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What do you use your computer for?

Discussion in 'Software' started by Bluerinse, Nov 10, 2006.

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  1. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Okay here's a question which might also bring some lurkers out of the closet.

    It seems to me that so many people under-use the power of modern day computers. In fact the vast majority of people I meet use their computers for email and surfing the Internet - end of story!

    Kids fall into a different category, as they seem primarily focused on gaming or chatting to their mates on MSN and using BT software to illegally download copyrighted music for their iplods etc and they nearly all use yucky Hotmail and Myspace etc which is all well and good but hardly pushing the boundaries of modern computing to the limit.

    I believe it was Phil Benson (looks like Data from Startrek TNG) that uses his PC to control a telescope, now that is cool.

    So what do you use your puter for and how important is it in your everyday life?

    I will start..

    Firstly, I spend a lot of time on Internet forums, I think many people I mention this to think I am a sad git. That may be true but to me forums, especially this one, are invaluable as they give you a real time insight into what is the buzz in IT today.

    I use audio software that gives me the ability to record multi-track sessions, so I can create my own music tracks with guitar, bass, vocals drums etc. Also audio software which can capture music off old cassette tapes and convert them to MP3 or whatever format is to your liking.

    I use XP Media Centre, to watch and listen to TV, DVDs, CDs, play slide shows with background music when we have guests around. My Media Centre plays through a decent set of speakers and sub-woofer, so the volume and quality is good enough for parties.

    I use Karaoke software and have two mikes rigged up through a Peevy amp and the video o/p goes through a VGA card in my large TV - great fun when you are legless :biggrin

    My business accounting is done on my PC in MYOB (mind your own business).

    I design the odd (and I am using the word literally) web site. Macromedia Dreamweaver and Flash, though I have never publicly published my flash work because it sucks but it is fun.

    I admit, I do play games too. COD and COD2 had me hooked recently just as much as Doom has in the past.

    I edit my digital video camera movies and burn them to DVD to watch them on the TV etc.

    I couldn't live without Outlook calendars, notes, tasks, reminders etc - it makes a huge difference to my everyday efficiency.

    I gave up conventional cameras years ago and now my whole photographic collection is on the PC. I use Fireworks and other image programs to re-size, crop, alter (red eye removal) and otherwise enhance things.

    I buy stuff on eBay but can't be bothered with the selling side.

    been using on-line banking for as long as I can remember.

    I buy and sell shares on the net.

    There's probably more but I have seized up for now :D

    Take my computer away and I am lost :cry:
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  2. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

    Well Pete, I would say -

    Forum watching (CF and my training provider forums).

    News (main sites being the BBC although I am fast getting annoyed by the quality of their reporting but I don't know any better general news sites, El Reg and a few others)

    Gaming (sometimes games are my main PC passtime, sometimes I'll go a week or two without playing anything).


    I type the odd letter.

    I use my PC for editing photos and video as I have both a digital stills camera and a digital camcorder.

    All the music I listen too is piped off my PC, I subscribe to Napster and download several albums a week.

    Online banking, although I tend to leave our finances to my GF.

    I will use my PC in my living room to occasionally record a TV show, but as I have Sky+ I don't do this very often.

    Testing (not just for certs - I'm a naturally curious person and often I'll think to myself "what happens if I do that" and then spend a whole evening either putting right what I did or just learning something new). Although I could build several test boxes from parts I have lying around the house, I exclusively use VMWare.

    I also use my PC to transfer DVDs onto my mobile phone but that is still in the experimental stage at the moment.

    It's funny that most of what I've put here, and indeed a lot of what you do with your PC relies so much on a net connection. What did we do with PCs ten years ago?
    Certifications: A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270
  3. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    I had a PC for years before I got on the net but that was in the days leading up to Windows 3.11. Most of what I did was learning how to configure stuff like sound cards etc. My wife and I used MS Works in those days, moved on to Lotus apps 123 etc and some arcade games that were pretty good then got dial up in 1995 but you are right, the net and more importantly broadband has transformed the computer experience and as time goes by, most things just keep getting better and better. I just saw and listened to Zeb play guitar, he is 12000 miles away in my old home town and I never met him when I was there. How cool is that? 8)
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  4. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    At Home:
    Checking emails
    Cruising the Forums
    Researching news items to post on forums
    Watching DVDs
    Writing (books, reviews, articles)
    Practicing web design
    Practicing shell scripting and programming
    Doing Bible research
    Writing Bible lessons and other projects for my congregation.

