This article may seem a little late, given that my trip to the 2013 Polaris Users Group Conference (aka PUG 2013) happened back in October. I wanted to sit on my notes for a bit, look them over and come up with something useful and, hopefully, semi-entertaining. If your ILS vendor hosts a conference of some kind, no matter what brand you’re smoking, you should go and there are plenty of reasons for this.
A few weeks ago the library I work at took a big leap forward and upgraded to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange Server. While this didn’t bring a lot of changes to everyone’s day to day work, because Outlook worked just as it did before, it brought huge changes with OWA. For those who don’t know, OWA is the Outlook Web App which used to be called Outlook Web Access. However the name change is apt and warranted as the difference between the two could not be more pronounced. The old OWA was basically an Internet Explorer only thing. It only worked well in IE and even then it wasn’t that great. God forbid you tried accessing from Firefox or Chrome. It worked, but barely. You didn’t get the “good” interface and you lost options.
Now OWA works equally well on everything and it does so everywhere. Mobile browsers are a bit spotty, but there are apps for that. On the desktop and laptop side of things, OWA delivers the same look and feel in Windows, Linux, and OS X. Indeed the experience was so good, I decided to try a little experiment.
I have a morning ritual when I get to work. I use a laptop as a primary computer and I have a dock on my desk to hook it in to an external keyboard, mouse, monitor, and peripherals. I come in, hook in, log in, and fire up a browser and Outlook. Outlook takes quite a bit to load because of a couple of unneeded add-ons that I can’t get rid of but never use. By the time it loads, I’ve already brought up the library’s website in the browser and I’m working on online projects. I go back to Outlook after it loads and start working through email. After fiddling with the new OWA for a few days I set off on my experiment and asked one question:
Is it good enough to dump Outlook?
Thanks to a side project or two, and my own special brand of stupidity, this episode arrives later than I’d like. Still, as promised, we’re talking about video editing! Free and open source video editors aren’t bad at all and if you have a video project you’d like to do for your library, but not a lot of cash to drop on a big time editor, then these solutions might fit your needs just fine!
Some videos I’ve done in the past and mention in the show:
For OS X
- iMovie (Comes with OS X as part of the iLife suite.)