chikahiro94 / Member

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Evaluating services I use: Free or Cheap?

Email: Cheap

Yahoo has gotten another year's subscription out of me ($20 a year). I have been looking and evaluating other email services, and right now I'm going to have to say that Yahoo has a year to improve otherwise I might move. I'm quite happy with their service, don't get me wrong, but Microsoft and Google are putting up some compelling services. Microsoft in particular has been very aggressive in improving, and one of their new features (you can text yourself a disposable password for use in high-risk, shared, computing environments like net cafes and such) is a very good idea. That needs to be standard for all services, I think.

I've emailed Yahoo about some things I'd like to see come up in the next year. Here's hoping! I will note, however, that after using Yahoo's premium email for so long that I'm very used to doing email completely ad-free. Its a bit jarring to see it otherwise. I also prefer their email interface by far. That might keep me with Yahoo, even if they don't do the upgrades I'm hoping for.

Photos: Free

I've stopped using Flickr ($25 a year), and have been putting photos up on Facebook instead. While, honestly, Facebook isn't as good for that (they get scaled down, can't link, etc), the restrictions are fine considering its free and mostly for friends anyhow. My displeasure with Flickr stems from the fact I have link to my pictures instead of putting in a IMG tag - it violates the community guidelines or somesuch. For free? No problem. For pay? I would like to be able to do that! I need to email them regarding this, or maybe look into another image host. I'll pay for it if I get what I want.

Antivirus: Free

Microsoft Security Essentials is a great program and service. I can recommend it rather easily. I moved to it after using AVG for a number of years and a brief stint with the difficulty to spell (and pronounce) Kaspersky. AVG could be a big naggy, and Kaspersky would probably be better suited for a business or regular user than me.

Productivity: Free and Cheap

If you don't need Microsoft Word, Excel or Power Point, don't bother with them. For my use they're overkill. I've been using OpenOffice (and its predecessor, Star Office) since 1998, and from here on out refuse to pay for word processing or spreadsheets for my own, personal, use.

I'm finding that Google Docs is an excellent compliment to Open Office.

On my Palm Centro (dear old thing) I've got DataVis' Notes to Go application (paid). Very good for me as I can create MS Office compatible word processing and spreadsheet documents, edit them, etc. Good for when something hits me and I need to do something. When I upgrade to a new phone there's every chance I will buy the current version of Notes to Go for it.