After not having the time and brain power at the same time for much too long, I have finally gotten my new laptop set up and have switched over from the old one. Man, what a difference! No hanging up! No lagtime! No sticky keys from where I spilled lemonade a week after I got the old one!
In the process of setting up and installing various things, I figured I’d give a tip of the hat to a few tools I find useful. Maybe you will too.
The biggest one is f.lux. This little bitty program does a wonderful thing, at least for people like me who stay on the computer late into the evening: it automatically (and gradually) shifts the color value of your screen from cool (blues) to warm (reds) as evening approaches. You’ve probably seen articles talking about how staring at a screen can affect your sleep, like this recent one? Well, f.lux is the fix. I know I noticed a definite change after I started using it, especially in finding it easier to fall asleep quickly.
Dropbox is a given, of course. I have an external hard drive and used that to back up the old computer completely before doing the transfer, but getting the bulk of my files moved over was as easy as installing Dropbox, signing in, and waiting for everything to sync. All my working files are right where I need them, with automatic online backup so I don’t even have to think about it. Huge help.
Browser of choice is Chrome, though why it imported bookmarks from my phone but not from the old laptop is a mystery. (And dammit, I forgot again to port them over when I was grabbing the last few files from the old machine. Sigh.)
My sister had already installed Office 365 when she got her new computer not long ago, so I’m using a second installation on mine. So far, so good. It looks somewhat different, but the basics are the same, and so far files are opening fine. There’s also cloud backup, and it’s the full Office suite, so if I want to do something crazy like build a database, I’m set. 😉
I haven’t set up Evernote yet because I’m going to try out OneNote first, but if I don’t like it, back to Evernote I’ll go.
I have not yet decided what to do about Adobe software. I had an old installation of Creative Suite 3, which was fine for my needs, so I might reinstall that and go with it. Creative Cloud is probably awesome, but the price is prohibitive for the small amount of use it would get. There’s a chance another project I work on might provide access, so I’ll probably just limp along without it until I know what’s going to happen there.
Things I immediately added to the quick launch bar and/or start menu: Word, Chrome, Spider Solitaire. Priorities: I haz them. 😉
And… I think that’s it. I’m going to add an ad blocker, and the computer came with a McAfee trial but I’ll probably switch back to TrendMicro when that expires. Otherwise? I seem to have a fully operational battlestation on my hands. I’ll try to resist firing the primary weapon in your direction. 😀
Image courtesy of sixninepixels / FreeDigitalPhotos.net