    At Work:
    Managing my group's intranet site.
    Converting data from several old sites into the current site.
    Posting new documentation for the software engineers.
    Managing security and access to the various areas of the site.
    Converting projects from PVCS to Subversion

    Probably a lot of other things I can't think of right now...in both categories.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  5. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Trip, when you write books, do you use Word or a similar Open Source word processor product or are there better applications for doing this kind of stuff?
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  6. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    Good question BR.

    Well lets see:

    Internet (CF forums, and car forums, love racing on tracks)
    Online games like chess, etc
    Not so much gaming anymore, not that much of an interest, maybe Need for speed once in a while but thats about it.

    I bet there are many more things, just cant think of any right now, too much work today and very exhausted. We had a major exchange issue today. Running all over the place troubleshooting it reading up on it.

    Anyways I am done rambling on about today, lets see what others have to say about their daly computer use. ;)
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  7. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Do you race yourself Prof or are you an avid spectator?

    I know I will miss Schumi :cry:
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  8. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

    My PC is my main entertainment centre at home, I don't own a DVD player nor a stereo system as it all goes through the PC. I do a lot of photo editing and design work, so I normally have Illustrator, PhotoShop, Quark and all that stuff funning all the time.

    I do a lot of gaming, I must admit, plus my PC stores all my photos, music collection, every single piece of email banter (you never know when it will come in handy), letters, short stories I write, film reviews I write. If it went up in smoke, I'd be gutted.

    When at work, I do all my shopping barring food online. Can't remember the last time I bought a game, music, a book or DVD from a store

    Best thing is, I'm not online at home so I have never become dependant on t'internet, and I intend to keep it that way
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  9. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

    Well I dont half abuse my machine,

    at Home:
    Internet:- Banking, buying stuff of eBay or ebuyer or overclockers or just general browsing. Also going on CF, footy related sites, checking out the latest games I will be buying and also hardware for me PC. Looking for the latest downloads (including Lost and Smallville, oh and Heroes!).

    DVD Authoring:- I put the PC thru its paces by converting any avi clips I have (size varies from 350MB to 1.36GB) to DVD to allow to be played on DVD players. If for some reason, some of them are not playing properly, I use a great program that allows me to "convert" the video again to avi to allow it to work properly and be able to convert to DVD.

    Music:- I am always on the lookout for the latest albums and when they become available muggins here grabs them. At present I have over 35GB of music on my PC (ok so some of you may have more but there you go!!).

    Games:- My favourite past time. I have lost count as to how many games I now own and I dont seem to stop buying. I recently purchased FIFA 07, Need For Speed Carbon and Splinter Cell Double Agent. FIFA 07 is mint as always, Need For Speed Carbon excels itself and I have yet to receive Splinter Cell but when I do it will be good I know. I also do online gaming but not like WoW and that just against people who play FIFA and Need For Speed.

    Since I do have a Dual Core machine, it means I can convert a movie to DVD and at the same time burn something to DVD and also watch a movie or play music all at the same time and the PC doesnt falter...

    I also visit the Empire movie website, PC Advisor forum, Wincustomize (for everything on how to make ur Windows PC look so much better). For me, I think I will find anything and everything to do on my PC and very soon I will be watching TV on my PC again...but I think I need to wait to get my other two 19" LCDs first (I already have two as it is!!). This way with 4 LCDs, I can use one for TV, one for Internet, one for general use and the other games and that...and its doable when one will have two graphics cards...so its all finally coming together...

    Plus I have purchased a mammoth new case called Antec Nine Hundred and a new 580w PSU so the PC is going to get abused even more :biggrin

    At Work:

    Usual surfing on CF, ebay, ebuyer, overclockers and Empire...also Superman related sites and Smallville related sites.
    Doing the usual work too...not much else one can do at work...
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: my life
  10. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

    Porn :oops:
    Online Poker

    Yeah forgot email and if it was a choice between my wife and my PC I would at least help to pack her bags.
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  11. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    Take away my laptop and you taking away my life right now!

    I do all my uni work on it - programming and essays etc
    I got football manager 06/07 - for my gaming requirements
    Internet and email
    Instant messenger and skype to keep in touch with back home
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  12. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

    Well the porn I can agree with you and certainly on choosing between woman and PC...lol...after all ur talking to the guy who stopped loving his ex-fianceé to spend more time with the PC...and I was the one who moved back from Aberdeen...hehe...
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: my life
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member


    I like that expression - forum watching (is that another word for a lurker?):p :biggrin
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member


    Well done Trip!:thumbleft that's a good way of setting it out, clear concise and to the point:rocks

    If this is how you new book is set out I will be very impressed:biggrin


    At Home:

    Internet Banking
    DVD authoring
    Video Editing
    PC Computer Games
    Setting LAN stations/sessions
    Studying for certs
    Desktop Publishing
    Watching DVD's
    Forum Watching (Lurker:biggrin & Provider)
    Music - creating MP3, ogg, WMA & WAV
    Learning packages - Studio max, 4d cinema, studio FX.

    At Work

    surfing forums
    Downloading latest Bios updates for MOBO's
    Implementing IT procedures
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  15. Nelix
    Honorary Member

    Nelix Gigabyte Poster

    Well I'll only cover what I do at home with my machine:

    Write letters.

    Check Email.

    Create posters, flyers and invitations.

    Browse (not as much as I would like).

    Buy and Sell on eBay (the wife does this mainly).

    Create excel spreadsheets full of formulas (latest one to calculate eBay selling fees, profit/loss for the wife).

    One of my servers has a PCDVR card that controls CCTV cameras I have installed at the front and back of the house. (currently trying to build website for remote viewing).

    Convert avi files from Camera (still and cam corder) to DVD format.

    Burn DVD's



    then there's the usual network admin/management stuff.

    There is probably a few other things that I use it/them for but can't think at the moment.
    Certifications: A+, 70-210, 70-290, 70-291, 74-409, 70-410, 70-411, 70-337, 70-347
    WIP: 70-346
  16. noelg24

    noelg24 Terabyte Poster

    Its good to see how we all use our PCs...its a darn shame for those who buy such fast machines and barely give the machine anything but a whimper...I mean why buy a machine thats meant for gaming and only use it for email and internet? its shocking...
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: my life
  17. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster


    That about covers it!
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  18. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    to be honest I dont race like nascar style, I just go to the track and do a 1/4 mile and try to get a good time, and sometimes do a drag race on a quarter mile 1 on 1. But I am not a professional I just do it for fun because I love cars.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  19. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

    To show my true under-utilization, I'll have to respond machine by machine:

    MainPC -- XP Pro
    Forums and other surfing
    Gaming -- only BF2 occasionally, sadly
    Web Design (this is a hoot, because I'm bad)

    StudioPC -- XP Home
    Solely for music creation. Everyday guitar player that thinks he can play it all :rolleyes: It's only a Windows box for compatibility with Line6 gear, otherwise it'd be Linux.

    Web Server -- Ubuntu Server
    Hosts my church's website, another church's dev site, and my automotive dev site

    2 older boxes -- 2003 trials of everything
    Studying for ISA, 2003 upgrade, etc. Before studying, all they did was crank out RC-5 blocks, until the electric bill went $$$

    Media Center -- MCE2005
    This is in the bedroom, and my wife loves this thing. She's a busy professional women, and has little time for shows, due to traveling. It's setup to record all her favorites, which she catches up on weekends. If it weren't for the Wife Acceptance Factor, it'd be a MythTV linux box.

    Xbox/Xbox 360 -- I only put these here because A)they are computers, so it's wasted power, and B)they --the 360 really -- stole my time from PC Gaming

    Lastly, do parts count? I could build about 3 more machines, but I just don't have any use for them. The ultimate in under-utilization :oops:
    Certifications: A+,Net+,Sec+,MCSA:Sec,MCSE:Sec,mASE
  20. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    The vast majority of the publishing world is addicted to Word, hence they write all of their templates in said-application. If I can manage to get the Word template to work in OpenOffice.org Writer, that's what I'll use.

    That being said, my upcoming book project actually requires that I use Writer...:biggrin
    Certifications: A+ and Network+

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