Monday, October 17, 2011

Let's Talk Computers

I don’t remember exactly when I purchased my Dell laptop, but it’s about as old as my son. Four may be a golden age for children, but it’s leaden for laptops. My programs were crashing all the time, I was having trouble with the Sleep and Hibernation modes (I’d wind up rebooting anyway), and most ominous of all, the hard drive was too quiet. Figuring a hard drive crash was just waiting to happen, I decided I’d better replace my laptop sooner instead of later. So I did a little research and bought a HP Pavilion from Best Buy. It has at least twice the RAM of my old laptop, over six times the hard drive space, and cost a lot less. If only everything else in life improved in quality and price over time like computers.

I remember the last time I bought a computer, I had to buy a special program to set up the new one. I had to hook up the two computers and let them sync up overnight to transfer my files. This time, the new laptop came with a Windows Easy Transfer program. I was able to transfer the bulk of my files in a couple of hours via my external hard drive. Some things didn’t survive the necessary program conversion/transfer, and I still need to see if I can import my e-mails from the old computer. But for the most part, the transition has been pretty easy.

So, what programs do you consider vital for a writer to have on her computer? I still have to upgrade the trial version of Word, but I do have Calibre, Dropbox, Overdrive, and a trial version of Photoshop Elements. What else do you recommend?


Rogue Mutt said...

My netbook just has Word on it. Anything else I use the desktop one for. Other than Photoshop Elements though I don't know what any of those programs you mentioned are.

Connie Keller said...

Yay on the HP purchase. I have an HP pavillion laptop that's over six years old. It's still working great, and I love it. (Though I do need to buy a new battery.)

I don't have any suggestions as to software programs. As long as I have Word and photo software, I'm good to go.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Rogue: Sorry, I should have explained those programs in my blog post. Calibre is an e-book management system (and it can be used to convert Word files into e-books), Dropbox is a place where you can back up important files, and Overdrive is a program you can use to borrow e-books from the library.

Connie: Good to hear the HPs last a long time!

David Powers King said...

Ever heard of WordWeb? It's a free download. Click on any word on the screen and a little dictionary box pops up and tells you what it means. It provides synonyms, too. I love it! :)

Maria Zannini said...

I couldn't live without Photoshop. But Gimp is supposed to be pretty good and that's free.

I use the whole Microsoft Outlook family regularly too: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

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