It has been a manic month, both at home and at work, and I can’t believe it is nearly a month since I last blogged. But then, thanks to the luscious spring weather, one minute it feels like June and the next (i.e. last weekend) if feels like March…

The next post was due to be the final part on taxonomy, then I thought I might post some links/comments that have been gathering offline.

Then I caught up on Microsoft blogs and discovered that I had been tagged to do a meme… over a week ago. Oops! Soz James. I’m not a fan of chain letters, i.e. those vicious little scams that say you’ll be flying with fairies if you pass the letter on or be demonised to infinity and beyond if you don’t. But memes are usually harmless fun and it can be interesting reading different experiences. This one is software you love or hate

So, with the Apple on DVD duty (I am attempting to watch 28 Days Later, with a view to going and watching 28 Weeks Later with a friend next week, who swears it isn’t scary – I am a complete wimp when it comes scary movies), here goes…

(final warning – I haven’t been doing much blog reading of late, so have no idea if what I am about to write is the blinkin’ obvious and overly repeated)

Apparently, I am supposed to name 5 programs I love that go against the mainstream and 5 programs I dislike (shouldn’t be difficult… 😉 )

5 programs I love (and use alot)…

  • Excel – probably classed as mainstream but having used a spreadsheet over the years for various non-numeric roles, including time management, Xmas card lists, help desk application, designing prototypes… the list goes on, I’d be lost without a spreadsheet. Excel is the current program of choice, the new visualisations are just lov-er-ly. Its long ago predecessor was good ol’ Lotus 1-2-3 and before that, if memory serves correct, was SuperCalc
  • SharpReader – it was the first news reader I installed and I still haven’t found anything to justify replacing it. Syncs my feeds offline, great for catching up on news and opinions when disconnected from the net
  • Wikipedia – copying James and Eileen here. It’s without parallel for finding out stuff you didn’t know you didn’t know, and is increasingly my start point (instead of Google) for information searches

(interlude – yikes, this 28 Days Later is a bit grim)

  • TomTom – no more near crashes whilst trying to scan a paper map in the middle of a busy city 🙂 and it runs on my old iPaq. Funny, but satellite navigation is like troubleshooting networks – it’s always the last mile that is the problem. My pet whinge – locating the car park when I’m being told I have already reached my destination
  • – no more making a purchase without first checking what other people think, thanks to customer reviews on Amazon

5 programs I hate (but can’t avoid)… and, apparently, OSes are excluded

  • Real Player – I’ve got the blasted thing installed purely because BBC requires it for radio show playback… and blinkin’ Amazon uses it too for playing clips from CDs. It’s buggy, keeps trying to download more gumpff… yuk! (and I don’t care if they’re in the middle of promoting some new whizzy YouTube download feature)
  • 3rd party drivers – I’m with Eileen on this one. The majority of my PC problems arise from 3rd party drivers…
  • DRM and the stupid warnings played before you can watch your DVD – anti-piracy measures are easily broken by pirates and treat paying consumers like we are criminals. Wrong, wrong, wrong
  • Spam – Killing email. Why oh why oh why does anyone respond to it and help justify its existence?
  • Vista + projector – OK, so OSes are supposed to be excluded. But having had 2 projectors in a row refuse to work with Vista, even with resolution down to 800×600, I’m faced with having to downgrade my demo laptop back to WindowsXP. I’d rather stick with Vista but its useless if it won’t work reliably with projectors

Interestingly, it was a lot easier to name 5 programs I like (in fact, there were a few others I’d like to have included – Visio, YouTube and Flickr for starters) than it was to come up with five I don’t. I guess if you don’t like it, you just don’t use it…

So the final part of this is that I am supposed to tag 5 more people. Think I’ll skip on that and risk the demons. I’m late to the game (nothing new there) and haven’t got time to first check if who I’d list has already done it…


Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Some of these are great programs.

  2. Notice how your spam is way down? Feds caught "The Spam King", Robert Soloway on May 31. It is amazing that one person in jail can half the amount of spam received! Here is a link to an article about him:

  3. dont know why but… bring up the mobility centre and turn on the projector from there. Projectors in castle you know where have worked using this method… 🙂

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