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Your data is your business...protecting it is ours.

At Digital Seattle, we understand business. We consult. We provide solutions to solve everyday challenges. We just happen to fix computers as well.

We believe (and have proven) that if you proactively manage technology, run maintenance religiously, and monitor a business network, everyday issues and downtime will be greatly reduced.

This is what makes us different than your typical tech support company. Sure, we can fix computer issues when you have them, but our specialty is preventing them in the first place.

Are you looking for a partner you can trust your IT with? Sign up for a FREE IT Assessment to get started today.

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      Who Are We?

      It's Nice To Know Who You're Working With, We Get That

      Digital Seattle understands that making a decision means putting your trust in us. We encourage you to find out more about our company and read testimonials from our many satisfied customers!

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      What Our Clients Say

      • President
        Seattle, WA
        Building Owners and Managers Association Seattle King County

        Digital Seattle has been our computer technologies support partner since 2003 assisting us with our network setup and administration, IT support and even our upgrade purchases. Digital Seattle's support service has been prompt and reliable and they have always been able to meet our IT business needs.

      • Principal
        Seattle, WA
        Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

        We've found Digital Seattle's staff to listen carefully to our needs and to be highly responsive, knowledgeable, and innovative in their recommendations and service. We've worked with them for all of our technology needs ranging from installing infrastructure, servers… to maintenance, repair and planning. I would be delighted to recommend Digital Seattle for any of these services.

      • Office Manager
        Everett, WA
        Computer Power and Service, Inc.

        What I like most is how responsive, professional and friendly the staff is. Digital Seattle has made some technological recommendations for us that have worked incredibly well... The services that Digital Seattle provides leave us with a peace of mind with regards to frequent backups, the ability to reach an engineer in a short amount of time and their ability to solve our PC and network issues.

      • Administrative Assistant
        San Francisco, CA
        Alber Seafoods

        ... With past experiences, we were doubtful that we would be able to reach anyone for assistance. To our surpise though, regardless of the time, a tech will usually call us back within a reasonable amount of time to help us troubleshoot.. Digital Seattle is quick in responding to our IT needs. The techs are prompt and extremely patient, and have excellent team work... It makes people like me with very basic computer knowledge not feel intimidated or uncomfortable when working with them.

      • General Manager
        Seattle, WA
        Inn At The Market

        I like that the Digital Seattle team is trained in our technologies, they know our infrastructure. I can call and talk to them and get results- they are not rookies.

      Latest Blogs

      Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part II: How Much RAM Do I Need?

      In the first post of this series, we went over how to choose a CPU/Processor when picking out a new desktop. Our main focus is on choosing a desktop for your business or home office, but we did talk about a few options that exist for more high-end computers that can handle video editing and gaming. We’re going to stick with this theme here, especially when it comes to talking about RAM.

      RAM (which stands for Random Access Memory) is often just referred to as Memory. It’s often confused with the amount of data your computer can store, but that isn’t the case. RAM is used to temporarily store data so it can be instantly recalled without having to pull it from the computer’s storage. If you wanted to compare it to the human brain, it’s sort of like short term memory.

      The amount of RAM you have determines how much you can have going on at once, and how quickly your computer performs when a lot is going on. If you read the first post in this series, you might ask ‘hey, isn’t that also what the CPU does?’ and you wouldn’t be wrong. The CPU handles instructions. It processes the data that the RAM holds. More RAM means a bigger stack of data that the CPU can quickly process, and a faster CPU means the CPU will process the data faster. They go together.

      How Much RAM Does My Computer Need?

      The nice thing about buying a desktop these days is you have pretty limited options as far as RAM goes. That isn’t to say there aren’t dozens of brands with their own clock speeds and special features that you can pick and choose from, but PC manufacturers handle all that for you.

      If you were building your own PC at home, or customizing a PC on a site that lets you choose from a wide variety of types of RAM, things will feel more complicated. If that’s the case, this guide probably over-simplifies things for you, but you’ve probably figured that out by now.

      When buying a new preconfigured desktop (or laptop), the speed and type of RAM is typically figured out for you based on the manufacturer's model. The real thing you need to look for is how much RAM is included in the device.

      The Scrimping Budget End - Generally speaking, the smallest amount of RAM you will typically see for a Windows 10 device is 4 GB (Gigabytes). You can technically get Windows 10 to run on less, but we wouldn’t recommend it for most desktops. Even 4 GB is pretty meager; you won’t be able to do much very quickly on that device. We’re talking very light document editing, and web surfing. Even then, you’ll need to be gentle and not expect much out of your system.

      The Low-End - Most ‘budget” PCs start with 8 GB of RAM. This is plenty to run the operating system and handle some light office work. Editing documents, looking at photos, and surfing the web should work fine. Much more than that will likely tax the system.

      The Mid-Range - Even on a budget, check to see if the desktop can be upgraded to 16 GB of RAM. Often the price difference isn’t very significant, and you’ll be able to get more out of your investment. Often, when older computers start to feel slow for our clients, we’ll upgrade the RAM by doubling it for a low-cost way to get more life out of the system.

