50 Free Apps

Life Hacker listed their favorite 50 free apps.

Not a bad list, but I have to disagree with #29.  I don’t use iTunes because I want to. It’s just the safest way to move data on and off my iPhone, including managing podcasts.  The app itself is kludgey and locks up at the drop of a hat, any hat, anywhere.

There are some apps on the list I use and am quite happy with though.

Chrome, Google Apps, Thunderbird, GIMP, VLC, CCleaner, Skype, 7zip, Pandora, and PuTTy.

Overall a good list, worth checking out.

More colleges using google for student email systems.

I reported just over a year ago, that Worcester State College replaced its Microsoft Exchange based email system for Google Apps for student email accounts.

According to the Google blog, they have a lot of company now. I see this sort of outsourcing of a basic IT function as a win for both the students and the colleges.  The students are probably already used to the interface, so less of a learning curve for them and reduced training and support costs for the campus IT staff.

It also frees up the IT staff to focus on providing new services. Then there is the plus of less people using Exchange and Outlook.  I’ve supported Exchange servers and Outlook lusers. Saving other IT people from that fate is a good thing IMNSHO.

Nifty nerd site of the day

Convert PDF files to MW Word.

Remote PC Access

I setup remote PC access on a family member’s computer using gotomypc, and I have to say that it really was as easy as advertised.   I tested it using my laptop and was able to connect, and transfer files, right off the bat.  The interface is clean and simple to use.

One thing I’ve learned in my years in high tech, making things simple is hard work.

Google breaks into college email

According to Mass High Tech, Worcester State College replaced its Microsoft Exchange based email system for Google Apps for Edu.  This is expected to save the College IT department $120,000 the first year and $70,000 each following year.

This is a trend I’m seeing in college IT departments.  Very traditional services, like email & database hosting are being outsourced so the IT departments can focus on more innovative services that directly meet the needs of the facility and students.

There are “privacy” issues raised about handing the campus email system over to private company.  On the other hand, I can see a mail server at a college getting hacked at lot easier than a Google based server.

Google Apps also includes Google Docs, so I can see more students storing their files “in the cloud” instead of on their local systems.  Of course, there will be those, both students and facility, who just don’t back up their files.