Don’t pay for over-priced software that you don’t need!
This post is about how you can find a cheaper and more appropriate version of MS Office (which includes MS Word), if you really need it.
Recommended MS Office versions
MS Office Home and Student 2007 — possibly the best deal, but not common now. One license allows you to install on three devices.
MS Office 2010 Pro — widely used. For example, the current A5 flyers and A3 posters for the drop-in and podcast were edited with MS Word 2010 because that’s what I use to edit complex documents for commercial printing. MS Publisher 2010 is also very useful — and the last version of Publisher that can create documents in the CMYK format that commercial printers require.
More recent versions of MS Word are not superior, just more expensive.
How to buy a retail product key
This is how we got MS Office 2007 or 2010 on the drop-in laptops.
What you need to know about buying MS Office this way …
What you actually pay for is a pre-used licence key — a retail product that can be transferred and traded.
Always make sure that you are paying for a key, not a recurring subscription.
The software itself is a free download from the Microsoft server. The licence key that you pay for enables you to install and use the software legally — and you can move it to a new computer if you upgrade your hardware.
When you buy a pre-used licence key, the seller company provides detailed instructions on what to do with it.
By the way — if you have bought a Windows computer with MS Office pre-installed, you do not have a retail key. You cannot sell it or move it to a different computer.
There are several UK sellers in this market. I’m not going to recommend any of them because you — as the buyer — must use your own judgement, not mine. I have been satisfied as a customer of Software Geeks (softwaregeeks.co.uk), but they have competitors and it might be foolish to ignore them.
Although this procedure is quite straightforward, digital beginners can easily get lost. However, our drop-in volunteers can probably help you — provided you are already comfortable buying online with a credit or debit card.
If you are a Windows user, our volunteers might also point out that …
Our VIP guest will be Belén Barros, who is interested in your stories about old and new technology.
She wants to hear about your radios, your washing machines, your vacuum cleaners, your cameras, your computers, your phones and any other gadgets you’ve ever had, bought or built.
So we could have a conversation about familiar technology that is considered obsolete even though it works, and replacement technology that requires adaptation to an unfamiliar and unsettling way of life (eg- smartphones instead of landline phones).
Or perhaps you could bring a gadget to make your point (I’m still using a kitchen blender that I bought more than 40 years ago; it looks odd, but it works perfectly).
Recently I had to help out someone transferring files (photo and videos) to a Windows laptop PC.
Unfortunately Apple has changed the software for Ipads over version 10, so now the Windows driver software cannot cope. You can still see the internal memory on the Ipad, you just cannot save to it, or get files from it.
So apart from a USB lead which plugs into the Ipad and the USB socket on the PC (same as the one you use for charging the Ipad from a USB charger), you now need to download and run some software on the PC.
There are several programs on the Internet that allow you to transfer files without using Apples Itunes running on the PC, including those that are charged for.
But one of them is Free and I have used, it is called “EaseUS MobiMover”, which allows you to transfer files both ways to and from the PC.
If you are available it would be great if you could attend the “Hackathon” in the London Borough of Hackney “Techy” week. As you have an understanding and experience of the challenges of your loved ones and people you care for on a daily basis your input would be invaluable.
The people attending are from a variety of tech companies and they have been set the task to come up with simple Information Computing Technology (ICT) solutions to make life easier, e.g. booking a train ticket, buying groceries on-line, banking…
Please use the link below to book your Freeplace, or let me know and I can book it for you. I will be there on the day, giving an introduction to the task.
Umi Baden-Powell (research associate at the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design) talks to Hackney elders about their experiences of online banking and how the banks should develop their services in this digital era.
Like all our podcast episodes, this is a highly condensed edit of a much longer conversation.
The voices belong to: Elizabeth, Elon, Joyce, Rick, Sallie, Stephen and Umi. Eight other people contributed to the live session, but are not heard on this episode.
Recorded 11 May 2018. 21 minutes.
Umi’s research agenda
The transition from physical branches to online spaces
Mobile bank branches
Bank lounges in hybrid spaces
Virtual human beings
How will all this affect the 20-30% of people excluded from new methods?
12 million adults lack digital skils
5.8 million have never used the Internet
1.7 million do not have bank account
2.7 million people rely on cash
Technological and social barriers
No 3G or 4G services in some parts of UK
Many people do not have access to a computer
Banks and building societies have been shutting down 300 branches every year since 1989 — 55% of branches have been lost, including 762 lost last year alone.
Mentioned in the conversation
Coming ASAP – more links to sites where you can learn more about online banking.
Age UK page – “Hundreds of older people are helping reveal how and why our thinking skills change with age. They’re at the heart of The Disconnected Mind, a world-leading research project funded by Age UK at the University of Edinburgh”.
I have bought a USB extension cable for one pound at the overflow shop in Mare Street.
This is 5 metres long and enables me to put my phone on charge on the nearest table, rather than on the floor next to the nearest power socket.
The USB lead you get with the phone is usually only 1 metre long, so everyone puts their phone on charge near the socket. This leads to people stepping on it and damaging the socket when it gets accidentally pulled out.
Putting the extension cable in the charger and the other end having a socket to take the charger cable (this works for Apple as well as other Android phones) gives you plenty of cable to put it safely on a table or out of the way.