View Full Version : Serious questions about computer use

01-01-2006, 04:54 PM
Outside of work:

1. What do you do with your computer?

2. What would you like to be able to do that you can't do now?

3. What could be better about the software?

01-01-2006, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
Outside of work:

1. What do you do with your computer?

Internet, shopping, bills, word processing, games once in awhile.

2. What would you like to be able to do that you can't do now?
Better voice rec. software would be nice.

3. What could be better about the software?
Faster response time.

01-01-2006, 05:12 PM
One of PMJ“s prophecies for 2006 was that Billy Gates would hire Meerkat for a top-notch computer consulting job ;) :D

01-01-2006, 05:15 PM
He hasn't called yet, but, please, no thread drift!

George Roberts
01-01-2006, 05:21 PM
We use our server for a 2-line answering machine.

I do simple math with a spreadsheet for generating cut lists for furniture I build.

01-01-2006, 05:24 PM
Same as Katherine except I don't shop. I post on here and sailing anarchy.

Frank Wentzel
01-01-2006, 05:30 PM
What could be better about computers? First of all we need a system that works without excessive complexity. How many megabites does the Windows OS take? Or should I say, how many hundred megabites! It's not an OS, it's a cancer! And each iteration is slower than the last!

In addition, how many hundred megabites of protective software, from other companies, does Windows require to be even marginally reliable?

If you had to know as much about cars to operate them as you need to know to operate a computer we could go back to two lane roads. There would be very few cars on the road and, if they used the automotive equivalent of Windows, we would have a top speed of 30 mph.

We have yet to invent the "personal computer". Or, as Scotty said, "How Quaint!"

/// Frank ///

01-01-2006, 05:52 PM
At home the computer is used for our personal accounting, scheduling, homework, looking up any type of info I may need at the momement (ie recipes, how to tune a carbourator etc). I would also add that the wife uses it for real estate, but than that gets into the work enviroment, but our home PC is a home office for her. I do some internet shopping at home and I use it to make my own CD's for the shop.

What would I like is some cheap (ie free) software that would allow me to manipulate and mix music and allow inputs from external music sources.


01-01-2006, 08:32 PM
My home use is limited to:
web surfing
using web based applications i.e. banking, shopping..etc
watching DVD's
word processing
limited spreadsheet applications
fiddling with other OS's

2. back to you later on this.

3.There really should be something done about the application and following of standards on the internet.
No proprietary code on web pages!

[ 01-01-2006, 10:33 PM: Message edited by: GregW ]

01-01-2006, 08:49 PM
My use at home:
casual web browsing.
online bill payments and other such money-management.
remote-access email and other such telecommuting.
light duty word processing and excel applications.

My wife's use at home:
near-constant web browsing.
heavy duty photoshop hobby.
dabbling in web design.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any desired applications. If we could print money that would be cool, but....

If I had one general wish for software it would be for fewer glitches and bugs. I'll spend my money on reliable performance long before I'll spend it on the latest and greatest whiz-bang features.

01-04-2006, 03:09 PM
So Meer, what prompted these questions?

01-04-2006, 03:18 PM
Sorry. Double Hit. Been doing that alot lately.
Double entrys in the computers checkbook........ :confused:

[ 01-04-2006, 04:20 PM: Message edited by: emichaels ]

01-04-2006, 03:19 PM
Trade stocks.
Read news.
Post WBF.
Drawings on ACAD
Home Accounting
Business ACcounting.
Spreadsheets for:
accounting worksheets for quoting
Build web pages
Order materials
Search for stuff.

[ 01-04-2006, 04:20 PM: Message edited by: emichaels ]

01-04-2006, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by Katherine:
So Meer, what prompted these questions?He is trying to pass Donn on number of posts so...........

Dan McCosh
01-04-2006, 03:22 PM
Internet, etc.
occasional tech drawing, design
digital photo editing

[ 01-04-2006, 04:22 PM: Message edited by: Dan McCosh ]

01-05-2006, 02:36 AM
Originally posted by emichaels:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Katherine:
So Meer, what prompted these questions?He is trying to pass Donn on number of posts so...........</font>[/QUOTE]Pffft! I could care less - that's Joe(CSOH)'s idea.

I asked these questions because I'm working on developing some computer software and I'm interested in how people use their compter's for that reason.

Although I disagree with much of his post, whoever said that the PC had not been invented yet is close to the mark. The software I'm working on will hopefully make personal computers a whole not more useful and - personal! smile.gif

Details upon request, unindicted coconspirators welcome, guinia pig positions available! ;)

No specific intent to develop a commercial product (no specific intent not to either), just develop a good tool that will make one's PC more useful.

01-05-2006, 04:35 AM
Wow! A chance to be a beta tester; sign me up.

01-05-2006, 05:39 PM
bump (please supply your own grind) ;)

01-05-2006, 05:44 PM
guinia pig here

Billy Bones
01-05-2006, 05:48 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
Outside of work:

1. What do you do with your computer?

2. What would you like to be able to do that you can't do now?

3. What could be better about the software?1 The usual
2 Input data from print sources and have it reliably interpreted.
3 I like most of the apps I have, but OSs are a nightmare: big, slow, faulty, insecure, functionally challenged. Why in the hell can't a computer, set up for multiple users, have user files that are private? How flaming basic is that and so far, no Win OS thru XP anyway, has that capability. Sheesh.

