Yesterday was both busy and trying but it was certainly productive and rewarding. The morning vanished into a whirl of van-packing tasks as the wind had died down and keeping the van door open without it blowing off and landing on Stronsay finally became a possibility. I am trying to quell the rising tide of panic in my chest -- though so little has been done, so much remains to be done, and very little time is left in which to do it.
The afternoon was much more my kind of thing - I spent it setting up the Macbook ready for me to use for my studies. We have had the laptop for some few years now but I have formerly managed not to engage with it. My partner bought it mainly to assist in developing a Mac version of the software that he publishes. The general idea was that we could both become Mac-friendly. So far it has been used mainly for watching films in bed...
I created a profile and the first thing that I did was to install my free student license of Roboform Everywhere. I have long been a Roboform user and doubt that I could now function without it. Roborm is the essential password manager, making things simpler in this security-conscious day and age. Previously we have felt that the Everywhere license was a financial step too far for us but now that I am a bona fide student... yep, go for it!
Next I set up Google Drive to work with my OU Google email and apps account.
I added Microsoft One Note and the One Note Web Clipper, though need not have bothered, as it turned out.
My desktop machine has a bona fide licensed copy of Office 2010 but the laptop lacked an Office-compatible suite. The Google stuff is OK in an emergency, I find, but it soon frustrates me with its comparative lack of facility. We discussed Open Office and Libre before deciding to look for a Student Discount on an up to date copy of Office for the lappie.
The information here at the OU is very fuddled. There is plenty of it available, most of it old and all of it conflicting. All trails here led me to http://open.ac.onthehub.com/ where the instructions here failed to match what happened on screen and finally I drew a blank.
Well, the offer looked pretty good at £59.99 for four years. It could only make sense to jump in and buy it, so I put my squeaky-clean brand-new and shiny OU email address to use and very quickly had an online Office 365 account and a full Office suite downloaded to the Macbook. Hurrah!
But... wait a minute... I hadn't paid any money! Sixty quid had not left my sticky little paws. Eh?
Believe it or not it took well over an hour to figure this out. We actually both spent time trying to find out how and when I would pay for this stuff. My partner was of the belief that there would be a 30 Day Trial period and then I would pay. No... I muttered.. nooooo.... I think it's actually free. I mean, with a Trial, I would have entered my card details, wouldn't I?
Eventually I managed to confirm it: Students with OU academic email addresses get Microsoft Office for free. What is more, it can be installed on up to 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets and 5 phones.
If this is as well-kept secret as it appears to be then I think it my duty to put the news out there. Go get it.
Jet Brains is free for student use too. Not relevant probably to the majority of AA100 students but some of us enjoy geeking in our spare time, so that was loaded too.
I am going to write a note over there -->> if and when I can recall how the blurb gets there. The summary of which will be: some students appear to fear commenting on Open blogs. I refuse to lock mine down but do not wish to limit the possibility of comments so, please, if you are one of those,do email me instead. I am eb2 on the usual OU email domain.