Month: March 2010

Adios AVG Antivirus

It’s been a nice little run on my home computers, but here are the things you’ve been short on

Scanning at Inopportune Times

It seemed like every time I’d wake my computer up from sleep mode, you’d want to get your scan on.  While I appreciate you’re only trying to keep me safe, you need to realize that the little lappy didn’t somehow come down with a cold while sleeping.  Let me check my email!

Using Fewer System Resources

Seriously, when Symantec Endpoint Protection is more lightweight…there must be somewhere you can trim down.

I expected more polish out of one of the to rated free antivirus packages.

I’m replacing with Microsoft Security Essentials, which I view as a bit of a shot in the dark considering I like to tweak and tune.

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Evernote: The first cloud app I’m “buying” into

I’ve been wondering for a while now which freemium cloud app would be the first one to nudge me from the free to premium version.  I’m pleased to say that Evernote has earned that honor.  Why?
Evernote Menu

The free version wasn’t crippled

In fact, far from it.  I got to see and play with every key Evernote feature in the free version of the client application.

They Offer a Free iPhone App that is Well Integrated with the Service

The iPhone app they have makes total sense, is lightweight, and makes the most common features easy to use.  The main screen prompts me with four different options to collect notes and four tabs across the bottom that give access to existing notes and options.

I Care About and Will Use their Premium Features

One of the greatest features in the application is the ability to do a text search of picture-notes.  Within a couple of minutes of capturing a photo in Evernote, I can do a search for text that was in the photo (and it comes back highlighted too).  That’s in the free version.  The premium service adds the same text searching in PDF files I attach to notes, as well as priority recognition of my images.

The free version caps the monthly upload bandwidth at 40MB, which I’ve seen as a very reasonable (even lofty) quota.  However, as I’ve used the iPhone app more and more, I’ve been running awfully low on available space.  The premium version bumps that over 12X to 500MB per month.

The Pricing Model Makes Sense

Not a whole lot to say here, it’s a reasonable $5/month for the service.  Tell you what though, it’s an easy decision to sign up for the annual service since it nets a generous 25% discount.  I debated trying the month-to-month for a while first…but that wasn’t necessary with that kind of an incentive available.

Where can Evernote Improve?

Things aren’t perfect yet.  It’s definitely a growing venture, which can be seen in the large improvements in each new release of the client software.   Things have been rocky at times, especially during synchronization, when trying to capture or recall notes.

All that said, I’m quite pleased so far.  Next, I should detail how I’m using the app, but that’ll  have to wait for a while 🙂

Windows 7: After one week (or so)

Long time since my last update about moving to Windows 7.  Partially because I’ve been busy at work, partially because I’m torn on what to write.

I’ve had some stumbling points with the new laptop, and most of them are the typical growing pains associated with a fresh image.  Including but not limited to:

  • Some of the applications that were installed for me needed to be reinstalled to work correctly
  • All of my pinned files in Excel need to be found and re-pinned (though I have a screenshot of what I used to have)
  • In the migration of my data, IT missed my Data Sources (though I doubt many people in sales keep a folder full of data connections…)
  • I was given my original image back on a different machine to cope with the above issues as I resolved them (and I hope to be rid of the extra box soon!)

I’ve also had a handful of issues come up with the new OS.  Nothing is necessarily a deal breaker, but some of these old habits die really hard.

  • I thought I’d try to use the windows start menu launher in place of my old standby Launchy.  Ugh…after a few days of fighting it, I reverted (with pride)
  • Alt-Tab should not be as difficult as it now seems to be.  I was a whiz in going between 10+ open windows, but I’m regularly getting lost in the glass-window style application changing.  Lord help me if I’m holding the mouse at the same time (big mistake)
  • I have yet to understand the method that was used when “My Documents” were migrated from XP to Windows 7.  The structure is fundamentally different, and it’s been a struggle to know how to reset my directory structure.
  • I was used to plugging into my docking station and having the speaker jack work.  Apparently with a Dell D630, Windows 7, and the standard docking station, you need to manually plug in the speakers to the jack on the side of the computer.  Pathetic.

All that said, I’ve been quite pleased with the overall performance and reliability of Windows 7 compared to XP.

  • I haven’t had my system lock up when re-docking.  Maybe it was the speakers that caused all of my lock-up issues?
  • After the first 24 hours, I haven’t had to restart my computer because of sluggish performance (though I have had to disable a few add-ons)
  • The search (and search indexing) of my files blows away my experience in XP.   Haven’t had to install Xobni yet.

We’ll see how things continue…