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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:13 PM

New Computer? Not for me.

My wife reviews software for Windows PCs in several publications. In doing that she installs lots of software, to the point that she pretty much destroys the usefulness of a new PC in about three years. Then, some piece of software she needs to review won't run on the older operating system of her old machine, or conflicts with something already installed.

I, on the other hand, use two programs: Microsoft Word and Google Chrome. I got out of the reviewing business almost 10 years ago. The upshot of that is that I now have her previous PC, running Windows 7, and she has a brand new PC with Windows 8, so she could review a piece of software that just wouldn't run successfully on her old one.

Her old machine is replacing my 9 year old XP system. But, I'm gaining a lot. After wiping her old machine back to its original state, and installing my ancient version of Office 2000 on it, along with a nice fresh copy of Chrome, I'm in heaven. Word starts instantly, and there are 4 Gigabytes of ram in my new machine, along with a faster processor. It's like I died and went to Valhalla. With Chrome, you just sign into Google, and all your bookmarks, etc. are instantly synched to your new system. Cool beans.

Why Office 2000? I like it. It does everything I need to do, and lots more that I don't. Sadly, it won't run in Windows 8. Pity.

Sometimes an old computer is a new computer all over again. I like that. My wife is all jazzed about Windows 8, but she's that way about stuff. I hate it, but I'm the tech support around here, so I'll have to learn my way around it to fix stuff when she installs something that conflicts with something else. I think Windows 8 sucks pretty much, and I'm even less impressed with the new version of Office. But, oh well.

Need a new computer? Get an old one from someone who has to upgrade, but one that's newer than the one you have. If it's running now, it'll probably keep running for a long time, and you get an upgrade for next to nothing. Check Craig's List. You might have a thrill.

And on that note, I'm out.

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Arrow 49 replies Author Time Post
Reply New Computer? Not for me. (Original post)
MineralMan Feb 2013 OP
BainsBane Feb 2013 #1
MineralMan Feb 2013 #3
Owl Feb 2013 #34
tblue37 Feb 2013 #43
Logical Feb 2013 #29
BainsBane Feb 2013 #30
Warren Stupidity Feb 2013 #2
BainsBane Feb 2013 #4
MineralMan Feb 2013 #5
JPZenger Feb 2013 #6
MineralMan Feb 2013 #7
guardian Feb 2013 #19
arcane1 Feb 2013 #33
guardian Feb 2013 #39
dballance Feb 2013 #8
MadHound Feb 2013 #9
RebelOne Feb 2013 #11
MadHound Feb 2013 #12
RebelOne Feb 2013 #21
Initech Feb 2013 #10
BainsBane Feb 2013 #15
Initech Feb 2013 #16
BainsBane Feb 2013 #18
Initech Feb 2013 #22
Lizzie Poppet Feb 2013 #36
BainsBane Feb 2013 #37
X_Digger Feb 2013 #17
cherokeeprogressive Feb 2013 #44
guardian Feb 2013 #23
Initech Feb 2013 #25
guardian Feb 2013 #38
Initech Feb 2013 #40
Warpy Feb 2013 #13
hunter Feb 2013 #14
GoneOffShore Feb 2013 #20
MineralMan Feb 2013 #24
hunter Feb 2013 #45
MineralMan Feb 2013 #47
hunter Feb 2013 #48
MineralMan Feb 2013 #49
5X Feb 2013 #26
nc4bo Feb 2013 #27
hunter Feb 2013 #31
LadyHawkAZ Feb 2013 #28
arcane1 Feb 2013 #32
backscatter712 Feb 2013 #35
TroglodyteScholar Feb 2013 #41
tblue37 Feb 2013 #42
JCMach1 Feb 2013 #46

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:21 PM

1. each version of Windows and Office gets worse

It's Bill Gates' sinister plan to take over our lives.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:26 PM

3. So it seems.

Windows XP was great, once you got SP3 installed on it. So was Office 2000, again with all the service packs. Each ensuing version of both added more complexity, scrambled interfaces, and introduced more and more ways to fail. Or so it seemed to me. I resigned from reviewing software with Office 2007. The pay for reviews was down and the programs didn't excite me any more, so I just stopped reviewing for PC World and moved on to other things.

Now, I'm quite happy, writing website content on my old copy of Word 2000 and messing around on the Internet. I'm working harder for the same money, but it's much more relaxing work, really.

