Purchased Office

I’ve always been that plucky individual to use open source software when I know that 1) it works and 2) it doesn’t suck. The suck factor is complex but boils down to usability and function. If I have a hard time accomplishing a task, the suck factor increases.

This brings me to Libre Office, that open source MS Office clone that I’ve been using for nearly 4 years. And yes, it’s been damn right serviceable. I’ve made documents, spreadsheets and even ads using the suite without issue. There have been some clunkiness factors, but no show stoppers. It even does a bang up job doing word and excel conversions

I recently had do some advance filtering on a large dataset, and this was the catalyst for me buying MS Office. Needed to both sort and filter several columns, and damnit if I couldn’t get it to work in Libre. Checked on eBay and found a 365 license for damn cheap, so I picked it up.

Turns out that in excel, I still needed to make a formula to do what I needed to do. But when I found the instructions, it worked. I was hoping for a simpler solution, but the result was a working data set. That’s not say that Libre Office is crap. It got me by for 4 years! But sometimes paying a nominal fee for a product that doesn’t suck is worth it. For whatever reason, the Libre spreadsheet is a little clunkier when getting into advanced filters. I think the lesson here is that there is always a value position that has to be taken into account with the work you are doing. And at $38, I can handle that expense.

iPhone 8

Last year, I had picked up an iPhone8 plus for my wife at $198 which was (and still is) a steal. I periodically keep my eye out for bargains – sometimes its just a matter of waiting. There was nothing wrong with my iPhone 7 but if the deal is right – might as well grab it. I snagged this deal and thought I’d be getting a cracked iPhone. Oddly, I couldn’t see any cracks on the the posting pictures. Surprise surprise, the phone had no cracks! I don’t know if this is a dealer goof or what. But the phone is in amazing shape.

The iPhone 8 retailed at $699 back in 2017. 3 years later I got a $550 discount. My wife’s plus was $799, so her phone was a $600 discount. Used tech is worse depreciation than used cars! Yet this phone still supports the same IOS that the 12 uses.

Zoom hates my graphics cards

I landed a dirt cheap Dell Optiplex to use as for my multimedia designs, however I haven’t had luck with any of the GPUs I’ve used. My problem is that I need a PCIe low profile with split screen capability, yet all these cards seem to crash on Zoom – which is an important necessity these days. It is literally my single point of failure. But thus far I suspect the ATI driver to be the real problem

I’ve burned through three cards thus far, and waiting for a fourth to arrive. I only paid $50 for the optiplex, but these cards are chewing through and profit I achieved! Grrrrr!

Wasting my $$$$ on GPUs that can’t handle Zoom

The crashes are pretty serious, too. Its a blue screen of death. My laptop never had issues , I know its because these accelerators are having problems with the Zoom frame rates – but turning the GPU off in Zoom doesn’t fix it. My next move is to bypass ATI all together and see if a different chipset fixes this. This whole experience has me hating ATI. It shouldn’t be this hard – I’m not playing games! Jesus, my 2011 iPad can handle zoom!