Madman's current computers & related

Last updated mid 2008. If you are reading this after Dec 2008- it is guaranteed out of date! Sorry.

OFFICE

I currently use Office 2003 and I'm looking forward to upgrading to the new office - but I probably won't until I get my next laptop. First let me say, I am a big Fan of Microsoft software, and I have been happy with every upgrade of MS-Office  except XP. But, with Office 2007 - I don't have an opinion yet.:

One other comment (and yes this and the comment before have been given to Microsoft): If you have relative hyperlinks in your document, the Microsoft file recovery completely destroys every single one. For techies: A relative hyperlink starts with ./ - now. So, for instance, consider a file c:\mydocuments\abc.doc with a hyperlink .\def.doc. This refers to c:\mydocuments\def.doc. When the file is "recovered" the link is left character for character at .\def.doc, so it is now trying to refer to some document c:recoverydirectory\def.doc. When you say "yup, I want that file" Word's recovery moves it into c:\mydocuments, but "fixes" the hyperlink so it now reads ..\recoverydirectory\def.doc. The result is that every relative hyperlink is destroyed and you manually have to fix every single one.

CONCLUSION: DO NOT USE OFFICE RECOVERY if you have hyperlinks. (And I heavily use hyperlinks.)

Is it impossible to fix? No. Microsoft is already storing tons of recovery details. All they would have to add is the directory it started out in. This would be an easy fix if they ever decided it was worth fixing. And no, I don't know if Office 2007 has fixed it.

OPERATING SYSTEM

Well, I said I'd upgrade to Vista as soon as it came out. I haven't gotten around to that yet. Still working on Windows XP. Vista is being used on a couple of our other computers and the biggest problem is software and hardward compatibility. It is at SP1 but I'm not rushing to upgrade just yet.

My main computer: Dell INSPIRON 9400

Some of the following is out of date (Mid 2008) ... maybe someday I'll update the whole document again.

DESKTOPS (A quad pack of computers)

Madman Special/32&33 - My secondary computers. These are actually a pair of computers with a switch box that switches my screen/kb/mouse between them

A fifth old computer is dedicated to scanning, true photo quality printing & photo editing.

Backup LAPTOP, actually my wife uses this one almost exclusively now.

Dell Laptop, 1.4Mhz, 512Meg, 40GigHD, 17.1" screen, high resolution, very bright, very wide reading range. Dual screen capability. Wireless connection. CD Writer. Runs fairly smooth, but Office XP doesn't do well when the network is "lost" and regained a few seconds later. Frequently I have to reboot to get the laptop computer back on the wireless LAN. Oh well, it is still a lot better than having a wire everywhere.

PALM SIZED

2004: Palm type: I decided against a PowerPC because the main things I need in my pocket are notes, contacts, tasks and spreadsheet. I bought my Palm type a year before I got the laptop, so that logic applied back then too. Anything much more significant and I am going to want a full laptop not a underachiever-smallscreen- poorkeyboard PC. BUT! to be fair it wasn't an easy decision. The deciding factor: My Handera, with rechargable NiMH batteries goes 3 weeks between battery recharge. The PowerPC I reallly wanted (biggest, fastest, most memory) went only 6 to 18 hours between charges. I carry my "palm" with me everywhere - I don't know how I lived without it!

To be honest, now that I finally have a laptop, I really don't use the palm type that much anymore.

2005: OK. I'm converted. I use a PPC Phone now instead of my Palm. Deciding factor: It is 100x's easier to write custom programs for the PPC using Dot NET in Visual Studio. And yes, I've done a lot of programming with both. My first app, which still has features I'd like to add some day, is a calculator with multiple regisers and other goodies. See the business section for more. The PPC is much better syncing with Outlook than the Palm was (the palm has limits of 15 all over the place, and in several of them, I have 16 to 20 categories in Outlook.) As for the battery. While I'd love it to last longer, they now come with memory-less lithium Ion batteries, much better than even NiMH and if I need to, i can charge it through the USB port on my laptop. So... I no longer use or like the Palm.

Here are the things I most use it for:

2006: It looks like I'll be upgrading in July or August to a PPC with a slide out (sideways) keyboard.

Desires:

Are those all the your computers?

No, of course not. I have more that are in active use, primarily for testing different browsers/versions and I plan more!  One in the Kitchen, One on another desk, and I "borrow" the kids computers for testing  Actually truth be known, I let the kids use my other computers when I don't need them. Work needs override even homework, but that conflict doesn't happen more than once every couple years.