I'm an old fart, I know, and set in my ways, but that's the privilege of being an old fart.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:31 PM

34. Win 7 is heaven compared to XP, in my opinion. Wish I had upgraded much earlier.

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Response to Owl (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:25 PM

43. I hate Win7. I loved XP. I have Win7 at the office, and it

drive me nuts!

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:30 PM

29. Windows 7 is far better than XP, major fail! n-t

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Response to Logical (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:32 PM

30. not in terms of usability

and that's what I care about. Plus this new office is horrendous.

Rather than "major fail," the phrase you might consider is "I disagree."

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:25 PM

2. Win7 is a much better desktop OS than win8.

MSFT has lost its marbles. Win8 is cumbersome on a desktop system with keyboard and mouse. It might be fine on a phone or a tablet, or maybe even ok on a desktop or laptop with a touch enabled display, although that is debatable too, but if your rig is keyboar/monitor/mouse, win7 is better.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:29 PM

4. I HATE windows 7

I liked XP. I haven't tried 8.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:30 PM

5. I agree, but still prefer Windows XP overall.

For the type of work I do, it was ideal, really. I'll miss it. The old PC is still set up on a desk near my other desk, so I can access stuff I forgot to move. But, I'll shut it down before long. An 8 GB USB thumb drive does wonders for moving stuff. Amazing. I found a no-name one at Walgreen's the other day for $9.99. 8 GB for under ten bucks! Who would have thought it.

I also bagged my wife's old 23" LCD monitor, to replace my 16" one. Cool stuff. I'm stylin' here. Now she has a 26" monitor.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:33 PM

6. Dell Financial Services sells refurbished used computers cheap

I've bought a couple nearly-new refurbished computers from Dell's Home Outlet and from Dell's Business Outlet websites. I also bought a refurbished older computer from Dell Financial Services website. They have all worked out very well.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:35 PM

7. Interesting Idea.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:41 PM

19. I buy factory refurbished a lot.

 

Computers and printers. You can save a lot of money. Never had a problem. Most of the major brands have refurb/outlets such as Dell, HP, Brother, etc. I've also had good luck buying refurbished off Ebay and from places like CompUSA and PCnation.

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Response to guardian (Reply #19)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:22 PM

33. I was checking out a refurbished XP machine just this past Monday

It was once leased to an office and now it's cleaned-up and maintained.

I'm considering it. I would rather have a refurbished former cubicle-dweller than something off Craig's List that lived in someone's home.

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:54 PM

39. No this is something different

 

I'd call that USED and not refurbished.

I'm talking about FACTORY refurbished. These are essentially brand new items that have been returned to the factory immediately after purchase. It could be something as simple as the factory shipped the wrong item and it was returned. But they can't sell it as 'new' because it left the store. Or maybe a unit that had a problem. For example the DVD drive was DOA so the buyer returned it. The factory stuck in a new DVD drive, tested it, then sells as 'refurbished'.

Factory refurbished usually carries the same factory warranty.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:25 PM

8. My Day-to-Day Computers are Macs & are Refurbs.

My laptop is an early 2008 MacBook Pro and my desktop is a 2010 Mac-Mini. I do have a Win 7 machine for the software I have to use that won't run on Mac. I built the Windows machine myself by visiting Fryes for the case and components (yes, I am an IT geek/nerd). Recently here on DU someone chided Apple because their user interface is "so old and it takes too many clicks to get anything done." Well, I kind of like the fact I haven't needed to learn a new user interface along with a major upgrade to Mac OS like I had to do when Win 7 was released and like many will have to do with Win 8. I also find the complaint about too many clicks odd. Must be from a person who doesn't actually use a Mac. I have all my most-used software on the dock on my Macs so it's only one click away for me.

Oh, and my Macs are generally 2.4 GHz processors with 4GB of RAM. As opposed to my Windows machine which requires over twice as much processor speed and 16 GB of RAM to do the same job as my Macs.

Like you MineralMan I basically use MS-Office and a web browser. I do some photo stuff too and the Mac-Mini is great for that. I bought my laptop used off eBay and have been very happy with it. I got it from someone who had the itch to upgrade to a newer model. Great for me.

I haven't even considered putting Win 8 on my Windows machine and won't do so anytime soon. When one of my friends was reviewing 8 during trials of the OS I looked at it and made the comment "That looks like something I'd see on a PlaySkool toy for kids." Apparently I wasn't the only one with that opinion. The same has been said by more than a few people in reviews of the OS.

As for Office. It's a piece of huge bloatware in my opinion. MS keeps adding and adding to it in order to make older versions obsolete and force upgrades on people. If you asked me "Is MS adding 'value' to the product?" I'd have to say no, not at all. Office has more features in it now than any one human could ever possibly need. Some of the features they've added will never be used by most humans.