01-05-2006, 05:59 PM
Originally posted by Meerkat:
The software I'm working on will hopefully make personal computers a whole not more useful and - personal! smile.gif
ROFL! This should be rich. What are you going to do, create a virtual woman? I think it's already been done.

01-05-2006, 06:01 PM
Hurry up Meer, Donn's lonely.

Bruce Hooke
01-05-2006, 06:19 PM
It is a little complicated for me because my home computer is also my work computer and as at least a part-time artist what exactly is work and what is not work is a bit fuzzy at times. Furthermore, even with the stuff I do on my computer that is not at all work related (other than web browsing), I tend to approach it like I would approach a work related project. In other words, I see my computer as a tool, not an entertainment device.

So, some of the things I do on my computer include:

keep track of my finances
financial planning
scheduling (I even put in a reminder to myself for when I need to return library books)
web browsing
write letters, proposals, and similar documents
graphic design type projects
heavy duty photo editing & related tasks
website design & development
technical drawing & related project planning

I like to have a lot of control over whatever I am working on (i.e., I tend to bypass most "wizards") but I often do not really have that much interest in messing around with technical stuff just for the sake of messing around with it.

I can certainly think of various detailed improvements I would make to individual software apps (e.g., a modification to the way Photoshop handles cropping and some improved tools in the cartographic software) but it sounds like you are looking for somewhat more general information.

A lot of the things I would like to do on the computer are things that I could do if I was willing to spend the money. For example, I would love to be able to print large format images and plans (say 24" wide) but I just can't justify the cost. I'd also love to play around with the 3d module for my mapping software but it is way to expensive to be justified...

01-05-2006, 09:48 PM
Start here:

Not nearly what I have in mind, but it's a start.

Bruce Hooke
01-05-2006, 10:22 PM
That is an interesting direction. Cross-linking information can make it much more useful. One challange is likely to be making it intuitive enough to use so that the people who would benefit most can make good use of it.

I do use my computer a good bit for taking notes...for example, if I am on a conference call where I need to take a lot of notes I often find it easier to take and store the notes on my computer. However, I do also use a paper notebook, and I don't see that changing any time soon. First off, a notebook is more portable than a computer, and easier to use on the spur of the moment (try typing notes into a laptop while riding on the city bus or walking down the street). Second, I often want to make quick sketches as part of my notes, and I suppose I could get a graphics pad, but short of that a pencil works much better than a mouse, and is certainly more portable than a graphics pad!

I certainly run into problems where it seems like the same file should be in multiple places on my computer, but I also don't want to start planting shortcuts all over the place because that could end up just confusing things even more.

I tend to like "transparent" solutions, meaning solutions that make it clear what is going on rather than hiding what is happening and leaving me guessing. That is why I tend to avoid Wizard-type tools -- because once they are done doing their work I am not as clear about what they have done and therefore not as clear about whether they have done what I want them to, or how to fix what they have done if something goes wrong.

01-05-2006, 11:54 PM
One of the few things that csn be said for tablet PC's is that one can scribble on them.

I think a Palm PDA makes a fine notebook and one can write and/or sketch on them.

I think I've found an unindicted coconspirator. Hold still, Bruce, this won't hurt a bit! ;)

Bruce Hooke
01-06-2006, 12:27 AM
Somehow those little screens have never "done it" for me the way a that a nice, blank 8 x 11" sheet of blank paper does. Some little screen you hold in your hands may be just fine for reminding yourself to get some milk at the store, but I just can't see using one to take notes at a museum or using one to sketch out a visual idea that needs some space to get worked out...

01-06-2006, 08:18 AM
I completely agree with you with regard to the tiny PDA screen never comparing to a sheet of paper.

Some of the larger "tablet pc" units are a whole other animal though. At present they're a bit cost-prohibitive, but that will change with time.

01-06-2006, 04:45 PM
I don't disagree that PDA's are too small, but tablets are too big.

I think something about the size of a steno pad would be perfect. No moving parts - long on battery life.

01-06-2006, 05:05 PM
Like a Newton MessagePad 2100, but with a good internal steroid treatment.

01-06-2006, 05:12 PM
I had a Newton. It was clunky and didn't work very well. Took it back.

01-06-2006, 05:12 PM
I still use my 2100 every day. I even post from it now and again.

01-06-2006, 05:20 PM
Well, at least we can agree on the size.

01-06-2006, 05:32 PM
Another program with interesting features is "Zoot"


The interface is a bit complicated IMO.

01-06-2006, 05:36 PM
Apparently you aren't familiar with the souped-up aftermarket 2100's. Mine has 256 megs of internal memory, a clocked-up ARM processor, and a lovely amber backlight. With an 802.11 wireless PCMCIA card in one slot and a huge memory card in the other, it does a pretty nice job. I'm also testing some new handwriting recognition software that is incredible, especially compared to what it used to have. I can carry it around the garden, and make entries in an Access db on my desktop machine.

Not bad for a relic of a PDA.

01-06-2006, 11:32 PM
Not familiar with souped up Model-T's either - and for much the same reason.