Friday Four

Friday, March 09, 2012

1. Due to a variety of hardware failures I determined it would take too long to fix (or cost too much to pay someone else to fix), I decided to scrap my trusty ASUS Eee PC 702 netbook about a month and a half ago. Its replacement, although not cutting-edge, arrived in the mail last week and now dual boots Ubuntu Linux and its original Windows 7 operating system.

I'm quite happy with my ASUS Eee PC 1018P, which I found advertised on-line in "like new" condition. Its larger screen, greater processing speed, and really slick case design are all helping me get over any sentimentality I felt for the old machine. Best of all, buying not-quite-new ensured that others got to be guinea pigs/had to figure out how to get Linux to install on it, and that I paid half of what I had paid for the old machine. (Regarding installation, it helps to understand the oddball boot manager.)

2. In one fell swoop, a company has found a way to make an iPad and Windows much more useful.

It's a tiny app -- about 5 megabytes. When you open it, you see a standard Windows 7 desktop, right there on your iPad. The full, latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader are set up and ready to use -- no installation, no serial numbers, no pop-up balloons nagging you to update this or that. It may be the least annoying version of Windows you've ever used.
You can get all this convenience for a subscription fee of $5.00 per month. I am not a tablet fan and I dislike Windows, but ... wow!

[Note: If the above sounds too good to be true, it may be: In between writing the above blurb and time to publish this post, I learned that this service violates a Microsoft license.]

3. Last week, I blogged about the smallest PC I'd ever heard of. This week, I note the cheapest PC I've ever heard of, thanks to an anonymous commenter.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It's a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and games. It also plays high-definition video. We want to see it being used by kids all over the world to learn programming.
The Model A costs $25.00 and the Model B costs $35.00.

4. And the (real) winner is ... TinyMCE. Some time back, in a bid to save blogging time and avoid headaches with Google's lousy new post editor, I settled on KompoZer as a blog post editor. But strange typos started showing up in my posts, and I was unhappy with elements of its interface and with having to go back and forth between my browser and another application. TinyMCE works within my browser and is easy to customize.

-- CAV

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