Now, lest you begin to believe I'm a total Apple zombie I'm not. I bought a Google Nexus 7 tablet (Android) rather than an iPad. I couldn't justify the extra $200 I'd have had to spend on the iPad over the Nexus for the same features/functionality. I do have an iPhone. But it's an iPhone 4. I've yet to rush out and upgrade to iPhone 5 because I just don't see any additional utility of the iPhone 5 that I must have. Sort of the same argument I apply to upgrading MS-Office with every new release. What's really there that I must have? Usually nothing.

The software business of Microsoft and Apple and others is not stagnating because they have bad products. In general they have really good products. Their sales are stagnating and will continue to stagnate because today's consumers have grown up in a world where a desktop/laptop/tablet are not new fantastic devices. They're really just so much "ho hum" anymore. They are a commodity, not something special.

Just like so many people buy used cars or hang on to their automobiles for longer these days so too goes the personal computer market.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:34 PM

9. Running a ten year old eMac,

 

It just keeps going and going. It runs the programs I want and need. I don't need the latest version of Office(in fact having seen the latest version of Office I hate it), or the latest Adobe Suite. My computer does what it is supposed to do, is durable and long lasting. That's what I want from any tool.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:43 PM

11. I have been using a 4-year-old Mac Mini

with very few problems. I love this little critter.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #11)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:48 PM

12. I've found Macs to be quite durable,

 

Before I picked up my eMac I was running a '93 6100. I would still be using it as my main computer except for the fact that the internet got way too fast and bloated for it to be effective. I still have it, it still works, as does my '84 Mac 128(the first Apple Macintosh made famous in THE ad). Macs just keep going and going while PC's seem to start dying after a few years.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:45 PM

21. You are so right.

I went through 3 PCs in 5 years. Then my office upgraded all the computers to Mac Minis and I loved them. When my last PC conked out, I bought a Mac Mini and so far, I have been happy with it.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:41 PM

10. Want a new PC? Build one yourself.

The pre built computers sold by Dell, Gateway, HP, Acer, etc. are among the worst you can get.

Building your own isn't that complicated. It takes a few hours but you'll have a very fast computer that will last forever with very minimal upgrades. All of the PC's that I have built myself haven't given me one lick of trouble. And I sleep easier at night knowing my money isn't going to Michael Dell or Meg Whitman.

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Response to Initech (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:29 PM

15. I think that's beyond my skill set

Unfortunately.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:33 PM

16. It's not that hard.

All you have to do is buy the parts, hook the case wires into the motherboard, screw it down into your case, and everything else hooks into place. There's plenty of tutorials out there. If you can build any home improvement DIY project you can build a PC.

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Response to Initech (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:39 PM

18. I can't do DIY

but I can craft and make beaded jewelry.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:50 PM

22. I can guarantee building a PC is just as easy.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #18)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:01 PM

36. If you're a beader...

...then I have no doubt you have the dexterity, etc., to put together a PC from components. It's far simpler than an elaborate necklace and even more so compared to seed bead patterns! As Initech says, there are really good instructions online, especially some very detailed videos.

In addition, depending on where you live, there may be local computer supply and service shops that will build up something that suits just what you need it for at a great price. Very possibly the same place you'd be going for parts if you decided to build one yourself...

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #36)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:22 PM

37. It's probably more of a psychological block

that I believe I can't deal with machines. I'll look into it next time I need a computer.
Thanks for the encouragement.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:36 PM

17. Not really, no. If you can follow lego directions, you can build your own.

There are very few components that can be installed wrong.. 90% have connectors that will only go together one way.

And there's an in-between step, if you really can't imagine doing it.. have best buy / fry's / etc put the bits together, leaving you with just the OS install yourself (they'd probably do that too, if you pay for it.)

You could even have BB / fry's install just the processor, ram, and cpu heat sink, which are the most critical pieces.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:44 PM

44. If I can do it, you can do it.

I taught people to do it for 6 years as an Adult Vocational Education teacher.

Here's the deal: If you can find a place to plug it in or put it... that's where it goes.

Don't sell yourself short.

It's quite fun, actually. Okay, if not fun, then rewarding. I have had students who after a couple of days of hands-on, could take one apart down to the motherboard and put it all back together and have it booted up in about 15 minutes.

From what I've seen of you, you're pretty darn schmart. I think you could do it without any more instruction other than what parts are necessary.

