May 22, 2007

Don't get comfortable...yet.

Most people get comfortable using something they started with. The person who cuts your hair, your mechanic and that first girlfriend who gained 80 lbs since you first met-- these are all examples of why people will continue on with something comfortable even though better options exist. The same is true for computer users.

As a Mac geek trying to explain why Windows is clunky and horrible in comparison, I tend to realize this about people quite often. So if you've been waiting for an excuse to explore other options, consider this post as a guiding force during your journey. Here are three computing changes that will make life easier...

E-mail - Google Gmail.
Replaces: campus mail, AOL mail, etc.
If your using AOL (like my parents still do), you're probably still getting hassled by large amounts of spam messages and congruently suffering from the endless reply (re:re:re:re:). It's time to make a change. I suggest Google's gmail because no one does it better. But if you must have reasoning behind your change then understand that both of the aforementioned problems will be solved. If you are the type that tends to reply to emails so often that you might as well call it a conversation...well Google beat you to the punch. It treats each email as if it were a specific conversation. So when you hit reply the tenth time, it'll appear as one group of messages rather than 15 with text copy added to it for miles. It makes navigation much easier. But you can also easily add contacts, create labels for emails and archive. Why is archiving important? Say you don't need an email at the moment but would like to keep it off to the side, rather than deleting. Archive button. Want to come back to it later? No problem, just search for it. Gmail is amazing, now moving on...

Web Browser - Firefox
Replaces: Internet Explorer
Do you get curious as to what the hell that orange and blue icon does on your coworkers desktop. You know, the one next to the blue "e" Icon? G'head, click it. It's every bit as good as the ol' reliable a.k.a. Internet Explorer. Firefox will make your computer run web pages faster, but that's actually not the best thing does. Since its an open source program, it means you can customize it to your liking. Thousands of geek from all over the world decided to write code, altering the Web browser because it makes their lives easier. And since they're usually pretty nice guys and gals, they share it will the public. One particular perk is never seeing ads when visiting Web sites. It does this through an extension (add-on) called adblock plus. Firefox can also clear my history every time I log out of my computer, which prevents spyware from combing through my personal information and protects against identity theft. Once you figure out how to use the add-ons, you'll be addicted in no time....Oh and one more notable feature: there's also tabbed browsing, which I hear ol' reliable has now too. Check it out, it's so much more than I can even bother to type.

Pictures - Flickr
Replaces: That huge pile of CDs you burned to save pictures digitally.
Flickr is a site that allows you to load an unlimited amount of pictures to their site free of charge. You can also set the file type, picture size, and create albums for groups of shots. Its free and easy to navigate through. Plus, you can share all your pictures with the rest of the world if you want. It's pretty handy. However, one annoying thing is that you must now sign up for a Yahoo ID because they just got bought out by the corporate giant. But it is still a worthy web application.

No comments: