Without the most effective software and enough knowhow, your computer is about as useful as a guitar without strings. Computers, as well as their software, have advanced massively since the days of feeding ticker tape into a two storey computer in order to add a couple of numbers. Today computers enable their users to write books, browse the Internet, videoconference with people around the world, create 3D movies and even control your whole home.
Productivity with the Microsoft Office Suite
Microsoft Office is by far the most popular productivity suite in use today, offering users the chance to type documents, build spreadsheets or create presentations. The suite’s three most important computer applications include Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Word is a rich and easy to use word processor, Excel is Office’s rugged spreadsheet program and PowerPoint is used to create digital presentations. A version of Office is available for Mac users and with a little bit of tinkering, can even be run on Linux via Wine. A free alternative to Office, which runs on all the above platforms, is OpenOffice.
Free Voice and Video Calling with Skype
Provided that you and the party you intend on communicating with each have a computer and an Internet connection, text messaging, voice and video calling can be done free of charge. Additionally at a reduced cost, Skype-enabled devices are also able to make calls to landline and cellular phones. Skype is not only available on the three most popular computer operating systems mentioned earlier, but also on mobile platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and iPhone.
Power Browsing with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome
Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have surpassed their competition in the last few years with regard to adherence to web standards, stability and features. For the ordinary web surfer, this means that websites are displayed and act as the designer intended and that your web experience is smoother and more stable. Generally, Chrome is the faster of the two, especially when viewing multiple tabs. Firefox, on the other hand, is preferred by web developers for its ability to delve into websites’ innards.
Hassle-free Video Viewing with VLC
When it comes to viewing your favorite music video or movie, Windows Media Player, Winamp and RealPlayer do get the job done. For a video player that plays virtually any video regardless of its format and encoding as well as DVDs and streaming video, look no further than VLC Media Player. VLC is available for all three of the above-mentioned operating systems.
Image copyright – Jürgen Fälchle – Fotolia