With the widespread of the Wuhan Virus, we are required to stay at home and our daily life got seriously affected. Works had been put on hold and school life suspended. Work-from-home becomes major mode of work for adults and distance learning being adopted for students.
My boy has been away from school for nearly four months and has jumped on the video conferencing bandwagon recently, just like what I previously had.
跟我以往慣用的 Cisco WebEx 不同，兒子學校選用的是 Zoom，也差不多是全港學校一致採用的軟件，箇中原因相信大家都應該很明白，不用多講 ⋯。
這個視像會議軟件極具爭議性，保安、私隠問題一籮籮，在國際上已被很多政府及其他機構所禁用。對 Zoom 就多個問題的官方解釋，我以一個昔日IT人的角度來看，也無法接受！大家有興趣可以 Google 一下。
School utilised video conferencing software to establish series of virtual learning classrooms for hosting weekly assembly and individual lessons. In addition to the availability of interactive learning environment, teachers can also observe students’ needs and provide specific support accordingly.
Like most of the schools in Hong Kong, my boy’s school is using Zoom for distance learning, rather than Cisco WebEx that I used to have in my good old days. Why using Zoom? I believe the reason is pretty obvious …
Zoom has been criticised for its serious privacy and security concerns. It has been banned for use by a number of government, businesses and schools entities recently. As an IT professional before my retirement, I found Zoom’s official explanation totally unacceptable. If you are interested, go and google for the details.
兒子日常用作網上學習的手提電腦差不多是四年前的產品，當日主要是應附上網的簡單工作，運算能力需求不太，我只揀選一部有大顯視屏幕的 Acer Aspire E5-532 平價電腦，再換上 256GB SSD 便焯焯有餘。
My boy is using a notebook computer released in the late 2016. At that time, all his web based training are relatively simple and without much processing needs. I just picked up a low cost Acer Aspire E5-532 that came with a large display, upgraded it with a 256 GB SSD and it worked smoothly.
隨著兒子成長，網上學習增多，這部電腦亦漸漸走得吃力了，再加上沒完沒了的 Windows 10 系統更新，很多時候電腦慢得幾乎不能完成功課；在使用 Zoom 的 Virtual Background 進行遙距上課時也常常不能清除背景，令人感到困擾，相信系統升級應該是難免了。
Along with the increasing web based learning activities required by the school, performance degradation is frequently encountered with my boy’s notebook. Together with those never ending Microsoft Windows platform patching works, sometimes he can hardly handle his homework with his notebook. In the event of using Virtual Background of the Zoom package, the software intermittently failed to clean up the background image. Probably upgrade or replacement of the notebook is necessary.
My boy’s problem is definitely a problem of mine. Without any hesitation, go and get a replacement notebook.
不同於 Apple 的電腦系統，一般 Windows 電腦都扺不上時間的考驗，兩三年間硬件便追不上軟件之需求，換機屬平常事；亦因為這個原因，我會選擇購買平衡進口貨，即水貨，貪他價錢較低。
以自己過往經驗，水貨電腦硬件配置通常亦較佳，就像今次購買的加拿大水貨 Acer Aspire A515-54-513C，全新型號已用上最新的 Intel Core i5 10th Gen 處理器，提供 Wifi 6 及 USB-C 支援，相比香港現時售賣之型號，性價比高出一大截！
Unlike Apple computers with their optimised architecture, Windows based computers normally can’t cope with the resources demand imposed by the software platforms within few years time and equipment replacement is deem necessary. Frankly speaking, this is also the driving reason why I opt to buy a cheaper parallel import notebook instead from the official distributor in Hong Kong.
From my experience, configuration for those parallel import computers are typically better equipped than similar models sold in Hong Kong. For the case of the Acer Aspire A515-54-513C shown here, it already comes with the latest Intel Core i5 10th Gen processor, Wifi 6 & USB-C support. It definitely delivers a much better cost performance ratio.
Let’s take a look at my unboxing exercise.
把內置的 256 GB SSD 升級至 500 GB。
Replaced the built-in 256 GB SSD by an after market 500 GB SSD.
第一次起動及為 Windows 10 作系統更新。
First start-up followed by the Windows 10 patches application.
全新 Intel Core i5 10th Gen 處理器。
This notebook comes with the latest Intel Core i5 10th Gen processor.
機身兩側的 HDMI, USB 3.x 及 USB-C 等接口。
Equipped with HDMI, USB 3.x and USB-C input/output ports.
忽然覺得這部新機和我的 Apple Macbook Pro 真有幾分相似 😬
To my surprise, the Aspire 5 somehow resembles my Apple MacBook Pro 😬
新機的 Intel Core i5-10210U 處理器及 8 GB 記憶體相信可應附小老闆未來數年的學習需要。
The processing power of the Intel Core i5-10210U processor and the 8 GB onboard RAM should meet my boy’s study needs for the coming few years.
起動 Zoom 視像會議軟件及試行 Virtual Background。
Started up the Zoom video conferencing software to verify the Virtual Background package.
Everything is in place and ready for the distance learning.
噢，還有一件事 ⋯ 把 Microsoft Office 從舊機轉移至新機。
One more thing … Migrate the Microsoft Office licence to the new notebook.
由於軟件的授權已啟動及捆绑於舊機，不可以直接在新機再啟動，Google 了一輪也得出同一結論。也有朋友教我先把舊機上的Microsoft Office setup 檔抄至新機，移除舊機上的 Microsoft Office 軟件，再在新機安裝便可以。
As the original licence had been activated and associated with the old notebook, installation on the new notebook is not allowed. Searching through Google revealed the same conclusion. My friend suggested to copy the original Microsoft Office setup program file that was stored in the old notebook and executed on the my new notebook to restore the licence.
Unfortunately, this also failed without any luck.
最後發覺只需要先把舊機上的 Microsoft Office 軟件移除，
It turned out that I only needed to uninstall the Office software from the old notebook,
接著在新機上登入我的 Microsoft Account，於 Services & subscriptions 內揀選 Install，系統便會自動下載所需的 Microsoft Office 軟件及再啟動授權，過程其實非常簡單。
Next, logged in to my Microsoft Account, clicked on Install under the Services & subscriptions . All the required software would then be downloaded automatically together with the licence reactivated. The process was extremely simple & straight forward.
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