Monday, April 16, 2012

Microsoft Office 2010 Starter

I hadn’t heard of Microsoft Office 2010 Starter until I saw it included with a laptop computer I was looking at online. I’ve been using libreOffice exclusively for some time and have grown to enjoy using it, but I was curious to see exactly what this starter version of office was. So with a few searches on the internet I was able to find that Microsoft decided to get rid of Works -which just sucked anyway- and to add a version of Word and Excel that do not have all of the features of the paid version. They also included a little rotating advertisement in the bottom right side of the screen.

To tell you the truth I do like using Word and Excel but the price of $100 to purchase them is excessive. If the price for a home version were more on the line of $29 then I would be happy to fork over the money to pay for it, but when I can get a full blown compatible office suite for free why would I spend $100 per computer to do so. This brings me to 2010 Office Starter.

First off the things that are missing from starter I don’t use anyway. Starter is missing the ability to use pivot tables in Excel, and the ability to see revision history in Word. Those missing features are no big deal to me at all. The advertisement in the bottom right hand corner doesn’t bother me either. So to tell you the truth I’m pretty happy with it. If I really wanted to upgrade to the full blown Office program I could by buying it for $100 but I won’t. If I really need to do a Power Point presentation I will do it in LibreOffice.

I think it’s smart of Microsoft to provide this with new computers. With so many free ways to create documents using free software or online with sites like Google Docs they needed to do something to stay relevant to the average user.   Microsoft only provides Office 2010 Starter preinstalled on new machines, but they don’t care if it’s copied. It will only run on Windows Vista and Windows 7. You can download it here, click on the rectangular box under Microsoft Windows Starter 2010, and start using it.

Have fun. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What Are My Computer's Specifications?

It will happen, one day you will want to sell your old faithful Windows based computer to buy something new. Yes, you could donate it to Goodwill or some other charitable organization, but you may want to sell it.

So how do you figure out what you actually have? If someone reads your ebay or craigslist advertisement for your computer you will need to put the specification in it. Here are two Free programs that will do just that.

Speccy will tell you all sorts of essential information about your computer. Here are a few:
  • Processor brand and model
  • Hard drive size and speed
  • Amount of memory (RAM)
  • Graphics card
  • Operating system
  • And much more
Speccy will also tell you what temperature your computer is running at, and many other things that a potential buyer might ask. It will also save a screen shot so you can add it to your advertisement.

For a more comprehensive report you may want to check out Belarc Adviser. It's free and will even tell you service packs you have installed and software license numbers. Both are great programs and the price is right, FREE.