Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Visual Thesaurus is Pretty Cool

And Thinkmap, Inc., the people who developed it, should be noted for their outstanding customer service.

It's a great, simple-to-use program that shows you synonyms and associations between words so that your writing won't be so monochromatic. For instance, I can type in the word "stupid" and receive 50 results to use as insults or pejoratives. Every writer (or even people who hate writing, but have to) can benefit from using this tool.

I was having trouble getting the Visual Thesaurus onto my new PC, because I purchased the CD ROM back when Windows XP reigned. I told Support about my problem, and after going back and forth maybe 1 too many times they kindly set me up with the latest version.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Long Overdue New Computer (Review)

I've needed an upgrade for the past couple of years. A good excuse for me to upgrade was that my old computer gave up the ghost.

My new laptop is a Samsung 7 Series. It packs a punch, and I like it. The graphics and the screen are not overly impressive (still very sharp), but I won't be doing anything major with graphics, and the laptop monitor will be secondary in a dual monitor setup.

My gripes:

  • Battery is housed inside the chassis, which makes replacement difficult.
  • HDD is only 5400 rpm (a 7200 rpm would have been nice, especially since an SSD is out of my price range at the moment).
  • The hard drive partitioning software (for system backup) that runs only once on initial startup took half the hard disk space because I chose the automatic option. I had to fix it manually.

My Likes:

  • Solid construction, and the keyboard doesn't give.
  • Good battery life (4-ish hours doing simple things).
  • Comes with minimal bloatware that is easy to uninstall.
  • Intel i7 processor
  • Matte display
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Samsung has a nifty little program called Easy Software Manager that downloads necessary things like drivers (In case you re-install your operating system).
Oh, and, cosmetically, it's terrific.

Review: Samsung 7 Series Chronos 15.6" Laptop NP700Z5BH