How web apps and OSS can help you kick the habit too
So last weekend I bought a new laptop on sale at CompUSA. It was a really great deal - powerful or so I thought until I took a look at Vista installed on it. It can't go back to Windows XP / 2000 as there are no OEM drivers for those OSs.
But, I thought, what the heck it's just for some basic "around the house" work - web and document editing.
But after a weekend of playing with it I've realized - finally - after 12 years (since Windows 95) that the Windows OS is not just failing to get better it's getting worse - "Do you wish to open this application" - "Of course I do I clicked the freakin' button didn't I".
It takes forever to shut-down and start-up - despite uninstalling the bloat-ware. Windows Media Player is almost useless for playing DVDs (missing codecs etc.)
Anyway I've been using Google Docs, Google reader etc. for some time so I'm not installing MS Office despite having access to an MSDN license and I'm ditching IE for Firefox (so many great tools for it).
I'll stick with Vista cos the Laptop is jointly being used by "civilians" who understandably don't want to be learning a new OS when Windows took them a decade to figure out. Anyway there's something to be said for knowing how to work around Window's quirks (or are they features?)
I've configured Vista to look more like Windows "Classic" as the Vista look-and-feel is just too busy - flashy - looks great - but I just want to find a file dammit!
And where has the "Open with . . . " right click option gone?!?!?!
So it was fortunate timing that Lifehack had a recent blog entry citing a great Mashable.com resource
Replacing Microsoft Apps with Web Apps
(Here's the direct Mashable link)
a nice follow-on to another blog entry they had entitled
Top 10 Microsoft Alternatives
Now if only I could get a desktop widget to remind me of my Google Calendar entries I'd be all set.
Oh and BTW if you are not subscribed to Lifehack.org's RSS - do so now - it's got an incredibly wide array of productivity tips and advice every day - certainly the most useful blog I subscribe to and the one I read first (if pressed for time) and last (if I have lots of time and want to savor the anticipation of what they will teach me next).
Some people I'm sure are way ahead of me on this (switching to Mac OS/X and Ubuntu and totally have kicked the M$ habit) but I tend to one of the early majority when it comes to adoption of new technologies (sometimes I'm an early adopter if I can quickly see the benefit - typically via a good blog review from someone I respect).