What's on Melaina Allen's Desktop
|Published:||Jul 24, 2005|
|Author:||Michael E, Callahan|
My name is Melaina Allen. For several years, I worked as an administrative assistant for a non-profit organization. These days, I'm a stay-at-home mom to a beautiful two-year-old girl, and my husband and I are expecting twins this winter. I still try to keep my skills sharp by doing some freelance editing and formatting from home.
I've been using computers almost since I can remember. I was probably four or five years old when I remember playing games on our Tandy 1000. Currently, I have a Dell PC and a Toshiba laptop. For the purposes of this article, I'll be referring to my Dell computer. It has a 1.4 GHz Intel processor, 384 MB of RAM, and an 80 GB hard drive. It also has a CD drive and a DVD drive. We have a 14-inch flat panel monitor- and I love the flat panel! We've changed operating systems a few times, but right now I use Windows XP, which has been great- very stable.I'd also be lost without my PDA! I've had a few different models, but my current one is a Tungsten E. I keep everything in it- for instance, every time I go somewhere new, I make a memo of the driving directions to keep on file. It's great not to be searching for little pieces of paper everywhere. This is my first PDA with color, and I would highly recommend that feature- I have all my appointments color coded, with one color for birthdays, one color for appointments, one color for my husband's appointments, etc.
I love to change the look of Windows. I love to try different wallpapers and different settings. Right now, however, I am using the default Windows theme, complete with the default wallpaper. Every once in a while, even the most spontaneous user will experience a creative block! I try to keep my desktop fairly clutter-free, without too many icons. If I start to feel I have too many icons, I might make a folder to consolidate some of them into.
I have lots of software programs that I like to use. I have really enjoyed LifeJournal by Chronicles Software Company. I'm still using the original version, but I'm looking forward to trying the updated version. LifeJournal is fabulous because it can be made as simple or as full-featured as you'd like, depending on what options you choose. It's a great way to keep track of the events of family life, the process of a project, or even a diet or other more specific segment of life. I also love the built-in writing prompts- they're a great way to stimulate creativity.Another program that gets a lot of use on my computer is SureThing Photo Plus by MicroVision Development. I've tried all different ways to work with my digital pictures, and this program is the best, hands-down. It makes organizing, importing, and exporting pictures incredibly easy. It also has great tools for editing, from the basic crop to fancy effects. Many not-so-great pictures I've taken have been totally restored by the brightness and sharpness tools in this program, and my entire collection is red-eye free. I can't imagine using anything else.
Computers are great for getting lots of things done, but everyone needs some down time. My guilty is pleasure is The Sims by EA Games. Who wouldn't enjoy the power of running your own little virtual neighborhoods - from designing the people and their world, right down to telling them what to do and naming their babies and pets? It's fun to create your own Sims and watch them interact, but my favorite part of the game is the building feature. I used to love watching those home-improvement shows, and I love to daydream about projects around my own house. Building in The Sims is the best situation for wannabe designers- fun, free, and instant gratification! I've loved designing houses, restaurants, and parks for them. In my own world, I can't get mahogany flooring or a rose garden with the click of a button- in The Sims, I can.
Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.