Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Word About Chromebox and Chromebook

With Google introducing the Chromebox I think Google is finally getting the Chrome OS almost where it needs to be to really take off. The Chromebox is an inexpensive desktop that could easily take care of the needs of the average computer user, or be used in many functions in a company. Chromebook is the laptop version. The one big gripe bout these machines in the past was not being able to work on a Google document offline. But it looks like Google is addressing this issue.

The thing that I like the most about these Chrome machines is the mistake proofing that is inherent in them. They are really hard to screw up. This means less IT time supporting these machines at your company, or less calls from grandma wondering what to do with her system that's full of malware. I'll be watching how this goes and maybe these will be the machines my kids use to so homework on in the future.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cozi a great way to keep your family organized for free

Keeping all of the things that go into keeping a family running is a chore. Wouldn't it be nice to have something that actually made it easier? Well then you might want to take a look at Cozi. Cozi is not only a family calendar but also a Shopping, Meal Planning, and To Do list all -in-one dynamo that makes keeping track of everything easy for everyone in the family.

I've tried using programs like Google calendars to do the same thing but they are really geared toward business. Cozi's calendar is like the family calendar I have on the wall, but instead of a column for each family member it has a colored dot that I can assign the same event to different people. Cozi also sends out reminder before events to help keep you on track. I find it very easy to use an intuitive.

The Shopping list is great. my wife can access the list and add things instead of dropping pieces of paper on my desk to keep track of. The meal planning is very handy when you are trying to come up with meals for a week. You can link recipes that you find on the web and you can even have Cozi add ingredients to your shopping list.

Anyway check it out at cozi.com

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Are you looking for an alternative program or website?

If you are then alternativeTo.net is the place for you. I'm not sure how I found this site but it has become one of my favorites. Recently I needed to find a better de-fragmentation program for my son's computer. He had almost filled the 120GB hard drive with games and there was only 20% of the drive space free, and that was very fragmented. I fired up the program that comes with Windows XP called "disk defragmenter" and had it start working on the drive. After a short time the program came back with a message telling me that it couldn't finish the job and that most of the drive was still fragmented.

This was unacceptable to me so I decided to see what else was out the that could help me fix this problem, that's when I turned to alternativeTo.net. I typed in "disk defragmenter" and it gave me a list of programs that it thought were a match. I looked down the list and I could see numbers next to programs that people had voted for. It uses like buttons like the ones in Facebook. There were some interesting tools listed and I spotted  Auslogics Disk Defrag with 78 likes. I had used this program before, and it had worked reasonably well for me but I was hoping to find something different. I clicked on Auslogics Disk Defrag and alternativeTo gave me a list of alternative programs to Auslogics Disk Defrag. On this new list was Defraggler with 308 likes, and under the name was a link to the website, so I gave it a click and it brought me to Piriform's website. I had used some of their other free software in the past so I knew this was a good choice to try.

Defraggler took a few hours to clean up the hard drive mess on my son's computer and it did a great job. I think it would have taken me longer to find this program if I hadn't used alternativTo, and with the instant feedback using "likes" I was able to make a quick judgment as to whether or not I wanted to try it. It didn't give me the alternative I wanted on the first click but on the second it did. I have to give alternativeTo a big thumbs up as well as Defraggler for helping me to solve my problem.