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Response to Initech (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:00 PM

23. Been there, done that.

 

For me it's not worth the effort. Price wise I find that it really doesn't save that much money if you shop around a little bit. Plus I don't have to worry about conflicts or other issues if I just buy from some company that already has that figured out.

I'm not that picky about exact components any more. I don't really care if a hard drive is WD or Seagate, or if the video card is GeForce or Radeon variant from XYZ manufacterer. These days I just get a new system every couple years. Whatever a $1000 gets me is good enough. Don't really care about the brand. I consider PCs to be commodities. Whatever is on sale and has a decent component/capability mix for my purposes is what I buy. My current primary system is a Systemax that I bought off CompUSA/TigerDirect. Good computer. Decent price. No bloatware/crapware preinstalled (unlike Dell or HP systems--but that is what Decrapifier is for).

I still consider a $1000 a bargain considering my first PC was a 1983 DEC Rainbow that cost me close to $5K.

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Response to guardian (Reply #23)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:26 PM

25. There's a great website called PC Part Picker that does all that for you.

You just input the parts you want to buy, it will tell you estimated wattage the system will produce, and it will tell you if there's any incompatibilities or inconsistencies with the system. It's way easier to build one now than it was say 10 years ago.

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Response to Initech (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:50 PM

38. Good to know

 

last time I built a system was bout 10 years ago.

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Response to guardian (Reply #38)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:06 PM

40. Things have got a lot easier since then.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 05:52 PM

13. I did that for years and was always an OS behind

what was on store shelves. The only reason I got Win7 when it came out was that my old, underpowered laptop got stolen during the Vista years and I waited for 7 to come out because I knew Vista was a dog.

Most days I wish they'd just stuck with XP. I have a couple of wheezing old XP boxes around to run the stuff that just won't run in 7. I still think it was the most user friendly OS they ever put out. Win7 bugs the hell out of me, especially when I click on something I need to fill out and start to type and the damned thing goes to desktop. I'm a shitty typist and I need to see what I'm doing, thanks. There also isn't the range of tweaks to compensate for crummy eyesight in 7.

From all I've read about 8, I'm skipping it the way I skipped Vista and for the same reasons.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:04 PM

14. The last new computer I bought was a 386SX.

It wasn't really new either. It was a floor model with a banged up case.

The last Microsoft product I bought was Windows 98SE.

I've had Linux machines from the beginning, but these were not my main machines. I was still using 98SE when I first signed onto DU in 2002. At the time I was installing, upgrading, and repairing Windows machines and decided I hated the operating system so much I'd never touch a Windows machine again unless someone was paying me.

My next main computer was built from the remains of several discarded computers and it ran Debian. Good-bye Windows 98SE. I doubt there's any reason I'll ever use Windows again, especially as Microsoft's digital rights management becomes more pernicious.

I can install Debian free on as many machines as I want. There's no serial numbers, activation codes, no checking to see if your copy of Windows is legal, no complaints about upgrades, no searching for proprietary drivers, etc.

If somebody gave me a brand new Windows machine I'd probably give it away because there's nothing there that interests me. I've got my eyes open for a repairable laptop newer than the Pentium III machine I've got, which mostly does what I want but chokes on youtube videos. My 2005 model desktop is fast enough for everything I do.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:42 PM

20. Have you tried Open Office?

Looks pretty good running on Mountain Lion - And would seem to fill your requirements.

Of course it won't open Macintosh Pages, Numbers or Keynote, so it's kind of useless for me except for opening stuff that those three won't touch.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #20)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 07:26 PM

24. Why would Ido that?

I have the CDs for every version of office to2010. I do have Open office on my XP machine. It works, but Office 2000 is far better.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:35 AM

45. Serious question... is it "far better" or are you simply familiar with it?

Is that why you still use Office 2000?

I'm notorious for using old tools. One of the things that attracted me to Linux is that it has all the tools I was familiar with from the original BSD. (I was in the computer lab when they released the second Berkeley Distribution into the wild.)

For my first years in college I wrote everything on a typewriter. My term papers were literally cut and paste and lots of liquid paper. Then I'd neaten them up on the best copy machine I could find in the Student Union. Once or twice professors wanted to see the wrinkled mess that was the original, but I think my writing voice was distinctive enough (for better or worse) that they never doubted the authenticity of my work.

My first "word processor" was vi. Later when I got a printer and a modem for my Atari 800 I used Atariwriter and then Paperclip. No more messy papers. I still have all those files on my current machine and it's trivial to convert them to modern formats, just as it was trivial to convert between vi and atariwriter with a little script from a terminal, or a BASIC program on the Atari.

