Saturday, May 23, 2009

Microsoft Office 2007 on an Old Computer

My compter, as you probably know already if you read my past posts, is extremely old and out of shape. So now and then I try to see how it handles with different programs. This time I wanted to try running Office 2007.

I won't put screenshots, detailed benchmarks or whatever--because they don't really matter in this case. Office 2003 was OK on my computer, but it seems Office 2007, however sluggish, it holds some new features and performance fixes that makes it worth the upgrade. If my computer can handle it--so can yours.

I don't use Word anymore, and Google Docs gives me a nice alternative to Excel. So the only thing left to compare is PowerPoint.

PowerPoint 2003 | Loading all of those complex drawings and clipart, viewing many slides at once using the layouts and switching between them were a nightmare. Especially when there are many large images and other stuff. And when I actually present a slideshow it's not that great neither.

PowerPoint 2007 | Surprisingly, it performed much better than 2003. I could clearly see that they made many of their basic functions faster, including the creation of slide thumbnails. Even though the UI can take a long time to load, it never once did crash or freeze. It might take a few more seconds to load, but once it's up--PowerPoint feels just as 'fast' as the old version felt.

So if you're not using any online service or to edit documents, I strongly recommend upgrading even if your computer is old like mine. The only thing that's worth checking before upgrading is Microsoft Outlook, being one of the heavy applications within this office package.

Also, I've heared complaints about the new interface, mostly because everything's not where it used to be for, like, at least 10 years. Personally I think the change was for the best. Even though most of the features are 2-3 mouse clicks away instead of just one, they're located in a much more intuitive location. You just need to adjust yourself a bit, as with all Microsoft products.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Meebo Desktop Client?

I've been looking for a desktop alternative for Meebo for a while, only to find out that's not how Meebo is supposed to work; It's supposed to be a complete online application and not a desktop one.

So to keep it an online app, I simply use Prism (from Mozilla) to have it running on my system out side the browser. The sound notifications are there, and Prism lets me add a notify icon so it's minimized to the tray. You can tell Prism to run it as a full-size window without any of the Firefox controls, or you can tell it to have everything--the sidebar, location bar, statusbar etc.

Currently there's no option to have the notify icon alert you when the page title changes (e.g. when you get new messages) but Meebo allows you to pop-up the contacts menu. To make all chat windows pop out, just click the pop out button on a chat window and minimize the main Meebo window to the tray. That way all new chat windows, will pop out as well, making it more like a desktop IM program.

These are my settings:

After my start menu shortcut icon appeared, I copied it to my Startup folder so it'll launch automatically at startup, just like an IM app.

Tip: They don't say it in the creation window, but if you want the settings button to appear you have to tick the 'Show status messages and progress' checkbox because the preferences icon is located on the statusbar.

Use Hebrew

Starting today I'll be sharing some nice new Hebrew words found on, some of them are already listed there and some are new words I thought of and will be posted in the future in that site.

I'll be tweeting good words I find there (or words I think of) so make sure you follow. It's also being synchronized with my Facebook account so you don't have to open a Twitter account (any tweet I make my Facebook status changes).