Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Mashups

Yahoo Pipes - a mashup variation on an RSS Feed aggrigator. Put together your own Feed and set up filters to remove the stuff you don't want.

Doggdot.us - this one is a mashup of Digg, Slashdot, and Del.icio.us. For those of you who like those guys someone has them together in one place.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hmmm, rumors

I've run across several podcasts, blogs and other resources talking about Google's newest MS Office wannabe, Presently. But in searching Google all I find is other people talking about it, Google is absolutely mum, so I'm beginning to think this one is just rumor. First of all, I wonder why Google would call this one Presently when they call the former Writely just plain Docs. For Presently to make sense Writely should have kept it's name and Spreadsheets should have been Excellently, Additionally, or Summarily perhaps?

I have used Spreadsheets and Docs and like them both somewhat but neither is quite an Office killer. I really can't see a corporation using them when almost any corp has Office and major co

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Microsoft Office 2007

Okay, I have it, they gave full licenses to attendees of the Launch event in January at the Convention Center. You download the demo but the license you got at the event removes the restrictions and time limits, woohoo. I was rather surprised at the download rate since I was doing it through the WiFi at ImaginOn, on a weekend when we were full of MySpace and YouTube users.

All I can say is, forget everything you know about Office! Or at least where all the tools are. They did away with the Menu and made it all tabs with bigger icons for the tools. No, you don't lose screen real estate as instead of the Menu Bar you now have a group a tabs and each tab has it's own set of tools. They also changed a few shortcuts so be prepared there too. For long time Office users there will be a delay while relearning but from what I can see it seems to be more intuitive. So new users may find they are learning faster and can get more done. Sigh, I'm teaching Office 2003 this month to Home Schooled children and am having to really work at keeping from using 2007 from my laptop instead of 2003 like they will have on their computers.

I feel sorry for all the Technology teachers who are still catching up on the 2000 to XP to 2003 upgrades.

The only other comment I can make right now is they are continuing the trend to have most of the clipart and templates available online only. In fact I'm not sure they have as many as the minimal clipart in the compact load of Office 95 (you only got about 40 but files were available for another 400). Of course, this might just be since I got it free for attending the event and didn't buy the discs. But I haven't done that since Office 97. My husband is pretty tolerant of my interest in keeping up with computers but I do have to set a spending limit and the MacBook blew the whole budget for a while.

Google news

First you'll never guess the most popular Google Search term. It's


Yep people are going to one search giant to find the other.

Google is also putting more pressure on Microsoft with another addition to Docs (formerly Writely) and Spreadsheets. So far this one is only getting mention in Google's blog and some blogs and podcasts that follow it. I got this from CNet's Buzz Out Loud podcast. At present, (pardon the pun) it's called


Okay, I don't think it's original either but what can I say. I checked and it's not in Google Labs yet but I promise to try it once it is available. Google is rapidly becoming one of my favorite one stop web spots.

Upgrades, arrgh!

I'm back after a hiatus to catch up on other areas of my life, including a 3 week visit over Christmas from our daughter who is spending a year in Norway.
This brings Skype to mind. This is a rapidly evolving company. Around Christmas they had an upgrade to version 2. It introduced video calls! I had expected loss of quality and was happy that the audio is just as good even if I did add video to the mix. I will admit the video is rather jumpy and low resolution but hey it's free and let's us talk for hours about a third of the way around the earth! The important part is that the voice is as good or better than a land based phone across town. Adding the video is not quite the same as being with her but it's sure close. Now for the arrgh. They just released version 3! This one allows desktop sharing, a shared whiteboard, conference calls, and a ton of mashups and widgets from the web, they are also offering some Web 2.0 services of their own to compete with other services out there like Picasa, Flickr, etc. From what I can tell this is rapidly becoming a Web 2.0/3.0 product. I have to admit that many of the new products only work on Windows so I'm safe from them but can anyone keep up here?

Of course as hard as it is to keep up with Skype, last night I discovered that there is no keeping up with Flash. Several kids regularly go to Disney.com to play online games at ImaginOn. This is a very popular site for younger kids but last night it was no go at the library. Disney has bought into the latest version of Flash and we are a version behind. I put in a Help Desk Ticket about it and it seems we had been running Flash 7 up until very recently when we were upgraded to 8. I guess Disney skipped right over 8 and went straight to 9 because they won't let you do anything on their site without upgrading to 9. All you can do is click on the download the upgrade link. Poor IT, when a high demand online service does this, we are forced to ask to respond.