Trying out alternatives
May 10, 2008
This started as a comment on Martin’s post about problems with Vista but grew a bit too long so I have put it here.
I have too many machines (can you have too many ) the one I use most is the MacBook (especially now I have discovered it is Unix really), then the little Linux Asus which is an amazing blend of very easy to use and versatility, last my Vaio with XP (in a cupboard at work for the last month). There are a few applications that are handy for the PC but otherwise somehow it isn’t the best to use. The best free stuff is in the Unix world – Mac and Linux give you access. The advantage of the the PC used to be that you didn’t need to think about how it works – but with online updates and validations then it looks like you do. I am also looking at alternatives for Word at the moment so MS is becoming less important for me – because things do not interoperate fully rather than down on the applications themselves. If Word had an uncluttered export of HTML or XML then I would be happy sticking stuff in it, but it doesn’t so that generates a whole new job of reformatting, cutting and pasting, and general fiddling with documents that should not be there. This really hits me in my role as a journal editor.
So at the moment I feel my world may be in transition and I have been trying out some alternatives – XML editors, LaTeX, Google Docs, etc. I will try to write more later but i am feeling a pull away from the institutional preferences towards alternative application mixes – and just if you are like Martin and your Vista machine refuses to let you do anything!