Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Windows 7 and Some Wishful Thinking

After some time - five years, perhaps? - with Windows XP at work, the transition to Windows 7 is nigh. (As an added bonus, we're also finally dumping WordPerfect. Various lawyers have clung to WordPerfect like a lifeline. It's inexplicable.)

Ever since I switched back to a Macintosh as my home computer, I've been trying to find a good system for shuttling work between office and home. Not work work, mind you, but blog entries, story scraps, journal entries, and so on, things that I may update during the day but that ultimately end up on my home hard drive.

The office PC is locked down tightly. I can't install software that requires administrative access, or even change some system settings. I'm not permitted to install any software, attach a personal flash drive or any other peripheral, or access file storage and download sites such as Dropbox. It's a little fascist, really, even if the purpose is to minimize viruses and the like on the network and minimize software-induced incompatibilities.

The iPad helps immensely, because I can use it to access Dropbox and other taboo sites, and can use iOS equivalents of some of my OS X applications, such as Byword and Evernote, to make it easier to write in one place and finish the work elsewhere. Still, it would be nice to be able to use my home tools, such as Text Expander, LaunchBar, and 1Password while using a full-sized keyboard and a large monitor at the office.

Sadly, this will never happen. My organization insists on PCs (and, God help me, Blackberries). They say it's for security reasons. On the other hand, the Pentagon okayed iOS devices, and OS X has a whole lot fewer pieces of malware written for it than does Windows, so we know the real argument is that they don't want to incur the costs of supporting multiple operating systems. Annoying, but I understand that.

Anyway, one can hope.

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