience and they are the only publication to refuse review systems that have been given “extra attention” from vendors who know they are being put in the spot light. This is definitely good for companies like Velocity Micro where each one of our systems are “review-quality” – everyone gets special treatment. They clearly and thoroughly discuss every aspect of a system and the company that produces it . We also like the fact that they are so attentive to detail – they notice the extra tweaks and little things that our enthusiast customer base live for – for instance we incorporate a front audio harness with Creative sound cards. This is important because without this harness, the front audio ports on the computer would be useless – and nobody wants that. The evaluators also take a look at the restore process, noise signature, thermals, and rigorously test every system for any hardware weakness. Combined with their thorough evaluation of a company’s tech support, [H] Consumer has the potential to really make a company shine, and conversely, they point out issues that no other publication looks for.

In this evaluation of the Velocity Micro Gamers’ Edge PCX, they awarded us incredibly high scores for our sales and ordering process, packaging, build quality, gaming and general usage performance, stability, and most importantly, support. And because this is an anonymous review, customers can be assured that the system they receive will be as high flying as what was featured in this evaluation.

In fact, they were at a loss to find anything much to detract from their evaluation. We really appreciated the suggestions they made about our product descriptions and our on hold messaging. We’re looking at how to incorporate these ideas to improve our customer experience.

We have a long history with [H] Consumer - Velocity Micro was the first company to support [H]ard|OCP when they first began evaluating systems. We were also the first to urge [H]ard|OCP to purchase a system anonymously from us to experience what a real customer would experience. Since the relationship began, we’ve had five systems evaluated in this process and have been praised for our 24/7, US-based, in house support. We have a strong presence on their forums, and have shown to be a “fan favorite,” with our customers posting about their purchasing experience with us all the time. We really appreciate the opportunity to have our products evaluated by [H] Consumer and join in their forums to help the community.
[11.07.2006 @ 12:23 PM]  [0 comments]  [Digg it]


11.02.2006
Why Wait for Vista to Buy a New PC?
Posted by Chip Lowell - VP Sales and Marketing

I took a call on the Velocity Micro sales phone the other day. After discussing our PCs a bit, the caller asked, “Should I buy my new PC now, or wait for Microsoft Vista to come out in 2007?” We are getting this question every day on the sales phones and chats. I decided to tell the caller that we at Velocity Micro are very excited about Microsoft’s new OS – for a lot of reasons:

1. Aero – this is the term for Vista’s cool visual elements that take advantage of modern 3D cards to jazz up window opens, minimizes, alt-tabbing and other movement in your display.

2. Very robust and fast search – Vista utilized “search” in new ways. Not only can you search your PC for docs, pictures and media with keywords, but any part of the system, too. Example: can’t remember where to find “Add/Remove Programs?” Hit the Start button, start typing in the Search field “add remove programs” and viola! The link/icon to launch it is right there for you.

3. Real, working Parental Controls. You can lock down the whole system by days/hours, browser use, gaming by ratings – lots of great control for parents.

4. Nice sidebar with gadgets. I’ve always loved this stuff: clocks, picture rotators, system monitoring.

5. Lots more: Backup, Live Taskbar, Virtual Folders, better security and performance, . . .

After getting the caller excited about the new stuff, I said, “The real question is, ‘Do I desire to play my killer new games I get in December – in December? Or will I just stare at the pretty game package until I get a new PC to handle its killer graphics needs in February?’” The caller told me they wanted to play their new games NOW! Well, that’s easy . . .

If you’re in business and you have a need right now for PCs – you don’t have a decision to make. Your IT department hasn’t tested the released final of Vista yet (shoot, our R&D hasn’t finished with it yet!), so you pretty much need to go with XP. If your PC just died and you cannot live without one until January or February (who can?) you’ll need one right now, too. Bottom line: if you want or need a PC now, get a PC now.

If you don’t need a PC for your Christmas games, your business or recent lack thereof, then let me share my problem solving technique with you. In selling, it’s call the “Ben Franklin” close – it’s really just a list of reasons for and against the different aspects of a decision. You set up your criteria, in this case

1. Wait for Vista to come out and get my new PC with it pre-loaded, and

2. Get my PC now with a coupon for FREE or discounted Vista and install it later.

Then, under each, put two columns: Pro’s and Con’s. Then list the reasons for and against each. Here is my list:

Wait for Vista to come out to get my new PC

Pros

Cons

  • Machine arrives working perfectly, don’t have to worry about drivers and all for the upgrade
  • No OS install to run (upgrade)
  • My PC company supports Vista, since they shipped it
  • By waiting, I’ll get newer PC technology (maybe) than now
  • Don’t have a speedy new machine now
  • I’m not going to need the “upgrade” to Vista anyway, and don’t plan to get it
  • Vista isn’t “tested” in the field yet, I’ll wait for SP1

Get my new PC now!

Pros

Cons

  • Get my new machine right now, whoo-hoo!
  • Get Vista for free anyway with coupon
  • Machine will work perfectly with “seasoned” OS (XP)
  • I want to play the cool games now! Not February
  • I’m not upgrading to Vista anyway or I am looking forward to Vista – and I’m an enthusiast and will set up a dual boot first
  • The upgrade will be painless anyway
  • Vista upgrade may not work with all components
  • My PC company won’t support it (Velocity Micro will!)

Hmmmm…

If I weren’t an enthusiast who loves setting up new OSs and all, I might opt to wait. But I am, so I’m not waiting for a new machine – and you know what? Most of Velocity Micro’s customers are enthusiasts, too. They are looking forward to Vista (hey, cool new toys!) and they want a killer rig today. So they’ll buy their new Velocity Micro today, get a free/discounted upgrade to Vista and enjoy it today.

So, what’s the answer? If you can’t wait for a new machine, get it today and upgrade to Vista. If you can wait, then do. Cheers!
[11.02.2006 @ 10:15 AM]  [5 comments]  [Digg it]


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