      What’s nice about having 16 GB of RAM is that this is also the entry-point for gaming systems. We’re not saying that 16 is the magic number, but if you are willing to pay a little to reach it, you’ll likely be in pretty good shape if the rest of your computer can handle what you throw at it.

      The High-End - Like everything else, this is where we can really push the ceiling up. For example, the new Mac Pro is boasting that it’s capable of supporting up to 1.5 TB of RAM (That’s a whopping 1500 GB). At the time of writing this, no pricing has been made available for configuring the Mac Pro with 1.5 TB of RAM, but rumors say it could cost up to $20 grand.

      If you are designing a gaming rig, a video editing system, or a server, you start to get into the realm of more than 16 GB of RAM. Once you get much past 32 GB of RAM (the next tier) it’s time to leave Best Buy and start consulting with an expert (no offense Geek Squad).

      Final Thoughts on RAM

      Often, you can upgrade your RAM later, depending on the device. This is more likely in desktops and less likely in laptops.

      When in doubt, never settle for less than 8 GB and typically try to shoot for 16 GB.

      We hope this guide was helpful! Be sure to check out part 3 in the next couple of days, and if you need any help when it comes to purchasing computer equipment for your business or keeping your existing computers running smoothly, give us a call at (206) 709-9556.

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      Desktop Buyer’s Guide 2019, Part I: Choosing the Right CPU

      First, Determine the Computer’s Role

      You can narrow down your search a whole lot just by deciding exactly what you want the desktop for. There are many major differences between a computer suitable for someone in your billing department and for someone who needs to edit video.

      For the sake of this article, we’re going to focus a little more on the lower-to-medium end, because as you get into audio/video production or gaming, the roof can be raised to almost no limit.

      Remember, You Can Usually Upgrade Down the Road, But...

      A desktop computer that is designed for basic office work can usually be upgraded, but don’t expect to take a low-end desktop and upgrade it to a high-end gaming system. Laptops are a whole different story. Some can be upgraded a little, others can’t, but as a rule of thumb, assume you won’t be turning a low-end laptop into a high-performance rig.

      Making Sense of the Specifications

      When shopping around, you’ll typically see a few components listed on the desktop’s spec sheet. Let’s talk about one of the big specifications to pay attention to, the CPU.

      CPU/Processor

      The CPU determines, in essence, how much your computer can do at once and how quickly it does it. There are two brands you’ll run into; Intel and AMD.

      Intel has tried to simplify this otherwise complicated specification by tiering out their CPUs, the Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, and Core i9. The higher the number, the more powerful the CPU is. AMD is starting to follow a similar path to simplify their naming convention, but both brands make both low-end and high-end CPUs. Let’s look at some of the most common you see today:

      Intel Core i3 - This tier is okay for real low-end work. We’re talking editing documents, checking email, and surfing the web. The latest generation of Core i3 processors are strong enough to handle streaming video services like YouTube and Netflix without too much trouble.

      Intel Core i5 - The i5 will do what the i3 can do a little faster, and you’ll have no problem streaming a little video, doing some light photo editing, and maybe playing a game or two if it isn’t too taxing on your system. This is a pretty solid choice for the typical office workstation.

      Intel Core i7 - This is where the price starts to climb. Core i7 CPUs are geared towards high-end systems for video editing and gaming.

      Intel Core i9 - The i9 tier is fairly new, and at this point is pretty overkill for what most people need out of their desktop. If you are building out a computer for 3D animation, rendering, gaming while streaming, scientific calculations, etc., then this might be the way to go, but the price tag for this CPU alone can be several thousands of dollars.

      AMD Ryzen 3 - AMD’s low end model is, to simplify things, on par with the Intel Core i3. You’ll be able to edit documents and surf the web, but not a whole lot else without straining the system.

      AMD Ryzen 5 - Conveniently enough, the Ryzen 5 is in about the same tier as the Intel Core i5. You’ll pay a little more than the Ryzen 3, and get some more performance out of your desktop. Expect to handle typical office work, stream video, and light photo editing and gaming.

      AMD Ryzen 7 - Seeing a pattern? The Ryzen 7 is AMD’s answer to the Intel Core i7. Just like the i7, the cost of the CPU starts to climb pretty significantly compared to the lower-end models.

      AMD Threadripper - Here’s where we get into overkill territory for most use. The Threadripper is designed for heavy loads like 3D animation, gaming while broadcasting your stream, and other intense computing that a typical workstation doesn’t tend to experience.

      When Does the GHz Matter?
      The nice thing about Intel and AMD arranging their CPUs into tiers is that you can almost always ignore the clock speed. When helping non-technical friends and family pick out a computer, I always tell them that the CPU speed, which is measured in gigahertz, is for nerds to care about. The higher the number, the faster the CPU, and the more it costs. Until you get to the point where you are building a server or high-end gaming PC, you can definitely just worry about the tiers instead of the GHz.

      Does the Number of Cores Matter?
      Cores are the number of processors built within the main processor. Typically, shoot for at least four cores unless you are on a serious budget. For gaming and video editing and higher-end tasks, more cores can start to matter, but even then, most of the time it caps off at eight. There are processors out there with dozens of cores, but typically these are designed for servers or specific situations.