Later when my wife was in graduate school she started using MacWrite. That was a pain because we couldn't afford a Mac ourselves, but it's also how we created our kid's birth announcement back when computers were still cool. (Now it's cool to make birth announcements by hand.)

Her use of the Mac became a problem when we were home for summers and she still had school projects. My parents had a Mac SE/30, and her parents had a PC. We were staying with her parents so we converted her Mac stuff to PC formats on my parent's machine. Not trivial. I was still using my Atari. I'd modified the drive to write disks which could be read on a PC with a little program I'd written in Turbo-Pascal.

When we could finally afford a PC we used GeoWorks because that was most like the Mac. We still couldn't afford a Mac. Again, converting those files to a modern format is not trivial. Eventually we got a hand-me-down Windows 95 machine. My wife was using Microsoft Office at her work, and she got an academic discount to install it on our home machine. My wife still uses Microsoft at work, but she also has an Android tablet which she plugs a keyboard into when she's writing at home.

I've gone primitive. I pound everything out in plain text with gedit using a version of Markdown. or the same square bracket HTML tags I use here on DU. That's my comfortable writing place, just as I imagine Office 2000 is your comfortable writing place. I write code using gedit too. The highlighting is pretty good.

I generally use Open Office to lift plain text from overly complex Microsoft documents people send me. I'd probably use Word for this if I used Windows. I don't write with Open Office (or it's twin Libre Office) but it still seems to be a complex product that's well supported and evolving, unlike Office 2000. Is there anything you do with Office 2000 that can't be done with Open Office? Is it "far better" or is it what your fingers prefer?

It seems to me that Microsoft and Apple are very good at hooking users into their products. I think there's some habits that need to be broken, a few obvious things like qwerty keyboards, and a few less obvious things like our visualization of text as pages of paper. Ebooks and web pages are nothing like paper and it seems to me the WYSIWYG paper oriented word processors are overly complex and the documents they produce are not reliably converted to modern formats where the size of the page and text is fluid.

I think Donald Knuth got something right with Tex. Let the Author create the content, then let the machine make it into a book, or a website, or an ebook. I have a novel I wrote in college using vi. I'm not going to publish it but I wanted to see what it would like like as an epub. With a few small tweaks it looks great, better on my Kobo than some books I've paid for. Converting it was easy because the original files are so simple. The epub code is very clean. It was the best kind of computer magic.

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Response to hunter (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:25 AM

47. It is far better.

My business is writing. I use the tools in Word to make my work go more smoothly and because just about everyone can open a Word 2000 file. My copy of Word has a large set of macros I've written that handle some tasks for me, especially during proofreading. I also use Word's AutoCorrect feature to swap in often-repeated things to save me from writing them multiple times. For example, instead of typing "Atlantis Pool & Spa", I just type "aps". When I press the spacebar or a punctuation character, Word swaps in the phrase. I have dozens of these, and add new ones with every web site contract I write.

There are many other ways Word works to my benefit. I use its internal bookmark system to create a table of contents for the content of websites I'm writing. That way, the client and the web designer have a quick way to jump to the section they need of the document they need. In some cases, that document will be hundreds of pages long, and without those links it would be impossible to manage.

I use Word's revision marking tools to handle client edits and for version control, too.

I could give many more examples of ways that Word is superior to the word processor in Open Office. For example, I'm currently working on an Ebook. When it's finished, all I have to do is pass the Word document through one of the free conversion programs to instantly turn it into a functional Ebook, complete with all formatting, a table of contents, index, and internal links that make the Ebook more usable.

If someone wants output in html, Word does that very simply. I just save it as an htm file. Everything comes out correctly, from bullet lists to tables. All of the heading styles are correctly put into html format.

Yes, even old Word 2000 is far superior to Open Office.

Thanks for asking.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #47)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 12:58 PM

48. I'm a code guy so I'm always sensitive to what's going on underneath.

Some of these conversion and export tools produce ugly code that is functional on most devices, but not all. I've encountered ebooks that are broken on some readers; filled with mysterious gaps and graphics rendered unreadable. Looking at the source code is an eye-opening experience. Thousands of programmers are working overtime in harsh conditions building ornate monuments upon swamps of fetid code, monuments that will themselves decay and become part of the muck within a few short years.

How have you handled the transition to mobile devices? That broke many sites, including DU2. My personal website, which I opened in 1998, looks great on a mobile device without any changes because I've never used any shiny new tools to write it and I've always paid attention to accessibility issues. When I create new pages I do have spell checking enabled and sometimes I use HTML TIDY, but that's it.

