Tag Archives: Evernote

New Windows 10 box

Mark wrote about this as well this weekend but I decided to upgrade his laptop this weekend.  His laptop runs Windows Vista and while it does a not bad job of it, it would need some more RAM to handle Windows 10.  I was pricing out the memory and the license for Windows 10 when I noticed that OTV had some Lenovo ThinkCentre desktop computers coming off lease that had way more power and were less than the Windows 10 license.  Not only that but they included a copy of the 64 bit version of Windows 7 (which of course upgrades to Windows 10).  The machine will handle a total of 16 gb of RAM so that was a plus as well.  I’ll add some more memory to this summer.

I picked that up with a $15 Logitech keyboard and mouse and took it home.  We had an extra monitor in the basement but as I go to grab it, Wendy and Mark tell me that  they threw it out in a cleaning purge.  Excellent.  So it was back to OTV where they had a 19.5 inch monitor on for $50.

Still it was cheaper than upgrading Windows and the RAM.

So we got it going, connected it to the interweb, and then used Ninite to download and install the freeware programs like Evernote, Dropbox, Google Chrome, Apple iTunes, Spotify and other programs.  The one thing I didn’t download is Libre or Open Office which I have come to believe are some of the most bloated pieces of software available.  Instead I was going to download AbiWord and have him use Google Sheets for a spreadsheet but I was in London Drugs where they had Corel WordPerfect Office Home and Student on for only $34.97.  It’s not Microsoft Office but it is a lot better than Libre Office in terms of speed and features.

This is off topic but I thought I would take a moment to mention how much I miss Lotus Smart Suite which included Lotus 1-2-3 but more importantly Lotus Ami Pro (later called Lotus Word Pro).  While I am it, I also miss Microsoft Works which I did an awful lot of writing on.  I really miss Works suites.  I wish someone would do one again.

The last bit of freeware software I put on his computer is Serif Publisher Starter Edition.  It is designed for beginners and gives him far more control than either WordPerfect or a word processor will give him.

I am kind of careful about fonts.  So many collections of freeware fonts have commercial fonts in them.  Years ago a graphic designer I know realized he had some illegal fonts in his collection and purged them and then put together some excellent freeware font CDs.  I installed them and then added some excellent commercial fonts that I have the license for.  He isn’t into page layout of print design but if he ever is, he will have a nice system for it.

I love my laptop and have no problems with it but the joy of a full sized keyboard and an almost 20 inch screen was pretty awesome as well.

The upgrade to Windows 10 took overnight to download but once that was done, it was good to go this morning.  Am always amazed at how powerful machine I was able to get him for so little money.  I grew up with DOS and then Windows.  After 4 years with a Mac and OSX, I like being back with Windows and the PC world again.

My setup

I was asked a while ago about the gear I use around the office and at home.  Here it is in the nutshell.

I use a HP 6910p laptop running Windows Vista as my main machine now.  I use it at home and at work and keep my files sync’d using Windows Live Mesh.  I don’t use a mouse and while the computer has a trackpoint, I tend to use the touch pad for the first time in my life.    I tried to use ObjectDock because I really love the dock but it causes all sorts of problems for my applications so I just use a basic Windows setup.

I keep my music on my iPod.  When my office mate is in the office, I plug them into some Sony MDR-ZX100 headphones.  When she is gone, I tend to plug it into my iStereo dock.

Most of my writing is done in Libre Office.  I have a copy and a license of Microsoft Office but I am ready to give it up.  Libre Office hasn’t caused me any problems and it works for me.

My office rig is pretty basic.  It have a HP dc7800  It’s powered by a 3.00 Ghz Intel core duo and is hooked to a 32 inch display with 2 gigs of RAM.  Hooked up to a it is a cheap generic webcam and 5.1 channel surround sound speakers.  It runs Windows 7

I use Gimpshop. Picasa, MediaImpression, Libre Office, and Windows Live Writer and not a lot else

My desk is actually an old boardroom table that has been converted into a desk.  My office has seven chairs in it and I just grab whatever is closest to me.   Yesterday there were only five chairs in here but every time there is a meeting in here, people bring extra desk chairs.

My phone is a Samsung Galaxy Ace which goes with me everywhere and I have an iPad 2.  Despite seeing how well the Logitech keyboard works for some of Saskatoon’s city council, I went with the Apple Bluetooth keyboard that works really well.  I have Numbers and Keynote but I generally only use Pages and Evernote.

As for application.  My day starts and ends in Evernote, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and Gmail.  Google Calendar, Evernote, and Google Contacts all sync with my phone, iPod Touch, and my iPad, and are available on my notebook and desktop.  Having a centralized place for all of my information is huge for me and really makes any device I am on work the same across all platforms.   I really need to use the cloud to store my iPod and iPad docs but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.

I tend not to use PowerPoint when I speak as I think speaking is a lost art but if I really need to, I use Libre Impress.  The only program that I really miss here is AbiWord which got buggy a couple of releases ago and hasn’t really gotten fixed.

So there you go, Android, Windows, and two different Apple devices.  It all seems to work.