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Microsoft Office Home & Business 2013 - Download - 1 PC
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

2 out of 5 eggs Another drop of usability in MS Office 02/10/2014

This review is from: Microsoft Office Home & Business 2013 - Download - 1 PC

Pros: This review is for the download version of Office 2013 Home and Business that I have installed for customers and myself.

The programming itself is good, and Office 2013 has some quality features, but the suite is unsuitable for those of us who must use a computer several hours a day in a business setting.

Word has a few small improvements of layout that I personally like, like the opening screen showing recent files, and the lightly expanded thesaurus display (I like change, so I like new layouts). Outlook 2013 (of which I have not yet installed all of my email accounts on for fear of corruption due to possible compatibility problems with the existing Outlook 2010 (I have had far too many similar problems in the past)) seems to function well enough for my limited needs, but when compared side by side with Outlook 2010 on the same PC, I choose 2010 without a second thought.

No matter how bad a Microsoft Office version might be, it is still of a higher quality than all known open source suites, although the margin of quality is rapidly narrowing.

Cons: The skin is simply intolerable for my eyes and personal preferences. I restore-down all apps in Office 2013 to enable a dark desktop 'border', but still the GUI has so little contrast between different commands that I quickly close the app and return to 2010. I like the spartan-like layout, but the eye strain is unacceptable. No software is worth the cost of a person's eyesight.

The speed of Word is noticeably slower than 2010, and 2010 is noticeably slower than 2003. If I were upgrading straight from 2003 to 2013 I would be much more displeased than I already am. Each release of Office appears to be running slower although each version is being installed on a faster PC, and I am progressively becoming concerned that future releases may become fully unusable due to prolonged hesitations within the apps. (Word 2003 running on an old Sempron 2.3ghz cpu is far faster and more responsive than Word 2013 running on an A10 at 4ghz.)

I have been told that the downloaded Office 2013 upgrade might not be capable of being reinstalled even on the same PC. I have not had time to keep-up with all of the recent EULA changes, and perhaps the reinstallation permissions have now been extended, but I am not taking any chances. The Office 2013 installation is useful to me so that I can use it for researching problems in customers' installations of 2013, so I want to keep the current Office 2013 on my test rig and not risk losing it.

Other Thoughts: I continue to find no other business software to be as good as Microsoft's, but Office 2013 is not Microsoft's best for desktop/laptop business users. Office 2003 Professional is very good for businesses and professionals (fast, stable, and easily learned), but Office 2007 was a major downgrade, Office 2010 basically just seemed to correct some of 2007's inappropriate layouts, and Office 2013 is another major plunge downward for usability and appearances. Seven years of new versions being less useful than the previous version is not a good indication.

When recently needing to install an email client on one of my computers I had the choice of Office 2000, 2003, or some 90s editions (all of which I already have on disk), or buy another copy of 2010 or 2013. I was tempted to install 2003 Pro, but I needed something more modern, and since Office 2010's and 2007's prices have gone insane due to the high demand (if the versions can be found at all), I did something that I did not think I would ever do; I installed the Thunderbird email client. If Thunderbird does not meet my needs I will simply make-do with what I have (remote into a different computer just to use the Outlook) and accept the fact that new usable software that can be transferred to different computers if necessary may not again be available for years, if ever. At this point, even if Microsoft corrects the skin in Office 2013 I will still likely not buy a copy. For me, Office 2010 may be the last Microsoft Office I ever buy.

A lot of us are growing increasingly more concerned that Microsoft is distancing itself from business customers, and if so, then what future options do we have beyond Linux and open source? I am a big fan of Microsoft, but the last eight major pieces of software installed on my primary computer were from Microsoft's competitors, and I have not purchased any Microsoft software for my own use since Windows 8 was released (I received my upgrade download of Office 2013 for free); not a good sign.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A85X-D3H FM2 AMD A85X (Hudson D4) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Three video outputs, full-sized ATX, able to run two full-sized PCIE cards, very reasonable price, and I like the black color.

Cons: The first one that I received apparently had an intermittent problem of shutting off by itself, but the replacement MB is working fine.

Other Thoughts: This model has been discontinued, but if the new model is similar to this one then it ought to be pretty good.

I chose this one for its many features, primarily those of my being able to run three monitors with an AMD A10 without the need for graphics cards, and its ability to be expanded with more cards if/when I want more monitors.

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler with 120 mm PWM Fan
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Very quiet and it works! 11/25/2013

This review is from: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler with 120 mm PWM Fan

Pros: Increased cooling of over 10c on an AMD A10-5800k. The A10 OEM fan could not sufficiently cool the APU under any sizable load (even running Flash on a website would jump temperatures up to around 45c, but now the temps stay in the 30-34c range).

Very quiet - like someone else had said, I had to take a second look to make sure that the fan was running. My PC no longer sounds like a gasoline powered model airplane!

Ease of installation - aside from taking time, it's pretty much straight forward; four screws, four nuts, a back plate, and stick 'er together.

Cons: As I expected, the fan mounts on the AMD FM2 socket with the fan pushing air up or down, not side to side like what we would deem normal.

Also as I suspected, the fins extend to beyond the 4th RAM slot on a Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-D3H motherboard, but there is plenty of clearance above the slot to keep the slot filled. If RAM ever needs replacing, the cooler would have to be removed first.

Other Thoughts: I looked at dozens of CPU coolers before deciding on this one. I've been a tech too long to feel comfortable mixing liquids with electronics, so I wanted to stick with air cooling rather than use a liquid cooler.


Larry G.'s Profile

Display Name: Larry G.

Date Joined: 11/02/11

  • Reviews: 10
  • Helpfulness: 6
  • First Review: 11/23/12
  • Last Review: 02/10/14
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