My trusty little Intel Atom based desktop died a couple weeks ago. This was a an Ubuntu based system was very inexpensive and yet functional. I replaced it with a new modern Dell. Its $600 price tag was double what my Ubuntu based Atom board costs, and came with Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system. I need to have a functional Windows system these days, unfortunately I haven’t figured out how to configure the system as a dual booter. So for now I’m stuck in the Windows 8 ecology. I can’t say that I’m impressed with Windows 8 the apps and the convoluted way one must do things, but the whole Idea of an operating is to run the programs we need to use.
I’ve been downloading and configuring the different program and applications I will need and want to use. I find it kinda surprising how short my list is of essential programs that I have installed.
I have been using Chrome since the beggining. What is pretty kewl is that the apps follow the user in a new installation, as well as ones favorites and book marks. Eventually I’ll install Firefox but for now Chrome is good enough to do what needs to be done. The nice thing about Chrome though is that the apps I’ve been using automatically got installed. Some of these Apps are Tweetdeck and Barcode reader
Thunderbird is the default email reader for most people these days. I’m amazed at how fast it is to set up and configure. The program prompts the user for email addresses passwords and IMAP or POP3. for most configuration login and mail download is automagilcly done. Those who are still checking their email via a web brouser might reconcider and check out Thunderbird.
Olympus Viewer 3
Linux and Windows Vista had pretty good import utilities. Windows 8 though calls up an app when you plug in a camera into the USB port. The problem with Windows 8 apps is that they don’t use the desktop, so practical multitasking is not accessible. I’ve previously avoided OEM supplied downloaders, and they were not available for Linux based systems anyway. The new Viewer 3 does a pretty good job and allows some touch up editing. The program uploads and organizes images just fine. While I installed mine from the supplied CD, it is available online from the Olympus site and I suspect it might work from any camera or flash media.
I have a couple of Arduino devices, including the Arduino Mega 2560. The new versions of Arduino Programmer.have a real Windows install routine The Arduino is a great development tool for students and professionals alike. Arduino is an inexpensive and easy way to develop both software and hardware solutions to control or measure or interface with just about anything.
I don’t have a preference or do I even know what the differences are between OpenOffice.Org and LibreOffice. As far as I am concerned they are pretty much equivilent. Libre Office is now at version 4.0 and is my gotto for any document creation and editing. A great Office suite and more than adequate for anything I’m likely to need at my home office.
Microsoft Online Office 365
This is both a cloud and an application suite. We moved to this at the office and it came with 5 installations per user so I was able to install everything at home on my desktop. Suite has a bunch of parts, all which tends to encourage collaboration. The online stuff is hosted by Sharepoint.and is where all the collaboration magic is going to happen.Outlook is available with all of its normal parts, such as tasks and calendars. Also available are messaging and a newsgroup type functions, blogs and website building tools. Outlook is pretty good and is pretty much full function the rest of the Office applications is pretty much a neutered version of the real thing. but is capable of of opening and creating most documents.
Office 2013 comes to the package and is quickly installed from on line. Microsofts cloud storage application. Skydrive Pro, the cloud storage app and resoursource is what ties the desktop apps with the online cloud apps. As long as one stores and accesses the Skydrive everything is synced.
This is all rent software and the desktop stuff only runs on Windows 8 or newer OS or Apple OS10 10.3 and better is supported. Vista and XP users are out of luck, . While my installation is a corporate version . There is a home edition available. With a licence for up to 5 machines it might not be a bad deal for some home offices with multiple machines and users.
Python 3.3 and 2.7
Python is a programming language. Its today’s BASIC. The nice part about python is that it is cross platform, and it is an interpretive language no compiler required. Its great for writing scripts and even serves as a self documenting calculator I mostly use 2.x because the syntax is a little different for 3.x . Its a great install for someone who wishes to learn objective orientated programming or create some quick and dirty utilities.
Some stuff I haven’t installed yet but I know I will is Firefox. and Adobe Reader. While some might claim the PC is dead there is still a lot that can be done on a home desktop. If it is a Windows machine.
Microsoft failed dismally in capitalising on a massive opportunity with Atom: almost any consumer would pay a price premium of $80 for x86 compatibility. All RT has really done is segment the market and stain windows 8 through consumer confusion and overall uselessness.
“I’ve changed my pitch – I hate saying it’s my pitch – from starting with the Start screen to starting with the Windows desktop when I talk to people about Windows 8,” considered Moulster. “When you show them the desktop it looks like Windows 7 and in fact it is pretty much like Windows 7 except that it’s faster, it’s more secure, uses less power, starts up quicker and has interface tweaks across the board.