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2009: Usability & Music

The past two articles have discussed various new technologies, terms, and some things to avoid. Computer usability and online media are two very interesting topics that have seen significant improvements recently.

When people think about computers, they rarely think about how easy (or difficult) the computer will be to use. People commonly assume that all computers function about the same: this is not the case. Improvements in computer usability (user-friendliness) is one of the most significant changes in 2009. Computers are now being offered that are totally immune to viruses, don't require the frequent, typical computer maintenance, and are so easy to use, even first time computer users can use them without getting frustrated or feeling intimidated. These computers are GNU/Linux computers. They are perfect for many users: those who have never used a computer and those who desire a more enjoyable and productive computing environment. Since these computers function flawlessly without maintenance and antivirus software, users do not need to worry about software corruptions, file loss, or other hassles that have become common with other computers.

There are significant differences between various brands of GNU/Linux computers. You will want to look for one that provides the most simplistic interface and the greatest room for expansion. Many of the new GNU/Linux computers are touch-screen: this feature can provide a really simplistic and fun computer using experience. It is extremely important for the company which provides the computer to provide full support and everything necessary to connect to your printers, web-cams, speakers, etc. As always, the company supporting the computer must have the knowledge and expertise you need.

Once you have your new modern, easy to use computer, you may want to start enjoying some of the online media available. This includes TV shows, movies, music, and news. Most of these provide the user with only one option: play. Online music, however, offers the user a choice in the level of listening quality. Many music Web sites now allow you to choose the desired audio quality. From MP3, the lowest quality, all the way up to FLAC, you will be able to make your choice of quality. MP3 can play on less sophisticated equipment. FLAC provides audio with no degradation of sound quality: it sounds just like the original recording. Some of the better audio Web sites that provide FLAC recordings allow you to choose the recording quality starting at CD quality and moving all the way up to "studio master", which provides the best, most accurate and dynamic reproductions. These online audio Web sites provide wonderful music listening opportunities, that were not available even a year ago. With an easy-to-use computer and these great online music choices, you will be set to be productive and have fun at the same time.
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