August 25, 2007

Reentry Successful

Minke is now safely moored in Rhode Island and we're safely moored in Saratoga Springs. Land life is very hectic after living with the schedule of the wind and tides for two years. Our lives are now governed by clocks and date books. Oh, yes--and the new puppy!

Reflecting back on some earlier posts, I thought it is time to update a few thoughts. My switch to the "dark side" of computing, when I got myself a new Toshiba laptop to replace my Apple iBook, has been just about entirely successful. It has now been eight months since I fired up the Toshiba and I still get frustrated at how long it takes Windoze to wake up. But, once the windows are open I've generally enjoyed the view. There are lots of great programs available that really do work as well as Apple stuff, though in many cases they don't look as slick. I'm particularly happy with the availability of great free stuff like Open Office, Avast antivirus, Opera and Firefox browsers, and Skype.

When we first moved ashore I used Skype as my main phone, which saved me a ton of money and allowed me to stay in touch until Verizon could get the landline going, though I was at times frustrated by poor call quality. Though I have a fast cable connection, Skype just doesn't cut it for day-to-day use due to the poor quality and more complicated calling interface. Still, if you're out cruising, get a Skype phone number so people can call you using regular land lines, use Skype Out to call those landlines, and try to get your family and friends on Skype so you can make those cheap calls when you're really far away.

Because almost everybody and everything utilizes PCs there is a comfortable feeling that no matter what comes along you can take advantage of it. With Apples I was always waiting for the Apple version of something, or else emailing developers pleading for them to create an Apple version. There are advantages to being in the mainstream. I'll have more updates on old blogs coming. Right now I have to get to work on the update of our ICW Chartbook.