Oct 182009

Just a quick update:  I decided to go with Microsoft Office 2007 after all.  Microsoft Works just wasn’t cutting it.

Outlook is just better for e-Mail and has the calendar function.  Word and Excel handle their tasks better, and if you get a word processing document, 99.9% of the time it will be a *.doc or *.docx file.

And Office 2007 seems to run just fine.  I don’t load up the desktop with a lot of applications, so I’m not expecting problems.

(Buying the Office 2007 through Amazon saved some money too — I had run out of installations with my existing Office license.)

Oct 042009

I’m going to experiment with a travel computer setup that will be smaller/lighter than even the smallish Toshiba notebook I have been using.

I just purchased an ASUS 1005HA netbook and am now working with software setups to see what kind of minimalist set of applications will allow me to download, catalog, and also do some of the basic photo editing tasks.

Netbooks are intended for lighter tasks, such as e-Mail and web surfing, but their capabilities have expanded in the past years (and sales have surprised many in the industry).  That being said, even their strong proponents talk about a 30 minute experience.  Because the displays are small and the CPU and other components are intentionally restrained, they boot up fairly fast and run for hours (8 to 9 hours is not uncommon with 6-cell battery packs).

With the ASUS netbook, I’m working with:

  • 10.1 inch screen (1024 x 600 displayed, but 1024 x 768 available)
  • 2 GB RAM (a $30 upgrade from the 1GB standard)
  • 160GB HDD
  • Windows XP Home
  • Slightly smaller keyboard than “normal” notebooks
  • WiFi B/G/N and Bluetooth
  • Larger 63W battery (10.5 hours claimed, and many report 9+ hours in the real world)
  • 3 USB ports and 1 SD card reader
  • Comes with Microsoft Works and Outlook Express (& trial version of Office 2007 — deleted immediately)

More on the photo and other software later…

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