Low-Cost Microsoft Office Alternatives Save money with these apps

At one time, Microsoft Office used to be the must-have suite of productivity apps for both business and home use. Until recently, it was also the most expensive. However, with the release of Microsoft Office 365, the cost has dropped dramatically. From just $7/month for the Personal edition, this allows home users to install and activate one license on their computer, giving access to the full suite of apps.

A lot of people aren’t happy with subscription software, and not everyone can justify spending $10/month or less. For those people, there’s good news out there, as there are plenty of Microsoft Office-compatible alternatives that are either low-cost, or even free to use.
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Storyist 2 for Mac Powerful story development tool for Novelists and Screenwriters

Name: Storyist 2 (version 2.4.5 reviewed)
Price: $59 download, $79 boxed (CD + printed user guide); 30-day trial available
Developer: Storyist Software
Website: http://storyist.com
Rating: 4.5/5

Introduction

Over the last several years, the market for writing software has seen an increase of apps for aspiring and seasoned writers alike. No longer are they constrained to using Microsoft Word or other bulky word processing apps to write their story; instead, they have the ability to try out low-cost programs designed specifically to fit their needs.

A lot of times, an app arrives on the market because the developer wasn’t happy with what was available, and in turn, decided to create their own in hopes of solving problems they faced from existing apps. That’s exactly what happened in 2003, which led to the creation of Mac-only Storyist.

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Inspecting Yosemite’s Icons →

The first thing people usually want to discuss with an update like this is the look and feel. However, there are plenty of comparisons between the Mavericks and Yosemite icons. They’re cleaner, they’ve removed the gloss, made things happier and brighter looking, and retained some skeuomorphic elements.

The Finder and Settings icons are beautiful; Safari’s icon looks better on the Mac than it does on iOS; the Calculator icon is terrible; Game center is awkward; and FaceTime looks like a mistake.

I love the new look Apple is giving OS X with the upcoming release of Yosemite, and this article goes into great detail about how the designers re-imagined the icons and UI for the desktop operating system.

Let’s hope they can give a second thought to the GameCenter icon, though. Yuck.


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Week of June 6, 2014 Recap

In case you’ve missed it, WWDC was this week. Below are just a few highlights from this year’s event.

News/Bits

iOS 8Apple unveiled iOS 8 on Monday during their keynote, and let me tell you, I haven’t been this excited for a mobile operating system since, well, ever. Quick Reply, Handoff, and Continuity are just a small list of features I’m looking forward to when it ships this fall.

OS X Yosemite – Just when you thought Apple forgot about desktop users, they announced the next version of OS X, 10.10 “Yosemite”. Too many features to list here, but definitely worth exploring.

Swift – One of the best-kept secrets from Apple in years is this little gem. A brand-new programming language that aims to make app development a lot easier and a lot more pleasant to use for both iOS and OS X. In fact, developers can see results from their app in real-time with the Interactive Playground. There’s even an iBook guide for this app so you can get started today and be ready when Apple ships iOS 8 and Yosemite this fall.

Link of the Week

The Other Side – Twitter pal Linus Edwards is experimenting with a fresh way to display blog posts. Very simple, clean, and elegant.

Random Tech Tidbit

June 6, 2005 – Steve Jobs announced at WWDC that Apple would be switching from PPC to Intel. There was a lot of outcry at that time from Apple fans, but in all honesty, PPC was keeping Apple on a short leash.

June 6, 2011 – Steve Jobs’ last keynote speech at WWDC. iCloud, iTunes Match, iOS 5, and OS X “Lion” were announced.

(via Day in Tech History)