      One more tip: Usually, getting last generation’s CPU doesn’t save you much money, and as long as you get something recent you should be good. You don’t need to get bleeding edge or wait for the next line of CPUs to come out either, unless you are really trying to hit the very peak of high-end performance and are willing to spend top dollar to make it happen.

      Next time, we’ll demystify other pain points of the desktop buying process! Keep in mind, if you need help purchasing computers for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to Digital Seattle. You can call and talk to one of our experienced IT professionals at (206) 709-9556.

      Learn More

      European Union’s GDPR: One Year Later

      The GDPR

      Before the introduction of the GDPR, individual data privacy was largely an individual’s responsibility. To be fair, in non EU-affiliated circles, it largely still is, but the launch of the GDPR brought to light a lot of issues that people have been talking about for some time: mainly the use of their personal information for corporate financial gain. The GDPR was a response to concerns that some organizations were playing fast and loose with individual’s data that included personal information like names, addresses, email addresses, as well as medical and financial information. In profiting off the capture and sales of this information, the largest corporate tech companies created revenue off the backs of people, creating situations that were simply unfair to consumers and users of these services.

      For years leading up to the ratification of the GDPR, EU member states had been legislating their own data protection laws. This trend has been roundly rejected in the United States, but with the implementation of the GDPR, corporations that see themselves as members of the global economy had strict new guidelines to meet in order to be able to use individuals’ data in the same manner as it had been. The GDPR was an amalgamation of these laws and firmly required all businesses to report certain types of personal data breaches within 72 hours to a supervisory authority mandated by EU member nations.

      Not only did it give the consumer a voice in the ongoing data collection and distribution scheme, it made businesses cognizant just how important their data management is for the people they depend on. Before the GDPR was in the news, not many organizations were thinking about how a failure to protect customer, staff, and vendor information could negatively affect anyone but themselves. This has led to a wholesale change in the way businesses view data management, the training of their staff, and security investments as a whole.

      One Year In

      Now that the GDPR has been in place for a year, the results have been mixed. Over 59,000 personal data breaches have been identified by companies that have resulted in notifying regulators. Since sanctions for failing to comply with GDPR mandates carry fines up to €20 million, or up to 4 percent of total revenue from the previous year (whichever is larger), you are seeing a more targeted and strategic approach to keeping data secure, and reporting it quickly when a data breach does happen. To take a look at the results the GDPR had in its first eight months, download the DLA Piper GDPR data breach survey, here.

      The takeaway is twofold. Firstly, the GDPR has resulted in a major improvement in data breach reporting speed. Since the mandate gives companies up to 72 hours to notify breached parties, it sets a strict deadline. You likely won’t see situations like the Yahoo! breach where they sat on the information for a year before letting anyone that was affected know they had been breached. The GDPR has also resulted in nearly doubling the amount of reported incidents, not an insignificant number.

      On the other hand, fines adding up to €55,955,871 have been levied against the companies responsible for the 59,000 reported incidents, a modest amount for the first year when you consider that about 90 percent of that sum was a single fine levied against U.S. tech giant Google. A French GDPR regulator suggested that this be marked down to more of a transition year than some type of long-term ineffectiveness of the law. It remains to be seen just how effective the law with be if regulators aren’t actively enforcing it.

      Effects Abroad

      Many U.S. companies do business in mainland Europe and fall under the GDPR regulator's jurisdiction, but domestically, there has been a major change in the way data privacy is viewed. Over the past year, a lot has happened in the U.S. on the individual data privacy front. Not only has the GDPR lit the fire of legislators, it has major tech firm CEOs, such as Apple’s Tim Cook, calling individual data privacy a “fundamental human right”.

      While Mr. Cook seems to be in the minority of American tech company leaders (as can be seen by the €50 million GDPR Google fine), it is a step in the right direction. The state of California, not long after the GDPR went into effect, passed its own sweeping (and some would say hastily thrown together) data privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act, to protect the residents of the Golden State. Colorado, Massachusetts, and Ohio followed suit with privacy laws shortly after California’s CPA was ratified.

      This is good news for individual privacy in the U.S. It’s a far cry from only a few short years ago that resulted in some pretty damning situations for online consumers. Federal lawmakers have balked at making waves of their own in regards to data privacy, but if history is any indication, when states begin passing laws that are outside the norm, the U.S. Congress typically acts to fill the breach.

      If you would like more information about the GDPR, subscribe to our blog, or call one of our knowledgeable IT professionals at (206) 709-9556.

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      Latest Blog Entry

      In part two of our desktop buying guide, we talk about one of the most confusing specifications you’ll see whenever you purchase a computer. We’re going to demystify memory, also referred to as RAM.

      Latest News

      Digital Seattle Adds More Competencies To Their Preferred Partner Status!

      Digital Seattle Inc. Announces that we have become a Preferred Partner in Dell's PartnerDirect program, certified in Network Security, Servers, and Workstations.

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