James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

Loves and hates

Loves and hates

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Yesterday was spent on an18 hour "jaunt" to speak for 90 minutes at an HP event in Portugal. Before I left I Eileen asked why I hadn't responded to her tag with this latest meme

  • name at least 5 programs (web or standalone) that you love that go against the mainstream ( optional - reason why - if possible)
  • name at least 5 programs that you dislike; OSes not included, (optional - reason why - if possible)
  • tag at least 5 other people 
  • Oh boy a blog chain letter. Ho hum. It was one of 10 things I thought I'd try to do on the flight back. Tapping away at 30,000 feet over the bay of biscay with I had ""Music for a found Harmonium" [watch]  on my headphones. It's instant "good mood music" and it was actually quite difficult to narrow down the list to 5 loves.

    5 things I love ...

    I'm going to limit myself to one office product and it really should be Groove. But I have to respond to Eileen and say One note is the best thing we've done in office since we merged Schedule+ and "Exchange" client and called them Outlook. I was in a meeting with Eileen the other day and she was writing on tree corpses; with a pen !. I've now idea how she indexes that. And where does she store all those little scraps of mails and other notes. I've got everything from Job interview notes, via product guides and diving plans, to one line jokes. e.g. "How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hand…"  and when your mobile device has a keyboard One note mobile is a killer app.

    Adobe lightroom. I have a kind of love hate relationship with Adobe. Lightroom feels like it was designed from the ground up for photographers, and probably by photographers. Support for the RAW formats of different cameras is very thorough. The only thing it lacks is clone/healing brush. Although they've been creative with the UI it is for a purpose not for the sake of it unlike their colleagues on the Reader team - I'm on the point of dumping Adobe's PDF reader completely and going over to Foxit (which will be the subject of another post soon).

    Mindgenius. Another piece of software which feels like it was designed for the way I work. I got introduced to Mind Mapping on a course which Microsoft used to send everyone one and it's not something I use every week but it's very useful when I do. And often the results end up in One note (Eileen !)

    Paintshop Pro 5. This is stupid, and Luddite of me because PSP is up to version 10, and I don't like the newer versions. I've tried Somehow the clone brush just works better than the one in Digital image suite, the soften tools work better.

    And I've got to agree with Eileen Wikipedia is a fantastic resource for number 5. Where else would I have learnt about Snowclones while looking up stuff on Orwell. A good place to plug search in IE7. I've got Wikipedia and (tut tut) my own blog on the search bar inIE7.

     

    Now having landed and found that yesterdays post went to the great folder in the sky, [update: Temporatily - it re-appear in Live Writer after I posted the re-typed version. Grrr]  it was time for something a bit more shouty on Windows media player. Motorhead's cover of God Save the Queen [available for free download] should fit the bill. Grrr ... 5 things I hate.

    No future for you ... Any of Pentax's software. A raw file converter that works, but a UI that is a complete disaster. An photo explorer works less well than the one in windows XP, a late Vista codec which doesn't work on 64 bit and remote assistant for the new camera which likewise was late and doesn't work on 64 bit vista.

    Ain't no Human beings...  One note. What ?? After the bouquet for the One Note program a brickbat for failing to produce the print to One Note driver in a 64 bit version. It's a fantastic tool and not having it annoys me. How can I take anyone else to task over missing 64 bit support ?

    Potential H[P] bomb... HP's Vista drivers for the 3970 scanner. Look guys, I bought it to scan Slides, Negatives and Prints, a token driver which only does prints (even a 64 bit one) is a waste of your time and mine.

    Made you a Moron [1]... Changepoint. Changepoint is the time recording software my poor ex-colleagues in Microsoft Consulting Services use. Good time recording software seems to be a contradiction but this combines poor performance, rotten UI, and flawed database scheme to transcend mere badness. Anything that makes Microsoft Consults feel stupid is quite an achievement

     Made you a Moron [2]... Flash web sites. This isn't an attack on flash as a technology, but on the people who use it as a substitute for content. I don't give a tinkers cuss how clever your web site designer was, all I care about is content content and content. Flash has become the tool of choice for people who want to make their ads as annoyingly intrusive as possible - thank heavens for IE7 Pro even if is unfinished.

    Now who to tag hmmm. Steve, Sharon, Darren (for Office), Ned (Stretching 'Friend' but Pentax should have a chance to respond) and Mark

    Comments
    • My wife, a computational linguist, is compiling a database of snowclones at http://snowclones.org/.

    • Snowclones - brilliant. Isn't it great when someone invents a term and you not only get it immediately but wonder why it took someone so long to come up with the term.

      Of course, I thought the term "Snowclone" originally came from Calvin & Hobbes but I misremembered, and these were in fact "snow goons"...

      As I've been tagged, I guess I need to post my response on the mostly books blog, is that it?

    • Yes folks they're all part of life's weird tapestry as a British Microsoft employee at a Microsoft event

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