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Windows 10 Laptops

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Teaching Oracle technology always has challenges. They’re generally large challenges because we ask students to run 4 GB Linux VM with Oracle Database 11g XE pre-configured for them. A number of the student computers aren’t up to the task of running the virtualization.

Installing VMware Workstation or Player and a 64-bit Linux operating system is the easiest way to discover a laptop that advertises itself as 64-bit when it truly isn’t. Most of the computers raise an exception that says they’re unable to run hyperthreading, and naturally two BIOS settings are disabled by the manufacturers.

As a result, I get a lot of questions from students on computers. Some of the questions are simple and driven by a desire to maximize their investment. Other questions aren’t quite as simple. The harder questions are typically driven by a need to accomplish something they can’t do with their computer.

I can’t help but feel too many students see laptops as commodities, like televisions. They purchase their laptops thinking they’ve bought the right computer because it provides features like a touch screen. Unfortunately, they don’t notice things like the operating system because many of them purchase computers that run the Microsoft Windows.

They believe Microsoft Windows is simply a single operating system. They don’t know that there are seven versions of Windows 10 with different features. More importantly, they don’t know there are two key versions of Windows 10 when they purchase a laptop – the Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. The student seem to never find a simple Windows 10 Buyers Guide.

Windows 10 Home Edition is designed for end-user computing that includes using application software, whereas Windows 10 Pro Edition is designed for computing that runs both application and server software. The choice of one over the other determines what you can or can’t do with your Windows software.

Changing between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro comes at a cost to most consumers. That’s because they purchase machines with OEM versions of the Windows operating system. Vendors provide OEM versions of Windows 10 because they customize boards and chip-sets; and sometimes they purchase and install chips that fail to meet manufacturing standards. In these cases, the OEM Windows 10 comes with modifications and custom drivers. Moving from an OEM Windows 10 Home to a Windows 10 Pro can be very complicated.

Also, it’s all too common for OEM Windows 10 to disable 64-bit operations while advertising their product as 64-bit. The reasons for this can be complex and hard to identify sometimes. When a manufacturer purchases defective CPUs, they tend to disable some of the chips features. Manufacturers often disable 64-bit features to work around a defective CPU, one or more chip-sets, or their own customizations to the Windows 10 operating system.

I wrote all this to help focus purchases for those who want to run an Oracle Database on a Windows 10 operating system. You have two choices. One uses the native Windows 10 Pro operating system to run Oracle Database 11g XE natively, and the other uses Windows 10 to run VMware or Virtual Box to support a Linux operating system and Oracle Database 11g XE instance.

Best of luck, and always check the laptop specifications. As a rule, don’t buy Windows 10 Home machines if you want to run an Oracle Database.

Written by maclochlainn

January 15th, 2018 at 9:27 pm