[lit-ideas] Re: I need advice/input...

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2008 08:26:09 -0700



I have Office 2007 & Vista on both my desktop and laptop - and if I had to
do it all over again I would use Office 2003 and Windows XP.   If I was
trying to keep the cost as low as possible, I'd use Windows XP Pro and Open
Office (which is free) & Eudora (which is free).


However, the big danger I see in your future is . . . backup.  I have for
years gotten the latest everything and had a zillion crashes.  I have a
nephew who is a computer nerd, who manages a computer system for a company.
He is the one who has talked me into using the latest everything, but he
agrees, Vista has too many problems.  Windows XP would be better.  Except I
already have Vista and it would be too big a hassle to change back to XP


In regard to Office 2007, I only use Outlook 2007 and so can't speak about
the other elements, but Outlook 2007 has been crashing, in its own way
daily.  It has a problem with the viewing pane.  If you set it up so you
view emails on the right side, sometimes it doesn't like that and crashes -
very slowly, fading out and making you wait for it to finally go so you can
start it up again.  My nephew has had similar problems; although not quite
mine.  My problem may be associated with the combination of Vista (the way
it is set up on my computer) & Office 2007.  


Back to backup.  Since I have lost data over the years, I am paranoid about
backup.  I have both a desktop and a laptop.  My laptop is a big one, a 17
inch HP with Vista & Office 2007.   If I'm doing a lot of serious writing, I
prefer the laptop, but for most things I use my desktop - when it is working
properly.  I backup data from my desktop to my laptop and to a couple of
hard-drive I keep for backup.


I have the additional problem.  Susan has a desktop and a laptop.  The last
thing I had go out was my router . . . but if you have only one office to
worry about, you wouldn't need a router.  However, if you are upgrading an
old computer with more RAM and a better Operating System, you will need
backup.  How big is your hard drive?  You can get an enclosure with 750 GBs
for about $115 if you check around.


The problem with Open office (the free equivalent of Microsoft Office 2007
or 2003, can't tell) is that it has no email utility.  However, you could
get Eudora, which is also free - except I can't recall if that has a


I am going to put Office 2003 back on my desktop and see if I can get it to
accept my Office 2007 emails.  If not, I shall probably delete everything
from Office 2007 except Outlook and just keep that as an archive for emails.


Of course your problems may vary, if you insist on staying with Microsoft
(as opposed to Apple).  Vista has a good backup utility, better than Windows
XP Pro.


If I had to have just one computer, I would make it a brand new one and hope
it lasted at least two years - otherwise, two computers and lots of backup. 


Lawrence Helm

San Jacinto


From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Julie Krueger
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 4:08 AM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] I need advice/input...


Okay, guys.  I need some input.

It be that time again ....meaning time to stop trying to upgrade hardware
and break down and purchase yet  another new computer.

Actually 2 new computers -- one for home and one for a business.

Essentially  laptop vs. desktop is the central issue.

List members I know have some similar general situations in terms of work
space (home to office, file sharing, etc.) to what I'm encountering and I'd
love to know what works best for you, warnings from your bad experiences,
notices of your good forays through the swamp of technology.

I've been doing a couple-month stint as Interim Administrator/Consultant for
the local Synagogue. The previous Administrator had been in place for 11
years.  She was not as technologically aware as a business office needs one
to be these days.  She purchased a new computer for the office 4 years ago.
It has 248 MB RAM.  Yup, you read that right.  the MS Office software
installed is Office 97.

I have persuaded the Board that a new computer with 1 or 2 GB of RAM and an
installation of Office 2007 is, well, IMPERATIVE.

For $500 or so I could get a desktop for the office that would have adequate
spec's for their needs.

At home, I've been monkeying around with my computer access.  I finally gave
in and cut land-lines (the local phone company is just untenable at this
point -- I'm sure Southwest Bell, CenturyTel, etc. are rapidly going the way
of the dinosaurs -- the TMobile ad that's been running on TV is kinda
interesting).  Right now I'm using a wireless configuration on an old,
inadequate laptop, and a Motorola Moto Q smart-phone (which I'm borderline
in love with),running Windows Mobile.  I use gmail (and attendant branches
such as google docs, etc.), and try to utilize web-based app's as much as

I'm likely going to be doing part-time Consulting for the Shul for sometime,
but prefer to do as much of it remotely as possible.  The Shul's e-mail is
also web-based, which helps.

Here's what I keep running up against when I'm choosing new computers for
the Shul, and for myself personally.

Laptops which are available now have (as far as I can determine from
advertised spec's) equivalent capabilities to desktops (which I'm thinking
are going to go the way of mainframes).  Question:  what pragmatic
advantages are there to using a desktop rather than a laptop?  I am fairly
certain I'm going to go the way of the laptop for my personal use -- a new
one using the same wireless configuration.  I can't, off-hand, think of any
drawbacks -- on the other hand, I'm labouring under sleep deprivation and
lack of experience with utilizing a laptop exclusively.

Security issues are the only things I can think of that would be issues at
the Shul office re. laptop vs. desktop.  I'm inclined to go w/ desktop.  Are
there any good reasons to choose a laptop over a desktop???

I can access much of what I need to of office files from my laptop.  Flash
drives and web app's help a good deal (e.g., folks attach Word documents
created in current versions to e-mails which they send to the office.  The
MS Office 97 installed will not read them, but if I open them as a Google
Document and it works beautifully).  How long is it going to be until
packages like MS Office are a thing of the past?  The cost of Office 2007
isn't horrid -- $500 roughly -- but if there's a web-based alternative it
would be pretty cool.  One thing that is in pretty constant demand in the
office is desk-top publishing.  I'm leaning strongly toward Office 2007
simply because our website will export its calender to Outlook, allowing
access to the Administrator, Secretary, and Rabbi for appointment setting,
etc.  I haven't used MS Publisher -- the thing is set up to use PageMaker,
but I've heard good things about Publisher.  I thinKkI'd like to move stuff
like newsletters to publisher, as it could integrate data with Outlook
(calendering, e.g)  The current set-up at the Shul is horribly splintered --
data like event information, calendering, congregation database info, etc.
are all in different "places" and there is a monstrous problem with double,
triple data-entry.  File sharing and integrating data in a way which is
accessible for all the various purposes (the same data should be available
to the e-mail setup, the desktop publishing, the
reminders/alerts/calendering, etc.) is my goal.  Seamless integration rocks.

I'm kinda free-floating ideas here, cuz my experience with this list tells
me someone is going to mention options and issues I haven't thought of <g>.

All of a sudden I'm in a Cheers mood ....."where everybody knows your
name...."  Ah...cyber communities are lovely.

Julie Krueger

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