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Monday, November 24, 2014

Incremental Improvements in Personal Computing

Detroit Steve got us started by pointing out Bunnie's post about the $12 phone.
I upgraded [SWMBO]'s flip phone yesterday for $12


Microcenter is selling Microsoft Office for a year for $59...

oh, along with the free Window 8.1 machine.

It hard to keeping up with the times.

Microsoft. Hmmph. That stirs me enough to reply.
My gang all have smart phones that cost me an arm and a leg every stinkin' day. They seem to like them. Occasionally they have even helped us navigate out of traffic jams or found us a place to eat, so I guess they are not ENTIRELY USELESS.

I use Google Docs. I much prefer it to Microsoft Office or Open Office. It's all on the web, nothing to install, nothing to back up, nothing to buy. Get to your stuff from anywhere, which does come in handy even though I seldom come out of my cave.

Admittedly, most of the stuff I do is pretty simple-minded, no fantastically complicated financial spreadsheets, so Google suits me. You do need a high speed connection. Well, I don't think I could handle trying to do anything over a dial-up anymore.

I am still running XP, though a new Windows 7 machine is starting to look like a possibility. I have used Linux before and I keep threatening to go back, but it takes some actual effort to do that, and I'm really lazy.
CE expands:
Like Charles P,   after 20+ years of using MS Office, I switched to Google docs a few years ago and never looked back - and still have no regrets.

Actually, you don't need a high speed connection to use Google Docs / Spreadsheet.  You can use them offline and they automatically re-sync to the cloud the next time you're connected.

Bitly, for shortening links published on my blogs, but sometimes I use google's product for the same thing

Evernote, for storing document because a version was included with my Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanner

IFTTT to deliver some events from an organizations published event list directly to my Google Calendar. 

Basic hyperlink tricks and more grousing from yours truly:
I don't use short URL's. I embed the links in the text using Google's handy-dandy link-in-ator. Some of them are really long and I don't even want to look at them, much less think about them.

I also right click on embedded links and select 'Open in a new tab'. Saves having to copy and paste. Y'all probably know this, but surprisingly not everyone does.

Of course, sometimes links need editing, like when you want to point out a specific part of a YouTube video.

I bought an old XP machine from a recycler last summer for $150. I thought it was a pretty good deal. Then I thought about buying a laptop for traveling. I was surprised to see I could buy one on Amazon for $200. My son bought a netbook last summer for $200. My wife has a tablet and she uses the heck out of it. It's an Apple and cost some ridiculous amount of money.

If it has a touchpad or does not have a mechanical keyboard, I do not want it. And giving money to Microsoft is like throwing money on the fires of hell.

Never mind all that, we are all obsolete and soon to be consigned to the scrap pile of history. CE shows us the way.

My daughter, now in her senior year at Depaul University, uses mostly a Galaxy Tab S for her schoolwork.    It weighs one pound and the battery lasts about ten hours  She carries it in a Logitech mechanical keyboard case that allows her to use it like a laptop.   She said she doesn't need a laptop anymore for school because "everything is on the cloud".

Logitech Type-S Thin and Light Protective Keyboard Case for Samsung Galaxy Tab S

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