Windows 7 vs. Office 2010

Windows 7Microsoft Office 2010
Because the Microsoft company creates several types of software that many of us use on a regular basis, it is easy to get confused when someone asks you which version of which software you have.

Here is an example of something I hear quite often:  “Word on Windows 7 is hard to use.”

Actually, Windows 7 works with several different versions of Word.  The source of the confusion is that a trial of the latest version of Office (Word, Excel, etc) is often included on new computers.  The newest Microsoft operating system in Windows 7, and the latest version of Office is 2010.  Many people assume that Office 2010 is part of Windows 7.

In truth, older versions of Office (2003, 2007) will run just as well on a Windows 7 machine.  They will look and function just as they did on prior operating systems.  So, if you have the installation disks for an older version of Office, you can uninstall the trial version of 2010 on your new machine and install your older version without paying a dime.  This is great news for people who prefer the old Word/Excel/PowerPoint/etc.  interface (prior to the advent of the “ribbon menu” in Office 2007).

Likewise, if your computer runs on Windows XP, you can upgrade your Office software to 2007 or 2010 without getting a new computer or upgrading your operating system.  The only caveat here is that an ancient XP machine may not have enough memory available to run Office 2010 efficiently.  Depending on the machine, a RAM upgrade can help.  To find out if your machine can run Office 2010, check out the system requirements for your version of office here.  Find out what your system has by right-clicking “My Computer” in the start menu and selecting “Properties.”  From there, look at the hardware tab.  If your machine meets all the requirements, you’re in business!  If you’re low on memory, use the Crucial Memory Advisor on to see if your system’s memory can be upgraded.

Just to review – Windows 7, Vista, and XP are operating systems.  Office/Word/Excel/etc. version numbers are 2003, 2007, and 2010, and they can be used on machines with any of the above operating systems.

Happy computing!

Twitter Talk

Golden Tweet Award
The Golden Tweet

Congratulations to Stephen Colbert for being awarded the Golden Tweet for posting the most retweeted tweet in 2010!  Full Article

Twitter.  Tweets.  Retweets.  Twittersphere.  You hear about Twitter everywhere, but what is it?  It’s a social network, like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and many others.  The main purpose of social networking sites is facilitating communication between friends, coworkers, and strangers with like interests.  The sites offer search capabilities for members to find others they know and “friend” them.  Members post messages, pictures, links, etc. to their accounts.  Depending on the member’s privacy settings, the post is visible to specified people, all friends, or everyone.

Twitter distinguishes itself in a few ways.  First, post (or message) length is limited to 140 characters.  This means messages must be short and to the point.  On Twitter, “friends” are called “followers.”  The posts are called “tweets.”  If someone likes your post and wants to share it with their followers, they “retweet” it, meaning they post it to their account, while crediting the original author.  A retweet is indicated by “RT” in the post.

If a group is using Twitter for a discussion on a particular topic, they create an identifying “hashtag” (#) to group the posts.  For example, in a discussion about e-books, the hashtag #ebooks could be created to group the tweets together.  Anyone tweeting to this hashtag would include #ebooks in the post.  The viewer could then go to this hashtag to see the entire conversation.

You may also see the @ symbol before a username.  This means the poster is responding to a particular user’s tweet.  As an example, if my username was techie, and someone wanted to address me, they would begin the tweet with @techie.

There is much more to Twitter, but those are the broad strokes to get you started.  To find out more, visit their “About” page.  If you would like to create an account or search by keyword for tweets, see the Twitter home page.