Archive for August, 2015

Microsoft OneNote

Posted: 15 August, 2015 in Blogging tools, Writing tools
Tags: ,

While I’m still not ready to forgive Microsoft for the bug-ridden operating system Windows 10 they have inflicted upon its unsuspecting users downloaded as a free upgrade, still I do have to give them credit for something they did right as part of the upgrade: along with links to MS Office 2013, they installed OneNote 2013.

Why is this work mentioning? Because not only did they fix a lot of bugs in the original version, it’s now free…or at least as free as Microsoft has ever made anything: it’s free to download, free to install, and free to use on all of your devices. Laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, all regardless of the operating system you use. Well, all except for Linux. While Redmond doesn’t mind if you run OneNote on your Android or iOS devices, they still seem to fear any operating system that is free in the truest sense of the word.

But then again, if you’re a Linux/Unix purist, you probably don’t want any of Microsoft’s offerings on your machines anyway.

Wait, Wait—What About Evernote?

“But Robyn,” you ask. “What about Evernote? I thought you were this great Evernote lover, and it was the be-all and end-all of note taking programs?”

Relax! I still swear by Evernote. There are still a lot of things it does better than OneNote. But I have to be fair and honest and admit that OneNote outshines Evernote in some areas.

Notes comparison

Clipped from:

What I like best about OneNote is that when it comes to editing and formatting notes, it outshines Evernote. If you can format a document in MS Word, you can do the same thing in OneNote, using the same tools. In fact, if you have a document in Word that you’d like to add to OneNote, you can cut and paste it with no loss of formatting. Evernote has fewer formatting options, and not all of your formatting will copy over from Word.

Still, for custom filing that’s more like a database, Evernote is the way to go.

Bottom Line

I’m using OneNote more than I ever did before. I use the Web Clipping tool in Evernote more than I use it in OneNote for the simple reason that it’s available in Firefox, my browser of choice. OneNote’s clipping tool is only available in Chrome, Internet Exploder Explorer, or Edge. And I prefer having clipping supported in Firefox.

So my conclusion: I use both Evernote and OneNote, taking advantage of each program’s strongest points. I doubt that either one will completely replace the other.

Absolutely nothing, unless you consider the myriad ways an operating system can aggravate your depression.

Which is exactly what my “upgrade” to Windows 10 did to my depression.

It began when I received a notice telling me that my upgrade was downloading in the background, and that I would receive another notice when it was ready to install. 4 days later, I said “screw it” and looked for another way. Fortunately, there is an alternative: bypass the regular download process and select the rapid deployment option. This will download a utility to your computer which will allow you to (a) download Windows 10 in under 20 minutes, and (b) then let you install it and/or burn an ISO image to disk.

Which is what I did, with mixed results.

There Is No Such Thing as Privacy in Windows 10

Fuhgeddaboudit. Microsoft wants full and complete access to all of your files, at any time, without telling you what they want to do with the information. The way to avoid this is to skip the basic installation and instead select Custom Installation. This allows you to opt out of all of the snooping secret sharing Microsoft wants you to allow.

It also lets you choose NOT to allow them to use YOUR computer and YOUR bandwith to install programs and updates on other peoples’ computers, even ones that are not on your network. “Trust us,” Microsoft says, and I do not trust them.

Other Problems I Encountered

The upgrade wiped out quite a few of my system settings, as well as several login accounts. I had to go back and manually re-enter my username and passwords, for example, for my Outlook account.

Despite what Microsoft claims, Windows 10 is much slower on my vintage HP Pavilion G laptop. A reboot takes almost 10 minutes, and even logging off takes 3 minutes. Logging back in to my account takes a good 5 minutes, too.

But what really burned me is that when I had decided I didn’t want Windows 10 anymore, and selected the option to restore my previous version (Windows 7), I discovered that the “upgrade” had deleted my previously-backed up copy of my installation. So now, the only way to do it is to back up my data files and reinstall from the original distribution DVDs. This, of course, will then require me to download all of the security and systems updates for the past 7 years, when I first bought my machine.

In Conclusion

So here I am, stuck with an “upgraded” operating system that in many ways has degraded the performance of my computer, with no easy way to revert to the older system. Congratulations, Microsoft: after years of competing with them, you have finally adopted Apple’s “Ve know vat is best for you. You vill do it our vay” model of fascist programming.

My next computer will run linux.