What people think when I tell them about my home built computer.
Being a technological child of the 80’s, I have never had much of a need for most of the programs people run these days. Facebook? Try email mate. Vuze? I already was running utorrent and my searches can be made from a myriad of torrent collections. I was Skyping years ago, and I don’t really care for all the mumbo jumbo of most apps. It is really rare that I use an app for anything, most everything I do comes from some core programs. GIMP is my choice for picture manipulations, Audacity for audio, I have only really ever used VLAN as my video viewer, FRAPS for my video recorder, most of these are free, very technical when you need them to be, and simple when you don’t. I actually get really lost on other people’s computers because they tend to rely heavily usually on one or two “standard” programs that I tend to immediately disable or remove from my OS. Apple and the iphone have really screwed people up about what they can do with their own computer, people are forgetting software exists I think, and instead focusing on the end product. Well, like I said, rare is the day I need to change from my core programs, because almost everything is already taken care of. I however, came across an unusual situation the other day.
Now for me to find a new use in my computer, that is rare. I never really took to electronic calendars, but I do have an old palm I keep around, and I usually have a very little used datebook for the year too. Since I am involved in a crappy retail job for my income, I go to work the same days, year after year, and I do the same things over and over again. I have a very simple life, no car, rent an apartment that is all bills paid, so I only have one bill, and really, I do not need any help keeping track of it. Recently however, I have started to write in a blog, and that has changed the game a little. Before I had no need to take pictures, because I am not a picture oriented person. Text is fine, but hey, I got a 20 dollar video cam that takes 640 x 480 pics, so it is covered. But screen shots! I have taken ten thousand screen shots if it is day with my FRAPS, and the built in awesomeness of SecondLife’s cam, but screen shots of my view of the desktop? What ever for? Well, it came up the other day, so I took it on to find new software.
After going through maybe ten different desktop screen shot apps, I found one that fits the bill perfectly. Jing was the highest editor rated screenshot capture tool, and it is perfect for what I want. I want something that will give me the pic, but jing takes it one step farther, if you need to post it, it generates the pic to a website, then plops the web address into your clipboard. SO you can screenshot, upload, and then paste your pic into whatever you are talking into. Very handy, and I will probably use this app a lot more than I thought I would. I have had a few instances where I needed to post a map pic, or a location, onto someones damn phone, and I had no clue what to do. This lets anyone access the pic who has internet, so it solves the problem of reaching someone on an android or an ipad, it doesn’t matter.
Pretty much as simple an interface as you could want. A small half disk of translucent yellow sits in the halfway mark on the top of your screen. If you put your mouse on it, it grows out three easy to click on legs, one is a cross hair, one is for the past history, and one is for preferences. Everything is minimal, with easy to choose buttons from there on, and it runs a video to show you how to use it right at the start. Help is easy, but of course it goes to a web page for most answers, they are however easy to find and easy to fix. The history is also easy to use, having your most recent uses and topics lined up, click on them and boom, back in business. The cross hairs are again, simple and easy to use, and you can choose video if you want as well. Video for those damn times when you need to tell someone who should not be anywhere near a computer how to find a damn preference.
I really like the automatic page generation, it makes it so easy for me. I do not have to post a pic, I can just post a link and they can come to it when it is time. I know there are a lot of automatic options these days, but this is the first time I found one I actually have used or try to use. Maybe I am becoming my own personal nightmare, a Luddite. I certainly hope not, but then again, I still think cell phones are ancient technology. I will continue to try to climb my way out of the snobbish “I used that tech 20 years ago” crowd, and perhaps I will be able to get one of those awesome pixie tube watches eventually. Then again, I am still waiting for smart watches to be the “in” thing, with hipsters walking around trying to text on 3 cm screens about how hard life is with only 4g tech on their wrist.
While I am at home working on a $434 US computer I built about 5 years ago, that I still play the latest games on and insist, absolutely insist that nothing on it or connected to it is wireless.
I am doomed I think. I mean come one, my computer costs almost half of one of those really impressive ipads.