Thanks for taking the time to respond. It's always interesting to see how other people work and what tools they use.


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Response to hunter (Reply #48)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 01:10 PM

49. I don't do any website design. I'm strictly a content writer.

Word 2000's HTML coding is quite clean and follows standard conventions.

My own websites, which are the only ones I've actually designed, were designed to display flawlessly across all browsers, and worked in mobile browsers just fine. They were created in Front Page, but did not use any advanced features of that program. They were as simple as could be made, and always displayed properly.

I'm always aware of compatibility issues in anything I do. I've already tested a number of documents, mostly web site content in the mobile readers, after passing them through a conversion program. Again, I use no advanced Word features, so every one of them made the transition without significant errors. Where display errors occurred, I have corrected my document creation strategies to prevent those issues.

I use all of the time-saving tools in Word, but none of the advanced formatting features. I'm always aware of how stuff works, and work towards compatibility at all times. It's one of the reasons I use Word 2000, instead of more recent versions. Its HTML conversions work and act well in all browsers, as long as you stick to the basics. That also works when converting for e-readers. Even imbedded images, of which I use very few, make the transition just fine. I do have to create my own cover graphics, of course, but that's a simple matter, too.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:19 PM

26. Just fair warning for those of you buying used...

tho some of you should know this, but hard drives are only lasting 3 to 5 years. Laptop drives more like 2 to 3. Of course you can get lucky, but as many as I see, I wouldn't chance it. I fix laptops mostly and other electronics but work in a shop that fixes lots of computers. We see way more bad hard drives in the last few years than we used to. As the drives have gotten bigger,
they have gotten a lot less reliable.

At least make sure you are doing backups if you are relying on a used computer.

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Response to 5X (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:26 PM

27. Have noticed this too. Lucky to get 3, super dooper lucky to get the 5+.

Which makes keeping your most precious files backed-up extremely important.

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Response to 5X (Reply #26)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:12 PM

31. This is the truth. Both my kids have been burned by hard drive failures.

I back up everything aggressively, currently with two USB external drives kept in separate places, and some stuff in various places all over the internet. I usually save things I post to my DU journal too.

Text doesn't take up much room. Much of the space is used by videos of our kids when they were babies and small children, and 8mm movies my grandfather took when me and my siblings were small children.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:28 PM

28. I have a two-year-old Alienware M15X with Windows 7

I've been happy with it. We have bonded and become close, this laptop and me. Short of theft or catastrophic failure, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

The last time I bought a new computer, prior to this one, was my desktop in 2003. The laptop I had before this one was a gift, used, from my mom. I tend to find what works for what I like to do, get a model that will last awhile, and stick with it until it is thoroughly dead.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:14 PM

32. I'm at 9 years with XP too

Though the hard drive containing it has been transplanted into about 2.5 other machines during that time, it's still going strong. I use the hell out of my computer (hence the many transplants!) but I have yet to run into a situation where the OS prevents something from working. I am not into games, for one thing, so I don't have big graphics needs, but I do record music, and tend to have many tasks going at one time.

I have been thinking over the past week about actually buying a new computer, and know I don't want Windows 8. I'm using 7 at work, but I'm not getting anything extra out of it there. I was looking at one or two that had 7, but I was also looking at one that still had XP

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 09:41 PM

35. I home-build my desktop machines.

I get reasonably basass hardware that's not too expensive, I get to put whatever software I want on it, I avoid all the fucking around with bundled crapware, and I know enough about my machine that I can keep it well-tuned.

Currently running Chromium (the open-source flavor of Chrome) on Kubuntu 12.10 - kicks ass!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:11 PM

41. Linux Mint + Chrome + LibreOffice Writer works just as well...

I know you're already set up, but for anyone else who'd like to revive an old machine but doesn't have a Win 7 license... it's so ridiculously easy.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:16 PM

42. I needed a new computer, so my kids decided they'd get me one for Christmas.

I'd been using a 2003 Dell, with XP on it. But when I read the reviews of Windows 8, I decided to go Apple. I didn't want to have to learn a new operating system, which is why I never bothered even to consider Apple before, but if MS was going to force me to learn a new operating system anyway, I figured I might as well go ahead and get an Apple. The kids got me a lovely refurbished iMac.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 03:05 AM

46. then just install Ubuntu and speed up your

old system...

That's what I always do once Windows begins to die on my systems.

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